Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I probably won't get a chance to post again before Christmas.  So I thought I'd leave you with some of my favorite Christmas pics :)!


The entire family singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.  Every year!  That may or may not be me playing the piano.  That is my handsome nephew turning the pages for me the pianist.

My son showing my niece how to operate Grandpa's train station.  I have no idea why he's sitting like that!

My sweet niece heading up the stairs to go to bed before Santa gets there. How stinking cute is she?!?!?!?!

What do you know?  Santa left the fireplace open!  I wish you could see the dumb-founded look on his face when he turned around!  My camera shot was 2 seconds to quick!

One of my best wrapping jobs!  Do you think he knows he's getting boots for Christmas?

One of my niece's best wrapping jobs.  She did manage to use a little bit of wrapping paper with her tape!

This was one of my favorite gifts last year.  Only because I love monkeys.  not because of anything else!

You know you live in Kentucky, when....

Yes.  I did indeed take that picture.  While driving.  Do you need a closer look?

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Love, Kelli

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miss You


I can't even begin to describe how much I will miss you.  You taught me to always speak my mind.  You taught me to never to depend on a man to do something for me.  You taught me that a woman with an 8th grade education, with 5 young kids and a deceased husband, who didn't own a car or drivers license, could be an incredibly successful and happy woman.  Thank you for being such a positive role model for me. 

Now that you are walking with Jesus, I hope Heaven is just the way you were dreaming!

Marie Louise Shields
January 23, 1924 - November 15, 2010


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Girls Rock!!

I can't even begin to say how much I LOVE giving this kid of news!  I've had a rough year as you've seen from the updates about my mom.  If you are just joining, here's the background.

and Here!

Well, we just got some really awesome news!  My mom had her last round of PET scans last week and they came back clean!  Praise God!!

What does this mean?

Basically, she had Stage IV Breast Cancer.  This is the third time she's had this awful disease, dating way back to when I was in high school (in the rockin' 80's).  She also had another round about 6 years ago where she finally decided to have a double radical mastectomy. She had both breasts, the surrounding tissue, and all of her local lymph nodes removed as well.  This was to make sure nothing came back.

Well, it did.  The dr's must have missed something as small as a cell.  And since she didn't have any chemo with her surgery, the tiny cell multiplied and multiplied for 6 long years. 

She was diagnosed last October with Stage IV Breast Cancer.  It was Stage IV because it had metastasized from the original location (obviously given she had surgery to remove her breasts) and the tumor was quite large.  In early 2010, she had a set back.  The cancer had spread to her bones.  There were also spots in her liver and her lungs (that may or may not have been cancer). 

The prognosis wasn't great.  We even had some hard conversations about her last wishes.  That sucked.

Well, she switched doctors and treatments.  The combination really kicked cancer-butt!

It's taken exactly 1 year, 1 week, a beautiful head of dark brown hair, 2 eyebrows, and a very much missed set of eye lashes, but the cancer is gone!!!

You go, mom!

Also, it turns out that mom's new grandbaby that we are expecting in February is going to be a girl!  I hope that she has even a fraction of the fortitutude, patience, and faith that her grandma has!

Love you all!


PS - Please pick one day a month to do your monthly check!  My birthday is on the 27th of December, so I will do my check every 27th (it's just an easy date for me to remember).  Trust me, it's in my calendar!  Promise me that you will do your personal check every  month.  It doesn't matter how old you are!  Start now.  It could save your life!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A bit like Darth Vader...

First off, I want to thank my son and hubs for making this post possible.  If it were not for them, I'd have nothing for this week's Life is Funny carnival over at Wendy's place.  And to think they had this little conversation on a Monday evening.  Thanks guys!

So, this story started back this weekend.  My husband and I were cleaning out the spare bedroom that will eventually become the new baby's nursery.  We had TONS of crap in there and needed to go through it, organize it, and hopefully get rid of most of it.  We also ended up deciding to give it a fresh coat of paint and to pull the carpet out.

While we were prepping for the painting part of it, my hubs rigged up a lamp on an overturned dresser drawer to give us a bit of light. 

This may not sound all that dangerous just yet, but apparently it is.

He went to move the light contraption so I could vaccuum underneath, and managed to burn the underside of his chin with the top of the light bulb. 

It hurt.

He cursed.

He held a cold compress on his chin for the next 2 hours.

He survived.

He now has a burn the size of a golf ball under his chin.  It's not awful looking, although it's bright red and beginning to scab over a bit.

Flash forward to this evening when he got home from work. 

