Update On My Mom

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March 1st my Mom had an Ischemic Stroke. Her stoke affected her right side. She lost her ability to talk, to reason, to drive, her job and her independence all at once. Two weeks later my sister and I decided that it would be best if my Mom moved in with me.

We had a lot of difficulty finding a speech therapist for my Mom. It’s challenging to find a speech therapist who will work do outpatient work or who will work with adults. But we did manage to find Aspen Speech Therapy in Fort Collins. Kristi Kelly is amazing and I love the work she’s doing to make speech therapy available for all ages.

My Mom’s speech has improved rapidly since her stroke. However some things don’t seem to be coming back. She struggles with short term memory loss and she definitely has lost her personality. My Mom was a sharp witted woman and she cackled like a witch when she would laugh. I know that I need to mourn and adjust to the new normal. But taking care of my young family and my Mom doesn’t leave me much time for anything.

We went to a Neurologist, Joseph Schmitt, last week. He explained that my Mom has surpassed the time when she would make big improvements. He said that my Mom will continue to make small improvements until probably March 2017. I was very impressed with his thorough examination and his careful explanation of my Mom’s status.

Cognitively my Mom is scoring a 22/30. She is significantly weaker on her right side. Her gait is wide to help keep her balance and she doesn’t swing her right arm when she walks. Her vision is also significantly worse in her right eye. I don’t know if that’s from the stroke or if that’s from the Diabetic Retinopathy. Could be both.

My Mom has had type two Diabetes for the last 11 years. Because her blood sugars have been uncontrolled, it’s caused a lot of damage her eyes, toes and we think it’s also what caused her stroke.

More than likely my Mom will be declared permanently disabled and she will have to be taken care of for the rest of her life. My Mom is only 60 years old, but I feel like her diabetes and her stroke have decreased her life expectancy.

The saddest part for me is knowing the vibrant and funny woman that I called Mom is gone. Her personality has been washed away by her stroke and it isn’t coming back.

Even though this has been hard I have felt Heavenly Fathers love for me and for my Mom. I have been blessed to make it through the all the “not so great” news that we keep getting from various doctors. But I am grateful that Heavenly Father has put me in a position to take care of my Mom. He has prepared me to take on this difficult new challenge.

Please pray for me, for my Mom and for my family. We will continue to need your prayers in the years to come. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers on our behalf.

One is Fun

Jace is a officially a ONE YEAR OLD. She is full of mischief and smiles.

She took her first tentative steps last night!! She first walked to Cora because she loves to pull Cora’s hair. (There’s a reason I have very short hair now people and her name rhymes with face.) Then she walked to Daddy!

Her favorite activities include emptying cupboards, toy boxes, underwear drawers and trash cans.

Putting anything not designed to go in your mouth, you guessed it, in her mouth.

Pooping in the bath tub. That warm water is just so relaxing, no?

New words are fun to say over and over and over. Her favorite word is Dada followed closely by uh-oh, hot, and hi. Although blowing raspberries and clicking the tongue are still heavy players. Especially during church.

She loves to play with her big brother and sister. They have been very big helpers to Mom so she can accomplish making dinner.

Food is wonderful except for banana’s and peaches. Anything stuck to the floor from yesterday’s meal is exceptionally delicious.

And I’m sure you’ve all heard of her loathing for her carseat.

Happy Birthday to my Darling Duchess! This year has been lovely and harrowing with you and I can’t wait for many more to come.



Love her DIMPLE!

Love her DIMPLE!

Posing Flipbook

The last photo shoot I did my client stated numerous times that she wanted lots of different creative poses. So I went on to her Pinterest page and printed out lots of different family portraits that she had pinned. I also printed some from my own personal page. I stapled all the pictures together and called it my ‘Posing Flipbook’.  Very big hit with my client. She loved looking through the book and choosing poses. Plus it always nice when you can show your client in a picture how you want them to stand, sit, smile etc. Because we are all visual learners right? Right.

