20th Sep2013

Happy Birthday to Twin A and B {Repost for their 18th Birthday}

by Daenel

Happy Birthday to My Babies {Living Outside the Stacks}

I gave birth to Twin A and Twin B 18 years ago today.  But, really, their story began nine days earlier…..

On 11 September 1995, the hubs and I showed up at the hospital for a routine OB visit.  The baby was due in nine days and, almost overnight it seemed, I had put on about 15 or 20 lbs and my pregnancy gait had shifted into full on waddle.  Furthermore, the baby was bouncing all over the place. Don’t babies normally slow down the closer you get to the due date?

Anyway, the hubs and the two~year~old sat in the waiting room while the doctor pulled out the measuring tape and measured my belly.  “Hmmm,” he flipped through my chart, “where’s your ultrasound?”  I noted the apprehension in his voice and replied, “I only have the confirmation ultrasound but they haven’t done one since then.  Why?”  He looked at me over his paperwork, “Well, you’re measuring a little large.  How about if we get you in for an ultrasound?”

I rolled off the table {at that point, that’s all I could do}, got dressed and told the hubs that we were headed downstairs to get an ultrasound.

Insert cold belly jelly here

I looked at the ultrasound and started to panic.  My baby was going to be a freak!  There on the screen were two baby heads, one pointed up and one pointed down.  I asked the tech what I was looking at and she replied that I’d have to wait for the doctor, in the mean time, she was going to get my husband.  This did not sound good.

The doctor and the hubs both walked into the room at about the same time, the hubs looked at the screen and started backing away as the doctor announced “TWINS!”  What?  You have got to be friggin kidding me?  Nine days before they’re due and now you’re telling us that we’re having twins? But wait, it gets better…

The doctor went on to explain that the hospital at Fort Polk, Louisiana didn’t deliver twins {especially high risk twins ~ who knew what condition my little monkey babies were going to be in when they arrived?} so we’d have to drive to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas to have them.

The next day, we drove the two~year~old to Mississippi to my parents’ house and then drove down to Texas.  With me having contractions the whole way.  If you think pot holes are a pain in the butt on a regular day, try hitting them when you’re in labor.

We arrived at BAMC, just in time for them to decide that it would be too much to have the babies right then, so they stopped my labor.  Yes.  They stopped it.  I could have cried. I did cry. Then they started doing ultrasounds and stress tests to see how the babies were doing.  The entire time, we could only hear one heartbeat.  Finally, the doctors decided that I needed an amniocentesis but they didn’t really want to do it because they didn’t want to put the babies in any harm with a double stick {anesthesia and the hollow needle}.  I told them to do it without the anesthesia. What was I thinking and why didn’t my husband slap me straight?  PAIN!!!!! Worse. Than. Child Birth.

The amnio showed that the babies were developed enough to survive outside of the womb.  So on my original due date ~ 20 September 1995 ~ the doctors induced labor.  At this time, I would like to stop and thank my anesthesiologist because I felt absolutely nothing! I have a picture of him and his wife in the twin’s baby books, that’s how much they mean to me.

Jazmine Danielle was born at 11:40 AM and followed ten minutes later by Brandon Anthony.  Their birth was witnessed by the hubs, the seven doctors and nurses  who worked on me, six doctors and nurses for the babies, as well as fifteen to seventeen residents who watched from the observation platform.  I know this because we met one of the residents in the elevator when I was being discharged.  He proudly stated in the elevator before a group of onlookers, “Hey, I saw you have your twins!”  Yuck!

Eighteen years ago today, I was surprised and doubly blessed with two beautiful babies who have grown up to provide me with love, laughter and a healthy dose of humility.  I love you guys and it has been an honor and a privilege to be your mother.

Now start packing your bags, ’cause this is your last year!

17th May2013

Share Your Good News {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Share Your Good News {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that has made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to recognize the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

This week I’m happy that I finally forced myself to take a giant step forward and register for my first race, the Capaha Classic 5K. I start an 8 week training program on Monday, and I’m beyond excited. I’m also nervous because I’m sooo not a runner. But I will be.

What made you happy this week?


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12th May2013

Happy Mother’s Day {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Mom and Us {Living Outside the Stacks}
This is one of my favorite pictures of my sisters and me with my mom; it was the first time we’d ever seen snow. We totally gobsmacked. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I did absolutely nothing, which is exactly what I wanted. Thank you to my children who threatened to force me to spend the entire day with them.


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10th May2013

Share Your Good News {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Share Your Good News {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that has made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to recognize the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

This week I’m happy that The Boy called me at work to tell me that he was making dinner on Thursday night. Do you know how cool it is to have your kids make you something to eat?

I’m linking up with Alissa at Rags to Stitches for Coffee Date Friday!

What made you happy this week?

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03rd May2013

Share Your Good News {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Share Your Good News {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that has made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to recognize the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

This week I’m happy that my performance evaluation went well and that the hubs received word that he’s going to be promoted.

What made you happy this week?

26th Apr2013

Share Your Good News {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Share Your Good News {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that has made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to recognize the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

This week I’m happy that I managed to make a decent cup of coffee after drinking something that tasted a lot like brewed dirt on Tuesday.

What made you happy this week?

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18th Mar2013

Flowers and Favorites {About Me}

by Daenel

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is just meh? You’re neither happy nor sad, bored nor busy? That was Friday. Until I got phone call from the florist asking if I was home to receive a delivery. What?! Who would be sending me flowers? The hubs is terribly allergic to anything that has even a spot of green on it, so I knew it wasn’t him. I quickly called home and told the kids to take delivery of the flowers for me.

