granola fairy

What happens when...

1. You don't have a kitchen for several months
2. Your eldest sister knows you love homemade granola


You get regular visits from the granola fairy. Thank you yah yah! After a month of eating it for breakfast & lunch it still hasn't gotten old!


The first time...

Brig had a lot of "firsts" in honor of his first birthday. Here are a few:

First taste of a Duffy's cinnamon roll

First trip to a Water Park, "Pirates Cove."
First time sitting on someones lap for 45 minutes without moving a muscle - thank you lazy river! Who would have guessed you would make Brig so, well, lazy?
First picnic at the park!

First shy moment. In 365 days of living, this is literally the first time I've seen you shy (while we sang happy birthday).

First ever (that I know of) cake decorated WITH sugar cookies. How can you beat that combo? Trust Aunt Yah Yah to invent something completely new and delicious!

First taste of said cake & ice cream.

First game of kickball. I held you while I pitched, that counts right?
First time watching cousins open your presents for you.

First time waking up at 4:00am with a whole bunch of sugar related poo and a horrible diaper rash. I hope you enjoyed your sugar...you don't get more until you are 2!

Happy Birthday love. I hope you had as much fun celebrating your birthday as we did!


Happy 1st Birthday Brig

I love you so much sweet boy. You are perfect just the way you are. I wouldn't change one thing about you.


The women of 655 emporia rd.

When Carrie was little if you asked her where she lived she would exclaim sixty the five emporia road. It seems like just a couple of episodes of the Bachelor ago that she was a baby. Now she is days away from her first child's first birthday. Yes, the baby of the family with a baby. When she first got pregnant sara, mom and I would often wonder what it would be like to see her as a mother. We just couldn't get our heads around it.

which... brings me to this post. These past months have been chaotic, tragic, exciting and heart wrenching for the Lewis girls. Everyone is dealing with change, upheaval, sorrow and stress. Carrie is living in a house with no kitchen and will be for at least 2 more months. They don't have a working washer and dryer and they are in the midst of massive remodel. Each time she needs something from the fridge she climbs over the "child gate" and walks down stairs to climb over the metal pole that is jimmied to secure the back door which doesn't have a lock only to go down more stairs. Most of her possessions are packed and stowed away in the basement as they paint, peel wallpaper, clean, sand, etc. and live through renovations. She has setup a room for my mom to sleep in so that she can be near dad while undergoing his "chemo torture". She drives to massage dad at least every other day and throws baby showers and takes dinner to friends with newborns. Oh and did I mention she has a full time job?

It is delightful to watch her as a mother. Every time she sees Brig she acts like it has been a couple of weeks since they were together. She is seriously in love with this little boy and I have to say, he has stolen all of our hearts. i still remember when he was a newborn and she would say "I just can't believe I get to take him home with me". The other night when she went to meet Dave at the ER in Louisville because he had mistaken his leg for a tree branch while trimming with a power saw, she said "will you lock the door behind me. and don't let anyone steal brig". i'm glad she mentioned that because both mom and I wouldn't have thought to lock the door or stop someone from walking in and making off with Brig.

so motherhood has come quite naturally to Carrie but she also had the benefit of learning and watching my sister sara. When I look at sara's children it is absolutely clear that she was on the honor roll in heaven. Sara has been sent very special spirits. Scout's absolute faith and obedience and Calder's raw honesty and desire to "walk the line" Crosby's exuberance and sheer joy are tangible testimony of God's trust in sara. She is patient and tireless as she provides opportunities for her children to experience everything. One of the leading factors for Travis and Sara to move to Edgemont was because of the school.

During the summer while visiting Colorado Sara takes her kids to do something fun everyday. Each night Calder and Scout will say "what are we going to do tomorrow mom?" She is so well read and dedicated to providing her children with good nutrition and health. She rarely gives them fast food and Scout would choose a tomato sandwich, cucumbers and yellow waxed beans grown in grampa's garden over Kraft macaroni and cheese any day. At the park when all the other mom's are sitting around chatting, Sara is the one playing with all the kids. She is definitely "the fun mom".

Her ability to access information on the internet is uncanny. She linked her sudden bout of excessive sweating to an absence of iodized salt [this was after several visits to the doctor]. She eliminated her sudden migraines and dizziness through a change in pillow. She knows what lip balms have petroleum, what additives in foods are harmful and her children are never without sunscreen or seat belts.

Which brings me to the matriarch of "sixty the five emporia road", my mom or nana.

Mom was definitely ahead of her time when it came to motherhood. We were the only kids who always had to wear seat belts, bike helmets and sunscreen. We always had homemade bread made with wheat procured from the basement wheat grinder. Ironically, I used to think we were poorer than the kids who had wonderbread. We weren't allowed to have lunch meat with "nitrates" and cold cereal for breakfast was a definite no go.

She always made a point of getting to know our friends and their parents and she never missed a school presentation, choir concert, track meet, basketball/volleyball/soccer game, court of honor, tennis match, or recital [to name just a few]. I never remember my mother being sick in bed. Her motto was "if you're sick you just work threw it".

She always encouraged us to have parties and bring our friends over. Things got a bit out of hand when 1/2 of Carrie's senior class was eating lunch everyday at 655 emporia. But mom didn't mind. We were always encouraged to invite everyone to a party as she was determined that no none feel left out.

No matter how scared, saddened or stressed she is about Dad's condition, she goes to the hospital each day upbeat with a smile and happy. Just the other night at the dinner table she was eating beans from his garden [a delicacy he couldn't indulge in due to mouth sores] and she gleefully exclaimed "these are soooo good. I can just eat them plain they have such a wonderful flavor".

