Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Christmas Eve was fun - we all wrapped things, then I went to church with my mom.  It was kind of hard being back at our church, plus there was someone there who I wasn't expecting, so it kind of threw me off.  We left church and went to a Christmas party that we were invited to, and we stayed there until around 2am.  Then we came home, hopped in bed, and woke up around 9:30 on Christmas Day.

We had a great time opening up gifts.  I got a lot of awesome things - a tripod for my camera, a book, some clothes that I picked out for myself, an assortment of Burt's Bee's products, an iHome, and more things that I can't remember at the moment.  From my dad I received an authentic Phillies jersey (#8 Victorino!) and a beautiful necklace, among other things.  Em got me new hiking boots (!!!!) that I love and am currently wearing everywhere to try to break 
them in.  She also got me a chess set (I'm such a dork).  I received the coolest and most beautiful bracelet ever from my cousin Meghan.   Also, Em's mom got me a down blanket, 
which I am very, very excited to use when I get back to Greensboro.  

My favorite part of Christmas is surprising people with their gifts.  This year Kels and I surprised my mom by doing her a stocking - and she LOVED it!!!  It was so fun!  I also got her new bath towels, a book, a purse, a framed photo of Kels and I, and some silicone bakewear that she wanted.  

Oh - my mom's gift from Em ....

For those of you who thought it was an outdoor fireplace, you were correct!  She was so insanely excited and surprised - she had NO idea what it was going to be.  She loves the moons and stars in it.  It's currently sitting in our garage in the box, but I think Em and I are going to surprise her tonight and put it together for her.  

Back to Christmas Day- we went down to Chestertown to have dinner with my dad's side of the family.  As always, drama drama drama.  I won't even get into that on here.

Later that night we drove back home and slept here on Christmas night.  All in all, it was a great day.  A stressful one, but still fun and relaxing (sort of). 

Tonight we are going into Philly for New Years Eve.  I'm super pumped- Em is on her way down now.  Then, tomorrow I leave for Deep Creek Lake, MD with my cousin's family.  I went 2 years ago with them and it was great.  This year, my mom and sister are coming so it will be even more fun!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finnen Haddie

I have so much to write about- the last week has been so busy, everyday was something exciting.  

Last Saturday night Em and I were invited to our friend Elaina's house for her family's "Fish Party".  Atleast, that's what we always called it until we learned exactly what it was!

Every year her family has a party and serves this amazing dish called Finnen Haddie, which is basically smoked haddock cooked in a cream sauce with green and red peppers, and then served over a baked potato.  The meal was outstanding!  They also made corn pudding which I'd never had before but fell in love with, and some other dishes that I can't remember the name of but also enjoyed.  

Apparently, it's a big deal to get to stir the "sauce" (cream, peppers, and fish) and Mrs. Van Kirk was so kind to let Em and I try for awhile!  We had to wear aprons in order to be allowed to stir!  It was a great night overall, we met a lot of really cool people, including Elaina's uncle who has sailed across the Atlantic, and her friend who plays ukelele and shared a lot of my music interests.  Finnin Haddie is no longer a huge mystery, and I'm very proud of Em for eating every single bite.  (Even if it was just to spite me, since I'd told Elaina she probably wouldn't even try it - ha ha)

More to come about the holidays!

Monday, December 29, 2008


I know that I need to update on Christmas (which was wonderful), however something else is weighing on my mind.

I've been keeping up on sweet Eden since around 2005.  She relapsed at one point, but had maintained stable disease for a few years (which is a very long time in the NB world).  When I got home tonight I checked up on all of my "friends" and when I clicked on her website, I was shocked to read that she passed away today around 2pm.   

This is a photo of Eden (she is to the right of George Bush, with the upside down pediatric cancer ribbon pin) from when Bush signed the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act.

Please send prayers towards Eden's family, as I'm sure they are absolutely devastated.

So many families spent their Christmases without their little ones.  Please keep them in your mind as well.

PS. A friend of mine is in nursing school and has just started a rotation at A.I duPont in Wilmington.  I saw her tonight before she went to work on 3C north - the Oncology floor.  She told me that she sees "Liam Books" all of the time.  Mrs. Kane started a book drive in Liam's honor - every year she collects tons of books and puts these beautiful stickers on them with Liam's photo and his name.  I love that people see them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This is a crappy cell phone picture of our tree, but I don't have enough time to grab the real camera and then load photos up.  I have really been off the ball with taking photos lately..

Today was a hectic and crazy day, and I didn't even go out shopping!  I stayed here and wrapped, then Kelsey came home and we had to go back to WC to get her phone charger that she forgot, then we stopped at Rite-Aid on the way home to get a few things and it was a MADHOUSE.  I mean, RITE AID!?  C'mon!  

Tonight we all finished our wrapping and now we're about to head out to a Christmas Party.  I'm excited, I love holiday parties.  After that, it's straight to bed so that Santa can come work his magic  ;-)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Eve and to my Jewish friends - Hope your Hanukkah is going great!!!

