My pink ribbon story

imageLike pretty much everything in life I’m either all the way in or all the way out. Well, except when it comes to religion. But that’s a whole other story! Like I’ve previously stated that goes for TV too. I don’t watch many shows, but the ones I do watch I am very loyal to.

NBC aired this little medical drama between the years of 1994 to 2009. You may have heard of it. It was called…..ER. Okay, I know how big is was! George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, John Stamos, etc, etc, etc. It also starred Maura Tierney as Abby in the mid to later episodes. I loved Abby! I loved her wit, I loved her attitude, I loved her bad luck! And as we all know I have a tendency to name kids after beloved TV favorites (Don’t judge, we all gain inspirations in different ways!), we discussed the name Abigail for a girl. But after 3 valiant attempts at getting pregnant with a girl we have been blessed with 3 healthy, intelligent, beyond beautiful boys. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world or the next, but Abby just didn’t seem like a fitting name for any of them! So last fall when we adopted the sweetest little girl cat, Abby was an easy choice for a name. And because this mommy has 3 little boys who stole every brain cell in her head, I forgot to get her fixed in time and Abby got pregnant with a litter of 4 little babies. I allowed my older kids to name 2 of them, and I went on to name the other 2 Neela and Luca. I thought I was hilarious!

ANYWAY…..where was I? (Remember, crazy intelligent kids have resumed ownership of all remaining brain cells, including the ones that help me stay on one subject!) What I didn’t know about loving this character for so many years was is that it would someday come in handy for saving my life. A year after ER ended, back in 2010, Maura Tierney appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show to talk about her battle with breast cancer. (I was going to add the youtube link of the interview so everyone can see it for themselves, but I can’t seem to find it. I did, however, add a link I found of the end of the interview. Which I will reference to later) I was very taken back by her interview. She was young and healthy. She didn’t fit any “breast cancer category” so to speak. But there she was talking about her terrifying ordeal. I was pregnant with our 2nd son at the time and asked a nurse a my next prenatal exam about getting a mammogram done. She told me that because of my age and since I had no risk factors my insurance would probably not cover a mammogram at that point in my life. She also told me that I shouldn’t worry to much because my breasts would been naturally more dense and lumpy feeling at my age. So I stopped worrying and moved on. 2 years later, in the summer of 2012, I found a lump in my breast. But of course my 1st instinct was to ignore it and go on believing what I was told by that nurse. But then that interview popped in my head. And it kept popping in my head over and over. So I went to my doctor and had my first mammogram. I remember so well sitting in the waiting room in my little pink gown with all the other women who seemed so much older than me. A lump was detected and I immediately had an ultrasound. The ultrasound led to a biopsy, which holy hell did that hurt! The biopsy was inconclusive. So I had a lumpectomy which led to the diagnosis of a rare rapidly forming tumor. I had just turned 31 years old. The months after are a blur of medications, treatments, and surgeries. (A mastectomy and a full reconstruction.) I spent so many sleepless nights worrying. I was scared for my future, worried for my kids. My father passed away when I was 7. I know how difficult it is to grow up without a parent and  I would never wish that on any child. But I had an amazing group of doctors, family, and friends rooting for me. Even my Grandmother, who was 95 at the time, helped out with the kids. The best was the day my 18 month old came home wearing a depend! I had my late night Mike and Molly reruns and my Katy Perry music. And I had that interview. Today I am healthy thanks to that interview. I’m so grateful for it.

Naturally after I was better I wrote to tell The Ellen DeGeneres Show my whole story. In fact, I wrote a lot of times! And 2 years ago, when  I was pregnant with Micah, I got a call from a producer! We chatted over the phone and skype for several days and I’ll admit I was getting pretty excited about the possibility of getting to share this extraordinary story with so many people. I imagined all the women my age who could be inspired to listen to the instincts and get a mammogram. And of course there was also the chance to get to say thank you to Ellen in person. But one day the phone calls stopped. And suddenly no one would return my calls or emails. Todd and I were both so sad. So we took a chance and did something crazy. I flew to LA, 7 months pregnant, to try and get stand by Ellen tickets. I knew if I could get in the door someone would listen to this story. Unfortunately, I never got in the door. The trip wasn’t all bad. I went to a Mike and Molly taping and let Reno Wilson and Katy Mixon feel my belly! And I got to hang out with my sister from another mother Ashley! But I was pretty broken hearted about not getting my chance to share this story.

I’ve moved on obviously! I’m raising my boys and driving car pools and breaking up fights! And I’m in school now studying with the BYU pathways program. My life isn’t glamourous, although its never dull! But every night I thank God for it. And I hope someday I get the chance to thank Maura Tierney and Ellen in person. But until then I know the best thing I can do is keep on keeping on!

