"Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever...

... and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you."

- Meet Joe Black

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday

Dear Daughter

Its hard to believe 5 years have gone by since you entered our lives. Especially since  everyday you wake up just a wee bit more independent then the day before. But with that independence comes discovery. You've learned things that make you wonder and question more. Things that have made you laugh and want to share. Things that made you feel proud and full of life. But not all has or will make you smile or feel good. Some has left you feeling unsure of yourself, and people and things around you.

So, as you sit before me colouring, I'll start this special birthday letter.

One of Absolutes.

Not a day goes by where you do not share or give things to those around you. Whether it be toys, food, or the gift of your smile. Your always putting others before you. Thinking of ways to help.

In your short life so far you have faced your own wee hardships. Feeling like your 'not good enough'. Left out. And you've wondered why the bad things happen. You have handled  those situations  better then I ever could. Better then most adults. You've thought these times through, worked it out, and came up with solutions. And if there wasn't  a clear cut ending, you dealt with your own  feelings in a way that's way beyond your years.

Sometimes I am in awe of your courage my Darlin Girl. Your adventurous spirit knows no bounds. Every day is an opportunity to learn and do something new and your going to do it Come hell or high water. And for those around who may not feel that strength, your always there, reaching out a hand to help.

Not just in the ABC 123 kinda ways. Although you pick up things pretty quickly. But your thirst for knowledge inspires me everyday. You share with us daily your ability to understand things far beyond your age. Encouraging us to see thing's from a new perspective.  So that all of those around you see things in a new light.

You give LOVE. So openly. So freely. To everyone around you.  A hundred times a day you share your 'I Love Yous', hugs and kisses. But its your kind words and thoughtfulness towards others that inspires me. You encourage other's.  And remind  us all to feel thankful  for all our blessings.

Inside and out. You radiate this amazing light around you that draws others in. Your smile....jeeze kid. YOUR SMILE! It gets me through the worst moments. That smile and your laughter is so contagious I don't even care what were beaming about. You share that happiness.

It's  been said often that your  very sensitive,  like me.  But your also fierce like your Daddy. Sometimes you can so clearly pick up what others are feeling and then feel them yourself. You can be feisty.  And have a fiery temper when its roused. And there may come  a day when someone says 'Your too sensitive'. DONT LISTEN TO THEM BABY GIRL! For you wear your feelings for all to see. That is nothing to be ashamed of. That takes courage and bravery.  People will understand you better. And it means you'll always take others feelings into account. You have a big heart my girl. So be proud, and never be afraid to let others see it.

So, my Darlin Baby Girl.
Your 5 years old now. These years have begun the mold of the wonderfully,  caring, and amazing woman you'll one day become. I know I often say how these years have gone by so fast. And they have. If I could hold on to so many of these precious moments longer, I would. But I have to say, these years have been  good to you and I. In the way that I feel so lucky to watch you grow...and be a part of it. I am excited to see what changes may come this next year, and what paths it will lead. To see how much you'll grow. Physically and emotionally.  (Size 13 shoe kid!) I'm  looking forward to the lessons learned and milestones met. For both of us.

And the one thing that has only gotten stronger, deeper...just MORE absolute with time...Is how much I LOVE YOU.

You. Are. Loved.
Beyond measure.
Times infinity.
Touch blue.

Happy 5th Birthday Darlin Girl
Love Always and Forever

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Found A Lump...

Dear Daughter

Shortly before my 30th Birthday I found a lump in my breast.

It was late, I was hurrying through a shower when I distractedly gave myself the 'routine' self exam....and found a lump. Immediately started comparing sides and investigating the size and texture. There was definitely a almondy sized lump there. it was hard, smooth and I began to breath a little faster. I called your father in. Hes the strong one. My rock. I can always count on him. He came in right away, felt me up and said "Yea...I feel it. I'm sure its nothing.' I chose to believe that. Theres no way it was what my mind immediately jumped to. What any woman's mind would. Instead I tried to convince myself It was nothing. We all had doctors appointments for the following week so I I tried to put it out of my mind till then. If it went away...I wouldn't mentioned it. If it was there, Id bring it up'. Still, I obsessively checked everyday while getting dressed. just to see if I still felt it.

A week later I was laying on the exam table at the Drs office and finally brought it up near the end. I hadn't forgotten about it but I was still trying to convince myself it was no big deal. The Doc began the breast exam on my left side (she wanted to see for herself if she could find anything) She was still talking to me about the previous subject, giving me options for our next infertility step; when she switched to my other breast....and then stopped mid sentence. She had felt the lump too.

She told me that she was sure there was nothing to worry about. I was only 30 years old. but because of my mothers history with cancer we were going to run some tests anyway. She asked me a bunch of questions, continued my physical and asked me to get dressed and wait for the nurse. When her assistant came back in she had several papers in her hand. one was for lab work. 6 viles. ( which anyone who knows me knows me and my shy veins found this hell) then she began to explain that they had booked me in for. My doc was sending me to get both pelvic and breast ultrasounds....and my very first mammogram.