To the anonymous commenter who left a note about my skin irritation: Thanks for the tip!  I have been using Aveeno creams and oatmeal baths, which help for a short while.  I haven't tried ALL Free and Clear, however I am definitely going to pick some up the next time I'm at the grocery store.  Thank you!


Last night I dreamed about Liam.

Sometimes my dreams about Liam are scary... I've written before about my recurring dream that I have about Liam.  This one wasn't scary though, and when I woke up I couldn't stop smiling because it seemed so real.

I was at a pool... Mr. and Mrs. Kane and Alli were there, but Alli was about 2 years old.  I was supposed to be diving, but I was scared to dive.  Finally, I just did it.  People were judging my diving as if it were some sort of competition.  Alli tried to jump into the pool, but I caught her when she jumped.  Mrs. Kane was so scared when Alli did that, but she was fine because I caught her and twirled her around and set her back up on the edge of the pool.  After that, I was out on this back porch.  Liam was there, wrapped up in blankets.  I had my phone in my pocket, and kept trying to take pictures of him, but my phone's memory card was full and I couldn't figure out how to delete some of the pictures off of it.  (Something I definitely actually know how to do!)

I remembered that I had my good camera inside, so I asked Dan Glavin, who was outside with us, if he would keep an eye on Liam while I ran inside to grab my camera.  When I got back, they were playing chase on the porch.  I whipped out my camera, but everytime I tried to take a picture, the camera would tell me that I was in the wrong setting.  I kept checking and it was on "auto", but it just wasn't working.  Then I tried for so long that I broke the shutter button (??!)  Then I fixed that, and tried again but it was telling me that my battery was dead.  Eventually, I gave up trying to take a picture of him, and just sat down next to him.  He put his head in my lap (something he used to do when I babysat for him and we watched a movie) and we just sat there like that for the longest time.  I was sitting cross-legged and eventually became very sore, my legs were going numb, but I didn't want to move and disturb Liam, who was laying there so peacefully.  

The entire time during this dream, I was aware that Liam had died.  I kept telling myself that "the medicine" had brought him back for a little while.  (??)  In my dream, I was thinking about how Liam had been cremated and buried, so how was this possible?  But it didn't matter because little Liam was right in front of me, I was hugging him and looking him in the eye, and even though I couldn't take a picture to prove it, I would still have the memory with me for the rest of my life.

Does anyone else ever experience dreams about people that they've lost?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Few Things

1. I am finished with Christmas shopping.  Next challenge: Have it all wrapped in 48 hours!

2. It's 12:45 am, making it officially December 23rd...HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSEY!!!!!!

3. My bedroom looks like our storage space exploded into it, and I can't find the energy to put everything back where it belongs.

4. Even though it's the holidays and things are happy and bright and cheerful and there's things to do, I keep getting these intense feelings of sadness that wash over me that I can't shake.  It's bugging me that I can't control it.

5. I am obsessed with Julia Nunes.  Search for her in you won't be disappointed.  She's hilarious AND makes stunning music.  I found her last summer randomly, and sometimes when I'm bored, I just watch all of her videos and laugh my face off.

6. When I was a senior, my Field Hockey team became extremely close.  We dealt with the death of one of the fathers of one of our players (he was also our indoor FH coach), and I think that brought us together, in a sad way.  Our varsity team really bonded that year, beyond the usual team-bonding.  We called ourselves "The Prettiest Team" - kind of an inside joke between all of us.  That year after the season ended, we all wanted to get together, so I hosted "The Prettiest Team Holiday Party" at my house.  The tradition stuck, and we've been getting together for the holidays ever since.  It's weird, because for the last few years there have been a few girls who were still in high school, but at this point, we are ALL in college.  I really want to go to this party, but it's on Dec. 29th ... and I'm supposed to be going to Jersey for a few days on the 27th.  I could cut my visit to NJ short, but I might not get to see everyone that I want to see, and plus I wanted to stay there until New Years Eve.  Decisions, decisions... I'm pretty torn.  What would you do?

7. I watched the absolute saddest episode of a TV show today.  I was never really that into TLC until I met Em, and right around then two shows started coming on regularly that I am now hooked on - Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Little People, Big World.  Tonight on LPBW, a really good family friend (of the family the show follows) passed away suddenly.  They were devastated, as this friend was more like a member of their family.  I cried through the whole show... I am such a baby.  In my own defense, they did film his funeral and reception, and a lot of the children and how they were dealing with it.  (They're like 17, 14, and 11).  

8. I missed Sydney so much while she wasn't here.  Now that she is here, I can barely remember what it was like to not have her!  I play with her outside a lot, and we snuggle before bed.  Right now she's draped over my feet, keeping them warm.  I can hear her snoring a little, and it makes me smile on the inside.

9. Remember last year when I had that strange rash issue?  It went unsolved over the 2 month period that I was tortured by it.  I felt like I should have been on an episode of House.  I saw a ton of different doctors and tried a ton of different medication.  The steroids helped, but after doing a 10 day step down cycle, it went away and then came back with a vengeance.  Anyway - it disappeared in May (to say I was relieved is a complete understatement).  And I am sad and frustrated to report that it has shown up again - in a slightly different form.  Never in my LIFE have I had excema (calm down, it's not gross), and now I have two patches of it - one on each arm.  Nothing is helping to calm it, so I'm going to have to go to the doctor.  Not that I expect them to be able to help me, ha!