 

For Marie…..I’ll never forget you.

What’s in a name

I have 3 sons. Like every other child born, we chose names for them based on reasons that were important or sentimental to us. But over the years there has been speculation on where my boys names came from. Mainly because my husband likes to tell them and other people incorrect reasons for their names. So once and for all, as the person who gave birth to these children and ultimately decided on these names, I’m clearing up the questions!

Benson Timothy: Benson is our oldest son. He’s our miracle. He was born after years of tears and prayers. When I found out I was pregnant with him I knew there was a strong little soul in me. He fought to be here as much as we fought to get him here. And he needed the perfect name to go along with that soul. His middle name, Timothy, was easy. I always knew if I ever had a son his middle name would be Timothy after my father. My father was one of the strongest, hard working, most passionate people I’ve ever known. Even if I only knew him for 7 years of my life. But coming up with a first name was harder. Contrary to popular belief, mainly because my husband thinks its funny to tell people, Benson was NOT named after LDS Prophet Ezra Taft Benson. Don’t get me wrong, I loved President Benson. He was a wonderful man and the first Prophet I really remember listening to growing up. But its not why I chose the name. Also I didn’t name him after the town Benson, UT.  I always loved the name Ben. But it seemed like more of a nickname. I was going through a major Law and Order: SVU phase at the time. Well, I’m still going through it! I just love Olivia and the strong woman she is. One night after watching an episode it hit me. Benson! Benson after Olivia Benson. Yes, I named my son after a fictional female detective! But fictional or not, she is so strong and a hero of mine. And Benson fits him. He’s strong willed, tough, determined. Benson was the perfect name for him.

Kaleb Scott: Kaleb is our middle son. He was our surprise baby. After it took us 7 years to get his older brother here, we did not think we had to be careful. If you know what I mean! So Kaleb came 21 months after Benson. Kaleb is quirky, very artistic, and independent. Todd and I went back and forth with the name Kaleb when I was pregnant with Benson. So choosing Kaleb wasn’t easy. The spelling was more of a challenge. But why did we choose to name him Kaleb with a K? Because I’m a jerk! Seriously! I chose to use a K instead of a C because I didn’t want him to have the same initials as my brother. Pregnancy did not bring the kindest person out of me and I was being a jerk! BUT….I do believe now the K fits him. He does not fit a mold so to speak. He is absolutely an individual. So maybe it was divine intervention…..but probably I’m just mean! I really was a raging maniac while pregnant! We chose the middle name Scott for 2 reasons. 1st Scott is Todd’s dad’s middle name. And since Benson is named after my dad it was really only fair! But Scott meant something to me too. When I was in high school Jeremy came into my life. He had already graduated and often helped out with the marching band. We would sing Green Day songs on the way to competitions. When I think of him I still smile. I was so in love with him, I was sure I’d marry him someday! But just a few months after I graduated Jeremy was killed in a car accident. I was devastated. It broke my heart. A few months after Jeremy died I met Todd. The day Todd asked me out for the first time I struggled with saying yes. Not because I didn’t like him, but because my heart was so broken still. But driving home that night mine and Jeremy’s favorite song, Good Riddence, came on the radio. I knew Jeremy was giving me a little nudge. And the rest is history! Jeremy’s middle name was Scott. So giving Kaleb the same middle name is my tribute and thank you to Jeremy. So Scott is a special name!

Micah Andrew: Micah is our rainbow baby. He is our baby we had after breast cancer and 2 miscarriages. And boy is he a firery one with bright red hair to match! I was sure he was my girl and chose the name Molly Kate pretty early on. But when I was about 10 weeks along a friend of mine came by. She’s a Jehovah’s Witness and stops by every once in a while to share a scripture. That day she asked me to a verse out of the book of Micah. The name Micah hit me like a punch in the face! I knew that was our boy name….if it was a boy! A week later I had a dream we had a son and named Micah and when I told Todd about it he loved the name. And obviously he came out a boy! We decided to not continue using family names as middle names. Todd didn’t want to use his first name and I refused to use his middle name. The guy’s middle name is Ferris, can you really blame me? So we decided to just come up with an alternative. When I was just about ready to deliver Kaleb one of my favorite actors, John Dye, passed away. I really admired him. I always dreamed I’d get to meet him someday.  He was a Christian actor, mostly known for his role of Andrew on Touched by an Angel. Can you see where this is going? But we had already chosen Kaleb’s name and I didn’t want to change it. But Andrew just seemed perfect for little Micah. Yet again I named a baby after a fictional TV character. But its a good name and I love it!

There you go folks! Those are the REAL reasons my sons have the names they do. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. It’s on the internet now, so it’s set in stone!

