Two years ago, right this minute, I was in labor, starting to transition, sure that I couldn’t go through with it, being encouraged by John that I was strong enough to handle anything. By 3 pm, I was at the hospital, and fighting the urge to push. John didn’t get a chance to park the truck. Less than half an hour after arriving at the hospital, I had a VBA2C (vaginal birth after two cesareans).

River Darrell was born, 9 lbs 6 oz, 21.5″ long, at 41w1d, 8 days “past due date,” making our little family complete.

Happy 2nd Birthday, River! We love you, Peanut.


Random picture



This past month has been medically miserable. Unexplained autoimmune condition persists, and is actually worse but still undiagnosed.

IUD tore itself out after 10 days, then my uterus got infected. I spent Friday night hanging out in the ER, and am starting to mend (with the aid of a lot of antibiotics and pain pills). General ouchiness.

Then yesterday i had a fun episode of near-syncope, caught myself on the kitchen counter, won myself a trip to urgent care. Now I get to wear a thumb/wrist brace.

Today, I got a crapload of meds. I am a walking pharmacopeia! Better living through chemistry, I suppose.

Marking time

It’s been four years since my Mama died.

Four years ago, my mama spoke her last words to me on Mother’s Day.  I called her hospital room to wish her a happy mother’s day, to tell her how much I loved her, to give her the slightest idea of what she meant to me.  Three weeks before, she wanted me to come see her.  When I got there, she was ill, and I made her go to the hospital.  I didn’t know how bad things were going to get.  She had congestive heart failure, then had a stroke, so she couldn’t speak very long.  She did manage to tell me, “I love you.  Thanks for calling.”

Two days later, she was gone.  I was just a couple hours outside of town.  I didn’t make it there fast enough.  I didn’t know how hard it was going to be.  I just didn’t get there fast enough.

Every single day since then, I’ve missed my mama.  She was my rock.  She was a force of nature.

She knew everything about me, was my closest friend, and loved me more than I can convey.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four years since she died.  So very much has happened, but it doesn’t feel any easier accepting that she’s really gone.  As a mother, Mother’s Day should be magical for me but, this year, it’s just heartbreaking.  This year, it seems like I’m just marking time.

I’ll do something special with my kids today, tell stories about my mama, try to hold down the fort until John comes home from a long hitch.  It’ll all be bittersweet, though, because I wish she could know my kids.  She got to spend time with JR, but she never got to meet Camilla or River.  I can’t talk to her late at night when neither of us can sleep, I can’t go play bingo with her, I can’t hear her laugh, I can’t hug her, I can’t lay my head in her lap, I can’t be hugged or kissed.  I can’t go back in time and make myself stay at her bedside.  I can’t tell her all the things I hope she knew — how much I miss her, how much she means to me, how much she amazed me, how much I love her.

I tell her these things every day, still, and just hope that she hears it all from wherever she’s resting now.

I love you, Mama.  Always.

POTD (ok, yesterday’s pic, but hey)

A little touch of burgundy before I shave it all off. Amanda had her first chemo treatment Monday, and they told her she’d start losing her hair 10-14 days after that. When she loses hers, I’m shaving mine, and it isn’t coming back until hers does. Love you, Amanda.

Today’s Product Round-up

Hair:  Feria, Havana Medium Brown; got2B Glued spiking gel; cut by me
Glasses:  Cover Girl frames in Plum
Earrings:  James Avery sterling silver “Mother’s Love” leverbacks, diamond stud, James Avery “Rose” sterling silver post
Necklace:  James Avery sterling silver cable chain, James Avery “Mother’s Love” sterling silver pendant
Shirt:  Old Navy fitted scoopneck, Stainless Steel
Fragrance:  Dolce & Gabbana, Rose the One
Tinted moisturizer — Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20, Medium
Mineral foundation — Prestige Skin Loving Minerals, Medium Beige
Bronzer/blush — Too Faced Brightening & Perfecting Bronzer, Peach Leopard
Eyelid primer — Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer
Eyebrows — Sephora Retractable Brow Pencil, waterproof, Midnight Brown
Eyeshadow — Too Faced, Romantic Eye palette.  Lid: Kiss the Bride. Outer lid/crease: First Dance.
Eyeliner — MAC Liquidlast pen liner, Point Black
Mascara — Dior Diorshow Iconic, black
Lips — MAC Prep & Prime. Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick, Lolita
Finishing — Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.  Guerlain L’OR Radiance Concentrate w/Pure Gold


I’m ready to cry. I’m about at my breaking point. All the docs I’ve seen so far are sure that I have a primary autoimmune disease with lots of secondary problems that make my life miserable. Many of them have said they think it’s SLE or something that mimics MS, but are deferring to rheumatologist’s ruling. I got my lab results & saw the rheumy today, but walked away empty-handed. He said that, while I have a lot of SLE indicators, apparently I don’t have enough (yet?). He said I could start feeling better (not likely, he admitted) or I’ll get worse and the numbers will reflect it. Either way, no course of treatment for today except to continue the inadequate pain meds, and no new treatments until I’m decidedly worse. I’m so frustrated, because I already feel like shit on a stick, and now this either has to become my new “normal” or I can pray I get worse and that whatever I have progresses quickly enough to be measurable. Great choices.

Random self POTD

Jellybean’s Jambalaya

3 cups calrose rice
3 cups chicken stock or broth

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 large celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch of greens, chopped (kale, chard, collards, etc.)
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can red beans
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 palmful sea salt
1 palmful dried oregano
1/2 palmful dried thyme
1/4 palmful black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 palmful dried parsley
1/4 palmful cayenne pepper

1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4″ thick slices then cut in half
1/2 to 1 lb chicken pieces (leftover chicken is perfect)

Meatloaf Deluxe

1.5 lbs ground angus beef
.5 lb Italian sausage
3-4 stalks celery, finely minced
.5 to 1 small onion, finely minced
1 large carrot, finely minced/grated
1 palmful sea salt
1 large pinch black pepper
1 palmful Italian seasoning
1/4 palmful garlic salt
1-2 palmfuls seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup half-and-half
Top with ketchup

375* for an hour. Pour off excess fat. 10 more minutes, pour off excess fat, make incisions. 10-15 more minutes, pour off excess fat, set to cool.

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