There is a storm brewing on the horizon.

It's threatening to unleash.

Crushing everything in it's path.

The thing about storms though, as quickly as they come they go.
Usually leaving behind raw, exposed, earth. The rain carries away the impurities, leaving behind an earth that is ready to heal.

As the holiday season approaches, I'm plagued with thoughts of previous holidays. Christmas's spent in the hospital or talking to the vascular surgeon hoping to buy enough time to get through until the new year.

These thoughts, warnings if you will, have their place. They need to exist to protect me, to warn me, to keep me alert. I struggle with keeping them where they belong and not allowing them to take over.

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”
Albert Einstein

Thanks for the reminder Al.


Busy, busy

We've gotten the holiday season kicked off.
Lots of things to share...

Thanksgiving was delicious. Lots of cooking, playing and hanging with the family.

The highlight of the meal... Kate and my homemade pies. The icing on the cake was the whiskey cream sauce. Oh good heavens! Make it, make it and pour it over everything.
We braved the stores on Black Friday as Mom and I have done so many years before.

We started late. My days of getting out the door before 6am just to shop are over.

We had a great time and got a few good deals and nobody had a meltdown.

A quick lunch to refuel.

Justin attempted to get himself banned from the family for putting ketchup on his hashbrowns. This is a criminal offense in our group.

It's a good thing Kate loves her Uncle otherwise...

Saturday was cleaning, more baking, more whiskey cream sauce and dinner at one of our favorite spots with Craig and Lindsey in from Florida along with Mark, Jay'me and Josh. Lots of visiting over dessert and coffee at our house after dinner.
It was great to hear all the tales of Scott's ... um... formative years. Some great stories with great company.

A reminder of all that we have to be grateful for.


We're here

We're all alive and things are well. I've been swamped with holiday stuff, photo editing and visiting friends in from out of town.
A full, proper, photo filled update coming up soon. I promise.
One of my favorite photos from the past few days.


Gobble Gobble

A great day spent with family, lots of delicious food and virtually no stress.

So much to be grateful for. I could go on and on, like Scott did giving his toast after dinner, but unfortunately Miss KT is having a rough night.

I'll have more to share tomorrow. Right now the person I'm most thankful for in the world needs me.

From our family to yours Happy Thanksgiving.


Were getting ready

My soux chef and I spent the morning getting the pies ready for tomorrows big feast.

My girl just loves helping me.

She climbs up on the counter with her custom made apron from Grams and dives right in.

Measuring the flour.

Being really careful to not get any one the floor or counter. (as if)

Showing me how perfectly she uses both her left and right hands.

Cutting in the shortening.

Making as large of a mess as humanly possible.

Taking breaks to be as ridiculously cute as possible.

Patting the dough down to go in the fridge to set.

Working hard to roll out the dough herself.

Not letting her teeny tiny rolling pin slow her down.

There are no issues with child labor laws if the child is yours right?

So very thankful for my sweet little girl. Looking forward to enjoying the day and doing some more cooking with this beautiful face.

What are you all doing for the holiday?


Poll time

While we wait for the arrival of BigDan and Kathy so we can devour our delicious Happy Joes taco pizza, I thought it was the perfect time to pose to you Scott's big question.

Before I go on, I'm sorry husband for not getting a picture of you earlier in the day. Working with the horrible light in our house is not helping this picture of you. Please forgive me.

Here's a picture of Scott taken just moments ago. Imagine it to be a good picture with sunshine and something more beautiful than a door jam behind his head.

Nice huh?

Now look at this picture of Scott taken on the 9th of November, a few short weeks ago.

Scott's big question for all of you is....
To beard or not to beard?

So give us your votes. Scruff, no scruff. This is important stuff kids.

So everyone reading this please vote. You can do it anonymously in the comments below, it will only take a moment and you won't have to fill out any information. Just simply say beard or no beard.

When you're done with that go here
and check out what I did yesterday.

The time has come for me to stuff my face. See you on the flip side kids.


Where you been?

Mojo, where have you been? Why did you leave me?



Swinging solo.

I've missed you terribly mojo. I'm so glad you have finally returned.

Us Witt girls, we don't let a little rain stop us. We run out and play in it.

Stomping in puddles,

and playing with the leaves.

No rain, tornado warnings, or common sense can stop us from going where we need to go.