We are NOT alone

Every married couple experiences this situation in one way or another over the period of their marriage. But I have to admit, I was so not ready for this to happen to us!

One night after finally get the kiddies to bed Todd indicated he was interested in having a little “adult playtime” if you catch my drift! Being the kind wife I am, I agreed even though I was exhausted! Of course our little 18 month old co-sleeping fan was in my bed but we figured it would be ok to just scoot him over a bit. But soon into the “playdate” we decided we should move him to his crib, which is in the corner of my bedroom right now. (P.S. He is moving to his own room now that its finally done!) Already out of my clothes I carefully put him in his bed. But as I was doing this I noticed there was a very warm blanket in between the crib and the laundry basket. I was pretty concerned about why it was so warm since obviously in 100 degree weather our heater isn’t on. So I started feeling the blanket and discovered a head was underneath it! Our 7 year old had somehow snuck into the bedroom without us seeing him and was hiding under a blanket in the bedroom! I started to silently panic as I didn’t want him to se my current attire and/or what was going on in the room! I whispered to my husband “Um honey, we are NOT alone!” He was really confused so I said it a few more times before I finally yelled “grab me a blanket!” Of course that woke up the baby and startled both the hiding child and Todd! He screamed, threw me a blanket, and quickly grabbed the seven year old to haul him out of there! He ran back in the room and locked the door but our sweet child started knocking and demanded to know what we were doing. Between his knocking, the baby crying, and the sheer humiliation of the entire situation, lets just say the mood was over!

Timothy Green was here

On May 17th, 1989 my dad, Timothy Green, passed away suddenly at the age of 38. I was 7 years old at the time. The day started out as a beautiful spring day. I woke up for school feeling sick. I had recently had some health problems so I was allowed to stay home. I wish I hadn’t. My dad came home for lunch like he did everyday in between his multiple jobs. I remember greeting him and then falling asleep on the couch. When I woke up he was slumped over in his chair and my mom was in the other room calling 911. I watched him take his last breath and he was gone. My mom tried everything she could do. Then the EMTs came and did everything they could do. But there was nothing anyone could do. I remember very vividly waiting with the neighbor kids for my mom and dad to come back. But when my Grandpa arrived first I knew something was wrong. Not long after my mom came home to say he had died. The days after are just a blur. Family and friends coming into town, food and casseroles being delivered. Seeing my father in his casket and having to say goodbye, not really understanding the impact this event was going to forever have on me.

My dad was amazing. He was intelligent and inquisitive and full of life. He taught us about things like art, literature, and the opera. I remember one time he turned on one of his opera records and he pretended that he was leading the opera as my little brother and I happily jumped on the couch to the music! He taught us about past presidents and politics. The 2 of us watched every debate between George Bush Sr. and Michael Dukakis. And may I say, he would be appalled by our current election! And even though he lacked confidence in himself he was a dreamer. I got that from him. Nothing was really impossible if you put your mind to it. He worked so hard to support us, but always had time to play or wrestle. Every night when it was bedtime he would get down on all fours and let us ride him like a horse to bed. I always got to sit on his back and made my brother ride on his legs! He used to sing this song to me. I think it was from the nutcracker. Or maybe 12 dancing princesses. I can still remember the tune. Not long before he died we had an earthquake. I was so scared it would happen again and refused to sleep on the top bunk in case an earthquake knocked it over in the night. He made a bed for me on the floor and stayed with me until I fell asleep. When he died he left a hole in my life. I longed so much for a father growing up. Even just a father figure who could hold me and talk to me like he did. Who could tell me that everything was going to be alright, even when everything in my world was telling me something different. That longing has never gone away. As I’ve grown up I’ve really discovered that. No matter what age you are, a girl really needs her daddy. And mine isn’t here. I still would love a father figure in my life. Someone to reassure me and tell me I’m ok. To give me advice when I don’t know who else to turn to. To just give me a good dad hug! Those are so wonderful and I always welcome them when they come along! Last summer I saw a little girl at the pool hugging her dad. I almost started to cry! I wanted to tell her to never let go, to hold on for dear life. I was so jealous of her! People used to say that my dad completed his mission on earth early and God called him home because of that. I hated when people said that! He wasn’t done here. He had 3 kids who needed him. It drives me nuts when people tell me that still to this day!

My dad died of a disease called Marfan Syndrome. It is a most often genetic disease that in his case caused his aortic anyerism. He was there, and then he was gone. It was just that simple. Because Marfan Syndrome is so genetic, all three of us kids were tested for it after he died. And we were retested every year at Primary Children’s until we turned 18. I have also taken all 3 of my kids to be tested. And my sister’s daughter and soon to be born new baby will be tested as well. One of my sons does show signs of the disease and will need to be watched until he reaches adulthood. If my father hadn’t died from Marfan Syndrome, none of us would have ever known about it. Until it affected one of us. Or one of our children. I have always believed dad took one for the team. His death was not in vain. His death was to help the generations of people that would come after him.