I told him that I thought it was cute and asked him if anyone wanted to know what it was.  Hubs said that he got tired of telling people it was a burn from a lightbulb (since noone knows lightbulbs are that hot) and decided to tell people I gave him a hickey.  (I'm thinking he's just kidding, but I don't like the sound of it anyway).

I gave him my evil stink eye and then we both looked over and realized that our 9 year old was standing in the room.  I gave hubs the second stink eye of the last minute which meant "how are you going to explain this to him?".

He looked at our son and said "It looks like a Mickey.  Yeah that's what I said."

Our son looks at him and says.  "You know, it doesn't look like Mickey.  I think it kind of looks like Darth Vader."

You know?

If you tilt your head to the right, and pretend your looking at someone's chin, I think he might be right.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mom, when you were little....?

I haven't participated in Wendy's Life is Funny carnival lately.  Come to think of it, I guess I haven't blogged much lately either.  Oh well.  This may date me, but it's still kind of funny.

My son simply LOVES to listen to stories about when I was a little girl.  Come to think of it, I really loved listen to my mom and dad's stories as well.

He also LOVES watching cartoons from my generation....Flintstones, Jetsons, Popeye, etc.  His favorite happens to be the Smurfs (which also happened to be one of mine as well).  So, I've let him tape a few episodes on our DVR so we can watch them together.

Oh, aren't they just adorable?  I remember wanting my own real life Smurfs.  I would keep them under my bed.

I'm not sure if my son thinks I'm older than dirt, or just born in the stone age.

After I all, I guess cartoons look much different today than they did back then.

So yesterday morning, we were driving to school.  He had his thoughtful look on his face.  I asked him what he was thinking about.  That was a mistake.

"Mom?  Were the Smurfs in color when you were a little girl?"

"Uh, Yeah, buddy.  They were still blue way back then."

"Definitely blue."

Worst part?  He was totally serious.

I'm not about to show him the Brady Bunch.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Days...

He may not "officially" be my baby for much longer, but he will always be my baby and first love.

And he started the 4th grade today!

And check out the hair?  We worked really hard on that hair!

And a walk down memory lane.  Here is 3rd grade!  Not quite sure what was going on with the hair that day.  Must have been windy!

And second grade...I seriously love that he still had the remnants of his baby cheeks!

And the first grade!  Funny observation...this is the same location as his 3rd grade pic a few above.  Check out how much he grew!

Oh, and I can't forget his first day of Kindergarten/Montessori.  Yes, that is a fake smile and real tears in his eyes.  What a total cutie!

Love you buddy!  Let's have another really great year!

Mom (Kelli)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Update Part 2

I guess this is really Part 3, rather than Part 2.  Although it is my second day of updates, although day 1 had 2 parts to it.  I'm confusing myself.  Basically, if you haven't read yesterday's post, I suggest you do first.  Just so you understand everything in order.

For those of you that don't have time to read yesterday's post, here's the primer:
Part 1:  I got a new job (within the same company) and I'm super excited about it.  The outlook is bright!
Part 2:  My mom's cancer is being woman-handled by a new great doctor and some serious treatments.  The outlook is even brighter!

OK, now that that's settled.

Moving on.

So, I'm not sure that anyone that actually reads this blog (with the exception of maybe 4 people - Mel, Ben, Aunt Sharon, and Lana, you are henceforth forbidden to answer) knows exactly how old I am.

Let's just say that I'm older than 35 and younger than 40 and leave it at that.

So, I'm not quite sure how to say this.  So maybe I'll post a pic.

Now, I have been accused on more than 30 occasions of being dramatic.  I can assure you, though, that I'm not being dramatic here.  In fact, I was in a bit of a shock...considering that my son is almost 10!

So there is my other "update"! 

Very exciting stuff and y'all are the first to know.  Except of course my husband, best friend, and parents.

I promise I don't have any other "surprises".  But definitely looking forward to getting back into the swing of things again now that I'm feeling less "blechy" :).

God is good!

Love to all!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


So, CLEARLY it's time for an update!  This is very long, but I promise it will be worth the read (especially part 2)!

I've had a rough few months dealing with lots of different things, but I tried to remain steadfast through the whole thing.  I wasn't in control, and I couldn't control His plan. 

I have a 3 part update for you, and I'll share the first 2 parts today. The second part is so great that I just want to give it air time.  God is good!

Part 1:
I've "alluded" a few times over the last 8 months or so, that work was not necessarily going the way I had expected.  Please don't get me wrong.  I work for an amazing company.  The company is global and on the large side.  I've been here for 11 years and had about 6 or 7 different roles within the company.  I've been in my most recent role for awhile.  It was a training and development role, and I really feel like it's what I'm meant to do.