10. I told my mom about the money that you guys donated.  She was so excited, and SO INCREDIBLY relieved because enough money was donated to pay the hospital bill for this month!  I was shocked, though- when she told me that the REAL bill hasn't even come yet.  The hospital bills we have now are just for the doctors visits, blood draws, pre-admission testing, etc.  The bill for the SURGERY and hospital stay afterwards hasn't even come yet.  And that one is going to be around $25,000.  (GASP.)  Our insurance will cover a portion of that, but we will be responsible for the rest.  However - a big Thank You again to those who donated- even tiny amounts.  Every $5 is five dollars less that my mom has to stress about.  She loves you all, and so do I.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Up Around the Bend

Today Em and I went over and visited my dad at his apartment.  I talked Em into bringing her guitar hero, so that he could see what it's like.  I've told him about it before, but he's never seen it in person.  He's really into music, and there's a lot of good older songs on the game.  For Christmas I gave Em Guitar Hero World Tour, which is the new one.  

My Dad loved G.H.  He thought it was hilarious, and got a big kick out of it.  He was horrible the first few times he tried it out... he got booed off the stage.  But then he started to get the hang of pressing the right color with the right finger at the right time, while also strumming.

I was telling Em today about how odd it is to go to his apartment.  Going there is like visiting a graveyard of all of the things that existed only in my childhood home.  All of his furniture are the same things that were in the house that I grew up in.  By now, my mom has mostly gotten rid of her half of the furniture and items from the split.  She has a new bed, new couches, new coffee and end tables, new dining room table and chairs, new dresser, etc.  (Most of these things were given to us over the years or part of a "trade" with friends)  My dad's apartment is like a tiny version of our old house.  All of our things crammed into a tiny one bedroom apartment.  It's depressing to see that beautiful dining room table of my great-grandmother's squashed into a tiny "dining area" with six chairs around the table that probably haven't been sat in for 7 years.  It's weird to see the plates used during my childhood and the entertainment center that used to house Kelsey and my Super Nintendo system and all of our Disney videos.

Life is strange.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Resilience Day

Today has been a great day so far.  My mom let us sleep late, so I woke up around 10:30.  Em and I played the Wii for awhile and lounged around while my mom made Christmas cookies.  Then we decorated the house and moved the rest of the boxes back upstairs for my mom.  After that, we played Chess (Em got me a beautiful Chess set for Christmas!) and then gave Sydney a bath.  It was really nice to just have a relaxing day with my mom and Em.  Right now, we're making plans to go over to Long.wood Gard.ens to see the Christmas lights with Lindsey.  I've always wanted to see those lights.

Today marks a big, huge day in my life.  It's been 5 years since The Unbloggable happened.  It blows my mind that it's been 5 whole years since the event.  But, it's definitely been 5 years... 2003 to 2008.  Age 16 to age 21...  unbelievable.  

Resilience Day is a holiday that I invented, and it's just a time to reflect and remember that no matter how tough times can get, we can always find it within ourselves to be strong, compassionate individuals, and remember that there is always someone who is hurting and struggling more.  

I love you guys.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You can rely on me, honey

I took this photo last week and totally forgot about it until I loaded my photos onto my computer last night.  You'll probably recognize it as the flash that sits atop my Kodak Brownie camera from my grandmother.  I liked the reflection and the fish-eye view that it gave of our living room.

Today Elaina drove down from NJ to hang out.  We took care of some very important business, and spent the rest of her time here driving through the valley, talking, singing, and relaxing at my house.  I'm so glad she came down, I love having visitors.  It's always makes my boring days so much more exciting.  I'm also very lucky to have her as a friend.  We have big plans for when she comes back sometime. (Mainly Philadelphia and the Brandywine Zoo!!)  

Christmas is a week from today.  Amazingly, I am almost done with my Christmas shopping.  I need to get a few more things for my mom, but besides that I am good to go.  I really get slammed this time of year - My mom's Bday is Dec. 17 and my dad's is Dec. 26.  Then, Em's is Jan. 16.  It stinks because I always come up with one great present (usually for Christmas) and then the Bday present is never as good!

Tomorrow Em is coming down for the weekend.  We're supposed to get snow!  

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday so far.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stand By Me

Thanks Rachel, for sending me the link to this awesome video!! It's from a documentary called "Playing for Change". They also have a website that states, "Playing for Change is a multimedia movement to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music". I love this song, and loooove this version!

I'm Walkin on the Sunnyside of the Street

We decorated our tree last night.  My mom decided to try some new lights- we've had our old ones for about a decade, so my mom chose these new LED lights.  They were kind of strange at first - so bright that the light sort of seems blue (not only in the photos, but in real life as well).  However, we really like them and I think it's cool to try out different things every once in awhile.  We have had colorful lights since before I can remember, and my mom has always liked just plain white.  So, she saw this as a compromise.  Her white lights that give off a little bit of a blue tint.  