Mom is the one everyone calls with their problems or needs. Whether it is taking toilet paper to Denver for Carrie [they don't sell it at grocery stores down there] or sewing a hook on my skirt or altering a dress for Sara [they don't have tailors in NY], she does it.

so those are the women of 655 that I get to rub shoulders with. i'm not sure how or why i was chosen to be one of the lewis girls but i am thankful every single day. they inspire me and make me want to be a better person.



2 Mondays ago, I went to the post office to mail off Carrie's birthday package. On the card, I wrote that I wished more than anything I could be with her on her b-day, and had planned to write about the perfect day we could have had on the blog for a post in her honor.

Then on Thursday night, at 7.30, I got a call from my mom telling me my dad's leukemia had returned, and on Monday he would be admitted to a hospital in Denver for chemo treatment. By 9, I had purchased plane tickets for Oz and I, and spent the rest of the night frantically packing for an undetermined amount of time. There was a chance I would stay for the weekend, or maybe stay longer and send for the big kids (the idea of S and C on a plane by themselves makes me simultaneously freaked and thrilled. I know they they could do it, but do I really want to find out?)

I barely got to say goodbye to them. I kissed C early Friday morning but he didn't wake up, and when I went in to tell S I was going she smiled like she does when she knows I'm joking. Then she looked in my eyes and realized I wasn't. She was very mature and said she could handle being in charge and helping Amy with the kids and that she would be praying for Grampa. She's growing up so much, I can't believe it.

As luck would have it, Palmers had been living with us for the past 1.5 weeks while waiting to close on their new house, and then waiting while it gets painted. Amy was a real trooper to take on 2 extra kids, on top of being pregnant, watching her cousin's two kids all day, and her own three. So if you think about it, she was in charge of 8 kids (I'm counting the one in-utero) for over a week. She amazes me. She handled all the end of the year school festivities, birthday parties, and even offered to take my kids to their annual physicals but I drew the line at that. I should have made her take Calder for his Lyme disease blood test... I am NOT looking forward to the inevitable drama that will come with that event.

Travis and Enoch acted as Amy's lovely assistants, filling in where needed at such events like the Kindergarten picnic, C's birthday celebration at school (Enoch took C to purchase which ice cream treats he'd give to the class, the cousins put together the goody bags, and Trav went in to hand it all out and read C's favorite book to his class, missing work to do so). I emailed with C's teacher to make sure he was handling it all okay, and she wrote back that he was doing fine and didn't seem to mind that his parents weren't at the picnic because Amy and Enoch were there. My kids are so lucky to have a second set of parents around! So many other people here filled in too, taking my kids for playdates and to swim and letting S attend all kinds of birthday parties she had not been officially invited to. Never one time did Travis tell me I should come home. He kept telling me to stay as long as I needed, and assured me that the kids were great and doing fine.

So, in an ironic twist, on the morning of Carrie's birthday she picked me up from DIA with Nana, and in the backseat was the only person more social than Carrie, ready to bond with his cousin and attempt to maintain constant eye contact with me for the next week. We headed to Boulder and had time to do Tae bo and put the babies down for naps before Grampa came walking in from his golf game (upon learning he would be going to the hospital in three days, he made as many tee times as was humanly possible). I didn't want him to know I was coming, because he would have told me not to. So when he walked in and saw me in an all-too-familiar Billy Blanks pose, he smiled and said, "What are you doing here?"

Everyone celebrated Carrie's birthday that night with take out from the Cheesecake Factory. Saturday we hung out with Rand's family in Broomfield, and Sunday was a nice Father's Day dinner from which Dad, even though feeling fatigued from his low white blood cell count and the beginning symptoms of the leukemia, refused to let us do the cleaning up without him. Typical.

We have come a long way from the first time cancer entered our family. We are even able to make the occasional joke about it, such as at the end of Carrie's birthday party when we adjourned to the living room for Rand and Dave to give my parents blessings, and my dad quipped, "Well, that's one way to kill a party." We are optimistically hoping for another remission, though we know achieving it will be a long and painful road. If this remission is achieved, a bone marrow transplant is likely, which will also be long and difficult. This time around we have a better idea of what to expect from his treatment, which in some ways is better but in many ways worse.

Monday morning the mood changed dramatically, when Dad called the hospital and was given an arrival time of 1 PM. He was stressed and scared, which shook us all to see. He has always been the rock we all lean on in times of distress. He patiently waited in the hospital until Wednesday morning, when finally all the necessary testing had been completed and his body was ready for the first round of chemo.

It was a long week for all of us. Crosby developed a fever on Tuesday afternoon, and I was afraid to go visit my dad until I was sure I wasn't contagious. A virus at this point entering his system would be a disaster. When we visited him, we wore gowns and gloves and my mom and I wore face masks to be doubly sure we didn't infect him with anything, which made our visits rather hot.

When I went to say goodbye to him on Thursday evening, we talked while I gave him a massage. Then as I was preparing to leave, I told him how much I loved him and to stay strong. He told me my job was to take care of my family and "not worry about him." Yeah right. He also reminded me not to be thinking about him while I drove home; he was worried about me being sad and getting in a car accident. Today Rand told me that my dad apologized to him for "ruining his vacation." It's so true to his character that even when sick in the hospital, he worries about everyone else more than himself.

I got back to NY late Friday night, and snuck in to hug and kiss the big kids who I missed like crazy. I spent most of the night with Oz, who woke up every two hours screaming. As I rocked him through the night, I was reminded to enjoy every moment of my life, even the bad ones.

I love you, Dad.

If you'd like more regular updates on Gordon's condition, you can visit tglewis.blogspot.com.