Easter in Beast Mode – The 2014 Edition

This year was the year of beast mode during Easter and that didn’t quite equal out to the calm celebrations of years past.

See this year started with my husband having shoulder surgery on Good Friday.



If I had a dollar for every time a nurse, Doctor, or anesthesiologist mentioned how painful this surgery would be. Well, I’d have a big stack of bills to smack them with. Fear Mongering does not make for a Good Friday people.

But it happened.

We got to the hospital early in the morning. Waiting in the waiting room until they called him back.
© 2014 iPhone
They got him all prettied up in his cap and matching gown (don’t you know he just loved me taking photos of the event). Soon after our mini photo shoot, they kicked me out of pre-op to put a nerve block catheter in his neck. Ick! Then prep him for the big show.

I watched via a color-coded monitor from the waiting room which stated by number and color where he was at all times….first pre-op (yellow), then surgery (green), and then recovery (blue). All in all we were in and out of the hospital in about seven hours…still….the after part? Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Ouch. Painful could not even describe it. It was painful to even look at his arm, his tube, his bandages, or his face straining for comfort, his nauseousness from the medicines, and his listlessness from his body going through heck.

I had to watch him non-stop to make sure he didn’t need to go back to the hospital that first day and night. I texted my sister, the nurse, a zillion times describing symptoms or behaviors.

The next day we had the girls (our weekend). Luckily, Grandma and Papa Doug kept them until about three in the afternoon. That helped greatly because by then, he didn’t look near as scary (at least he was out of the hospital gown and in regularish clothes).

But it was Easter weekend and, of course, we had to color eggs….because….well I want to color eggs and that makes me make them color eggs. Heh. I don’t think they minded.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

I didn’t do egg coloring last year. Nope. I didn’t. Do you want to know why? I hate boiling eggs. Me, boiling water, and break-able food? Well, we don’t get along so well, but luckily, I heard about this thing on Pinterest of baking your eggs hard-boiled in the OVEN. Oh yeah. I rocked that.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

I managed the Easter baskets for the girls, Averey, and little goodie bags for my big kids, Brandon and Sydney. I didn’t get the girls too much because, frankly, we are in a massive clean-up and get rid of stuff mode. They have too much stuff crammed in their room and Sydney has too much stuff crammed in her room (that she doesn’t live in anymore). And I have way too much stuff crammed in the garage from my old house four years ago. So, we did a LOT of organizing in Sydney’s old room Easter Eve (making way for Bridget’s stuff) while Daddy slept to get better. The youngest claimed the previous Teen Occupant’s room by moving baskets of her clothes and toys into the already stuffed room and closet weeks ago. It’s a mess. And obviously, it is even more stuffed. We have a lot of work to do. But for now, all the teenage(y) jewelry, some clothes, CDs, stereos, and games have all been divvied up among the two little claimers (who were absolutely ecstatic over every little thing).

The next morning, we had to get ready for Church with Grandma. They wore their Easter dresses that Grandma bought them and they picked out. I will say that Molly could have picked a different style dress and she didn’t. She picked the same style but different size and color as her younger sister. Oh yes, she did! She twinned – totally on purpose – and I think it’s adorable.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

And of course, they are just gorgeous and magical in their Easter dresses. To look at them made me forgot about all the hospital recovery gunk, all the bedroom sorting box gunk, and all the mile-high garage gunk. In that one blissful moment, our celebration was their growing up and being these beautiful girls who love their Church and getting all dressed up on this special day.

I am not sure how much of this Easter my husband will remember so I did try to take lots of photos for him. I have a new camera. I am still learning it. You’d be amazed how different a new camera and all its settings and tweaks can be.

Lastly came the littlest of the bunch. Miss Averey on her first Easter. I had grand plans to set up the portrait backdrop and/or have her in the bluebonnets. But none of that happened. I just set her on the table-cloth and got down on the floor. Poor thing was wiped out by her first Easter, I could not get a single smile. Mom, Dad, and I all squeaked, gaggled, and clapped, but alas, Cute Baby just didn’t have it in her.
© Angelia's Photography 2014

She was super happy just worn out as it was late by then.

And ya know? I was pretty worn out too. Easter will do that, especially an Easter operated in Beast mode.

But I did it. I pulled off Easter with two girls, a new granddaughter, and a sick Poppy.

It was the first time in many years, we didn’t get to Church, but our hearts celebrated the Risen Christ with praise and prayers for Jason’s recovery.

Maybe next year, it will be more of our best mode, and less of our beast mode.

Hope you all had a very Happy Easter. Thank-you for being here. Thank-you for reading.

The Amazing Way Life Changes

I’m sure you can guess what is at the top of my Thankful list. The very top of a very long list (more on that below). I am thrilled to have so much to be thankful for this year. And being surrounded by the love of family. Many included as family are part of extended families and ex-families and almost families.