Tonight, for my mom's birthday, Kelsey and are going to cook her dinner.  Her favorite right now are these Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella sandwiches that we used to make last summer all the time.  They're quite easy to make... toast some French bread in the oven, mix some balsamic vinegar with some olive oil, spread that onto the bread halves.  Slice some tomato and slice a fresh ball of mozzarella, line them up on the bread, and sprinkle with fresh cut-up basil.  Then get ready to eat the best sandwich ever known to man.  

The basil has to be fresh - once my mom and I couldn't find any fresh basil in the grocery store, so we used this old dried basil that came in a spice container.  It was definitely not anywhere near as good!  This meal can be a little bit pricey - the fresh mozzy and the fresh basil are both a little expensive (by our standards) - however, both packages come with more than enough for about two dinners and a lunch, so I think it's worth it!

I can barely contain myself about the Christmas gift that Em decided on for my mom.  I gave her a few ideas, figuring she'd choose to get her the silicone bakeware or the bath towels (which we desperately are in need of, haha).  However, she chose to get her something that I mentioned that I knew my mom wanted really badly.  All of my gifts to my mom this year for her birthday and for Christmas are practical things - things that she needs.  However, what Em is getting her is just something that she wants, and I think it's going to make her so happy!  I'm not going to post a photo of it, just in case... Here's a hint though: It's used in a backyard and is functional and also beautiful, and will keep you warm!!  I can't wait to see her face when she opens it!!  :)

From the Bottom of Our Hearts

To those of you who were so kind to donate: THANK YOU... you are way too kind.  I know that money isn't everything, but it's a week before Christmas and Hanukkah and I am astounded that you have found it in your hearts to help my mother and my family.  I think it's ridiculous that my mom was left with so much to pay for having that surgery.  It makes me sick, and I can't even imagine what the financial burden must be like for a family who has a member that has cancer and needs chemo, multiple surgeries, etc.  We are very lucky that my mom is doing so well now and does not need to continue treatment any longer.  And we are also very lucky to be able to rely on the kindness of others, as we have been during this rough time.  

Just incase there is anyone else who would like to donate to the fund for my mom's hospital bill, I put the "donate" button down on the bottom of my sidebar.  

Thank you again, every single cent is so appreciated and I am so humbled by your generosity.  To those who couldn't contribute: I know that you are sending good energy and thinking about us, and for that I am equally thankful!  

I love you all.

PS. Today (Wednesday, the 17th) is my Mom's 49th Birthday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Swaddled Trees and Flash Mobs

I am working on something really big to post, but it's taking me awhile.

In the mean time... We got our tree today.  It's big and full - not as big as we usually get, but a perfect size for our little cottage, I think.  I can't wait to decorate it with lights and ornaments!  We went out today to buy a new tree skirt, as our old one got lost in the move.  We looked at The Christ.mastree Shoppe and Bos.covs Department Store and couldn't find anything we liked.  So, my mom came up with the idea of using one of our Christmasy tablecloths (since our dining room table is up in my Mom's bedroom due to lack of a Dining Room!)  It looks great in my opinion and kind of reminds me of how in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Charlie uses Linus's blue blanket to swaddle the bottom of the tree.  

Oh, in other news - watch this AWESOME video!!  I've always been a little envious of those who go to Carolina, as they are soooo school spirited there and have amazing athletic teams.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

Picture Time

My apologies for the poor quality of this photo - I was rushing and also didn't have my longer lens on hand.  The other day, I was out on my back stoop and noticed this squirrel acting strange on the roof of the house next door.  Then my gaze fell upon why- this huge, beautiful bird was flapping its wings and darting towards the squirrel.  I sprinted inside to grab my camera- luckily, it was sitting on the kitchen counter.  When I went back out, I shot 4 frames and the bird took off.  It was so fast and it's wingspan so huge that I gasped and then I tried to get it as it was flying off, but it was so dark out that I could barely see it (I tried to lighten this up so that the bird is visible).  My mom and I couldn't figure out what kind of bird it was (my mom thought it was a hawk, but I pointed out the long beak instead of the short, hooked beak that most hawks have).  My cousin Meghan said that female Blue Herons are all gray, so I'm thinking that's probably what it is.  However, I've never, ever seen a Blue Heron in Wilmington that wasn't at a park or a lake!  

This was just a cute photo op... our cat Simba has a kitty-friend who lives outside.  I have no idea who he belongs to, but he's obviously an outdoor cat.  He likes to walk up and down our long lane, and then he comes to the front stoop and sits and taunts Simba!  Simba is always trying to catch a peek at that cat, however, we'd never seen him to go such great lengths!  

Me, Coulby and her classmate Jervis.  Today I went on a field trip with Coulby's class to Chesapeake College to see a Holiday Magic Show.  The show was awesome.  Spending time with Coulby was awesome. Riding on a bus with 40 six year olds... not so awesome.  (The name Jervis... not so awesome... ??)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lucky Trumble

For some reason, I've always had a special relationship with music.  (Dorkiest line ever to a blog post, but just stick with me.)  I think it has to do with the fact that my dad has always been so musically-inclined.  I hear certain riffs and they stick with me for a long, long time.  Music means so much to me, it's such a great form of expression and creativity.  One of my all-time favorite movies is Almost Famous, which has a stellar soundtrack.  It's honestly one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard, and it even won a Grammy in 2000.  It's chock full of Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Allman Brothers Band, Cat Stevens, and Elton John (all favorites of mine) plus a ton of others.