Then my paranoia stepped in and I started thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts… What if it’s poison? What if one of the kids gets hurt? Why would someone send me flowers? Surely this is a mistakeOK, in my defense, I watch a lot of crime shows on TV so the crazy is lingering just on the edge. I ended up calling the kids nonstop until it was time for me to get off work.

I flew home, opened the door, and ripped open the card…

Looking good for forty!

Love Mom & Dad

Awww They love me, they really love me!

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

There was also candy but, sadly, it didn’t last long enough for pictures.

And, uh, Shontel, if you’re reading this, this is proof that I’m the favorite child!

Have you ever received a surprise delivery? Did you react with paranoia or joy?

19th Feb2013

How Do I Celebrate/Embrace My 40s? {About Me}

by Daenel

How Do I Celebrate My 40s {Living Outside the Stacks}For the past few months I’ve been bouncing back and forth between acceptance
and angst over turning 40 next month. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that’s getting to me. Is it turning 40? Is it getting closer to menopause? Is it facing my own mortality? Exactly what is it that’s getting to me?

Well, yesterday I think I figured it out. I was playing around on Instagram and I started typing a little message that read:

“In my 20s, I served in the U.S. Army

In my 30s, I got two Master’s degrees

In my 40s, I…”

I need to do something big in my 40s. Making it through Basic Training and serving in the Army gave me a sense of confidence that I don’t think I would’ve gained otherwise. Many people join the Army, not a lot of them make it through Basic Training, Advanced Individualized Training, and then go on to serve honorably. And getting my degrees showed me that almost no obstacle is insurmountable. I had a husband, 4 children, and cancer; still I managed to walk the stage with my classmates {bald head and all}. Now that I’m turning 40, I need to find a way to celebrate. I need to do something big.

But I’m not sure what I want to do. Do you have any ideas?

07th Jan2013

Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {In the Family Room}

by Daenel

Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Dear Miss 16,

Girl, you have been a source of joy and laughter since the day you surprised us at the doctor’s office. Nothing like going to the doctor’s for a tubal ligation and finding out that you’re pregnant… We should have known then that we were going to be in for a ride.

I remember when you used to crawl up in my lap, curl your fingers around my blouse and go to sleep. I’d sit there for hours, stroking your hair and wishing you’d get up so I could get something anything done. Then one day it all stopped.

You stopped sitting in my lap, you stopped being my sweet little girl who swore she could fly because she was dressed as an angel and had wings. Do you remember that? Running around the yard flapping your arms and yelling, “I can fly, Mommy! I can fly, Mommy!”  

You’re now a beautiful young lady with a quick wit and a snarky tongue. A while back you asked me “Besides me, which of your other kids did you want?” The truth is, I didn’t want any of you little buggers but now that I have you, I couldn’t imagine life without you. I love you all. Peering at you over my glasses. Every single one of you.

Thank you for 16 years of laughter.

Happy Birthday, Miss 16! I really do like you!

 

PS There will be no blowing out of the candles on the cake; you know how I feel about that!

 

13th Dec2012

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong (Repost}

by Daenel

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

04th Jul2012

Happy Fourth of July!

by Daenel

Happy Fourth of July

09th Dec2010

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong

by Daenel

The NativityThe other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

04th Jul2010

Happy Fourth of July!

by Daenel

14th Feb2010

Happy Valentine’s Day!

by Daenel

My husband and I aren’t mushy people. In fact, we’re the people who make fun of mushy people. So we almost didn’t bother to celebrate Valentine’s Day but then I found out my friend, KB, was hosting a Valentine’s Day Dinner at her coffee shop. Once I saw the menu, I knew I had to buck tradition and make reservations. In fact, I was so excited about the meal that I told my sister~in~law and she and her husband joined us.
So what was on the menu?

Appetizer ~ Shrimp Cocktail with Jumbo Lump Crab
Salad ~ A wonderful blend of greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, apples, celery and balsamic dressing Main Course ~ Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce and Green Beans
Desert ~ Vanilla Cake with Strawberries (Trust me, this picture doesn’t do the cake justice. We were so full that we had to take our desert home with us.)

Doesn’t that sound delish?

Needless to say, I did not workout today and I don’t feel in the least bit guilty. My husband and I shared a wonderful evening of laughter and conversation, so if I miss out on a few lunges, I’m cool with that.

12th Feb2010

2nd Annual National Mom’s Night Out

by Daenel

What is the one thing all mother’s need? More time for herself. Moms often feel like they are being selfish or being bad mothers when they take some time for themselves away from their families. And as a mother of four, I can tell you, it’s not being selfish, it’s being selfless. If you focus all of your time and energy on your children and neglect yourself, you can start to forget who you are as a woman, wife, girlfriend or mother. Afterall, what’s the saying? If momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.

To celebrate motherhood and all of the joys that it bring, MomSelect is sponsoring the 2nd Annual National Mom’s Night Out on 6 May 2010. This is an opportunity for moms to get together, physically and virtually, to enjoy some “me time.” You can participate in a variety of ways:
~ host an event in your home or community (you can download nifty party ideas here)
~ join up with other mothers through online events, Skype and Twitter tweet~ups
~ donate a book, product or service as a prize for National Mom’s Night Out
If you decide to participate, make sure you register for some awesome prizes and sport the badge on your blog.

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