What do you do?

I had a conversation with a good friend today. Well, really it was a texversation (text conversation) but that's just how I am most days.

We were talking about feeling stuck, lost, drowning. We've all felt it. When the walls start to close in. When the world seems to be bringing you down. When all the marshmallows are gone from the Lucky Charms and all you have are those heinous cereal bites that taste like cardboard.

Now more than ever it seems more and more people are feeling this way. Times are tough right now for almost everyone. The TV says the economy is getting better but from what I can tell no "real" person is actually feeling that. It's all just political mumbo jumbo to help us pretend it's ok.
Reality is, money is hard to come by and jobs are hard to find.

Yet, with all of that, we continue to try to keep up with the Jones'. We are constantly hearing "do this" "feed you kid that" "more classes" "better things" "more stuff".

It seems to me that I'm seeing a lot of pretending. Random people at Target with the vacant look in their eyes with the perma smile plastered on their face. Friends that say everything is "ok". When you know they aren't.
Heaven knows I've done my fair share. I am queen of the "fake it until you make it" phrase. I believe in the philosophy actually. It won't solve all your problems but some days, it's the only way to get by.

So I started thinking after my textverstion. Thinking of ideas to help my friend. What do I do when I get stuck? How do I cope when I feel like I've been swallowed whole by the blood sucking monster that is life?

I've actually shared about some of the ways I cope on here. I run to my happy place. I take photos. I spend some time alone or with people that feed my soul.
I've talked about how music can affect my mood. How drugs (when properly regulated by a doctor) are sometimes an important part of the solution.

A very dear friend has a phrase "the dogs problems to him are the same as yours are to you." Meaning, we all have issues. The worst day in a dogs life, is just that, his worst day. It's pushing the dog to his limits, to the brink, further and harder than the poor puppy has ever had to go before.
We've all been there, haven't we? Pushed to our personal brink. Unsure of how to navigate. How to calm down. How to find balance again.

Which brings me to my idea. I would love for every person that reads this to leave at least one tip on how they cope when they've been pushed too far.
Talking with a friend, listening to music, video games, duck hunting... What do you do when the world has been too harsh? How do you find your inner voice, that voice that tells you where to go next?

You're not just sharing with me, you're sharing with everyone. My comments section allows anonymous posts if you don't feel like being recognized. But please, share something. Maybe your idea will give someone else hope on an otherwise dark day.

A fun photo post planned for tomorrow. It's all about balance people.



Don't bother me

I've got a sexy camera on loan to me for a few days and I'm way to busy to blog.
S12's dad who had graciously loaned me his bad ass flash decided he could be without his bad ass camera for a few days. I think it was the promise of a German chocolate cake. A cake that was exchanged when the camera was dropped off this afternoon. I have it on good authority that Mr. L (S12's dad) had at least 2 pieces for dessert tonight.
Tying to decide what to make next so I can keep the camera forever.

Junior Miss is doing just fine. Wild and precocious as always.
Scott... I'm hoping tonight and tomorrow go better than the past week. I really don't want to start off the week with another round of doctor visits.
Oh and we have a new tendon in the family. That leg just will not quit.

Matt, Justin and my Dad are all down with the flu. Bitches better keep that shit to themselves. Is winter over yet?

I'm hearing there is supposed to be some monster storm here this week. Anyone care to make a friendly wager if it will actually happen?


The Naptime Crawl

I'm spending Kate's naptime trying to climb down off the walls. My beautiful little girl has pushed this mama to the brink.
I realize this is her job. It's really her only job. Explore, expand, pretend, try, fail and ask exactly 1.2million questions in the first 15 mintues of being awake.
All that said, I slept like shit last night and my usual 4 hours was a meare 2 hours and it was broken up. Turns out my patience is what recharges during hours 3 and 4. Who knew?

Kate and I had a great day yesterday though so I guess I kind of deserved an off one today.

As you saw yesterday Kate and I finally got to go out to play in the snow.

After I forced her with dictator style screaming to shovel the drive. I allowed her a few moments of playtime.

We trudged our way to the side of the house to wave to Scott. He was warm and dry resting in bed.