I watched Elizabethtown tonight, and during the whole movie, the non-lyrical music kept striking a chord in me (no pun intended).  I felt like I'd heard something like it before, and about halfway through the movie, I realized it sounded really similar to the music in Almost Famous.  I loved it- and I'm not usually a huge fan of instrumental music.  

When the movie ended, I immediately looked it up online and was so proud of myself!  Almost Famous and Elizabethtown were both directed by Cameron Crowe!  Who is married to Nancy Wilson of the band Heart.  She wrote a lot of the instrumental pieces for Almost Famous AND Elizabethtown!  

Two great movies, two great soundtracks.  If you haven't seen either, I would highly recommend them- Almost Famous is better, but Elizabethtown was great in it's quirky little way.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So Sad.

This is a photo of the scene in San Diego where a military plane crashed into a suburban neighborhood on Monday.  The pilot ejected himself from the plane,  landed in a tree, and survived.  Tragically, the plane demolished a house, killing four people.  One man went to work in the morning, and when he got home, his wife, mother in law, 21 month old daughter and 2 month old daughter were gone forever.  The family has just immigrated from Korea to start a new life in the United States.  The Grandmother came to help out with the new baby.  It breaks my heart to read the news article and hear what Mr. Yoon had to say about his family that he will never see again.

This story struck me really hard for some reason.  I guess it always takes hearing about something like this to remind me that things are not really that bad in my life.  All of my family is healthy for the most part.  The people that I love the most are with me on Earth, even if they are far away.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Watch the whole thing - it's so worth it!!!! I love how she says "crocodile"!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ice Box

I was looking through my old photos and found this one.  One year Suzi, Kim and I went up to Kim's family's cabin in southern Vermont to spend a few days.  We spent much of our time in the hot tub, and fashioned this cooler out of snow so that we wouldn't have to go inside every time we needed a drink.  

I can't believe Christmas is only 17 days away.  And my mom's birthday is only 9 days away.  I have no clue what to get her for either holiday!  I actually don't know what to get anyone this year.  Usually by this time of the year, I have a big list of everything that I need to buy, and I know exactly what I'm getting everyone.  I need to start brainstorming.

Oh- speaking of presents - at the bottom of my blog there is a "Christmas Tree" ... leave me a gift if you want!  It's kind of fun, you can choose what to give me and choose the wrapping paper :)  You can also do it anonymously - for all you lurkers out there.  You know who you are!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


On Friday night, my mom and I decided that we deserved to go out to eat.  My mom was exhausted and didn't feel like cooking, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant where the meals are pretty cheap and there's usually not a huge crowd.  By some chance, we decided to drive a different way than we usually go to that side of town.  We drove up Shipley Rd and got to the intersection of Shipley and Wilson Rd.  We had a red light, so my mom slowed down, and then everything felt like slow motion.  We watched a red SUV crossing in front of us, and a gray sedan running the red across from us... they slammed into each other with such force that the SUV did a 360 in the intersection, and the sedan careened off the road and into the woods in the front yard of the house on the corner.  They hit a tree.

It was strange because we didn't have any music on, yet we didn't even hear a crash or horns.  We just watched it, it happened so quick.  My mom immediately pulled over and we jumped out of our car.  It's weird how you don't even get scared, your adrenaline is just rushing.  We immediately ran over to the people in the sedan.  As I was getting out, I dialed 911 and stayed on the phone with them for about 5 minutes, answering questions... "Yes, there are people trapped in a car, Yes there is a head injury, Yes there is someone unconscious, Yes there is a car in the middle of the intersection, Yes there are hazardous fluids leaking out of one of the cars..."  They told me that they needed someone to direct traffic, so I appointed this teenage kid who had pulled over to see if everyone was alright.  My mom yelled to me to go get the blanket that was in her trunk, so I ran back over to her car and got it out and realized it was my Phillies blanket from the World Series.  I ran back over to her and we used it to apply pressure to the woman's face, which was bleeding pretty profusely.  The woman began waking up and she was in a lot of pain - her window had shattered and there was glass all over her, and she was bleeding all over.  Her husband, the driver, was trying to calm her down but she was becoming pretty irate.  My mom stabilized her neck and told her to try not to move while we waited...

After what felt like 20 minutes but was probably around 5 minutes, three ambulances, two fire trucks, and around ten cop cars/emergency vehicles showed up on the scene.  My mom and I stuck around and watched them use the jaws of life to get the man and woman out of their car.  The 4 teenagers who had been in the SUV were all fine and had gotten out on their own - although their car looked like an accordion.  A policeman came over and took down our information, since we had witnessed the accident.  He thanked us for our help, and then we got into our car and left... they had blocked off the road a little ways down, so we had to get through the block.  

