Pack for ?

Today we are heading to Boston Childrens hospital for a “preop” Cardiac appointment for Ellie. They will take X-rays, do an echo and EKG and do an all around check to see if she is healthy enough to have a Cardiac Cath and MRI tomorrow. We will meet with the Doctors and a child life specialist ( they will help Ellie with the parts that are scary for her).

We were told if all goes well tomorrow we will be heading home tomorrow night. There is a possibility when they are in the Cath lab they might try to balloon her mitral valve which can lead to problems if it doesn’t balloon correctly. If they do that we will be in Boston for a few more days.

So how do you pack for one to ?nights? You pack for a week and pray for a night!



Woke up to snow and Ellie with one less tooth:




I love Manchester, UK.  I can’t help it.  Even though we lived in West Yorkshire a bit north east of Manchester it still feels like home.

This past week I did a Manchester trip with an unknown crew.  Well I had flown with the lead before but none of the rest of the Flight Attendants.  They were all from Cleveland and had picked the trip up together.  I thought I would do a low key restful trip with maybe a curry take away.

Imagine my surprise when the crew was awesome and invited me out to dinner with them.  We all went (except the captain) to dinner.  A new place.  I hadn’t heard of it but what a surprise.  The Ox pub served fish and chips and Timothy Taylor Landlord on tap.  They even had a wall of fake books for decoration.  You can’t ask for more than that.

What a great unexpected layover.


I’m a Diva

Well one of Lisa Klypas’ diva’s at least.

If you have never heard of Lisa Klypas she is a romance writer.  One of my favorite in fact. (Yup I admit it, I like to read romance.  Light fluffy books that have happy endings and are easy for me to read between work and the kids.  They make me happy and I love them.)   My dear friend Kimberly introduced me to Lisa a few years ago and I quickly worked my way through all of her books.  If you haven’t ever read her books, I highly recommend them.  They are fast feel good reads.

In the fall she released her latest book: Christmas at Friday Harbor ( and I immediately downloaded the audio book to listen to on my way to work.

Then I found out the best news.  She was having a contest of sorts.  She was going to pick fans to become “Lisa’s Divas”.  We would receive copies of Christmas at Friday Harbor to share with friends and also previews of the whole series.  We got a groovy welcome kit complete with a fun tank top and really cool sun glasses.

I was even lucky enough to get a preview copy of the next book Rainshadodow Road.

I felt so lucky to be one of the few to get the books and be apart of this really cool event and the best part is Kimberly was chosen too!  We are doing this together!  What more can a girl ask for?



When you live in one of the best places in the world (outside of Italy) to get a pizza, why would you ever make your own?  ‘Cause it’s so much fun!

More of the holiday

A few more pics from our visit to Roanoke.  Ellie was sick and since Ken was in Chicago at a conference we decided to extend our visit in Roanoke.  We had a little bit of fresh air at the park and on the scouters and got to see how Dad’s rebuild of his ’77 Camero is coming.  It was wonderful.


A Cardiac Catheterization, what is it.  Well the official explanation can be found here: , but how do you explain it to a 6 1/2 year old without making it sound scary and painful?

Ellie’s last cardiac cath took place three years ago- two years after her open heart operation.  She was growing and doing so well at that time they decided to just let her keep doing what she was doing for awhile.  We were told there might come a time when something might need to be done with her mitral valve because it was a bit small but then they liked what they saw right then.  So the plan three years ago was let Ellie grow stronger and bigger and see what happened.

The last six months there have been a few little things happening.  Ellie is still growing taller, putting on weight and most of all pink as can be, but there have been a few little things that have come up so her doctors sent out two different heart holster monitors to try to track her heart beats. They both came back normal.  Yet while we were in for her last check up in November her doctor saw and heard a few things that weren’t normal for Ellie.

So they have decided, since it has been three years since her last cath-  that they want to do a MRI and a cardiac cath to get more information on what’s going on and to see if the time has come to maybe go fix the valve.

That means we are heading to Boston on January 30th for the prep appointments and Jan 31st they will put her to sleep do a MRI and the cath and hopefully if all goes well we will be heading home that night late armed with more information and maybe even the beginning of a game plan.

Now back to explaining to a 6 1/2 year old.  Since we have been making plans with Ellie’s school and a plan for Sadie so we can focus on Ellie and not have an almost 3 year old running around the hospital for two days, we felt we needed to let Ellie know what was going to happen so she didn’t hear it from someone else.

How do you explain it.  She doesn’t remember anything from her open heart when she was a little over one and really doesn’t remember her last cath when she was 3, so we needed to explain to her what was going to happen.  We have always told her the truth about going to the doctors.  If it would hurt a little or not so she would always know when we said it wouldn’t hurt we meant it.  Telling her the truth always has made these things less scary.  We told her the basics and that was enough to upset her a little.  We heard “I”m a little freaked out”, and “I don’t want to” even a “are you worried Mom?”  I told her I wasn’t – cause really I’m not that worried about the actual cath, I’m worried about what it will show but I would NEVER tell her that- and that her doctors are really good and she has nothing to worry about.  I said we could write all of her questions down and ask the doctor when we meet with him the day before the actual cath.

We will keep everyone updated on what happens and what they find.  Thank you all so much for your support already, yours prayers and thoughts really mean so much to all of us.

Ellie finally perked up when we told her she will probably get to have a ice pop – or maybe two- after she wakes up.  Who knew that was all she needed to make it sound ok.  An ice pop.

New Year

After celebrating New Years Eve with the whole family (how awesome is that) we had a quite night full of Dick Clark and that famous dropping ball.

New Years Day was full of animal shaped pancakes and black eyed peas and of course football. More good hang time. They say whatever you do on New Years Day will be what you do the rest of the year. I sincerely hope so!




Christmas part2

After enjoying a few days at home we went to VA for Christmas Part 2. We celebrated with Mom and Dad on Thursday and the family on Sat. We had it at my cousin’s house she just bought on the lake and it was so warm we ate on her deck. Crazy that New Years Eve was in high 60s.

It’s always great coming into town and getting loads of cuddles and hang time with all the aunts, uncles, grandparents and of course cousins. The only damper was an annoying cold that hit us all. Started with Ellie(who cant seem to shake it) then I was the next to fall, it hit Ken over the weekend and now I think my poor Mom has it. Besides that it was a wonderful visit.