"Hi Dad! What you want to see me make a snow angel? Ok"

We made angels, tossed snow in the air, attempted to make some snowballs and talked about how hard it is to see airplanes in a gray cloudy sky.

No outside adventure would be complete for Kate without a trip down the drive on her bike.

I'm pretty sure I can tell what she'll be getting for her birthday. That bike.. my kid... they just don't fit anymore.

My few moments of peace have come to an end. I'm really hoping that the extra large nap that is coming to an end has reset Kate. I feel better and hopeful for a better evening.

Quiet time around the Witt house. What are you doing with your Saturday?


Slave Labor

So what... Don't judge me.

Lots more snow fun photos for tomorrow.



I am in love with this face.

I am also in love with the fact that I took this photo in my house (I lovingly call it the Cave of Wonders) at 7:00pm. S12's dad was so wonderful to share his Nikon Speedlight SB 900. Which is camera geek for a very, very badass camera flash.
I'm going to make him a dessert in return. I am told his favorite dessert is german chocolate cake. A quick phone call to Grams, my source for all wonderful tried and true recipes (she's better than Betty Crocker), and I'm in business. I'm just hoping the cake wows him so he doesn't realize I haven't returned his flash.
Hopefully this will help with the nasty case of winter crazies that has taken a strong hold on everyone in my house. Can't find real sun... fake it with a big ass flash.

What dessert makes you forget your senses? Are you an apple pie bitch? Have a brownie obsession? Share with me, so I know how to properly bribe you all.


"It be ok"

Dressing changes with Kate around are becoming funnier. Nothing phases that little girl.
Scott had an appointment with the neurologist today (all is status quo) after dinner we did his leg dressing and were getting him settled in bed. Kate doesn't get to see many dressing changes, maybe one a month. She loves to help when she's awake.

As I'm preparing to get Scott's leg unwrapped she starts singing "I can't wait to see the boo boo's. I can't wait to see them." She officially made up a song about it.
During the dressing change, as Scott is bleeding everywhere, she looks at him from her up close spot on the floor, reaches up towards him and soothingly says "it's ok Daddy. It be ok. I'm right here. It's just a little blood."

Today was one of those I fucking hate being an adult days for me. Really, truly I hate being an adult some days. So thankful for that extra big hug Kate gave me at bedtime. That snuggle reminded me of all the reasons to never give up.
What would I do with out her.


Slow Ass

Stupid, slow ass, internet. Making me crazy. No patience left to deal with it so for now...

Kate acting like a bear in her Bears gear. She could NOT leave the house without her pearls and her very special "beautiful orange hair fingy". Just because it's a sporting event doesn't mean we don't have to properly accessorize.
It's just too bad that Katie was the only one that brought her "A" game on Sunday. Maybe if some of the Bears players had brought their "A" game we wouldn't have to be tortured with a Packers Super Bowl. Oh well, that just means I won't be distracted by the game. After all, the entire day is really about the food and the commercials.

Who's rooting Pack and who's rooting Steelers?


Marky Mark

Braved the elements last night to go out and support Mark in his solo, acoustic guitar, endeavors. He was the headlining musician at an event called Lucy's Cafe at the Raue Theater here in town.

I'm such a good friend I even ran outside in the -2degree weather to take this photo.
Special thanks to RWO for the photo edit.

Scott, unfortunately, had to miss out on the fun. Temps this cold and 6+ inches of snow and ice on the ground just doesn't lend itself to taking out a guy in a wheelchair.
I called Scott a couple times and let him listen along. He missed a great event.
There was plenty of this


and this

I didn't get any of these things but I got the chance to perfect this type of photo. I win!

On top of the excellent photo ops I got some terrific music with some terrific people. An excellent evening out.

And because it's my blog and I want to.... here are some random photos that I want to share but that I'm too lazy to write something fun to go along with.

Tomorrow is the Bears vs Packers play off game. It's kind of a big deal around these parts. Heading over to my parents so Scott has someone to enjoy the game with. We'll be anxiously waiting for the photo from SICU Nate who is a lucky punk and has front row seats to the game.

Are you watching the game? Where from? And most importantly (to me at least) whatcha' eating'?

Go Bears!