It felt so strange to drive away from that... We were there for a total of about 40 minutes.  I didn't want to leave them.  I had walked over to the 4 teenagers while we were waiting for the ambulances to come and two of them were girls who were crying so hard - obviously just very shaken up.  I put my arms around one of the girls and hugged her and just calmed her down and told her that everything was going to be okay, and that she was going to be okay..  I've been in her spot, and I know how scared she felt, even though she wasn't hurt.

For awhile I've been saying that I wish I knew the name of the woman who pulled over when I got into that car accident in high school... she was so calm and so incredibly sweet to me as we waited for the ambulance.  So, I kind of feel like I "paid it forward" instead.  

(Note: The photo posted is the one that was in the newspaper on Saturday morning in the article about the accident.  It was taken by T.J. Healy.)

Friday, December 5, 2008


This photo was taken somewhere around 1990.  That would make me 3 and my cousin Meghan 9.  The photo wasn't taken professionally- although many people think that it was!  

Meghan and I have always been very close... I'm not sure how it started, but when I was little, I was semi-obsessed with her.  I wanted to do everything like her!  She is the reason I started playing lacrosse.  She is my very best friend.

Meghan got engaged earlier this summer to her boyfriend, Ray.  I can't wait for her wedding, which will be Labor Day weekend next year.  I can't believe she's actually getting married... we talked about what our weddings would be like for so many years, and now she's in the process of making that dream come true for herself.  Congrats again, Meg!  I love you!

Meghan is well on her way to becoming a published author.  Her work is incredible.  She plans on writing a memoir, and I can't wait for the day when it will be on shelves!  If you'd like to read some of her work, she has a blog - Not Even Past.    She hasn't updated it in a long time, because the blog was just used for a class she took awhile ago.  However, I promise- you won't be able to stop reading her stories!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Five Alarm Fire

"When you remember events/times in your life, do you remember the details or just snippets or what?" -Lindsey

When I remember things from my life, I usually remember them generally, however there are some events that I remember in great detail.  Those events are the ones that have stuck with me the longest, and there's usually a reason that I remember them in great detail.  For example - the memory that I have of a grade school friend sticking up for me, I can remember most of the details.  However, I can barely remember my birthday party from that year, or what I got for Christmas that year.  Or what it was like for me to be going to a different school than my sister for the first time in our lives.  I have one other memory from that time period (age 5-6) that is one of the clearest ones I have.  

If you'll recall - I have a strange fear of very loud, persistent noises.  It's not really a fear anymore, but it used to be.  I've also written about how I used to be terrified of those red fire alarm boxes on the walls in my elementary school.  It would literally take my breath away whenever I saw a kid touching those, and I would beg and plead in my mind for them to not set off the alarm.  Whenever I knew that there was going to be a scheduled fire drill, I would do anything to get out of school.  Especially at my secondary elementary school- those alarms were very shrill and even if I knew it was coming, I would literally jump when it went off.

I believe that this is all because of an experience I had when I was 6 years old.  This story is completely true, and I remember almost every detail about it.  For many years, I attended a daycare center in the summers with my sister.  My mother really trusted the people that worked there, and I actually went to kindergarten there as well.  Kelsey and I formed really amazing bonds with the people who worked there, and we loved them a lot.  One day, during the summer that I was 6, we had "Sprinkler Day".  We all brought our bathing suits and sunscreen, and spent the afternoon running around in the sprinklers, cooling off from the heat.  Afterwards, we took turns in the bathroom changing back into our clothes.  When it was my turn, I went into the bathroom and shut the door.  I stripped off my wet, clingy suit and stepped out of it.  At that moment, a piercing sound filled the daycare center, and I realized that it was the fire alarm.  At that time, all that I knew was that if you heard the fire alarm you were supposed to walk to the back door as quickly as possible, go back to the fence outside, and stand in a line against the fence.  So, thinking that I was in great danger and that there was a fire in the building, I threw open the door and began walking to the door.  Completely naked.  I followed the mass of other children to the back fence, and stood there with my little butt cheeks pressed against the chain links.  
Everyone was laughing, because I wasn't wearing any clothes, but one girl, Amanda Vietnan, took it to another level and began to tease me.  She was a year older than me - a big 7 year old. She stood over me, laughing and yelling, "Everybody look!  It's the naked show!  Kristen's doing a naked show!"  Over and over, she taunted.  I started to cry, and crouched down in the grass with my arms around my knees.  A daycare worker realized what was going on and she ran over to me with a sheet that she had pulled off of a crib.  She wrapped me up and carried me away from the rest of the kids.  When it was time to go back inside, she brought me to the director's office.  (Her name was Miss Kim!).  They both sat me down and told me that if that ever happened again, I was to grab my towel and come out with a towel wrapped around me.  Or, I could call for help and someone would help me quickly put on some clothes.  

