Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We're in Jersey, tooling around Chatham and taking care of errands and whatnot. The Tea Party was great, I'll post pictures as soon as I can get them on Em's camera. We had a fantastic time, the weather was perfect, and we were on a boat EVERY SINGLE DAY that we were there. I was seriously a happy camper. When we got back to DE, I got to see Mer and Maria for awhile, which was AMAZING- I miss those girls so much during the year! And now we're in NJ... we hung out with Elaina last night, it was so good to see her too.

Sorry for the lack of interesting things going on.

I'll try to post once more before we head back to North Carolina.

OH! Em and I were accepted to go to PA.CAA!! We are so incredibly excited for it. I'm doing Hand Jive with Rachel, and Em is doing classes with Dan G. and Kelsey, so she's excited to be working with people who she knows and loves. It's going to be sweet this year, I can just tell. I have a perspectives values group.. =) I have missed this so much!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tea Party

I'll try to be a little more upbeat with this post.

Tomorrow Em and I are making the looong trip up to Delaware/New Jersey.  The reason we are going up tomorrow instead of next week is because this weekend is the Tea Party in Chestertown, MD. 

Ok- brief history ...My parents were born in and grew up in Chestertown, and I was born in Chestertown and lived there for a little bit, until my mom got pregnant with my sister and then we moved to Wilmington.  So, my entire family lives in C-town.  All four grandparents, all of my aunts and uncles (except for an uncle in Idaho) and all of my cousins live in Chestertown (or close-by surrounding towns).  There's a college in Ctown - Washington College, which is a private liberal arts college.  When I was younger, in the summer I would go to softball day camps there, and eventually, I had a friend who went there so I used to go to parties and other events. 

Okay - back to the Tea Party.  So, ever since I was little, I've been attending the Chestertown Tea Party celebration/festival/extravaganza.  Basically, everyone remembers the Boston Tea Party - well apparently, the same kind of thing happened in Chestertown.  Atleast, that's how the story goes..and they re-enact it every year, and the streets are lined with vendors and tents with craftspeople and fun stuff for kids to do.  Up until a few years ago, that was all we did.  But, when I got a little older, I started going to the Raft Race, which is the day after the big celebration.  People build these craazy themed rafts and race them around the river.  A lot of them end up sinking before they hit the finish line!  The last few years, we've gone out on my uncle's boat to watch the race.  I think this year we're doing the same, or maybe meeting up with a few of my cousins.  We'll see.

I'm excited for Em to see the Tea Party.  It's not so much about the actual Tea Party for me anymore.  When I was a kid, I was just overwhelmed with all of the toys and food and games.  But now, what I really enjoy, is just spending time out on the boat in the sun and getting to see all of my family.  

Time to pack...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This morning I had a doctors appointment, and on my way out the door I stopped at the check-out counter to make my follow up appointment.  The woman behind the desk is always there when I'm there, she's very nice.  She always laughs when I take a "I WAS BRAVE!" sticker.  Today, she saw me slap it on my shirt, and noticed Liam's picture on my shirt.  (I'm wearing my Relay for Life - Legs for Liam tshirt)  She asked who he was, and I told her about him and how he passed away from cancer in '05...then she said, "Oh that's awful... I just saw in the paper today, a little 7 year old girl who died of cancer" And I said, "Oh..Katherine Wilkinson?"  And then she said, yes!  And asked me how I knew her.  I told her that I was just familiar with her, but that she had the same cancer as Liam.  I told her it was Neuroblastoma, and she asked what that meant, so I explained it to her (with Em).

Funny how the picture they chose is similar to the one that I posted on here a few days ago...

GREENSBORO — Katherine (Kathy) Ann Wilkinson, 7, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Sunday, May 18, 2008.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at Rolling Roads Baptist Church with Pastor Mark Brookhart officiating. To honor Kathy, the family is requesting pink and purple clothing to be worn. Those were Kathy's favorite colors.