Flashback to 1990

Hold On by Wilson Philips, Pump Up The Jam from Technotronic and Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul are in the top 20. There is lots of Aqua Net, rolled jeans, layered socks and neon colors. It's a super sexy time.
Well, not for me. I'm in the 7th grade. 7th and 8th grade were my worst years. I had classic middle child syndrome going on mixed in with some heavy duty typical early teen angst. Fun times... lots of fun times.

What is sparking my stroll down memory lane?
Well... this.

I sat down at my kitchen table today with my handy dandy Singer sewing machine and busted out a cover for my e-reader.

After a text to my own personal sewing machine hotline (Thanks Saskija) and a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics for thread that didn't snap, I was in business. An hour later, she was finished. Complete with hidden velcro closure.

Disclaimer: While it appears pretty crooked in these photos it's not in reality. The light on the e-reader makes it lopsided.

I haven't done much sewing since the 7th grade. Back then I made the brightest pair of hot pink nylon shorts I had ever seen. They were AWESOME!
My Grams was always a big sewer. She was even once a high school home ec teacher. When I was a little girl, I was convienced that if I wanted it, Grams could just make it for me for Christmas. Truth was, she would.
I thought I could be like Grams. I could just put some fabric together, throw in a stitch or two and SHABAM! it would come out picture perfect. Mmmm... not so much.

I will say, I have as much skill now as I did then. Pretty nice that I haven't lost any of my mediocre skills in the last 21 years.

Scott had a visit from Josh tonight. Josh quietly snuck into my house with a deer skull hidden in a box. Kate declared it to be "beautiful". I declared it to be dead.

Where were you in 1990? What was important in your life?


I get by with

a little help from my friends.

Kate and I had a little playdate with the Adam and Ryan today so Alli could get a little break from life's responsibilities.

We all need them. A chance to escape whatever is going on in our lives, even if the escape is only for an hour.

A friend has to see when their friend is in need of a break. Has to listen to their cries or if you're friends with me read their rants (I am a strong believer in the text message for those that don't know me in the real world).

The kids played and shared. Working together and having fun. Kate played "mama" and kept everyone following the rules.

She continues to amaze me. Everyday this little wonderful face surprises me with something. In between making herself a princess using her magic wands (her thumbs) she managed to help me in a mini-crisis.

Getting Scott out of bed this afternoon his leg (the bad one) spontaneously and with flourish, started bleeding. I'm not talking "oops got the bandages a little bloody". I'm talking "holly hell, I'm bleeding through ABD's, gauze wrap, ace bandages and ruining the cream colored floor.
I exhausted our rather extensive closet of medical supplies getting it to stop. A little time, lots of pressure and lots of gauze, got things under control.
Not wanting to leave Scott unattended but needing to restock some basics, I called in a friend. Well texted in a friend, really. Anyway, Scott L (aka S12) was happy to run to CVS (Sorry Nicole, Walgreens is farther away) and get us restocked.

During this entire event, Kate was unfazed. She just wanted to put on gloves and help.

In lots of ways, I feel so overwhelmed, under prepared, exhausted, stressed and ready to lose it. But in so many other ways, I feel blessed, grateful and so thankful.

And as I proof reading this post and getting ready to hit send. I was absentmindedly chewing on a straw and broke off my temporary crown on my tooth. If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go beat my head into the wall. For fucks sake.



I am a midwest girl. I love the changing of the seasons, the different temperatures, the different colors, the chance for violent storms. I couldn't be a Naples Florida girl. I would tire of the sun, and standard 80degrees. Don't get me wrong that sounds delightful right about now but in my chest beats a midwest, apple pie, 4 seasons, small town heart.
I will say, I prefer my winters to be the snowy kind. I'm not a fan of gray, slop or brown, dead, yuck. If I'm going to be freezing my tushy off I should at least be able to see something beautiful.
I was so lucky today, I got to immerse myself in the snow. Endless amounts of snow. The snowiest drive I've ever made. More snow than I can even count (though if I had to guess I would say about 2' in most places). Even luckier for me, I got to enjoy it in my happy place. The place that feeds my soul like no other. The place where I can breathe deeply. The place where I can find the courage, strength, love and patience to carry on.