After that day, I was terrified of fire alarms.  Even though it wasn't the alarm that had upset me in the first place!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Like an old photograph

My mom went back to work today.  It's strange to be in this house by myself... I kind of feel like she is just out running an errand and will be back in an hour, so that we can watch Family Guy re-runs together and laugh about her matches :)  I'm glad she's going back to work, and regaining some normalcy in her life, however, this means that I need to find something to do!  I'm working on organizing something for me to do, but I'll just have to wait and see if that pans out... for now, I'm staying curled up on the couch with a blanket, apple cider, and Full House.  I'm still trying to kick some sort of bug that I came down with at some point on Sunday night/Monday morning.  I feel much better than the last two days, but still not 100%.

This is Em's cousin's child, Jordan.  While I was at her house over the holiday, I got to play with Jordan and her older sister, Mia.  Jordan is very clingy towards her mom, so I played more with Mia- who enjoyed climbing all over me, putting ice down my back, and beating my butt on the Wii!  They were both super cute... sometimes it was more fun to play with the little ones than the "big kids"!

So, I have a few questions left that I haven't answered yet.  I'll take care of those this week.  Here's one though:  "What's a skill and/or hobby that you wish you had or that you'd like to study/get better at?" -Lindsey

When I was in high school, I took photography and loved it.  I really liked actually photographing, but my favorite part of the class was developing the film in the darkroom.  It was like magic!  I have a portfolio of my work that sits on a bookshelf in my bedroom in NC.  Sometimes I pull it out and look through it and I can almost smell the chemicals used to develop those photos.  That's something I would really like to study more and get better at - developing my own photos.  I know that now I use a "digital darkroom" (aka...Aperture, haha).  But, I recently acquired a camera that will require an actual darkroom...

These are photographs of the camera my grandmother gave me last weekend.  A little background story - My grandmother was born in 1926 and had one older brother- Wayne.  She loved Wayne soo much.  He was two years older than her, and they had a very loving brother/sister relationship.  In April of 1942, my grandmother turned 16.  On her sixteenth birthday, her brother gave her this camera as a present.  It cost him $4.25.  A few months later, Wayne turned 18 and joined the Air Force.  He died 6 months after giving her this camera, while training to fly.  The engines failed and his plane crashed into a field.  So, this camera meant a lot to my grandmother.  It was the last thing her brother gave her before he died.

It's a Eastman-Kodak Six-20 Brownie Flash.  They started making them in the 30s- same camera but without the flash.  They made them with the flash from 1940-1942.  After that, the camera was updated and the trapezoidal shape was changed.  The camera that I now own has the flash, but obviously needs a bulb.  I am currently researching where I can find the cheapest bulbs/film for it.  It's still in working condition, however the lens needs to be cleaned and I'm having trouble opening the film compartment - two problems that can easily be fixed if I take it somewhere to someone who knows what they're doing.

I'm excited to see if I can actually start taking some photos with this 66 year old camera!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Post # 319

I honestly can't remember if I've posted about this yet.  So, if I have- sorry!  I checked back in my blog and can't find anything about it, but I really feel like I have... oh well.

I didn't really update that much during the weekend of my mom's surgery.  I did mention that my friend Megan drove down to stay with Kelsey and I.  Thank God she did, because I'm not sure how Kelsey and I would have survived without her.  She was continually cleaning up the kitchen, giving us hugs, walking to get things from the car while we were at the hospital, going to get us drinks or things from the drug store across from the hospital.  It was nice to have someone else riding with us in the car, someone who would listen to us talk or cry or de-stress.  Megan was there in a very selfless way.  I am very lucky to have her as a friend.
While she was down here, we took a break from the hospital one day and drove over to South Street.  We walked around, and when we got to the Magic Garden, I realized that the rumors were true - you can now walk around the garden!  It's actually the studio of this amazing Philadelphia artist named Isaiah Zagar.  His mosaic murals can be found all up and down South St. and the surrounding areas.  It's a truly breathtaking space.  I think the 3 of us walked around in silence, just splitting up and taking it all in.
If any of you are ever in the Philly area, make sure that you stop by the Magic Garden.  It costs 3 dollars to walk through, and it's SO worth it!

Monday, December 1, 2008

NoJoMo #30 - The Last One

On Saturday Em's dad took us flying.  He is a member of a flying club in Morristown, where they take turn using the planes there.  It was so amazing!  That morning, I was very nervous.  I spent Friday night at Elaina's house, and when I woke up I couldn't even eat breakfast because nerves were causing my stomach to do all sorts of acrobatics.  She sent me on my way with two clementines that I did manage to eat before we took off.  When we got there, Em's dad spent awhile getting things all set, and then we pushed the plane forward, got in, taxied over to the runway and prepared for take-off!  It was literally breathtaking.  We flew in a big circle - first down to New Brunswick (I waved to you, Courtney!), then we had to fly around Newark Airport and not invade their airspace.  We then flew over New York Bay, and flew north up the Hudson River and Brooklyn came into view, followed by Manhattan.  It was such a clear day!  After Manhattan we saw Crom Pond (sp?) which is where Em and her family lived until Em was about 3.  Then, we stopped at another airport north of NYC to refuel and grab lunch, and then we headed back to Morristown.  There are a lot of photos and blogger has been being weird about me trying to put captions underneath of them.  So, like my last post, I'll list them here for those who are interested.  