Kathy was born May 11, 2001, in Summerville, S.C. She was a member of Rolling Roads Baptist Church and Miss Pam's Sunday School Class. She attended first grade at Frazier Elementary School in Miss Wilson's class. Kathy was full of life, lovable and even through her sickness, always kept her positive attitude and outlook on life. We can all learn a big lesson from this precious little girl. Kathy will always be remembered and loved and we will never forget her always having a hug for everyone.

Kathy is survived by her mother, Denise Wilkinson; her sister, Alyssa Sethman and her brothers, Devon and Ethan Rice all of Greensboro; grandparents, Richard and Anna Wilkinson of Greensboro and Pete and Rose Conzalina of Ladson, S.C.; great grandmother, Maria Link of Goose Creek, S.C.; aunt, Theresa Barnes; uncle, Kevin Wilkinson and cousins, Kelsey, Kenneth, Tara, Jayson and Kayley all of Summerville, S.C.

The family will receive friends at the church immediately following the memorial service.

The family request that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in memory of Katherine to the Children's Hospital Foundation of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, attention, Dr. Mosse and Maris Neuroblastoma Research Program, 34th Street and Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104 or to Kids Path Palliative and Hospice Care of Greensboro, 2504 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405.

George Brothers Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.

Offer condolences at www.

Monday, May 19, 2008


A few years ago, I came across a caringbridge site for this little girl- Kathy W.  Her family lives in Greensboro - she has an older sister and two younger brothers.  I started reading her site around the time that she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, and I kept up with her, even though her mom couldn't always find the time to update as much as other parents.  (With four children, I bet her time gets eaten up very quickly!)  I e-mailed Kathy's mom and suggested that maybe we could all get together, or that I could even help her out with babysitting or anything else that she needed.  She e-mailed me back this great e-mail and said that she would love to get together.  Then, I chickened out.  I got too scared...Neuroblastoma is so unpredictable, and the survival rate is so low.  I was too scared that if I became friends with her and her family, or even just met her once, then I would have to go through the hurt and anguish all over again of losing a friend who was under the age of 5.  So, I didn't email her mom back.  That was over a year ago.  However, I still kept up with them constantly.  I still kept her, along with all of the other NB children, in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy's cancer took a turn for the worse a few months ago, and the decision was made to not further her treatment.  My heart sunk when I read that update.  I knew what was to come, and it made me so, so sad.  This morning I checked her site and Kathy's mom posted that Kathy had earned her angel wings at 9:20 pm last night.  My heart sunk once again.

I am so angry at myself.  I knew this day would come, but I just didn't want it to.. I wanted Kathy to be an exception.  But...rarely are there exceptions with NB.  It is a horrible, nasty, WICKED cancer and I hope with all of my heart that they find a cure, or better treatments, as soon as humanly possible...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

There's nothing wrong with the SOUND you've been needing all along...

I got home from DE late Thursday night, and on Friday night we drove back to Raleigh to see one of my most favorite bands - Virginia Coalition.  If you haven't heard them, check them out.  ("Hurricane Song" "Walk to Work" and "Green and Gray" are my favorite faster songs... my favorite slower songs are "Mason Dixon" "Home This Year" and "Voyager II"  .. although all of their songs are awesome!)  The show was great - sorry about the blurry pic, but I did my best.  We were right up in the front.  It's been a long time since I've been to a show like that, where it's in a tiny little place that's standing room only.  We loved the show, the setlist was phenomenal with a lot of old tunes mixed with their mellower new stuff.  They covered "Lean on Me" which was pretty freakin' sweet.  The only downside to the concert: every high schooler in the Research Triangle area was there.  I've never been prouder to be 21 and not have stamps on my hands!!!

We found out about Virginia Coalition (also known as VaCo) because they opened up for OAR when we saw them play at Elon University two years ago.  Ever since then, Kim and I have been keeping the VaCo spirit alive by playing Hurricane as much as possible (especially in the car when it's sunny out, with the windows down!!)  We were so psyched to see that they were coming to Raleigh.  Oh - sidenote - Maria, they are going to be in Dewey Beach on June 7, it's a Saturday night ... I think they'll be at North Star Bar, it's only a $5 show, but you should DEFINITELY try to go!  They are amazing, I promise you would love them!!

