Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Letters to Santa

Olivia had her Christmas list ready about a week ago.  She's been chomping at the bit to get it out to Santa. Her list included Flipeez (ridiculous winter hats you can only buy at Walgreens), Mooshka doll, doll stroller, shopping cart, a cash register and scanner.  

So I told Juliana that we needed to get busy and write her letter so we could get them in the mail.  Without missing a beat, she tells me on her computer, "That is too hard.  I need help.  How many?  That is too hard."  I told her we would work on it together but I needed her to start thinking of something she would like.  

So coincidentally, the next day, guess what her school team decided to work on.  So they started it off as a shared writing.  They asked her, "How do you want to start it out?  Have you been good? etc" So they wrote this part together.  Then they gave her the sentence starter "I want a _____" and then using her alphabet flip book, she spelled C-A-R.  They asked her if she was done, thinking that she couldn't possibly be spelling car, right?  Maybe she meant C-A-R-D-S, like goldfish or something.  She responded with a nod - yes.  So then they asked her if she wanted a small car, a minnie mouse car, a remote control car - to all of which she responded NO.  So then Mrs. Broome (OT) asked, "OH! Do you want a power wheels so you and Olivia can go riding around?" to which she smiled and nodded a huge YES!
 I'm really hoping Santa has it in the budget to get this girl a car.  She has been a VERY GOOD GIRL!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Team Juliana Up-Cycled

So I have been hoarding a few t-shirts for several years now.  Most of them were our original "TEAM JULIANA" Shirts.  We had these shirts made shortly after we got Juliana's diagnoses and was really the spearhead that brought us out of depression and into action.  We assembled a team of close friends and family that were all feeling helpless with Juliana's diagnoses and TEAM Juliana was born.  We wore these shirts at all our fundraisers and they became sort of like our uniform.  Well eventually the girls outgrew the shirts and ours became worn out, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them.  They had TEAM JULIANA on them and it just felt sacrilegious to throw them out or donate them.  So they sat for years in the corner of my room in a paper sack, all the while knowing I would find something great to do with them.  

Then, fast forward about 5 years, we meet Claire Oliver, our new assistant principal and basically jack of all trades.  The woman is amazing, she does iron man triathlons for crying out loud and in her spare time apparently she sews.  So saying all that, Claire created this beautiful blanket out of all of my Girl Power inspired t-shirts.  It will keep us warm both on the outside as well as my heart!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards

So for our second day of touring the metroplex we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards.  Started off with some amazing barbecue - which I am not a huge barbecue fan, but this was good stuff!  And although we have lived in the metroplex for about 15 years, this was the first time I have seen the steers parade through town.  It was kind of funny because I think secretly in my head I thought it was going to be more of a stampede, or like the running of the bulls in Spain, but it's a really tame stroll through town.  

From there we headed to Southlake for a little shopping and walking.  And what you see below is the dental session we had in the middle of Southlake Town Square.  So here's the backstory.  Juliana had lost a tooth that morning and not to be outdone by her sister Olivia was bound and determined to lose one too.  I told her early on that hers wasn't ready, but she insisted.  So all day we have been hearing about this tooth and finally Norma convinces Olivia to let her take a look, because she's ready for this, right.  Wrong, Norma pushes on the tooth (which wasn't ready, but is now ready) Olivia freaks out and starts crying.  So now, 3 days later, the tooth is still in her mouth hanging on by a thread, but she insists she will not force it out.  She will let it come out when it's ready.  Sage advice.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Big D

So, since this was Norma's first time to Dallas, we decided to show her around.  First stop, Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas.  We LOVE this park for several reasons, cool dog park, games and books you can check out for free and food trucks!  So much fun.

 So after the park and lunch, we stopped by the house for just a second to let everyone potty before the next adventure.  I took this picture of me and Juliana because she was having a blast this day.  This kid loves to be out on the town.  A bad day for her is a day she has to stay home all day.  She is definitely my daughter!

So the next stop was the Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington.  We were so ready to get our German  on!

This is someone important in German folklore, which I vaguely remember Tante Monika telling us about, but can't seem to recall the story right now.  
 And here is Norma and Eddie.
 Being that we were in a German mood, we decided to try out something new at a restaurant called Everything German.  This place is AMAZING!!!!  Very authentic German food and complete with the sweetest accordion player.  The girls loved him and he continued to play for just the girls for the majority of our time there.

 And I had this tasty beverage.  A Leibinger Seeradler, which is basically a beer with grapefruit soda. Delicious!
 And then with full bellies, we made it home for movie night!  Tonight's selection - Nanny McPhee!
 Liv had to draw a poster for the movie

Thursday, November 27, 2014


So here we are, already at Thanksgiving 2014.  And although it was a fantastic Thanksgiving, it was a picture FAIL.  Why?  Because these are the only 2 pictures we took the entire day.  At least I thought to get a picture of my big girls.  And no, Juliana is not THAT small.  It's just the way we took the picture, another picture FAIL!  And who are we missing?  Well, for starters, Daddy.  He was probably cooking the amazing dinner, that we also failed to photograph.  Also missing was Uncle Eddie and Norma, Aunt Teresa and Dylan and Uncle Ray.
 And this was a very cute, last minute Pinterest centerpiece that Olivia and Aunt Teresa threw together.  Great idea guys!

Monday, November 24, 2014

First Sleepover EVER!