This has the added benefit of one less thing you have to focus on. Instead you can focus on freaking out about camera settings, light, and locations. Just me? Oh goodie!

Cute poses for your viewing pleasure below!


Tell me your favorite poses and where you get your ideas.

Zany Letters

Dear Bluetooth,

I would like to kiss your creator. Or at least make you some gratitude cookies. I love listening to my “I Heart Radio” app on my car stereo. I was totally jamming to my tunes while I ran errands today.


My undying gratitude to you sirs!

Dear Washer,

You are only 7 years old. Have I been that unkind to you? You sound like dying whale singing it’s last rights during the washing portion of your cycle. Big thumbs down.


Not happy with this new development

Dearest Husband,

I appreciate you taking the time to hand sew all the popped seams on our couches. That was very thoughtful. I can’t help but think that the real reason you did it, is because you REALLY don’t want to go furniture shopping with me. Too bad all the popped seams ripped open the next day.

Your loving wife

Dear Tiny Toot,

In just a few short weeks you will be a One. Year. Old. You have been the most challenging baby I’ve ever had, but I love you dearly. One request. Please start saying Mama. All I’m hearing so far is Dada.

Long may the Duchess reign,

Your Loving Mama



Aeble what? Skivers. A danish pancake. But better than any pancake you’ve ever tasted. These are actually a little tricky to make and they require special equipment. However I also think this recipe translates well into a waffle or plain old pancake recipe.

2 eggs separated

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

In medium bowl beat egg yolks until light in color. Stir in sugar. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients. Add to egg mixture alternately with milk. Mix in oil. In separate bowl beat egg whites stiff. (I use my ninja blender to beat the egg whites while I make the batter.) Fold egg whites into batter. Yields about 28.

Now heat up your Aebleskiver pan on medium high heat. It needs to be pretty hot before you add any batter. Fill cups about 3/4 full.


When the batter starts to bubble use a skewer to turn the aebleskiver half way.


Once the batter starts to bubble again, you guessed it, turn the aebleskiver again. You keep turning until all sides have been cooked and the center is hollow. Did I mention this is tricky? You might not get it right on your first, second, or third batch. It’s okay. Food is art and sometime it takes a lot of false starts to get it right.


Break aebleskiver apart and fill with your favorite toppings. Maple syrup, lemon glaze, sausage, jam, or apples. The possibilities are infinite. My favorite is nutella and whip cream.


Squish back together and prepare to be transported to your happy food place!


*If you have never made these before you might consider watching a “how to” video on youtube. It’s for the best.*

The Tale of Two Elves

On December 1st our sneaky Elf makes his debut. I promised my children that they would see our Elf the next day. But the joke seems to be on us, the parents. That Elf is MIA. He’s not in any of the Christmas boxes. Or Easter or Halloween or even Independence Day. So we thought up a lie and we thought it up quick.


I’m positive we get bonus points for using the word ‘naked.’ It makes my young children giggle every time. Meanwhile my loving husband ran to Barnes and Noble to acquire a new Elf.

But of course we forgot to place the Elf before the kids woke up for school. We’re not winning any prize parents of the year award here. Princess ran into me in the hallway with a suspicious lump under my shirt. She said, “I’m looking for the Elf.” I said, “Quick go put on your shoes and I’ll help you find him.” I stashed the Elf in the first semi hidden spot I could find. Two seconds later the Dude comes out of the bedroom to look for our Elf.

20131203_081007 (Bruce the cat checking out our new Elf)
Dude laughed hard and said, “That sneaky Elf is under the tree!”

20131203_222431 Tonight the Elf will defy gravity. He’ll hang upside down and drink Maple Syrup. Because that’s what Elf’s like.

I’m so grateful my kids still believe in Santa and in our Elf. I’m sad that next year they’ll probably be too old to believe. But for now I’m enjoying seeing their faces light up when the Elf magically moves to a different spot in our house every night.