Today I finished my transcribing interview.  I felt very accomplished...and since then I've been catching up on all the shows that I missed last week when I was home.  I love how will let you watch any episode of their shows.  I find myself getting so caught up in Desperate Housewives.  At first I was annoyed with the show, but back when Grey's aired on Sunday nights, DH would come on right afterwards, so I got hooked .. and now I'm completely enthralled.  

I know this is crazy, but Em and I are heading back UP to MD/DE/NJ on this Friday.  This weekend is the Chestertown Tea Party - which I'll explain at another time - and then after that we are just running all over the place.  Up to NJ to visit with Em's parents and brother, then back down so I can go to an Orioles/Red Sox game with my dad, then maybe visiting the Dewey/Rehoboth area or exploring Philly (Linds- will you be around then?  It'll be like June 1 and 2, right before the concert). 

On June 3 and 4, we are seeing Dave Matthews ... it feels like old times, going to BOTH shows in Camden!  I am so excited, I can barely contain myself.  This will by my 10th and 11th Dave Matthews shows, and I don't want to hear any crap about how all of his songs sound the same, because they all sound different and beautiful in their own way to me :)  He is a very talented musician.  

Then, we're coming back down here to spend the summer (minus a week for PACAA in July).

So, now you all know the plan.

PS. I will write soon about how I am buying a new camera.  It's a digital SLR - I think I am going to go with the Nikon D60.  If you know anything about cameras, you might wonder why I am getting the D60 over the D40, and I've spent a lot of time debating that and researching, however, Ritz camera is having an awesome sale this week, so I might just go ahead and get the D60!!  If you have any comments though, let me know (or if you own either camera!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So, one of my mom's coworkers (and a good friend) has had some of the worst things ever happen to her in the last five weeks.  My mom mentioned that she has been really sad lately, and when I asked why, she launched into this looong story about all of the things that have been going on with her family in the last few weeks.  I was shocked.  If you think your life is rough, listen to this...

So, my mom's friend... I'll call her Mary.  Mary has five children.  One of them, I'll call her Christine, was diagnosed with breast cancer about five weeks ago.  Stage 3, which is pretty advanced.  So she has been undergoing chemotherapy since her diagnosis.  Christine is married and has a five year old.  A different daughter of Mary's, I'll call her Lucy, has had a congenital heart condition since she was born.  She's undergone about nine surgeries and about two weeks ago, she was having a lot of heart problems due to being stressed about her sister's cancer.  She went to her doctors and they decided to do this procedure where they shock her heart to get it beating regularly again.  She went in for the surgery, and when they shocked her heart, she coded on the table.  The doctors did everything they could to save her, and luckily, they were able to get her heart beating again.  Lucy is okay now, but still having issues due to the surgery.  

A few days later, Mary's sister in law wasn't feeling well, went to the doctor, and the doctor found out that she had advanced Lymphoma.  The cancer was spread so far that they gave her ONE WEEK to live.  She was living a normal and healthy 50 year old life, and all of the sudden, it came to a halt.  She was dead within a week.  It was so unexpected, and really rocked the whole family.  Mary was really exhausted with dealing with her daughter having cancer, her other daughter having issues with her heart condition, and with her husband's sister having just died so unexpectedly (plus, Mary and her husband were the ones who were left in charge of figuring out her will, and all of her arrangements).  

Okay, so things started to settle down a little bit.  Then, about two weeks ago, my mom got to work and she was called into her boss's office when she first got there.  Her boss let her know that she would be getting a phone call soon from one of her employers calling out for the day, (my mom is a supervisor) and that it was going to be a big thing.. and my mom asked who it was that would be calling out, and her boss told her that it would be Mary.  My mom said she just felt like crying, because Mary had been through so much in the last few weeks anyway.  She went back to her lab and an hour later, Mary called her sobbing.  