Even with the usually 4 hour long journey (round trip) taking over 6 hours, I feel rejuvenated.
I think we all need to find that "thing" that can take away our worries, even if it's only for a day. If you've read this blog long enough, or known me long enough, you know after a "crisis" I tend to run. I run away from everything. I do whatever I can to completely escape. Stepping back gives me perspective. I can see things better again.
It's so easy to lose the love of life when it seems like all you get is one kick after another. Going away, cleanses me,washing away the toxins and allows me to feel the love again.

2011 has been a rough year already. I needed to put the first 16 days of the year behind me. Starting today January 17, 2011 I will have faith that things can and will get better. I will once again open my heart, my eyes and my soul to what the world has to give me.

Thank you all for the continual love and support you offer. The outpouring of care you all have shown me following my breast post has overwhelmed me.

Someone asked me today if I made a resolution this year. She went on to tell me how she had broken her resolution by January 2nd. Makes me wonder... What was your resolution and have you broken it yet?

Don't you love my badass new hat? Walgreens $7. Can't beat it.


A list of sorts

Some random tidbits from over the weekend.

I suck at Scrabble.

These cupcakes might change your life. I'm pretty sure the frosting alone could create peace in the middle east.

The movie Up is quite possibly the saddest movie ever. And I've seen Beaches and Steel Magnolias.

My kid doing a Michael Jackson impression is pretty hysterical.

Monopoly City is a pretty fun game, even when Kara kicks ass.

I need a break. This wasn't clickable but it's true. Hoping to find some peace for a few hours tomorrow. Not much that can be done on MLK's birthday anyways.

I didn't take a single photo all weekend long. I feel bothered by this.

I don't understand Glee and I can't watch American Idol.

Some random things about me. Tell me something random about you.


Boobs, tatas, the twins, breasts...

Yes, kids I'm going to talk about boobs tonight.

Boys, this is your chance to duck out of this post. Just click the little red x in the corner and come back tomorrow. Trust me when I tell you this will not wow your inner 15 year old boy, it may instead scar you for life. I'll have something more.. um... boy friendly to discuss tomorrow. Go now...

Alright girls. I'm here to tell you. Check your boobies. You need to check them and your doctor needs to check them. Check them well and check them often.

Christmas eve eve (nothing says ho,ho,ho like a ob/gyn playing around) I went in to my ob/gyn for my annual exam. During the exam he found two lumps. One in each breast. The one on the right was quite large and had been causing me some pain (that I had basically been ignoring). The one on the left was smaller and felt like a pea. I hadn't noticed either lump because I wasn't really checking.

The doctor said "if I can feel it, I have to aspirate it."
And so we tried. In his office on January 4th. The large right side lump was a cyst and the doctor was able to drain it successfully. The nurse called it a "bra cup changer". I cried.

Dr. Meyer attempted to drain the smaller, left side lump. He couldn't get it drain and declared it a mass instead of a cyst. Well, shit.

He sent me away with orders for a mammogram and an ultrasound and told me not to wait. The hospital got me in the next day.

Going in for a mammogram at age 33 is an odd experience. I was the youngest person there by 10 years (yes, I snooped at the open computer screen.. shoot me.). The breast care center couldn't have been more wonderful though. There are no men allowed in the entire area. The tv had on chick friendly shows and the waiting room was filled with snacks, treats, coffees, teas, and no outdated Sports Illustrated.

If you've heard people complain about mammograms, don't listen to them. Well, not much anyways. I was fortunate enough to get the new machine for my mammogram. While a little pinchy it wasn't bad and the entire process only lasted about 10 minutes and only 3 of those minutes were spent being squished. Certainly nothing horrible.

The ultrasound was well... an ultrasound. Totally painless. Let's keep in mind too Girls, I had just the day before had two rather large needles stuck into my boobs. So, not a big deal at all.

The radiology doctor didn't like the look of the lump either. Fuck. She wanted to perform an ultrasound guided core biopsy. Alrighty then, lets stick more needles into my boobs.

The next Tuesday (this past Tuesday the 11th) I had my core biopsy. Again, so not a big deal. Basically painless. I was restricted for lifting for 24 hours so Mom took Kate and Scott stayed in bed for the day but I really felt fine. The most uncomfortable part was the compression dressing they put on that felt like a very large, misplaced piece of underwire digging into me.

