Tuesday, March 26, 2013

California dreamin'

If I don’t blog ever again, it’s probably because I ran away to the mountains at Lake Tahoe.  We stopped there for a night on our drive to San Francisco. Apparently 10 hours stuck in a car seat was long enough for little bird.

Mom rant: I HATE car seats.  Strike me down dead for saying this, but seriously.  I’m well aware of the risk factor and will spend my entire life ensuring the safety of my littles, but I’ve got to devise some sort indestructible bubble suit for infant travel. When she’s content, she’s happy as, well, a bird. But go a mile further than she wants, and you’ll hear it until she’s freed.  I’ll admit it, I’m totally tempted to take her out and let her just be. But I don’t, and I won’t.

Travel day two was much shorter. I’m not sure if my geography teacher skipped over this part or I’m just a total ditz, but having never been to California before I was not expecting so many mountains. And it’s not just one big beach party with beer, babes, and sunshine. Apparently that happens a little further down south. Granted it’s only March, it’s a tad chilly nonetheless.

 San Francisco doesn’t go without its own highly sought after attractions though. So far we’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and a homeless man with projectile diarrhea on the side of the road; all of which were a first for me. 

San Francisco is no Lyman, Wyoming folks. It’s building to building chaos. But if you ignore the GPS enough times, you eventually find yourself amongst some of the prettiest scenery around.  I’m amazed at the diversity here, amongst the people, homes, and scenery. Within 3 square blocks there are slums, million dollar mansions, and then somewhere in the mix you’ll find Haight-Ashbury, which is an experience all on its own.  But right outside the concrete jungle you’ll get to Pacifica, where we are camping right on the cliffs of the shoreline and get to watch a nightly sunset that stretches for miles. 

Mom’s appointments are going well. Everything is as to be expected. The medical team is top notch; her surgeon was the one who developed the main aspect for this newest theory of treatment. Ocular melanomas are rare; only 2000 diagnosis each year, and a majority of them; we all feel so lucky that she was a candidate for proton radiation and that she is in with the best of the best. We’ll be here for a few more days for surgery recovery and more appointments. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers.   

Out of the Closet

Maybe it can go without saying and maybe others need an explanation, but here it is; I support Gay rights. I am God fearing, bible reading, cross wearing Christian, and I support the right of equality for all.

Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, whatever…I support your earthly right to follow your heart.

Say whaaat?? Conservative Christian Elizabeth is going against the Bible and advocating one of the biggest sins out there? Surely, she must not be a true Christian. Maybe the husband baby thing is a cover up for her own gayness? The Bible clearly states homosexuality is a big no-no. Or does it?

Well folks, sorry to stop your gossip train, but I am indeed a full-fledged straighty.  Though I do enjoy rainbows…

I’m not here to eradicate your core beliefs and demand you have a change of heart. Along those same lines, I’m not here to debate this with the thumpin’ of your scriptures to counteract mine. Because, let’s face it, the fight for gay rights goes so far beyond any of our opinions. But isn’t that why we’re having this debate in the first place? Because everyone has varied opinions? Well, maybe I have something to say that might sooth your judging soul.

This is the part where I could summarize a wonderful article written by (a way more knowledgeable) Christian in my same boat, but instead I’m going to link you over HERE, and hope you read it for yourself.  And by read, I mean read the whole dang thing folks. It’s long, so you might need to push pause on your rerun of The OC, but it will at least give you some insight.   

I don’t feel as strongly as the author does, because I haven’t experienced the same tribulations of my friends deeply involved in the Gay community. But what I do feel in my heart is that that God loves us all, regardless of circumstance. Amen? Amen.

I will say I especially enjoyed Argument #4- Because God Says So. That’s been the foundation of every Christian’s argument.   I’ve spent my fair share of time in prayer to ask for guidance on how to view homosexuality.

I woke up this morning to facebook covered in red equality signs, and I had zero intentions of changing my picture.  Are we going to overturn Prop 8 through changing your profile icon? Nope. But did you know I supported equality before today? Probably not. And I was pleasantly surprised at the number of my friends who publically support it as well. What are we doing then? Why change your picture? Why write a blog? Because one voice, one picture, one word at a time we’re demolishing the taboo of supporting Gay rights.  And eventually, the world will be one red equal sign. Maybe it won’t happen this time, or the next but in the famous words of some teeny-bopper who got at least one thing right, never say never.

So whatever it is your stance is, get educated. It’s not our place to judge; that job is reserved for the Big Man. I’ll admit, I was indeed a closet gay rights activist. Well folks, here’s to coming out of the closet. Let’s all live in love. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Month Six

Hold your horses, kiddo. You’re 6 months; not 16 years…so stop acting like it.  This has been a crazy month for you. You’ve experienced so many new things, it’s as if you’re skipping this baby thing and heading straight for adolescence- a force to be reckoned with. 