In January we had merged with several other similar groups from other areas in the company.  I was very excited about all the opportunities and stepped up to take a different role with in the group.  I'd be working for someone else (let's call her Stephanie).

I had worked with Stephanie in the past on special projects, but never as a manager/direct report.  I'm not going to belabor this point, but Stephanie thought I was great.  I was excited at first, but quickly realized that Stephanie and I weren't meant to work with each other.  She was beyond super creative, but couldn't manage to get work done unless it was already done by me first. 

I managed to keep a good working relationship with her, but when an opportunity came to move to a new role within the company?  I jumped on it.  Fifty job applicants and three interviews later, I was offered the role.

I just started my new role (which takes all of the great things that I have loved over the last 3 years - INCLUDING SOCIAL MEDIA, PEOPLE!!! - and I get paid to do them).  Best part of all?  I got to leave my previous role on great terms AND I get the opportunity to work with a great team with a much bigger scope than I've had in the past!

Can you say exciting?!?!?!  God is good!

Part 2:
When I was going through the interview process, I was really struggling because my mom is still sick.  I haven't posted too much on here, but here's the lowdown:

 - Mom has Stage IV breast cancer and this is her 3rd time battling the cancer
 - the tumor is under her left arm and is inoperable
 - She was given Herceptin (the new miracle drug for breast cancer) and it has paralyzed her left arm completely.
 - In March, we found that the cancer had spread to her bones near her spinal cord.  If this spreads to her spinal cord, she could become paralyzed.
 - There are also spots on her liver and lungs (that may or may not be cancer) that the docs are watching.
 - Her doc has pretty much told her that there's not much sh can do, and that if she wants to remain on Herceptin for the "rest of her life" that "might" control it.  Read:  her doc has pretty much written her off.

I have a few friends that read my blog (when I actually write something), but for those of you that don't know my mom.  She is one spunky, opinionated, spirit-filled woman and wasn't going to take to this "news" lightly.

First thing she did was get a second opinion and a new doctor!

He agreed with all of the findings, but didn't agree with the prognosis.  They were going to fight this and fight it pretty hard.  They combined a new kind of chemo (for the tumor under her arm) with radiation treatments (for the bones, liver, and lungs).  This has been hard watching mom go through all of this.  Really hard.

But God is good!

After all of these treatments they performed a new round of scans.  You ready for this?!?!

 - The cancer in her bones?  Completely gone!
 - The spots in her liver?  Completely gone!
 - The spots in her lungs?  Completely gone!
 - The tumor under her left arm?  Still there.  But!  the tumor has gone down in size a tiny bit AND it's gone down in activity level almost to the point where it is considered inactive!

She's going to go through a new round of chemo to put the final death nail into this stupid tumor, but we fully are expecting her to go into remission!

My spunky, opinionated, spirit-filled mother is beating Stage IV breast cancer!  You go mom!

God is good!

I do have one final update for you, but I wanted to let mom's fabulous news hang out here a bit.

Miss you all!  I promise to not remain a stranger!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Truth...

So, this isn't going to be a normal post for me, but I really need to share some things that are bothering me. If you are looking for funny, witty, or anything like that, you may not want to read on.

I told you a few months ago that my mom has breast cancer again.  She's doing well (all things considered).  She's taking her chemo, but other than that, not much more can be done at this point.  We're waiting.  Not sure for what.  Or, maybe I do know, and I just don't want to admit it. 

I also have a sister.

A sister that I love very much.  But sometimes she can be "trying".  Probably putting it mildly. 

I also have a husband.

Again, a husband that I love very much.  Just for the record, he can be a bit "trying" too.

And I suppose just so they don't feel left out, I'm also a mom, a daddy's girl, an employee, a church member, a school volunteer, a niece, a cousin, a grandaughter, and on and on and on...

Here's the situation...

Everyone in my family tends to call me to "share" their problems with.  My mom lost her best friend (and sister) to breast cancer 3 years ago.  I'm her best friend now.  Sometimes she and my sister don't see eye to eye, and I hear it from both of them.  Heck, I've even caught myself telling my sister to call me rather than taking it out on mom. 

My dad wanted to run for school board?  Mom vented to me.

Our PTO Treasurer (a really nice guy) was indicted on federal charges (oops).   What do I say?  "I can take over until you find someone new".  Wait a minute.  I'm President-elect of the PTO.  That means it's my problem to find someone new.

And today?  My husband was having a bad day at work and said he was feeling a bit "short" with everyone. 