I was told I would hear test results either yesterday or today at the latest. My constant companion (the black cloud) insured that I had to wait until today to get my test results.
The words "benign fibroid adenoma" are such sweet, magical words.

There will be a 6month follow up mammogram and ultrasound and then for the rest of my life I will have mammograms every year if not every six months.

I have an extensive family history of breast cancer. I've lost family from it and I have family that have survived it. I know that should my good news ever change to bad news I will have caught it early because I will forever be obsessed with checking on my tatas.

I encourage you to do the same. The hardest part of this entire nightmare has been the waiting. None of the procedures were hard, painful or all that traumatic. The worrying, waiting and knowing that the few people that knew about this were worried too, was by far the worst part.

I feel poorly for not sharing this with you all in real time. I share so easily with Scott but I just couldn't. I couldn't handle the "pressure" of sharing. I needed to handle it on my own, in my own way, in my own time.

Take one thing from my story, go play with your boobs. Knowing that if things were bad, I caught it early was the only thing that kept me sane.

So, go forth and play. Then call your doctor and ask them to play too.

Brandi aka
Lumpy Boobs


Wants vs. Needs

I want a grande passion tea lemonade sweetened.
I need a grande non-fat, no whip cinnamon dolce every am.

I want a landscaper named Juan that wears white sleeveless t-shirts and manicures my lawn while showing off his David Beckham like physique.
I need a little help from friends, and neighbors to chip in when they can.

I want a calibrated macbook pro.
I need a basic pc that will connect to the internet.

I want a personal trainer.
I need to be personally accountable for getting my lazy ass up and doing more.

I want a new wardrobe.
I need to rock what I've got, donate the clothes that will never fit again.

I want my Grams homemade (with the right vanilla) chocolate cake.
I need to tell my Grams that I love and appreciate her.

I want a week in my happy place.
I need a day trip to my happy place.

I want a maid.
I need to get organized.

What is your want or need?


I'm part of a band


Kate informed me today on our drive home from Grandma and Papa's house that she's going to turn 5, go to kindergarten, and sing on the radio.
I told her that was a great idea and said she should start practicing her singing.

"I know Mama, I will. Don't worry you can come with me to the radio. You and Grammy and Papa and Uncle and Uncle Matty and Auntie Blue. Oh and Daddy."

me -"Wow Kate thanks for letting all of us come with you."

"You can play the instruments. Mom, you play the piano. Grammy can play the guitar. Um.. Papa, he can play the other piano."

me -"That's quite a band you have."

"No, mom that's not all of dem. Uncle he playing the bongos. Uncle Matty he gonna play the other guitar cuz we need lots of guitars. Umm... Auntie Blue I think, she can play the horn."

me- "What about Daddy?"

"Um, he can play the guitar too. Uncle Matty can help if he get to tired."

me- "And you're going to sing?"

"Well, and I um, play the drums with the symbols. I like the noise it go *crash,crash*."

So there you have it... move over Partridge Family.

*Photos taken from our Iowa hotel stay and have no relevance what so ever to this story. I just wanted to share them. Giddy up*


There's one in every bunch

Or in my family, there is one normal person in the bunch... and I'm it. Well, that's what I tell myself anyways. All the voices in my head agree with me and they are never wrong.
We are so fortunate to have my extended family. Everyone is so well mannered and civilized.
When we all gather around for holiday functions we play enthralling games of chess

and work on our masterpieces. Sharing tips and offering advice and guidance.

So sane and normal.

Ok, so forget everything I said before. We're loud, obnoxious, gossipy and hilarious.

While the generation before mine and my generation are already doomed. There is hope for the younger ones.
My beautiful second cousin Amity has a soft gentleness to her that makes everyone love her.

Kate and her "bestest cousin friend" Talise are going to cure cancer, solve world hunger and give us peace in the middle east. Right after they get finished sharing their Barbies.

As a point of references Talise is 4 weeks older than Kate. Yes, my kid is an amazon.

All joking aside, I have a wonderful extended family. They are always there with kind words, encouragement and they will be the first people to call me on my shit. What more can a girl ask for from family?