Most of you know in 2012 I was diagnosed with a rare type of breast tumor. In order to get healthy I had to undergo a mastectomy and total reconstruction. I lost one of my nipples because of it and have a large scar instead. My plastic surgeon strongly has advised me to get a tattoo over the scar. He said it was really important for the healing process, both physically and mentally. But I had never gotten a tattoo and didn’t really ever consider getting one. In fact, I’ve always been taught not to. So the thought of getting a large tattoo over an already sensitive scar was pretty terrifying. So my surgeon had a 2nd suggestion. Get a smaller tattoo in a less sensitive area. That way I know what to prepare for. I’ve thought about it for 2 years. It’s so permanent, how could I ever choose something that would always be with me. Then last winter I found one of my dad’s old journals. And in the front cover was his signature. It hit me right then, that’s my tattoo! A little piece of my dad to carry around with me the rest of my life. And finally, as a present to myself on my 35th birthday, I got that tattoo! And guess what?! It wasn’t that bad! I know not everyone will agree with my decision to do this. But to me it feels right and was the best move for me. I will cherish this tattoo and all it represents.

I will always miss him. I will always long for a dad in my life. I will always feel that piece of my heart he took with him. I may even always be searching for that father figure. But from now on there a little reminder on my right shoulder that Timothy Green was here.

 

A shout out to ABC4 Utah

My 35th birthday is rapidly approaching and I’m not thrilled about it. I know that 35 isn’t that old, especially to people who are older! But for me, who has the brain of an 18 year old, becoming “middle aged” is a terrifying thought! So my birthday has made me start thinking about my past a lot. One thing about me is I love the news and current events. I want to know when, where, and what is happening all the time! I can remember dates and times of most of the events I’ve studied. For example, we were recently watching a movie called “The space between” starring Melissa Leo. Good movie by the way! Anyway, it was about this grounded flight attendant after 9/11. In one scene she is sitting in a bar telling the bartender that pretty soon nobody was going to remember this event just like everything else that has ever happened. He didn’t believe her. So she asked him if he knew what had happened on April 19, 1995. He had no idea, but I knew! Without even thinking I stated that that was the day the Oklahoma City bombing happened. My husband was kind of shocked! But I love stuff like that. And my favorite place to get the news has always been from ABC4 right here in Utah.
My parents have been watching ABC4 since I was a baby. I remember very clearly when I was 7 hearing that Lucille Ball had died on ABC4 and my father remarking what a great loss it was. He passed away himself only a few months later. When I was 12 I loved anchor Kimberly Perkins. She was smart and beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. On the Mickey Mouse club kids could write in and talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Then the show would team them up with someone in that profession so they could learn all about it. I wrote to them twice asking for them to team me up with Kimberly Perkins so I could learn about being a news anchor…..and get to meet her! They never responded. Jerks! I recently found an old video recording I made of The Commish when I was 14 or 15. There was a recorded ABC4 newscast with Brent Hunsaker on it. Man, he was there a long time! Then when I was in college at Utah State University, Dan Pope came to speak at the Institute. I was SO excited! Todd and I had just gotten married and I made him come with me! I don’t remember anything that was said, but I definitely remember being so star struck!
With the exception of the 4 years we lived in Arizona and Nevada, I’ve continued to watch ABC4 into my adulthood. And now I have a little news fan son of my own. He’s the only 7 year I know who comes home from school and asks to watch the news! And his favorite anchors are Don Hudson and Kim Fischer. If one of them is off for the day he notices and demands to know where they are. One time I was watching Dr. Phil and just let the channel 2 news run after it was over. When he saw that another news was on he accused me of being a news traitor and changed it back! Last spring I got to meet Don Hudson when I attended Comic con. He was really sweet and took the time to chat with me. He even hopped a table to take a picture with me! I went down because I wanted to meet Dean Cain aka Superman. But while waiting to meet him I wandered around pretty terrified and found solace at the ABC4 booth. My son was so jealous! He still asks to see the picture we took together all the time. He was much more impressed that I met Don Hudson than Superman!
Okay, I’ll be honest with you. They’re my favorite too! Thanks to the wonderful world of Social Networking we now get the opportunity to correspond with people on a whole new level. And both Don Hudson and Kim Fischer have been SO nice and fun to talk to. Recently I asked Don if he had to stay late when the republican convention went long. He immediately sent a picture back of him looking oh so thrilled to still be there! They have been really sweet and its so appreciated. I was practically giddy when Don Hudson started following me on twitter! Haha! (ABC4 meteorologist Alana Brophy follows me too. She has the sweetest calming voice. But behind the scenes is hilarious! Just tonight she mentioned my tweet on the air and made my night! She’s fantastic as well!) But anyone who knows me knows if you’re good to me I’ll be your loyal friend for life. And they have been very good to me.
Utah and I have a very love/hate relationship. Being the mother of 3 boys, I love the safety and the community. There are a few thing I don’t love too. We’ll just leave it at that! But having that loyal friendship with ABC4 has made it a lot easier to be here! So thanks guys, this shout out is for you!