Guess what I told him?

Yep.  "Honey, don't take it out on other people.  If you need to vent, you can vent to me."

The problem?

I can't deal with everyone's problems.  What am I thinking?  I don't want anyone else to feel bad, so I tell them to give their problems to me.  Huh? 

I find it exhausting.

I can't fix things.  If I could, my mom would be healthy.  I would have more money.  My ex would be blasted off the face of this earth.  I would be skinny.

I like those last two.

Life is good.  God is in charge.  I need to quit trying to fix it.

Thanks for listening.


PS - Now that I read through this, I sound like a complete whiner.  I really needed to get this off my chest, though.  So please don't judge.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This commercial from American Airlines has always been one of my favorites.


Until last week....

Somehow, I managed to live this commercial in real life. 

Most of you know that I may or may not work for a really large company headquartered somewhere (or not) in the midwest.  Said company (which may or may not be large) likes to "invest" in it's people.

Normally, I LOVE these types of things. 

Not so much this time.

I actually told the HR manager about 3 days into it that I thought they were going to ask us to dress in purple shrouds and drink the "Kool-Aid" next.  He looked at me and laughed. 

I think he already drank the Kool-aid.

So after a long weekend hiding recup-ing and getting caught up with work, I've decided to begin using words again.

Enjoy, everyone!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

Since I last posted:
  • I finished up my husband's Christmas shopping (and would you believe he then patted himself on the back for "finishing up so early this year")
  • I wrapped everything I could get my hands on
  • I spent a fabulous Christmas with my family and friends
  • I celebrated the 8th anniversary of my 29th birthday
  • I watched 7 movies (most of them were very good!) and read 3 books (all of which were fabulous)
  • I rang in the New Year with the same family and a few new friends at my side
  • I actually caught up on my sleep
  • I'm almost caught up on my housework, except for the laundry (which I'm hoping will magically wash and dry itself; or I might just go buy everyone a new wardrobe).
I've been really blessed over the last year and I'm even more excited for 2010.

I'm not sure if anyone actually ever read my first blog post (if you haven't don't worry about it - it's dumb).  I started this blog as a personal diary and now actually have real readers.  Who would have thunk?!?!  My very first post consisted of my New Years Resolution in 2009 to lose weight.  Guess what?  It didn't work?!?  LOL!

I still thought I'd share what I want to focus on in 2010. 

1.  Don't Say "Don't" or "But".  Oddly enough, I learned this from a consultant we use at work who happens to be an Improvisational Acting coach.  We bring her in to teach our newly promoted organizational leaders how to get the best from their employees.  One of the games she plays with them is called "Yes, And?".  A lot of times someone will say something (that I'm sure they feel is very important) and we immediately say "But...." and shut down their idea.  By simply changing up the language a bit and saying "Yes" (meaning - Yes, I hear you) "And" (meaning - And, let me build on your idea). 

My son happens to be a bit sensitive, and I honestly believe that being positive around him and using positive language as much as possible with him, will help build him up.

2.  Put a cap on my work day.  I LOVE what i do!  110% absolutely LOVE what I do.  That being said, I take my work home with me.  I don't always sit down at the kitchen table and drag my laptop out, but I will ALWAYS check my blackberry in the evenings, and still work through issues in my head.  Net, I'm not always 100% physically and emotionally there for my family in the evenings like I need to be. 

For about a year, I only carried the blackberry that was given to me by work.  I figured they paid for everything, and I didn't need an extra  cell phone line.  I became addicted!  So, I bought an iphone as my personal cell phone.  I now can keep my blackberry gently tucked away and still be reachable by those who need me.  I resolve to be more available for my family this year.

3.  Focus on 5 personal "roles".  If you sit down and think about it, we wear soooo many "hats" and sometimes they just don't all fit on our heads - Mom, Coach, Wife, Employee, Christian, Daughter, Teacher, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, Volunteer, Advocate, etc.  The list is exhausting! 

I listened to a speech given by one of the Presidents at my company recently on Work/Life balance.  Among his top 10 tips (this one really stood out at me) He said to pick 5 roles that you're going to be really good at and truly focus on them.  You can still do the others, but commit to being truly great at the 5.

My top 5 roles?
1.  Christian - My Precious Heavenly Father is ALWAYS first!
2.  Wife - I married him for a reason!
3.  Mom - What more joy is there in the world, than being a mom?
4.  Daugher - My mother will need my support this year and I'm going to focus on her!
5.  Employee - I still love what i do!

Do you make New Years resolutions?  What's yours?