Later that night, after a good crying jag I still felt slightly disoriented, unsure...lost. Im just barely 30 years old. This shouldn't be happening. I tried to focus on the positives. I tried to appreciate the thoroughness of my Dr. That we were on top of whatever THIS was. But at the same time I was sooo incredibly scared. Why the urgency? Why all the tests? If it really is 'probably nothing" why is this all happening so fast. And just for kicks...Why is this taking so long? I had to wait a whole WEEK for the tests. That's one week of tears. stress and Dr Google. A week of not sleeping, of what ifs and pity parties.

I want you to know that through all this I did my best to not let you see. Not let you feel an ounce of the pain I was feeling. But you knew. You could tell that things were different. That even though I smiled and played, that laughter didn't reach my eyes. And I'm sorry for that. If anything, this whole thing has made me appreciate all those little moments even more then I did before. And for that I'm grateful.


But Im frustrated. Because everyone is saying its nothing. That there is no need to worry. No use crying over something that we don't know is there or not. But I don't want want to hear that right now. I want to hear this sucks. That its scary. That no matter what you ll be there for me. I want to climb under the covers and wake up when this is all over...

But I cant. Because there is you my darling amazing little girl. You, who I love more then life itself. Your right there every morning whispering I Love Yous and starting the day with smiles and laughter. Theres breakfast to be made, and games to be played. Laundry to be done and dishes rinsed. Stories read and long, sweet cuddles. So I try to push it away, to be positive, pretend my head isn't screaming in fear and confusion. I just want answers.


I got through the next week by either DISTRACTION or OBSESSING. Some days I kept myself busy with cooking, cleaning playing and baking. I felt like now was the best time to totally gut the cupboards and clean. Or sorting through the immense about of toys and crafts. And today we should definitely get all your stuffies and have an uber elaborate tea party complete with picnicy foods. And I liked those days. They were quick, and productive. Other days were slow. I hated those days. I wouldn't get dressed. Or brush my hair. I did the bare minimum and felt so incredibly guilty for it. I would put my headphones in and binge watch episodes of Gilmore Girls and The Torkelsons and The Mentalist... all the while sneaking peaks of your Daddy and you playing together. And I inevitably thought of all the things I shouldn't. How many playtimes do I have left. How many stories. laughs and cuddles. Then I felt so guilty and like a drama queen. That I was emotionally over reacting. But there my feelings. This was my reaction. I couldn't sleep at night and drove myself crazy. Id stay up late Googleing things like I FOUND A LUMP....MY FIRST MAMMOGRAM ....OTHER CAUSES OF BREAST ABNORMALITIES


Fast forward to the day of the tests. I was incredible nervous but just wanted to get it over with. I drank all the requested water and fell like I was either going to puke or pee before this was all finished. They got me in rather quickly, beginning with the Pelvic Ultrasound. After a several minutes, the technician informed me that with my Mothers previous history of Civic Cancer the Dr wanted an Internal Ultrasound as well. Just to make sure we had all the information we could. After that there was only a few short minutes till my Mammogram. They technician, ( her name was Diane, she said we should be on a first name basis if we were getting to second base) asked me several questions, felt around, and then added several flowery stickers where she felt anything palpable. I remember being cold...and feeling overwhelmed. I wont go into too much detail of the actual Mammogram. But suffice it to say it was like using one of those Shoppers Blood Pressure Machines... on your boobies...4 times. I lost the awkward embarrassment after being repositioned and pulled during the second round. Then I was led to a smaller colder waiting room with other women while my scans were read by the specials. Now it could have just been my embarrassment of the gown, still wearing the stickers, or being the youngest one by at leave 20-30 years....but I felt like they were all giving me sad yet supportive looks. They all said hello and asked me a question or two about my yarn project. ( I brought with me to distract and pass the time) 10 excruciating long minutes later, Diane came and brought me into another room. We had to take a closer look, and ultrasound the right side. I quietly lay down and let her do her thing. She tried to engage me in conversation but by now I lost all my nervous blabbering and wanted to be finished.

Again, they asked me to wait. not to change, in case they needed further investigating. This time I just sat there staring at the door. I thought about you, your Daddy, my family....just hoping and praying that all of this really was for nothing...

A few minutes later a different technician came in to tell me I could get dressed. That the Dr "Didn't feel the need for further scans. And that the report will be sent to my Dr, who will get in touch in the next day or two"

I felt relief. Surely if there was some ting to be concerned about they'd keep me for more scans. or the possible biopsy that my Dr has warned me about? I took this as good news. I was still stressed, and worried. But not nearly as much as I had been the previous week.

Unfortunately...this meant more waiting.


By the end of that week I was still feeling stressed and jumped whenever the phone rang. When the Drs Office called I went into the bedroom and answered the phone. "Shannon, its Janine from Dr S Office. She wanted me to call and assure you that your Mammogram and Breast Ultrasounds came back normal. All is well. She wants you to get annual Mammograms from here on out though because of you and your family's history."