Mary's daughter Christine, the one with the cancer, she got home the day before from work.  She had picked her daughter up from school and when she got home, she thought it was odd that her husband's car was in the driveway.  Her husband is a policeman, and he works during the evening, and usually isn't home when she gets there.  She couldn't find him anywhere in the house, and so she went next door to ask if they'd seen him, and her next door neighbor (also a cop) mentioned that maybe he was down in the basement working on something.  So, she went back over and went downstairs to the basement, and found the most graphic, horrific scene... her husband had shot himself, and was dead on the ground.  Her daughter was standing at the top of the stairs, so she ran back up, grabbed her, and ran out of the house screaming.  

So, Mary has dealt with her daughter's diagnosis with advanced breast cancer, her other daughter's issues with her heart, the sudden death of her sister in law, and the sudden suicide death of her son in law.  

How many awful things can happen to a person in one month?  I really feel so horribly for this family, it kills me and I wish that there was something, anything that I could do.  Of course, there is nothing, except to think of Mary and her family often, and hope that things get easier for them in the future.  

So, next time you think that your life sucks or that you have too much to handle, just remember that there is always someone fighting a harder battle...

Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me..

Home has been good.  My grandmother's party was fun ... we mostly just hung out with our cousins because there was a lot of old folks there.  Sunday we spent Mothers Day with our mom and grandparents, and we got to see lots of aunts/uncles/cousins.  Yesterday we just hung out and my cousin Meghan drove up to hang out with us last night.  We watched Things We Lost in the Fire, which was sooo good, I recommend it.  Halle Berry was phenomenal, and the kids in the movie are gorgeous.  

Today we rode around Wilmington trying to find a place of summer employment for Kels.  She might work at Hibachi, which would be interesting.  

Not much else has been going on.  It's good to be home...sometimes I really don't miss Wilmington at all, but when I get here, it's like there's no better place!  Especially when everyone is here - which not too many people are back yet, but later on when I come back in June, there will be people home. 

Tomorrow Elaina might come down and go to South St. with me and Kels!  I really hope that she can work out the car situation with her parents, because it would be so cool to see her.  I miss her, and everyone from camp, so much..

Alright, there really isn't much else to say.  I'm excited to go back home in a few days to see the puppy, kitty, and Em.  Hopefully NC is nice and HOT because here isn't been raining and cold...and I packed way too many tank tops and shorts, and not even jeans and sweatshirts!!

Love all around,

Friday, May 9, 2008

There's only one place that calls me one of their own..

Today I'm flying HOME!  My mom is picking me up in Philly when my flight gets in at 7:10.  Tomorrow is my grandmother's surprise 80th birthday party, which no one knows I am coming to (except for my aunt, who was in on the plan).  It should be interesting.  While I'm home, hopefully I'll get to see my cousin Meghan and possibly ELAINA!?!  We'll see ..  ;-)

I'll try to update from DE, but my mom's computer is super slow (she still uses AOL ..).

Oh, also - read Em's post about the tornadoes that we had in Greensboro last night!  Em and I spent about an hour hidden in between the bathroom and the pantry with cushions from the couch.  The severe weather left one dead and TONS of damage to houses and businesses around Greensboro.  Scary stuff.

Love to you all--

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Barack Obama won North Carolina last night, beating Hillary by 14%. I didn't vote in NC, because I'm registered in DE, but I did wear my Obama '08 shirt proudly, and got many compliments and comments from people throughout the day. I'm proud of my adopted state!! Indiana wasn't bad at all - Obama lost by 4%, which is actually better than I expected.

I saw a friend from one of my classes the other day. We sat and talked for awhile about the presidential elections. We both agreed that if Hillary gets the nomination, than of course we will back her, but until then, we are Obama fans. Hillary has some great ideas, but there are some things that she has said and done that I truly do not agree with. I also don't agree with her combative nature. Barack doesn't attack, and when he does, he is usually fighting back or fending off claims from his opponents. I have so much respect for him, and I really do believe that if he becomes our president, he will change our country, and probably the world.

Today, I was going through some old things and found a bunch of cards from my 18th birthday. An ex-boyfriend of mine wrote something on one of them that made me stop in my mental tracks. At the end of the paragraph that he wrote, he said, "I hope that you get everything that you wish for on your birthday this year. I think I know what it is, and me, along with a lot of other people, are hoping that your wish comes true..." After reading it, I surprised myself by tearing up. I know exactly what he was talking about. For 19 months, from April 2004 until November 2005, I wished for the exact same thing on every single birthday candle, shooting star, penny, and dandelion. I wanted nothing more during that time than for Liam Kane to be completely healed from cancer.