For those keeping track of illnesses in the Witt house, Scott is the winner at 0 (except for all his underlying issues and the osteomyelitis). Kate holds the silver medal with her strep throat that is well on it's way to gone. I am the big fat freaking loser with a round of stomach flu, followed up with a nasty cold and more doctors appointments and tests already in 2011 than in all of 2010. I am a LOSER!


My Bed

I have a beautiful, queen size, cherry finish sleigh bed. It's got a thick, comfy pillow top mattress, clean sheets and a fluffy down comforter on it. I've missed it terribly.
So glad to be home from our Iowa trip. I LOVE my family and it was terrific to see so many of them for our Reese family Christmas celebration but my bed... it's the bomb.
Do you think it would be too much to pack up my bed next time we travel and take it with? Might as well pack up Scott's bed too because let me tell you having Scott in a non-hospital bed is a royal pain in the ass (both his and mine). Good thing Kate loves her kid sized air mattress, a small U-Haul should be enough.

Special thanks to my dad for driving all 14 hours of our trip. Additional thanks to my mom for helping me entertain Miss K in the car for those 14 hours. Special recognition to Disney for making the Disney Princess Stories which played steadily on the in-car DVD.
Last but certainly not least, to my husband and my father... this song, is never to be played again. Even if Kate is the one requesting it.

We heard this song so much this weekend Kate knows all the words and has her own little dance to it. Sigh...

Proper homage paid to the photos taken along our little journey tomorrow. For now, I must conquer the laundry beast that has yet again firmly entrenched itself in my home.


Pay back

I took a few hours for myself this afternoon. I had lunch with a great friend who knows me so well, that I've been missing terribly. I shopped alone. I had an afternoon latte.
It was delightful.

Now... well... payback is a bitch.


The 40,000 Gallon Jug

I will not whine in this post... I hope.

I will show you a little bit of what's been going on around the Casa de Witt.
Looky kids it's Christmas time again.

We had such a great Christmas. I got my Christmas morning wish. Kate loved her easel from Santa. The absolute best part was her face when she saw the empty plate of cookies and bottle of water.
"He was here. Santa was here and he ate the cookies!"

Everything this Christmas was large sized.

Large on fun, large on laughs and large on love.

We played games like Scrabble

and Hide The Uncle Matty.

And when Scott and Dad ended up with these letters, we looked the other way so they could switch. Right after we laughed, pointed, and photographed the moment.

We gave gifts that warmed hearts more than they broke wallets.

Isn't that what the holiday is really about?

We couldn't stop with Christmas. After breaking Scott out of Rush we rolled on to New Years with Kara's (aka Auntie Blue) famous prime rib.
Scott is being sent to rehab for his um... problem with the prime rib.

Kara even fancied up the table for us all to enjoy.

All the little details... making sure every moment could be savored.

I really wish I hadn't been feeling so poorly. I missed so many great photos.

I don't have S4 antagonizing my mom's cat. Or Kate sitting on Jen's lap at bingo. Nothing of Bonnie sipping her wine and talking about "butta." But, not having one of the whole group eating, or later when we played bingo for our gift card exchange... really makes me sad.

The holidays are mostly done. The tree is still up but that's a bi-product of my being sick and being far to cranky to take it down without breaking everything.

Everyone here is starting to feel better. Things are slowly returning to our version of normal. There are a few things that have been going on that have really piled on a healthy dose of extra stress. I have an appointment next Tuesday that will give me some much needed answers. I can't worry about things until then. I can embrace life, love more and spend more time with the people that I love so much. That is really all any of us can do.

Oh, and I have to share the single funniest moment in my life.
On new years day, during our holiday celebration, my mom showed Jen and I the Victoria Secret bath gel, body spray and lotion she got for Christmas from a friend.
Kate asked if she could smell it. Then asked if she could wear it. Both of her requests were granted.
I look at the bottle and realize the body spray is called "Seduction". We all laugh. That alone was funny enough.
Fast forward to this mornings bath time (4 days and 2 baths later). Kate starts crying, full on 3.5 year old meltdown and says "I can't take a bath." When I ask why she tells me
"It will wash my seduction off."

Yep, I died and promptly put her in a bath to wash the seduction off of her until she's 35.