My advice to all of you that might be searching for your mojo...

Stop and reflect on what's behind you. The storms you have weathered already, have prepared you for whatever may lay ahead.

Scott's big question will have to wait until tomorrow. He wanted a little more prep-time. Pretentious bitch.
Oh and tomorrow (Tuesday) around 6pm check out the other blog for the best photo from my mojo finding mission. It's sick.



I'm gearing up to host turkey day festivities. I've been organizing my grocery list, recipes and getting things together so I can head out to the grocery tomorrow before all the crazies do.

Kate informed me that store bought cupcakes aren't good because they aren't made in the kitchen with love. Only the 'pupcakes' that are made in our kitchen are good because we make them with lots of love. The brownies at the grocery are fine though because apparently, the grocery adds frosting to their brownies and I do not.

The best thing you can possibly hear while your 3 year old is in the other room unsupervised is "Mom, I'm going to sweep the floor." Even better to see her get out the microfiber broom and go to town.

We had dinner at my parents house with the family. My cousin joined us along with his cousin Brian, that isn't related to me in any way. Kate and Brian have the exact same hair. I am from southern, small town, Iowa... just sayin.

BigDan and Kath are headed this way on Tuesday to give us some love and fill our freezer. Truth be told they could forget the food and it would still be a highlight of the week ahead. It will be nice to get Scott to stop crying. We have been without Kathy's homemade pesto for a couple weeks and I swear I hear Scott crying himself to sleep every night. It's sad really.

I took the picture for our Christmas card today... maybe. Stupid Chicago weather.

Scott has an important question to ask all of you tomorrow. Tune in.

To my wonderful neighbors that have brought my garbage and recycle bins up the drive for me, I love you, thank you and I'm sorry I'm such a horrible neighbor.

I'm thinking of my cousin Jeremy. He is on yet another Iraq tour of duty with the Army. I'm thankful for social media where he was able to share that Kuwait Starbucks is tasty and faster than here in the states. I know once he gets to his destination he won't have the freedoms he does in transit and I dread those moments for my aunt, uncle and his new wife.

Scott told me today that in a way he's glad he's in a wheelchair now. He no longer has to worry that he is going to fall. Always the optimist.

I really want a Happy Joes taco pizza.

For no apparent reason, I've really felt lately that I'm a pretty good mom. I've got a really good kid and while I'm not the only responsible for that, I've played a huge role. It's a really nice feeling to think that she'll be able to keep her therapy sessions to once a week when she grows up.
That has always been my goal. If she needs more than an hour a week with a shrink, then I have failed her.

Much to do this week, so much more to be thankful for. If anyone needs a home for the holiday our house is open to all of you. You're family.


A Riddle

What happens when you unexpectedly bring Papa to a 3 year old Thanksgiving school party?

You play a game of Slap Hands.

Ok, so I'm not good with jokes. Sue me.

Dad and I went to Kate's school for a little Thanksgiving Feast today. What a blast.
The kids were so well behaved and the food was actually quite good. Had some great company chatting with a few of the other parents.

All the kids in K's class know that I come with camera in tow. Most of them like it.

A few of them tolerate it.

My kid.... well...not so much.

What a fun way to start the afternoon. Went home to a play date with Adam, Ryan and Auntie Alli. Those photo will be forth coming. And now Scott is hanging with his boys watching really bad, boy type movies.
The weekend is starting off right. Let's keep it rolling.


The day where I took a picture

of a brick.... well, several brick scraps but, whatever.

I'm totally off my photo mojo. This weather is creating rather obnoxious conditions. Bring on the snow, bring on the sun, bring on anything but gray.

I've been staring at this basically blank screen for ten minutes with nothing but chaos in my head. Certainly nothing worth putting down "on paper" just yet. I'll get there.



I went away to my happy place. I was gone for 24 short hours. It rained, was muddy, sloppy, I didn't take a single photo and it was AWESOME! My happy place, always makes me.. well, happy.
A little mental maintenance, goes a long way to getting me back to my sunshiny self. Stop laughing
I'm so grateful to everyone for making it happen for me. My parents, jumped right in and stayed overnight at our house even though they had been gone from their house for three days. They made sure I came home to a happy Scott and Kate, a vacuumed house, clean dishes and even a lunch or two in the fridge for Scott. Doesn't get much better than that.
Scott, always encourages me to go away and find some peace. Secretly I think it's because he likes being spoiled by my parents. Well, that and I get bitchy, really bitchy, when the pressure gets to be too much. My leaving is almost a mental health break for him too.
And Kate, well, she barely noticed I was gone. I got big hugs when I got her up from nap time but that was quickly followed up by a "Grammie, Papa here?".