I must have thanked her. I know we spoke more because my Doctor still wanted me to book an appointment to discuss other lab results.  But I didn't feel the fear and urgency that I had the last month. I felt like a weight had been lifted and I could actually breathe again. That whatever we still have to talk about is NOTHING compared to the way I felt this past while.  I felt that this moment was like a new beginning for me. I cried a bit, and before I let your Daddy know...I just held you. I kissed your forehead and we finished every page of that damn Search and Find Book that we've been through more then enough times before.

And when you looked up, and asked if those were happy tears in my eyes I said "Yes Baby. Those are Im so happy I could cry and laugh tears". You said "Those are the best kind".

My Darling Girl
I love you so incredibly much.
Always and Forever

1 in 8 woman born today will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer at some time during her lifetime. Its hard to imagine someone who hasn't been impacted by this disease. Its the strength and support of family and friends that get them through the trying times. Please take a moment today to tell someone you love them. And that no matter what, your there for them.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Day Of School

Dear Daughter

Well...Today's the day.
Your first day of school.

This morning your Daddy woke me up and I climbed in next to you, just to watch you sleep. As I like to do. I knew I should wake you, there were a hundred things to do, but I wanted. ..No, needed... a few more precious moments before you embarked on this new chapter in your life. A new adventure that wony always include me in it. One where you'll grow and learn abd become the woman you were meant to be.

And my heart hurts.
Because I was laying there thinking of all the things we haven't done together. All the things I should have taught you. All the words I should have said and all the stories I should have read.

And my heart hurts.
Because it seems over night you've become so big and brave and independent. And wasn't it just yesterday that I held you in my arms, so small and delicate?! Overwhelming me with love and alllll the feelings!

And my heart hurts.
Because in another few seconds I knew you would open your eyes and I would have to brush my tears away, take a deep breath and begin this monumental day.

So this morning we walked hand in hand. Bellies full of oatmeal and chattered all the way to your class. Your cowgirl boots clip clopped, (of course you wore them!) And every few feet you'd skip in delight and sing "We're going to school! I'm starting school today!" We spoke of all the exciting things you'd learn this year...The friends you'd make...And what I would possibly do with allll my free time! (According to you; read, crochet, laundry and eat cereal out of the box because I didn't have anyone to cook for! )

We walked in, and before you ran off to play I held you close, kissed your face and whispered my I Love Yous. One. More. Time.

As you ran off, Introducing yourself as Macaroni Pyle...I recalled this morning when you finally opened your eyes...The first thing you said to me..."Mornin Momma. Woo hoo! Its the first day of school!" And being my girl you just know me..."Dont be sad Momma. If you get scared all by yourself, just look down the street. And I will see you soon!"

And my heart hurt.
But I took a deep breath, smiled and looked forward to our next adventure.

I love you Baby Girl
Always and Forever

School Registration

Dear Daughter

Last week we passed another milestone. One that came to quickly and I wasn't sure any of us were ready for...

Last week we registered you for school.

Afterwards I couldn't help but think about how many firsts you have left. How many we'll see coming. How many will surprise us. I feel equal parts sad and in awe.
Your my 'not so little' little girl.

Its only the end of January and already you've accomplished some firsts and special moments. You had your first 'big hill' solo sled ride. Used big kid skates on your Daddy-Daughter skate date. Made it to your first friend birthday party; and you were a fantastic helper! You made it to the very top of the indoor playroom by yourself. You even made me my birthday cake; from scratch and by yourself. Supervised of course, and not the dangerous parts.

I know this year will have a few more firsts and a few more big moments.

This year you will turn 4 years old. You will top the height restrictions on most rides. You'll begin wearing double digits in shoes. This year you will join soccer camp; and we may even give dance a try.

And this year you will be in school.

On these days I will kiss you and wish you a good day. I'll stand back and watch you run with delight to join your new friends. You will play new games, learn new things and have a gazillion new experiences.

And selfish thought or no...I'm sad that a lot if them wont include me. Up until this point, all the ins and outs of your day were intertwined with mine. 'Wherever you will go I will go' and all that.

All my days are planned around you and now...8:15 every morning I will whisper my I Love You's as you run off to grow and learn without me.

And I know this is the right thing for you. And I know I'll still be involved. And I'm sure I'll have plenty to fill my time. And im sure I'll be thankful for the uninterrupted me/chore time. But I will also long for the days where we played, laughed and cuddled together whenever we chose.

But I can promise you this... at the end of those days, good or bad, you will leave your classroom and always always always know this. That I will be there. With open arms and a smile on my face. I'll be waiting. You'll tell me about your day. All the happy moments and the sad. I promise to listen and I promise to ask questions.

And till the next time you go. We'll play, laugh and cuddle close. Then we'll whisper our I Love You's and do it all again.

Till the end of time, my sweet baby girl, I can promise you this...

I will always be sad when you go. I will always miss you while we're apart. And I will always feel great joy when I see you again. Pinky promise.

I love you little girl.
Always and orever