Archive for August 2010

I’m Official

August 28, 2010

You might remember a few months back when I talked about becoming a bone marrow donor in this post.  This week I received the following message in an email:

Dear Megan Nickel,

Thank you for joining the Be The Match Registry®. Your registration is now complete.

As a member of the registry, you are listed as a potential donor for patients searching for a match. If you become a possible match for a patient, we’ll contact you with the next steps. You could be a match for a patient soon, many years from now, or you may never be the best match.

In the meantime, we still need your help! Here are other ways to stay involved:

Megan, welcome to the worldwide movement of people passionate about saving lives. Out of a registry of millions of potential matches, you may be the one a patient needs.

Thank you for joining,
Be The Match

It had sort of moved to the back of my mind, but this email was a reminder and re-lit this passion with regards to being a bone marrow donor that I have. I hope that if needed (and matched), I can help someone with my, ummm… bodily fluids :).

If you haven’t become a donor, or at least looked into it, please click on one of the links above and at least check it out.


August 27, 2010

It seems very appropriate at this time to mention (again) that my mom is awesome. She wrestled bears and sold her organs to get THE LION KING tickets for our family (except for Riley because, well, she’s 4. And I didn’t think people would appreciate possible crying and definite talking).

Aunt Camille was kind enough to watch Riley for us, and they both has a fun night. Before we left for the play, we asked Camille to take a photo of our family for a “Your Family” assignment for Alex’s. Funny thing, we haven’t really sat for a photo of the whole fam damily. There have been photos of us in front of caves, on mountains, swimming, etc. But nothing that would go on a Christmas card or anything. It’s not the best, but I think we have a pretty cute crew.

I’m pretty sure that Satan entered our car while on the way to the show. The kids were grumpy and not being the best listeners. I was seriously questioning our decision to take the kids to this highly anticipated (and expensive) play. But 2 minutes into the show, they were all smiles. Everyone enjoyed the play, and I loved watching the kids and seeing their expressions. The costumes were absolutely amazing. Thanks Mom, for the fun and wonderful experience.

I’ve Got A Few Minutes

August 25, 2010

What a better way to spend the 5 to 10 minutes it will take for the floor to dry (I mopped) then catch you up on my OH so exciting life!

Mom Update: My mom is doing great. She was admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis (OUCH!), went days without food or water, would have probably killed someone if she thought it would get her some ice chips, had surgery, and got out of there 2 days earlier than expected. It was a super exciting week for her, I’m sure. She’s still having to limit what food she eats, and still has some tenderness in her tummy, but all-in-all, she’s doing much better. Yippy!

This past weekend was sort of a blur. I had like a million kids at my house on Saturday (OK, it was 9, but it felt like a million), had friends over to BBQ, took the kids for a walk around Silver Lake (pictures to come), dealt with the retarded drama that was luckily not our own, and managed to stay sane. I call that success.

Monday was the first day of school (yeah yeah, pictures to come). HOLY HELL! I forgot how hard it is to get up, get kids up, get kids dressed and fed, and take everyone’s “first day of school” photos. Now 3 days into it, I’m slowly but surely getting back into the routine. It’s nice to have some child-free time to get stuff done (ie… mopping without having to yell at kids to “stay off the floor!”). I also think that SOME of the kids were getting sick seeing each other every hour of every day. They were all pretty ready to mix things up and get back into the classroom. But I do miss just having those moments where there was no plans and nowhere we had to be. That being said, I was ready for school to start as well :).

Tonight we have a special treat for us (everyone minus Riley… sorry kiddo, you’re just a little too young to sit through without possible freak-outs). My mom was kind enough to buy our family tickets to THE LION KING broadway play. I’m SO excited. I can’t decide if it’s more because I want to see it or because I’m excited for the kids to see it. I hope they enjoy it, and that they behave. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

My five minutes are up… back to work.

Down Low on the DN

August 17, 2010

My date night with the kids was put on hold during June and July. Partly because with them out of school and home each day, I didn’t crave that alone time with them like I do during the school year. And partly because we had such a busy summer between reunions and family trips, there simply wasn’t time. But last week the tradition continued, and it happened to be Ian’s turn.

He has been big into getting money so that he can buy whatever it happens to be he wants at the time.  His new thing is selling possessions he’s “done” with to earn money. As part of our date, he wanted me to take him to GameStop to try to sell some old DS games. I thought what they were offering was a big rip-off and told him we could sell them for more on eBay. After GS, we headed to the grocery store (OK, not super fun, but we had run out of syrup that morning and apparently the earth might blow up if my kids don’t have syrup for their pancakes. It had to be done). He had a large lunch and wasn’t very hungry, and decided that Reese’s Puff’s was his desired dinner. It was his night, so… whatever.