I stepped away, took a big deep healing breath, soaking up the world around me in the most amazing place ever, the place where I feel my soul was born. I got wet, I got muddy and I found that piece of me that got buried. The piece of me that doesn't think about wound care, trach maintenance, light bulb replacement, bill payment, money management, playing dolly, or being a good hostess. The piece of me that is just for me.

Feels good to be home with a little more Brandi on board.


It's on the way.

Christmas is coming. I'm feeling the holiday spirit full throttle now. Kate and I started listening to Christmas music yesterday in the hopes of inspiring me to get our holiday cards done.
It was successful, well partially. I've got an idea, an image, a project, in my head. I took the first rough layout shots today. I'm hoping it will work, I love being able to take something out of my brain and make it real.

I also got a chance to play on some train tracks today while Kate was in school.

Look for another one of these shots on the other blog tomorrow. But tonight go there and see my new friend Amanda's awesome work.
Seeking out inspiration, every where I go. Where do you look for your inspiration?


Sigh of relief

I spent the last 40 hours thinking that Thanksgiving was this Thursday.
Yeah, as in four days away.

I had dreams last night. Dreams where I was buying canned peas (GAG) and serving frozen pizza for the holiday. I woke up sweating and vowing to not sleep again until I was caught up
and ready for the big day.
It was a very traumatic. There might have been tears.
Part of the holidays that I love the most is the baking, the cooking, the slaving. All to make something delicious for my guests to devour. In the past years, I've gotten pretty good at it.

While paying bills just a moment ago (I think we can all agree that is a nightmare itself), I finally looked at a calender and low and behold....

Thanksgiving is NOT this week.

Fall to my knees, shout hallelujah, and this year I'll be giving thanks that I had another week and there will not be a can of peas in sight.



Watch your mouth

I have a confession to make. This will not be news to those of you that know me in real life. Well, and really for the long time readers, this won't come as a shock either.
I have a sharp tongue. Like, really sharp.
I get short tempered and my words aren't always the nicest. I do watch my curse words around Kate but if she's not around the f-bomb abounds.
I'm especially guilty of this with Scott.
From the very beginning, Scott has had a knack for asking me questions at the worst possible time. Scott's life gift is his ability to find the five minutes that I can't be interrupted in a day and ask me ridiculous questions during that time. We joke about it often.
All the joking aside, when he does this I often get short and snap at him. Lately, I've been saying thinks like
"Why don't you just not worry about it?"
"It doesn't affect you, I'll deal with it how I see fit."

Tonight, I got a healthy reminder that I need to watch what I say. For one, Scott doesn't deserve for me to talk to him that way. For another when I hear Kate say "Daddy, why don't you just not worry about it." it breaks my heart.

She said those exact words to Scott tonight as she and I were cleaning up toys before going to bed. I immediately corrected her behavior, made her apologize and told her to go up to bed (we were headed there anyways). What I wanted to do was send myself to bed.
She got those words from me. She got that attitude, that please don't bother me, I know better than you, attitude from me. And that sucks. It sucks big time.

Lesson learned.

Here's a photo for Grammy and Papa. They've been traveling since Friday and I was instructed to provide a photo of Baby K's precious face having left them stranded with yesterdays post.

Drive safe coming home tomorrow. Give Uncle Jeffie and Aunt Bethie many, many hugs from us all.


Polka dots and stripes?

My girl has mad style skills.
She's not afraid to go out and do what she wants to do.
Blaze trails, be her own person.

My girl just rocks it.

I love that about her.

I work really hard everyday to make sure she has the confidence she needs to pave her own road in this world. I know I've made mistakes (every parent does it's our given right) and I know that the mistakes I've made have made both she and I stronger.

When I see my RockStar at parties like I did today, I'm so immensely proud of her. She really is an amazing child. Even if she likes stripes and polka dots together.