I like to think my wishes came true, in a strange way.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Nightmares and Homeruns..

I had another really disturbing, graphic dream last night.  I dreamed that a close friend of mine killed herself, and I was there with her trying to talk her out of it.  I woke up feeling almost as scared as I ever have felt in my whole life.  I don't ever want to have that dream again, about anybody, and I certainly never want to experience that as reality.  I couldn't get the images out of my head all day, and it's really been bothering me.  

On a completely different and better note, Lindsey posted a blog about this awesome thing that happened recently, and I wanted to share it with you guys too.  Lindsey - I hope it's okay that I just copy/paste your entire post, because you put it more eloquently than I ever possibly could have.

"Over the weekend Western Oregon and Central Washington played a Division II softball game. One player, Sara Tucholsky, hit her first (and probably only) homerun of her career. In her excitement she missed first base and turned to go back and touch it. Instead her knee gave out and she collapsed. The umpires ruled that if anyone on her team touched her to help the homerun would be changed to a 2 run single and she could be replaced by a pinch runner. Then a player from Central Washington stepped up - Mallory Holtman, a star who hold many offensive records for Central Washington. She offered, along with one of her teammates, to carry Tucholsky around the bases so that she could record the one homerun of her 4 year career. They carried her around the bases, giggling as they stepped on each base.

Rarely do we see these scenes in sports. At all levels of sports that are broadcast on a national level are scenes such as these are not seen. Yet we see these as athletes as stars. Dog fighting, steroids, drugs, alcohol - all things that both professional and Division I athletes have gotten in trouble for. Yet still, Michael Vick, Jose Conseco, and others are still considered stars. "

Thanks for posting that, Lindsey!!  I completely agree that sports sometimes gravitate away from healthy competition.  Even in rugby, I really actually enjoy being nice to my opposing scrumhalf.  There is something about having a mutual respect on the field.  I can be an extremely competitive, and I like being competitive, but just remembering that everyone on the field is an athlete - not just me and my team - is sometimes more powerful to me even more so than winning.  Does that make me not as hardcore as some other people?  Maybe so, and maybe that's why I don't play a varsity sport (not that I could ever get on a team in the first place).  But if I could, I really don't know if I'd be down for it.  I enjoy playing a sport where we can walk off the field and all get together for a party, everyone mingling together... and anything that happened on the field stays there, and never follows us to the social ...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Rugby Banquet '08

Today was our end of the year banquet for rugby.  We had lunch at Garden and voted for officers and captains.  It was good to see everyone - I was ridiculously hung over and probably would have had a lot more fun if I wasn't feeling so ... bleh.  

I won an award - Best Serendipity Dress.  I was really excited, I did think my Serendipity dress was pretty amazingly 80s ;-)  Also, our team gave Em this really awesome hat that they got made, it's a UNCG Women's Rugby hat, and it says "COACH" on the back.  It's really sweet, and Em looks really cute in it!  We'll have to get a picture of that up at some point.

I also was voted co-captain again for the year next year, along with Tank.  I'm really hoping to improve a lot about our team.  This year has been really rough for me.  Being the unofficial captain for so long, on and off, was this roller coaster ride of emotions for me, for a lot of reasons.  It's all very complicated, of course, with many different factors affecting what happened over the last two years with me and the team.  I really hope to be a better captain this fall, because I know that I'm not doing as much as I used to do.  Sometimes it's just so hard that I feel that I can't even explain how deep, painful, and complex my feelings are about my rugby team, certain members, and how some things have gone down in the past.

Not much else is going on this weekend.  I have one paper due Tuesday, and one final on Tuesday, so I guess I'll be working on that and relaxing.  The weather is beautiful here, so hopefully we'll be spending some time outside.  I can't wait to go home next weekend, I miss my mommy and sis.  

Be safe this weekend,