So this happened.  What started as a movie date, turned into a playdate and eventually turned into a sleepover.  What a great time!  Faith is the girls best friend whom they have known since birth pretty much.  She is a really good friend to both girls and we were so glad to have her over.  I'm always a little sensitive and worried that Juliana will feel left out.  And then to top it off, Juliana conked out early, so she missed the movie.  So I tell the girls, if you want you can sleep in the playroom or on another bed, since Juliana is already asleep.  Without skipping a beat, both girls replied, "No!  We have to sleep with Juj!  How will she feel if she wakes up and we aren't there with her?  We have to!" So we piled in the girls with Juliana for a good nights sleep, but the giggles continued!  What good memories.  I'm so thankful that they include Juliana and let her be a part of things in her own way.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chili's Give Back Day!

A huge, huge thank you to all that came out to support Team Juliana at Chili's!  We had so much fun and just appreciate so much everyone who came out.  It has become a reunion of sorts and we are so blessed to have so many people that want to help us find a cure!

Lively Team!

 Abel, one of my favorite former students!
 Brandenburg Team
 Travis Team
 Bazluki - Former Brandenburg Team

 Mrs. Marquez - one of Juliana's amazing teachers.

And more Team Lively!

Outstanding Student of the 2nd Six Weeks!

 So I drop Juliana off at school and they inform me there will be an awards ceremony this afternoon and I might want to come because Juliana will be receiving something.

I am very proud to present my "Outstanding Student of the 2nd Six Weeks"!  That is Mr. Flynn, announcing and presenting all the outstanding students with their certificate.  This administrative team rocks and are always so good at recognizing our kiddos.

 I guess Juliana and Ms. Bustos were mesmerized.

 Love this picture.  These two are a great team.  We are very thankful that God sent us Ms. Bustos

Way to go Juj!  Way to work hard!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Disney Avenger's Half Marathon

 I can't believe it's possible, but the Avenger's Half Marathon is now my 4th Half marathon.  For those who know me, you understand how remarkable this is.  I am not now or ever have been a runner.  I don't get that "runner's high", I don't have these long reflective runs that clear my head.  I run honestly for three reasons: 1. Because I think of Juliana.  She does so much therapy and it's hard. It tires her out and yet day after day, we make her do it.  I figure it's the least I can do.  2. It raises money and awareness for Rett Syndrome and it gets us just a little closer to a cure.  and 3.  It allows me to spend time with some of the most amazing women I know.  And we get to laugh, and share stories, give and get advice and recharge our batteries before heading home.  So I get all that for the low price of 13.1 miles.  I'd say it's a steal of a deal.

Look who I ran into in Dallas!  I'm sure it's 5 o'clock somewhere!

 And then we found this one once we got to Orange County.  Double fisted Tina!
 First stop after drinks and lunch was picking up our race bibs!

 And then, like a bunch of old ladies, guess what we did.........we all conked out in our hotel room at about 9pm.  I know kind of lame, but you know what, we don't often get to do that, and it was actually 11pm Dallas time.

The next day we decided to spend some time at California Adventure.  Because of course that's what you do the day before a half marathon that you totally haven't trained for. P.S. - gorgeous weather!

First ride, against Niki's wishes, The Tower of Terror!  To bad you can't see Tina's face:(

Had to take a picture of Doc for Olivia!

 And then of course Mickey for Juliana!

Checked out Monster's U

 And then it was onto Radiator Springs!

 And then it dawned on me that I had still never tried a Dole Whip.  You know that thing I always see on Pinterest where people are trying to recreate this amazing dessert.  So I look at Tina (our resident Disney expert) and asks where we can procure this dessert.  And she tells me we can't!  Why? Because we are in California Adventure and you can only get those in Disneyland.  WTF!  This is unacceptable.  I did not come all the way from Dallas to be denied this tasty treat.  So I ask an employee if this is true.  She confirms it.  I ask her if there is any way she could go in and just buy me one.  And guess what she did. . . . . . . Yup, she let us in Disneyland!!!! Just like that she opened the gate and let us right in for the Dole Whip.  So we ran over to the Tiki Hut or whatever it's called and stood in line (a long line) for a Dole Whip!  Do we look a little excited?

And here it is friends!  It was amazing.

And as we were on the way out, guess what - Parade.  Darn it, I guess we will have to wait till it's over.

Then from there it was our Team Dinner.  I love these ladies.

My number one reason for being there.

And this was the scene at home.  This was Liv's best attempt at a smile.  Apparently her hands were chapped and hurting and she needed her momma.  

 And then it was GAME ON!  Morning of the race.  I unfortunately was in the last corral all by myself.  No worries I made some friends.  Check out all the people behind me!!!  I call that my buffer  - There are that many people between me and the bus that picks you up!  I can do this!

And I got this little jewel.  Apparently a good night's sleep did her good!

Minutes before starting

 Running through the park

Okay, I'm not going to lie.  This run was not pretty.  It was by far the hardest one for me yet.  The 55 mph Santa Anna winds didn't help.  At one point around mile 2, we passed a Wenchel's Donuts and I seriously thought about bailing and hanging in the donut shop.  I could taste the coffee and donuts.  But somehow I persevered.  Around mile 8 we got to run through Angel's Stadium.  That was kind of cool.

And then somehow I finally managed to finish the longest 13.1 miles of my life!

And I got my Coast to Coast medal too!

And then I had a Shock Top!

And then it was time to say goodbye to my dear friends.  What a great weekend.  Truly blessed to have found this group!

Never would I have believed that I had earned all of these medals.  Who is this girl?