THE story

I think every blog has one. The story that started it all. Even if we’ve wanted to write a blog for a long time there usually is that one story, that one incident, that can turn a thought into reality. For me, this story is why I came up with the name My Sitcom Family. Stuff like this belongs on a sitcom. Or even better, a American Pie spin off movie! Its something I could never make up on my own. And its just too good not to share! Why haven’t I already you ask?! Because I was not the only one involved in this incident. In fact, I was more the supporting actress. The star of this incident was my poor unsuspecting husband! But finally after me begging he has agreed for the sake of the blog to let me share it! So here we go people! Just remember, all of the events I’m about to describe are real and did happen!

Last fall our washing machine decided to pull the plug on itself and leave this world. It wasn’t a shocking death by any means. We had been shoving pencils in it to make it remember to go into the spin cycle for years. No pencil in our house was ever safe. I, on more than one occasion, had to comfort a child who’s new prize pencil from school had been swiped up by Todd to meet its final doom as an extra washing machine piece. I even shed a few tears myself when Todd used the Rosie O’Donnell Show pencil I had had since high school in it! So we had been expecting this for a while. Unfortunately that is all we expected and not all that happened. After putting our big kids to bed while I rocked our baby to sleep, Todd decided to try and give  our washing machine one more breath of life. Now bless Todd’s heart, he is so good at so many things. He is crazy smart, well loved and respected, and a great dad! But the poor guy couldn’t fix something if his life depended on it! So soon after he voyaged down to the laundry room he started screaming for help. I ran down as found him standing sopping wet while a literal guyser came gushing out of the machine, drenching everything within 10 feet of it! He had tried to shut off the water AFTER the waterworks started but the handle broke in his efforts. I knew we had to shut off the main water valve to the house, but neither of us knew how. He told me to go find help and I headed for the door. Now picture me soaking wet, barefoot, running through the streets of our neighborhood at 10:30 at night looking for a house with a light on. Finally I banged on our neighbors a few houses down, scaring the pee out of the poor wife, and begged for help. Luckily I knocked on the right door. The husband knew exactly what to do and had our water off in 30 seconds. We love him still! Then Todd and I sopped up water until around midnight until we were longer swimming at least! I started to go to bed when Todd started complaining that he really needed to go to the bathroom. And it was not going to be just a pee trip if you know what I mean. But there was no way I was going to turn the water back on until we could get the handle fixed on the washer faucet. I suggested he just poured water in the toilet to flush it, but he didn’t want to risk it. So then I suggested he walked over to hospital ER, which is only a block from our house, and used the bathroom there. But he didn’t really want to do that. So finally I told him to go get a shovel, go to the very edge of our property (we have a big yard) and do what he needed to do. He went outside and sheepishly returned 20 minutes later, making me promise we would never talk about it again! I promised and forgot about it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the story! The next day we got everything fixed and the water turned back on. I had volunteered to help carve pumpkins for our local Halloween pumpkin walk so that afternoon I got the boys all set up to help me carve a dozen pumpkins. We soon attracted a large group of neighborhood girls to help out. There were about 10 of us all sitting around carving when Todd got home from work. I had thrown the dog in the backyard like I do most afternoons and when Todd opened the garage door our dog, a 10 pound mini poodle named Piper, bounced out from behind the door absolutely CAKED in something. It took us about 2 seconds before we looked at each other absolutely horrified, knowing exactly what it was. Yes folks, that damn dog had dug up Todd’s “deposit” and had rolled in it! And now Piper was weaving in and out of the girls, making everyone scream and gag in the process! Luckily, the girls thought she had rolled in her own poop, sparing Todd some embarrassment for the time being. We started chasing after her, arguing who was going to clean her as we ran. Finally poor Todd snatched her and started the destinking process. He scrubbed that dog over and over again. But every time she would start to dry we would realize the smell was still there. So I went to PetSmart and asked a clerk where the best deodorizing shampoo was. She remarked that it depended on what the smell was. I simply said “She rolled in poop.” And the clerk said “Oh dog poop is an easy one!” A feeling of pure dread entered my mind as I knew I was going to have to tell her the truth or risk living with a stinky dog forever. I said “Um….its actually human poop!” The look she gave me was classic! She showed me their selection of “special shampoos” and quickly rushed away from me. To this day I still don’t blame her! I got home and to my utter dismay not only had Todd let Piper in the house again, but he had not noticed that she had crawled up on a pile of clean folded laundry, where she was happily snoozing. Now I had stayed what I feel to be pretty calm about the whole situation up to that point. And for those of you who know me, that’s not always something I can say I did. I am a high strung anxiety ridden woman who also carries the curse of the Green Family (my maiden name) temper. So when I saw that stupid dog sitting on something that took me all day to accomplish, lets just say I lost it! I couldn’t even tell you now that phrases that came out of my mouth. But what I do know is that none of them were child appropriate and all I can hope is that the little ears that live in my house didn’t hear them! And my ever patient husband who is too used to this side of me barely looked up from the computer and said “Oh yeah, get down Piper.” I still can’t believe he did that! I scrubbed that dog for a good hour that night, and the smell finally did go away. And Todd rewashed all the laundry! We will never forget that day. Who could really?! And it hasn’t been spoken of since in our home…..until today!