Photo 1: Me getting into the plane... the inside was smaller than a car!  Photo 2: All ready for take-off... I got to sit in the front!!  Photo 3: HEY CORDUROY! ..that's New Brunswick, where Rutgers University is located.  Photo 4: Tributaries.  They looked cool.  Photo 5: I took this for my friend Elaina, who let me be her First Mate when she took me sailing this summer for my very first time.  Photo 6: The Tappan Zee Bridge.  Or was that the Verrazano Bridge? (*EDIT* It's the Verrazano.)  Photo 7: Self Explanatory.  Photo 8: Manhattan!  A good view of Battery Park City.  Also, if you look closely, you can see Mr. Galbraith's building that he works in.  It's just left of the center of the photo, and is a cream building with a mint-green roof.  Photo 9: World Trade Center site.  Photo 10: NYC Skyline... The Empire State building is the tallest building, and The Chrysler Building is to it's right.  Photo 11: Old Yankee Stadium. (*EDIT* It's the new stadium.)  Photo 12: Landing!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NoJoMo #29... a day late!

Sorry for the delay... I have been SO busy this Thanksgiving weekend.  However, it's been so wonderful to see all of the people who I love so much.  These photos are from Thanksgiving day, which was spent at my Uncle Clarke's house.  (1st photo: Coulby, Me, Jack, and Emma.  2nd photo: A Thanksgiving tradition for my family- a bushel of raw oysters.  3rd photo: Me and Jack dancing.  4th photo: My Poppop napping.  5th photo: Jack-Jack Attack.)  PS. In regards to the first photo - do you know how hard it is to make 3 children under the age of 6 ALL look at the camera AND smile at the same time!?!  It's HARD!

It's strange to see photos of myself taken with my camera- I really don't have that many, since I am usually behind the lens and not in front of it.

Tonight I'll post my very last NoJoMo post!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Sucky NoJoMo #28

Thanksgiving was wonderful... it was the best Thanksgiving in a long time.

I'm leaving now to go up to New Jersey to hang out with Elaina tonight.  Tomorrow I'm going over to Em's house and her dad is taking me FLYING!  He's a pilot, and he flies little Cessna planes.  It should be interesting.

Sorry I'm boring today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

NoJoMo #27- Happy Thanksgiving

This is from Thanksgiving 2005.  It as a really, really rough Thanksgiving for Kelsey and I, since we had attended Liam's viewing 2 nights before, and were 2 days away from his funeral.  However, we still managed to have some fun with our cousins.  For all you PACAA people - we were putting on a skit called "The Four Headed Turkey" (basically the same thing as the "3 Headed Monster")... it was actually pretty fun, and my littlest cousin, Katie loved it.

I'm thankful for so much this year.  My mother's improving health, the great friends that I have, my family, my sister, my North Carolina family, Em, Sydney... the list trails on and on, and I could continue but I have to go dry my hair so that we can get on the road!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NoJoMo #26

I really, really like to photograph children.  Both of these are my cousin, Coulby.  She's actually my cousin Sherri's oldest child.  I love how in the first photo she is climbing a tree in a white lace dress.  That is definitely Coulby for you... she's adventurous, loud, sassy, intelligent, serious, and inquisitive.  

My last few posts have been a few hours behind.  I've made that at wee hours of the morning, once the calendar already states that it is really the next day.  I think it's a good thing though - I haven't had much to do the last few weeks, and me posting late means that I've been doing things instead of sitting around the house, staring at a computer screen!

Tomorrow we are going to Chestertown in the morning.  Kels and I are visiting with my dad's parents around noon, and then heading out to my Uncle Clarke's house in Church Hill.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I love when all of our family (the Bayne side) gets together- we always have a great time, and it's always so laid back.  After that- Kate, Meghan, and Ray are hosting a "Post Thanksgiving Hangover Relief" at Kate and Meg's house.  Tomorrow is going to be packed full of good food and good people.  

NoJoMo #25 - The Thanksgiving Potluck!

On Sunday night we attended the First Annual Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at the Rugby House.  It was so fantastic!  There were over 40 people there, some I knew and some I didn't.  Everyone mingled with each other and ate some pretty amazing food.  There were THREE turkeys, POUNDS of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens (hey- we are in The South!), meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and lots of other sides.  Plus there was so many cakes and pies and ice cream... it was SO GOOD! (Not to mention all the beer and wine!)   Once everyone was there, we went around and all said what we were thankful for.  It was really cool to hear what ALL of those people were thankful for!

And it reminded me... On the RENT dvd there is a documentary about Jonathon Larson- who wrote the musical.  Every year on Christmas he would have this huge potluck dinner and invite all of his friends.  They would all sit around and drink wine and have these awesome discussions.  It made me happy that we were doing something similar.

I'm back in Delaware now... Em, Jay, and I left tonight around 6 and I got here about 2am.  (Em and Jay continued their trip up to NJ)  I'm still kind of wired from the trip (loud singing, caffeine to stay awake, etc.).  Tomorrow Kels is coming home and then Thursday we are heading to Chestertown for Thanksgiving.  I'm pumped - I love holidays!