I couldn’t get a straight answer out of him when it came to the activity that he wanted to do. After running our errands, he said that he really just wanted to go home and watch a video with me. That’s not the first time I’ve done that on one of these date nights and I must say, it’s kind of nice. We cuddled up on the couch and enjoyed watching a flick together. He wanted to just spend the night at home instead of going to his dad’s house (where the other kids were), so after our movie we both called it a night.

Simple, yes. But still so nice to just have that one-on-one time, even if it’s just kickin’ back at home.

August 16, 2010

I had very good intentions of sleeping until 8 this morning. My brain had its own plans, and here I am… awake.

Before I get into the now and future, I must venture into the past. Like a 30 hours ago into the past.

This past weekend did provide a nice and much-needed break. Greg and I went to dinner and a movie Friday night. Saturday he went golfing and I went to visit my aunt in the hospital (which seems to be a recurring theme this week), and then we headed North to get together with friends. We had some delicious Mexican food, went miniature golfing, and sat around where we talked and laughed. We spent the night and the next morning we headed North to Ogden where the boys played frisbee golf and the ladies took the dogs on a walk. This is the point in which you animal haters can stop reading.

Ever since we got Jake, he has HATED water. He would get his feet wet, but would never get into the water on his own. The one time I threw him in a reservoir (because we had been camping and he was super dirty), I had to get him therapy for months. OK, maybe not, but he was traumatized. It’s been really weird and a little frustrating. His best dog friend, Maggie, LOVES swimming, and I’ve always wished that he enjoyed it like her. He’s s damned lab! Isn’t there a law or something that states Labradors have to love swimming?. SO, on our walk yesterday we decided to go down to the banks of the river that was just off of the walking trail. I picked up a stick and threw it in thinking that he would pace on the bank, whining, while Maggie jumped in to retrieve it. NOTE: No, I’m not a dog abuser. The water was surprisingly clear AND it was slow-moving. Maggie AND Jake went after it. I’m not sure what happened, but it was as if Jake had been swimming all of his life. He loved it! We spent about an hour throwing the stick for them and watching them swim. I was so proud :).

Last week proved to me that I have psychic cop abilities. I can sense their presence like a dog can sense an impending earthquake. I was driving (too fast) and had this strong feeling to slow down because a cop was around the corner. I hit the brakes and about 3 seconds later I saw a policeman on a motorcycle on the opposite side of the street pointing his little radar gun in my direction. SON OF A… I was seriously worried that he was coming for me. I kept watch in my rearview mirror and… DAMN IT! I saw the lights coming up quickly behind me. My stomach dropped and my heart started beating faster. About 20 feet before he reached me he suddenly changed lanes. HA HA! He busted the car next to me that WAS going the same speed as me until I slowed down. WOO HOO! Yes, my psychic powers are pretty awesome. And this isn’t the first time my Spidey senses have tingled when I’m about to encounter a policeman. I’m just glad I listened to them this time. Now if I can just train them to work in Vegas, I’ll be set.

Now on the the present/future.

My life is usually a little crazy, and definitely some weeks are better than others when it comes to being pulled in a million directions. But I have a feeling this week is going to be an interesting one for me. For one, it IS busy… more so than the norm. In an attempt to get a ton of crap done before school starts in ONE WEEK (woo hoo and 😦 ), a lot has been jam-packed into these next 7 days. A handful of dr visits, last-minute school shopping, and various preparations must be made before I can send my offspring out the door.

Let’s not forget about the Dave Mathews concert Tuesday night. I’m excited, but the fact that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed also makes it feel like just one more thing on my endless “To Do” list that just needs to get checked off.

I was already feeling a little stressed just looking at my day planner, and now you can add this tender tidbit to the plate: Last night I get an email from my dad entitled “Mom’s Sick”. He proceeds to tell me, in AN EMAIL, that my mom is in the hospital. It’s serious but not life threatening, and I don’t want to go into too much more detail before I have a chance to talk to her (in the email he pretty much told us to leave her alone until later today) and find out what exactly is going on. Just because I am practically middle-aged doesn’t mean that I don’t still need my mom. I don’t like the not knowing or the simple fact that she’s in the hospital and in pain. :(! And just an FYI… notifications about the hospitalization of immediate family members warrant a PHONE CALL, not email. And 10 p.m. for such an occasion is NOT too late. Dork.

There’s the low-down on the what was and what will be. Life has a sense of humor, so I’m not counting my eggs quite yet. I’m just hoping to survive the week :).

A Different Kind of Reunion

August 11, 2010

When my trip to Hawaii was coming to a close, all of the women who went agreed that a reunion MUST take place so that we could exchange our photos and reminisce. Which was also a good excuse for us to get together and bathe in each others presence :).

Monday this reunion took place.