American Housewife

There is a new show starting on ABC called American Housewife. I am SO excited for it! The previews are hilarious and it looks so well written. I have 100% confidence that this show is going to be huge! Like bigger than Modern Family huge! And even though I’ve already found a million reasons to fall in love with this show, I’ve narrowed it down to my top 2!

 

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1. I am an American Housewife. I can relate so much with this show already. Not only that, I am a chunky American housewife! My 20s were so good to me. I had a modeling contract and could eat whatever I wanted. My 30s have not been as kind! I look at food and gain weight! It’s just sad! I’ve mastered the laying down to get my jeans zipped up technique! And my children are well…..children. And even more they are boys! They destroy everything in their path, eat me out of house and home, and fight to the death! Seriously, I don’t even come running anymore unless I see blood! I have sat on pee on the toilet seat every single day since my oldest was potty trained. And honestly, I’ve gotten to the point that pee on the toilet seat is welcomed over one of them forgetting to flush! They have colorful language (that they may or may not have picked up from their frazzled mommy), they laugh when they fart, and no matter how many times I bathe them they smell like butt and old cheese! But they’re my whole life. They’re the reason I get out of bed. I’d die for them in a heartbeat. I literally think I’m going to lose my mind all day, but every night when I pray I thank God for them. Its funny how motherhood can do that to you! I’ve dealt with kids toys that talk when nobody touches them, and even scarily when kids decide to sleep walk the night you’re watching paranormal activity alone in the dark! I just recently had a mother of the year moment when I couldn’t figure out why my 16 month old was so irritable….for a whole week…..only to find out he’s got a double ear infection when I finally took him to the doctor. I’ve pulled grimy fruit snacks off my couch and scraped gum off my car window. Each day is full of new adventures, whether they’re wanted or not!  I also face the criticism and judgement of other mothers. Most of it isn’t intentional really. But some of it is. There is the mom here or there that really just wants you to feel bad and will look for any imperfection they can find on you or your kids to destroy any of shred of self confidence you may have. My favorite has always been when they tell me to my face that girls are better than boys. As if I am some lower form of a human being for only birthing boys. They don’t even go after anything I have control over! But what they don’t know (or maybe they do) is that I myself judge me more harshly then they ever could. I’m not as skinny as other moms. I’m not pretty like the other moms. The list goes on and on and on. That’s the sad reality right there. So this show about an imperfect mom with imperfect family living in a seemingly perfect world speaks loud and clear to me.

 

 

 

2. The other reason might already be clear to my closest friends. American Housewife stars the beautiful Katy Mixon. Yes, the same Katy Mixon from Mike and Molly. I LOVE Katy Mixon! (Duh!) The months following my diagnosis of my tumor were some of the most trying months of my life. I was so sick and so scared. I have a great family who helped out so much. But sometimes the long nights were so lonely. I started watching Mike and Molly during those long nights and Katy’s character Victoria became my best friend. As pathetic as that sounds! When I was scared she was there to make me laugh. When I got better all I wanted to do was go to a taping so I could see her in person. And she exceeded every expectation I could have ever had and was so amazing to me. She took pictures with me and took time to really talk to me. Thinking back to that makes me tear up a bit. She really made me feel special. I have not so secretly dreamed ever since that she would want to be my friend. We went to an art show last summer and they had a giant dream catcher that people could write down their dreams and stick in to the dream catcher. Somewhere in the universe right now there is a giant dream catcher with a tiny note shoved in it that simply says “I wish Katy Mixon wanted to be my friend.” I should note whole cast has blown me away with their kindness. I’ve gotten to know another cast member, Reno Wilson, because of the show as well. We bonded over spinning and now every time I’m in LA I have to stop by YAS Silverlake and take a spin class with him and his wife Coco. If you are ever in LA you must try Coco’s spinning class!! I hurt for a week the first time I did it but she is the most incredible spin instructor I have ever taken a class from.  Last time I was there Coco and I had a conversation over tea about how we have to let our kids make decisions  in life, no matter how much we want to tell that what to do forever. I have thought of the conversation so many times since then. They have both been incredibly inviting and accepting of me and I hope they know how much that has meant. But when I found out the show was ending I rushed out to see a taping so I could say goodbye to her. I wanted to give her the necklace I received when I became tumor free to say thank you to her. And someday maybe I’ll be able to forgive the stupid security guard who took it from me and didn’t let me actually talk to her. I can only hope that she even gave her the necklace. ANYWAY…..She is such a genuine, sweet person who’s compassion made such an impact on me. I have not a doubt in my mind that this show is going to make her a household name. She is going to shine and she’s going to be huge. I bet she’ll even be on Ellen next season! If she never wants to know me I hope at least she knows how proud of her I am. And how so happy I am for her and this new adventure. You deserve nothing but success and happiness, Katy!