And that is not weird to me at all.

I grew up loving a Grandma that was not related to me by blood …I never knew until I fully grasped family trees….and she wasn’t on my branch or even my tree.

I had no clue.

She never acted like she wasn’t my Grandma. And you know what? She was. She was my Grandma. Blood relation or not. That is who I called Grandma and always will. I think of her most at this time of year. As children we made the trek from Oklahoma to Colorado to visit her every Thanksgiving. Most times it took the entire day to get there. She would cook and serve the big feast, then send us packing up the mountain to ski Monarch the next day. That was her Christmas present to us, always the same, a day together of snow, ski, and fun paid for by Grandma.

I will always treasure those Thanksgivings. I wrote about it on this blog in December of 2009 Timeless Treasures. She is my most special Grandma (that wasn’t my Grandma) who made our holidays joyful and bright. And she is who I look up to as a role model. Now that I am a grandma, I hope I can live up to her highest of standards.

I appreciate her these days more than I ever have. I hope I can give as much as my heart to my grandchildren as she did.

My most precious gift this year is my very own grandchild. She is growing so fast. Faster than I ever thought possible. I had no idea how much love a grandmothers soul could hold.

Oh man, is it a lot!

This little angel just turned three months old.

Three months in the blink of an eye. She now recognizes my face and voice. She smiles instantly when she sees me. She stares at me with those grey/blue eyes full of curiosity.

We talk and play and take lots and lots of pictures. She started cooing recently. It is not like the coo I have heard other babies say. Hers is like a musical note. It is so pretty! I swear it is not ooooo. This coo is like a note Snow White sings in the forest to all the wild animals that flock to her side. This music she strains to do by pursing her mouth just so and looking around with her big eyes (like…did I just do that?). Then, she smiles real big and kicks her legs because she knows she just did and it was awesome.

I wonder if she has inherited my mother and father’s musical talent. My mom toured singing Sound of Music as a teenager. She, also, won the crown of Miss Ada (the same Ada Blake Shelton is from). Her talent? Singing. My Dad toured with a 60’s garage band, they were invited to open for the Beach Boys. Musical talent gone wild in that pairing.

I didn’t get a smidge of musical talent. Sydney might have got just that, a smidge. But Averey. Wow. Looks like she may have got the full dose. I guess time will tell if she can carry a tune as a well as a coo. But dang if she isn’t cute doing it.

Three months.

© 2013 Angelia's PhotographyNewborn Averey

I am so thankful.

© 2013 Angelia's PhotographyNewborn Averey

To have this squishy little person as my musical serenader.


The way it changes?


Happy, HAPPY Thanksgiving to each and every one. May you be blessed beyond measure and treasured beyond time. And be so completely enamored by the life and love of a wonderful family (blood relations or not).

And thank-you for most for being part of my journey.

She’s Nine…

Today is my oldest stepdaughter’s birthday…she is NINE.

© Angelia's Photography

When I met her, she was only four years old.

© Angelia's Photography

When I started this blog? Five.

© Angelia's Photography

I have watched go from a super smart four-year-old to a dang-near genius nine-year old. The kid is smarter than most people I know. Heh.

© Angelia's Photography

She loves every dog in the house for the pets, her iPhone for the music, her sister for the playing, and her Daddy for the hugs.

© Angelia's Photography

I’m pretty sure she will grow up to be a Doctor, or an architect.

The Doctor part, because she insisted on performing surgery when she was four. I am still not sure what was wrong with my leg, but when she stabbed it with something sharp and I screamed, “Owwww!” She laughed evilly……

Yep. Doctor.

Or an Architect because that girl can build two-story forts in the living room, and a five-room house with blankets below it. The construction site is a disaster amazing.

© Angelia's Photography

She insists on calling me Mom. I am her step-mom…..she knows this. I couldn’t and wouldn’t take her Mom’s place. Her Mom has a kinship with her that can never be replaced. She loves her Mom more than anything. But I know why she does it. I had a step-dad and I HATED the step part. I felt like it took something away from what he was to me. So I get it. I am her mom (step) and I am so proud to be that to her.

© Angelia's Photography

This young lady is, no doubt, going to take the world by storm.

© Angelia's Photography

She is everything bright, fun, and beautiful and I love her with all my heart.

Happy 9th Birthday to my girl Molly!

In another news, we are frantically preparing for the big Gender Reveal party tomorrow. I can’t believe IN ONE DAY I will know if it is a GrandGirl or a GrandBoy. I am excited beyond belief and busy, oh so busy, getting allllllllll the pink and blue stuff together.

I will definitely post photos!

Hope everyone is doing well.