*This outfit was not from today. These were taken on Thursday. Today's outfit included her pink sparkle tutu because "Princesses wear tutus to parties, Mom."*

Thanks to the S12 family for welcoming us to join in Brandon's 2nd birthday celebration. Sorry our visit ended so abruptly. We feel horribly that we didn't get in proper goodbyes with everyone. We had a wonderful time.



Most of what I have to say tonight I said here.

Having this afternoon with my uncle, sharing with him, talking with him, having Starbucks with him, introducing him to people that matter to me, did amazing things to refuel my heart. The dinner with the family afterwards, topped off my tank.

Once again feeling like I can handle it all. I can't handle it alone, but I know that I'll never be alone. It's going to be alright.


An open letter to Steve Jobs

Hey Steve, (you don't mind if I call you Steve, right?)

I need some help. You and your Apple team are the fantastic inventors of the Ipod. You've done a bang up job. I can carry around massive amount of music in my purse. I've got movies loaded and ready to go to keep my 3 year old from losing her shit at the end of a long day. In general I find your Ipod creation to be a fantastic, wonderful, life changing invention.

You see, Steve, I'm a little nutty about my music. I have very vast tastes and my Ipod is loaded with everything from Brittany Spears to Credence Clearwater Revival to Tone Loc and Frank Sinatra. I couldn't possibly pick just one genre to listen to. I find I can't even listen to the radio anymore between the commercials and the deejays cutting off the beginnings and endings of all the songs, I get a little nutty if forced to travel with out my handy dandy Ipod.

I have a new invention idea for you and your minion. I need your guys (and gals) to invent an Ipod that will only play what I NEED to hear. It can't play what I think I want to hear, only what I need to hear.
Maybe some breathalyzer or finger print scan. Maybe it's a quiz that determines mood. I'm not really sure, you guys can work on that. But the Ipod Beez (like the product name? It's a version of my childhood nickname. You don't mind do you Steve-O?)

Today instead of this

and this

It would have played a little of this

or maybe this

While I love the first two songs, they wrap me up like a warm sweater. Pulling me tighter and tighter until I can't breathe anymore.
When I need to let go and chase away the funk, I need you to save me from myself and only play songs like the last two. Forcing me out of the funk, making me dance, and leave my worries behind.

Thanks for taking my idea and making it work Stevie. You're the bestest BFF (best friend forever) a girl could ask for. I can't wait until the product launch. Oh and if you could work it out so Leo DiCaprio does the ads that would be great.
I'll limit my royalties to 2% of all sales.

XOXO Stevie Baby,

The Beez


Hello spring?

My body is confused and well, so is my brain, but that's nothing new.

First, this weekend we had daylight savings time. I'm gaining an hour but my early rising child doesn't realize that 7am is the new 6am.
Second, it's gorgeous here. Like seriously. 70 degrees, soft breeze, clear skies, going to have to force me to go inside, kind of beautiful.
Just when I'm thinking it's spring, I see this sign.

Now I'm really messed up.

How is it possible that this late in November I am able to take my child (in short sleeves none the less) and my husband that requires 72degree temps at all times out to the park?

A welcomed respite. Certainly helping to ease the funk that's been lurking around the corners.

Manging to get Scott's flu shot and haircut taking care of before hand was a small miracle.
It's not often that Scott can handle this much activity. This glorious weather provided the perfect setting to make it all possible.
It's almost like the universe knew I needed it. Like this day was just for me. A day to remind me of what I'm fighting for everyday. A reason to keep going and embrace what ever life throws at me.

A beautiful gift, much like my beautiful girl. Something so perfect, so overwhelmingly wonderful that you're almost afraid to believe it's true.

She is smart, funny, empathetic and she's healthy. She's also sassy, stubborn and independent but I won't ruin this love fest with those thoughts.
It's ok for me to take a break, kick back and just enjoy the moment.

Letting life move forward without me pushing it.

It's so easy to get bogged down. When everything is such a struggle, when my body is bruised from carrying Scott, when my soul is battered by the reality of the future. It's easy to slink into a hole and stay there.
I've been reminded that my bruises will heal, my heart will continue to love and I can move on.

Enjoying the journey for what it is. Because of it, I am who I am.

And I'm someone that hates this stupid garbage can for ruining my photo.

That's life.