So there it is folks! Set your DVRs now! Coming soon to a Tuesday evening near your on ABC!

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. For a long time Mother’s Day was one of the worst days of the year for me. We were going through infertility and mother’s day felt like it was created just to break my heart all over again. It was an especially difficult during the years that I lived away from my own mother. We went through 7 years of fertility and every Mother’s day dug deeper and deeper into me as the years went by. One time I was especially sensitive to the holiday as I  had missed my period and thought I was pregnant. I discovered I was not at church, right between listening to all the children sing to their moms and when they handed out gifts to all the mothers. I was crushed, broken, hurting  more than I knew how to express. That night I couldn’t sleep and finally left the bedroom to watch TV. When I turned it on it was on the BYU channel. I immediately rolled my eyes in pure Amy fashion! After the day we had had at church I could not imagine anything church related helping me at that time. But I didn’t change the channel right away because Sheri Dew was speaking. She is by far my favorite speaker, she always has been. She has always been able to put things in perspective for me. It was her famous “We are all mothers” talk and I felt like she was speaking directly to me. Her words gave me comfort that got me through that trying night.

Fast forward to just a few years ago. My mother’s day had gone from heartache and sadness to little homemade cards and flowers picked directly from my garden! It was nothing glamourous, but it was exactly what I had longed to have for so many years. But because of those years before I hurt for the women who might still be going through what we did. That’s when we started our family tradition of buying flowers for some of our friends and neighbors who may be silently hurting that day. It started out as just a few, and this year we gave away 12 roses. If you can imagine my little boys walked up to these women and wished them a Happy Mother’s Day and they threw the rose at them and hid behind me. I don’t know if it brightened their days at all, but it made my Mother’s Day to do it. Its a good reminder to me of those times I struggled. And what I have now.

When I’m 5…..

We created an unplanned tradition when Ben turned 5. I wanted to do something special for him to show him how big he was getting. He was really into the TV show Full House at the time. So when we found out Dave Coulier aka Joey was doing a comedy tour and coming to Utah we thought it would be something really special for him. Luckily Dave Coulier is a clean comic and was wonderful with Ben. He was so sweet and made him feel really special.

So when Kaleb turned 5 I wanted something equally special for him. He has loved Ellie Goulding for most of his little life. We have a video of him at age 2 talking about her! So when we found out she was coming to Salt Lake I knew that was the perfect When I’m 5 experience for him. I was concerned to take him to a concert because he has always had sensory problems with loud noises and bright lights. And to say he was overwhelmed is an understatement! But as she soon as she stepped out on stage he was hooked. He just stared at her the whole time. It was so cute!

The when I’m 5 tradition has been a wonderful chance to really search out our kids inner interests and loves and help them to be able to develop them at a young age. When I was a teenager I read something about “Double Digits Trips”. When a child turns 10 they get to choose a place in the United States to go. The ocean, the Grand Canyon, whatever interests them. I’m excited to keep these traditions going with my kids and watch them grow and evolve. Who knows, maybe we’ll stumble onto more as they grow older!

Nerd Hell and the newbie

Last weekend I did something I swore I would never do. I attended Salt Lake City’s Comic Con. From what I knew of these conventions I thought they were full of the biggest nerds in the world! I never figured I was the type of person who could fit in at Comic Con. Where I house certain nerd-like qualities, I still thought this was too much for me!

But despite all my concerns, it just took 2 words to change my mind. Those words: Dean Cain! I was IN LOVE with Dean Cain when I was around 12 and he was playing Superman on Lois and Clark. Those years were not an easy time in my life. I don’t know anyone who can say the preteen and early teen years were their favorite years! I was very awkward! But he made my little heart flutter! I felt that I owed it to my 12 year old self to have the opportunity to meet him.