The plan: Everyone bring food to share, look at the pictures from our Maui excursion, and enjoy each other’s company. After I arrived and got my food set up, Maree (the “sponsor” for the trip as well as the hostess of the party) led me her dinning room table. There were gifts for each of us. The first was a book that Maree had commissioned that included some of the highlight photos from our trip. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and I absolutely treasure it. Seriously, what an amazing keepsake! Yeah, I brought chips and a dip. Maree takes friends on vacations to Maui, throws amazing shin-digs, and gives thoughtful and wonderful gifts. Someone totally got the short end on this friendship stick ;).

In addition to the book, there was a disk for each of the women. We knew that our friend, Tammy, was compiling all of the photos from the various cameras and putting them on a single disk, and making copies for all of us. But I was absolutely blown away when we sat down to view it. It is about 50 minutes long, set to most appropriate and perfect music, and brought us all to laughter as well as a few tears. THANK YOU Tammy for putting such a huge amount of time and effort into creating this wonderful memento. Tammy also smuggled some shells home for all of us, including heart-shaped shells, and they were enclosed in a cute heart-shaped mesh bag tied with ribbon (somehow hearts have become the mascot of our trip). Again, I brought chips and a dip. Yeah. BUT, I did take the majority of pictures, so I guess that was my big contribution.

The food was amazing (seriously, it would rival any professionally catered party), and the company was even more so. I know I’ve said it before, but I feel so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful circle of friends. Some I know better than others, and my relationship with each of them is different, but I love them all.

Blood IS thicker than water, but as we all know, you’ve got to have water to survive :).

Ralph and Such

August 5, 2010

Meet my new friend, who I’ve named Ralph. He’s taken up residence in a flower-pot just outside my back door. I LOVE praying mantis, and it’s been fun to see him grow as well as hunt a little (I was around when he attacked a spider… cool!).

I’m also loving of the colors out this time of year, especially the ones I can find just outside my back door

And the flowers aren’t the only things blooming around here. Our tomatoes are finally starting to go crazy. We’re always knee-deep in them, so let me know if you want to be one of the people we pawn them off on :). Cucumbers and peppers too!

Rights of Passage

August 3, 2010

There are certain “rituals” that boys go through on their way to becoming a man. This weekend, Ian got a taste.

He only lasted a few minutes his first time ’round, but he’s well on his way to becoming the new lawn boy around our house :). Sprinklers, BE FOREWARNED!

The Reunion

August 2, 2010

We spent this past Thursday – Sunday in Eden, Utah. It was beautiful, the weather was wonderful, and the activities were plentiful. Here are a few photos from the weekend.

Friday we spent the afternoon at Pineview Reservoir. It was SO much fun. It was warm and sunny, and the water was perfect. My mom rented two 3-man SkiDoo’s, and we all had a great time.

Along with the fun at the reservoir, there was some pain. As I was beaching one of the wave runners, it hit my toe and ripped my nail in half. OUCH!!!! The best was having to get all of the sand out of it later than night. It was unpleasant to say the least. Yesterday I repaired it with some super glue and a coffee filter, and today I painted it in an attempt to make it look somewhat normal. I have hopes that the nail will re-attach itself to the underlying skin, and I’ll be like a real girl again :).

On Saturday we celebrated Emma & Cooper’s 8th Birthday, and also did a cousin gift exchange. And the night before we left, all of the kids put on a play. CUTE 🙂

These things are always a lot of work, but completely worth it. The kids love getting to spend a few days playing together. I enjoy reconnecting with all of my family members, and I couldn’t get enough of my little sister’s baby Noah (see photo of him eating some watermelon)… he is ADORABLE! Some people dread the words “Family Reunion”, but frankly, I think it’s good times.

It’s All Good

August 2, 2010

Do you ever have those moments where you’re not really doing anything particularly spectacular or life changing, but a thought or feeling creeps up that catches you off guard?

Tonight as I was lying with Greg on our bed, enjoying one of the very few shows we watch, just one of those thoughts popped into my head. It was nothing that I didn’t already know, but I am sometimes too busy or in the moment to stop to realize it. I knew that there was no place I would rather be, nothing else I would rather be doing, and no one I’d rather be with than the what, where and who that was happening at that very moment. I wouldn’t change a thing (unless winning the lottery was a part of it 😉 ).

Despite a few weeks that have been a little more dramatic and stressful than the normal, I am happy. I love my life, my family, my home. Call it fate or purely chance, but whatever it is, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my life.

Does this feeling take away from the crap that I have to deal with? Certainly not. But such is life. It does, however, make the crap smell a lot sweeter :).

Changing the subject, this past weekend we spent 3 days at a family reunion. It wouldn’t have been a successful reunion without some blood, sweat, and a few tears. But it was a lot of fun, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. Tomorrow my minions, tomorrow.