You have a serious love-hate relationship with your car seat.  Let’s be honest, it’s an altogether hate, and in fact the only love thing about it is the new places you go once you’re freed- oh, how you love new places. Babies are a pretty hot commodity, but you my friend, are in the limelight.  Everyone is attracted to you. I don’t know if it’s that bald head or huge grin that draws people in, but once they are there, they are captivated for good. 

Not much has changed on the home front. You spend your days perusing the living room floor, exploring the hallways in your walker, and your nights cuddled up right in between mom and dad. I wouldn’t say you’ve successfully mastered crawling because you more resemble a walrus on land that a mobile baby but you are so close to victory.  Another big first is that you sit in high chairs at restaurants. The only reason this didn’t happen months ago wasn’t the lack of skill on your part, but more or less my severe co-dependency constantly getting in the way of your independency. 

You’ve spent the majority of your time voicing your opinion; it seems you have one on just about everything.  I’ve learned the difference in all your tones. They aren’t words yet, but you’re speaking full sentences just the same. Cars, doctor offices, crowded restaurants are all the same to you- a place to turn on your charm and captivate your audiences. You’re quite the loud lady, and no matter how hard I try, manners just don’t apply to you. Sometimes, I’m that mom with that baby but it’s always in a good way.

You’ve traveled way more than you wanted to this month but you’ve experienced so many first, it has been so well worth it (for me and my picture taking obsession).   This has been the most maturing month, so many first, so much personality, and a lot of family time.

You’re the light of my life, and have been since the moment of your existence.  We’ve been traveling a lot without your daddy, and he misses you so much, but the smiles and giggles that emerge from your reunion makes my heart melt more than anything.  You're turning in to such a little lady. We love you Bird. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013


It’s dark out. And cold. Everything is packed and ready; it has been for days.  The only thing left to do is pile in the car and start driving.

Rewind: The last two months have been a whirl wind of doctor visits and a long hand of the waiting game.  It’s not a very fun game to play and I don’t recommend it. But sometimes, it’s the only thing left to do.  I had the smallest glimpse down a road I know I definitely don’t want to travel.  The “C” word…you know, cancer

What was once thought to be a small freckle in my mom’s left eye turned out to be a cancerous tumor.  An ocular melanoma caused from a life time of being a gorgeous fair skinned redhead.  Treatment for eye tumors used to be removal of the eye entirely. But thanks to modern medicine, proton radiation acceleration is now the treatment of choice. I still think my mom could have rocked a bedazzled eye patch.  I feel like I've become an overnight expert on all things ocular cancer, which had its pros and cons…sometimes ignorance truly is bliss and other times knowledge is power.  Long story short(er-ish), melanomas have a nasty habit of spreading to the liver and/or brain, and without divulging my mom’s entire medical history, those are two locations we’d rather it not travel.  After referral of a referral of a referral to specialist doctors, my mom has a clean bill of health (aside from the initial cancerous tumor in the eye).

Fast-forward:  Proton radiation acceleration is a relatively new science when it comes to tumor treatment.  Because it’s just making its appearance on the scene, there are only nine centers in the world that offer this treatment, San Francisco being one of them.  My mom and pop have been getting ready to head to the world’s leading proton radiation center, and Bird and I were invited to tag along for the trip (Brent flies into San Fran on Thursday night for the weekend). 

The past week has been especially hard, for me anyways.  I can’t even begin to imagine my mom’s feelings.  I’ve never met a strong person than her.  Every step of the way, she’s been positive. Not just positive that she’ll be cancer free, or healed, or even for life to return to normal, but positive in the sense that no matter what happens, no matter what the outcome is, everything will be fine.  We will remain happy regardless of the diagnosis.  I can’t fathom the words for my feelings had the results been anything but positive. In the end, she will loose her eyesight, which I consider a win when life all together was an option. But I know one thing is for sure; my mom would have remained strong…and then we could be strong with her. 

  I’ve never prayed so hard, so fervently, so…selfishly, as if making sure God knew that I just wasn’t ready for a life without my moms.  He knew. 

Pause: I-80 is one heck of a long road.  Lilly is asleep in the back seat, while her Nana strokes her forehead and studies the paper road map.  Pop is driving, cautious of passing trucks and enough “driving room”.  And all this time gives me the a ridiculous amount of time to think, which inevitably ends up with typing, which then twists itself into a blog of some sort.  Earlier this morning from the back seat, I watched my mom diligently feed my pop a piece of breakfast bread.  Sweet words exchanged as they were both grateful he didn’t have to take his hands off of the wheel.  High school sweethearts still so dedicated to caring for one another.  My mom has repeatedly said how much she appreciates everything  pop has done throughout this ordeal, and from my pop; a small grunt in reply. And for those of you who know my pop, a grunt is worth a thousand words…and this time it was a thousand words of gratefulness that his love will be okay.  To watch that small exchange of bread meant the world to me. I can’t wait to watch a thousand more. 

So, here we come California, to add one more success story to the trial we call cancer.