Since I was going anyway, I found a few other celebrities I wouldn’t mind meeting, although I still had a pretty one track mind about why I was going down. But I found out that Alex Kingston was going to be there and thought it would be cool to meet her. She is on Doctor Who, which I have never seen. But she was also on ER, which I did watch faithfully! I also last minute found out Joey Fatone from Nsync was going to be there. And what girl who group in the 90s wouldn’t jump at the chance to meet Joey!

I booked tickets for Saturday because Todd had a conference out of town until Friday night. But what I failed to remember is that it was Easter weekend. Not only did we have company coming in but my kids had several egg hunts going on. So the morning started early with a hunt and a family breakfast. Then I set off for Salt Lake City. When I arrived at Comic Con I was terrified! There were so many people! Most of them were in costumes of characters I had never heard of! I knew I stuck out like a sore thumb. I felt like I was walking around with a neon sign that said “newbie” above my head! But my first fan meeting with Alex Kingston was starting soon so I braved the crowds to what I found out was even more terrifying crowds waiting to meet her as well! At one point I texted my sister saying I was stuck in “Nerd Hell”! A woman in line behind me asked me what Doctor Who episode was my favorite. Because of course that was the reason I was waiting to meet her! I stated that I had never seen an episode of Doctor Who, so that would be hard to determine. Literally the crowd around me fell silent and all slowly turned around to look at me. Seriously it was like a scene out of a horror movie!  I instantly regretted my statement! I was hit with hundreds of death stares! Then they silently all turned away from me one by one. That’s right, I was shunned by the Whovians! Which normally wouldn’t concern me. But I was in very unknown territory, so I would have appreciated! But an hour into the shunning I did finally get to meet Alex Kingston.  For a whole 10 seconds. Yeah, 10 seconds! She was very sweet though. And didn’t mind that I hadn’t seen Doctor Who!

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After meeting Alex Kingston I wandered through the booths like a scared little puppy! But then I found the ABC4 booth and got to meet Don Hudson. He’s one of my favorite reporters so that was cool! I asked to take a picture with him, and he jumped over a table to take it. He even spent a few minutes talking about reporters from the past and the election. Then I saw Joey! He was at his table jumping around with a backwards cap on. Its exactly how I always pictured him! When it was my turn to meet him I felt like I was in high school again! I got all nervous and giggly! He was so funny and very nice.  He had a dance party at his table with a DJ and everything.  There were a bunch of skinny 20 year olds dancing with him. I was totally annoyed not only because they could still get away with wearing low jeans and teeny t-shirts but because I knew all those girls were way too young to appreciate the magnitude of who Nsync was! They were in diapers when I was blasting their CDs in my little Dodge Neon! But I didn’t stay annoyed for long. Because out of the corner of my eye I saw HIM!

 

There he was! Dean Cain! He was at the table next to Joey’s signing autographs. And he was just as beautiful as he was when I was 12! After looking at the pics I had taken earlier I decided my shirt made me look so fat. And I didn’t want him to see me looking fat! After all, he was Superman! So I went and bought a “Metropolis University” shirt. I figured only the true Superman fans would understand it! My little heart was beating so fast when I was in line! Then it was my turn. He held out his hand and introduced himself to me. Like I didn’t already know! And he asked what my name was. I told him that when I was 12 I used to cut his pictures out of the TV Guide and hang it on my wall. I had a whole collage! I told him he was my Superman. And then he stood up and gave me a big hug! We were told not to touch the stars but he didn’t care. Then on my picture he wrote “I’ll be your Superman any time” on it. By that point he had me melted into a big puddle of Amy! My knees started to go weak, I’m surprised I didn’t start to drool!  I mean this guy had charm oozing out of every inch of his perfectly chiseled body! Then we took pictures together. Not only did he take pictures but he took multiple pics with me. Then when we were saying goodbye he kissed me on the cheek and said how much of a pleasure it was to meet me. He had me completely warped! I texted my sister again about how wonderful he was. And luckily she helped me come back down to reality by reminding me that he had also played Scott Petersen in Lifetime’s “Lacy Petersen story”. You know, the one where he killed his wife and unborn child. Aw, who am I kidding?! I still floated all the way home!  He made that whole trip! I was so impressed by him. I wish all stars could be like him. My 12 year old self couldn’t have been happier! Thanks to him, Nerd Hell turned into Nerd Heaven! Ha, Nerd Heaven?! Wow, maybe I am nerdy enough! Anyway, my view of Comic Con has turned 180. Everyone has their Superman. And thanks to events like this people get the tremendous opportunity to meet them.