Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Early May.

Turns out - while I was trying not to think about what reese would possibly look like when she was older, while she was sitting a hospital bed years ago, she would end up looking just like herself only slightly (slightly) bigger. lol.

Only now, almost 4 years after we had to pull so many of her teeth because of chemo, reese is getting a front tooth in.

I almost cannot handle it. When she talks, that little white nub peeks out and I get all weak in the knees thinking of how long it has been since I have seen a tooth in that vampire smile.



Age 7 is old. Like, it isn't a baby or a toddler. It isn't a preschooler or someone entering school and beginning a journey.. it's a kid. A kid who is going to be in 2nd grade. A kid who is trying to manage learning and social skills, learning math and choosing things to do during recess. A kid who is just happy to get a front tooth.

Reese's favorite things on earth are going to dinner (pizza or mexican) and hanging with her family. We were going to do a party, but she wanted OTB and bowling with the fam and so thats what we shall do.

She sleeps with me any time EJ is out of town. She sneaks you by saying "can we have cuddle time?" and of course you say yes, but she means IN YOUR BED TONIGHT WITH YOU RIGHT ON TOP OF YOU?! and still... the answer is yes ;)

She writes/draws/colors all the time. She wants very badly to be better at sounding out words to write them and so thats what we work on at home. She likes to write people notes or make books for Foxy.

Foxy is still her BFF. That being said, watching her with her girlfriends at school is such a treat. They are all so silly and fun and Reese is just so happy to have little jokes with everyone.

Reese also has a "family" with Foxy. She will say "wanna be in my family? because in Foxy's family, you never have to do dishes or laundry and you can drink wine and take a nap" (sounds amazing, right? lol). She tells us all the fun things her family does (that family also has troublesome "little boys" that don't even deserve names hahaha). Her imagination is just so fantastic. I could listen to the stories she tells for hours.

...and sometimes I do when she wakes up and wants to chat when I am heading to bed haha.

Her favorite colors are orange and pink. She wants to play soccer again in the fall if possible. She is going to join brownies with her friends. She likes wearing joggers with pockets best. All 3 of her laylees/blankies are different and she can tell which is which by feeling them between her fingers.

When she gets riled up about something she "can't calm down!!" because she's such an emotional soul. Her happiness all of life is paralleled to how she can get her feelings hurt, too. I will gladly take the cuddle after, though.

She doesn't wear her boot much anymore. She seems to have learned to pick her foot up more so when she is running - not that the rubber doesn't get caught and trip her sometimes, but we will see. She is having so much fun wearing different types of shoes and thats a small milestone, too.



I am desperately counting down to the end of the school year for my elementary kiddos. It.Is.Time.

I don't want to make anyone's lunch anymore (even though at this point, it is just Reese's, usually - and then M and C's 2 days a week). I don't want to wake up at 6am anymore. I don't want to sit in a parking lot waiting for kids anymore. I want it to be summer where we wake up, leisurely eat, go to the gym and then swim. I want to come home and eat lunch and take naps and then go to dance. Then I want to stay up late and do it all over again.

The rest of the year, in the next 2-3 weeks, we have field day, school talent show, more dance company try outs, picture day for recital, then all of the recital things - including recital memorial day weekend.

To see Aidan as Annie, and then the rest of the brood throughout the show in like 10 other dances (lol), is going to be damn magic. They have all worked so hard and to see it come to life is just going to be such a proud moment as a mom.

STAAR testing is done, GT classes are done next week, all the things are done except for actual school, though. Which is making me want to crawl into a hole lol


I am going to go think about how this baby here, turned into that big girl. Right before my eyes.






Dear Reese,

I love you. I love you every second of the day. You teach me patience and kindness and how to love in any sort of situation. Thank you for being you, for teaching everyone around you that life is something to treasure and to make every day a happy one. Thank you for saying "today is beautiful out!" or reminding me that the sun feels nice. I will never get sick of seeing your face when I pick you up from school - and you jog over to throw a paper in my face and see my pride in your most even basic work. I will never not want to have cuddle time in my bed. I will never be sick of waking up to your sweet voice asking if I "had a good sleep?" or if you can go wake Foxy up. I would keep you home from school everyday just to hang out, if I could (honestly, I would do that with all your sisters, but alas). Thank you for all the years of that gummy vampire smile - and thank you for the years to come with those goofy front teeth. I love you.

Love, Mommy.


Monday, April 24, 2017

fixed.

sort of.

So my custom domain is not linking correctly even though I own it all, but my blog is - so while its been literally like 4 months (cry. seriously cry), the only way I can update really quickly is with some photos first. I have been doing 365 since Jan 1 and it really changes the way I look at some days.








At the end of January, I posted on Reese's FB page that her tumor was smaller. The meds were working, the tumor shrunk, and onward we went. Tuesday is another MRI. Reese has said to me 100 times "are you so ready for Tuesday, mommy??" because she is so excited to go. I am hoping she has some sort of premonition that its going to be a great day.

If you have followed at all on IG (www.instagram.com/theskelteseven), then you'd know we've been filled with dance competitions, filled with Annie for recital at the end of May, filled with school projects and productions... We went to galveston with our very best friends, took bluebonnet pics, cried, laughed, had girl fights between sisters, went out to dinners downtown, played on bikes, and everything else in between.

beach pics below... :D



















This is the first time in a while that I feel like "I am so busy right now" and then at the same time I don't know if I have done anything except take kids to places they need to go (haha). This weekend Reese and I went to the Texas Children's Cancer Fund gala again - this year, reese was a survivor/alum. She wore the *poof*iest dress (her favorite donut dress from her birthday last year), she got her hair, make up, and nails done with Miss Texas, danced with me for half the night. These are the moments... these are the times that seem like just another fun thing to do, but that she talks about for days later. Then, when she sees another pic, she'll relive it all over again.




I will have more epic posts soon. That aren't all pics and catching up and things. Another school year is coming to a close soon and that is just mind-boggling to me. I don't know how I can have a 5th grader - let alone a 4th, 2nd, and Kindergartener, too.

So for today, prayers for a wonderful MRI would be lovely. The rest of the week is dance, a model call for A and M, more dance, talent show tryouts for A and S, school pics and an easter party for M and C, soccer practice, PT for A's foot that is in a boot, trying to make homemade dinners every night (thats my goal for the week), one last ISD meeting on friday, and editing. Always that, too.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

and now it is 2017.

This is exactly what I didn't want to do - have months of catch up, months fly by with nothing to say, but I guess this is also the exact situation I want to be in... a boring normal life.

I started 2017 with one goal: to say no. I want to do things that I feel is enriching us all as a family. I want to sit at home and read books instead of finding a sitter to hang out with friends. I want to eat at home more, use the time we have leisurely instead of rushing everyone to bed. I like when A and S get home at night and I let them freely spend the rest of their evening just chatting instead of having to do a ton of work. I am saying yes to photography that I really want to do, I am saying yes to sitting on my couch with best friends and wine, I am saying yes to people who I see as actually adding value to my life. But I have spent years and years "knowing everyone" and realized recently that everyone does not know me how I would like friends to actually know me. So far it is working out seamlessly. I actually have date nights with friends and their kids - and get to see my kids light up WITH me. It really is such a joy.

I have always had this "fear of missing out" gene in my body. Or a guilt that people will be like "where's amanda" but it isn't even necessary lol How narcissistic to think that, honestly. No one cares and that is okay. And the ones who DO care, understand. I am still spending time with friends that I adore, but its just on the best terms ever.

Reese started her Dabrafenib and we are almost at 3 months taking it now, morning and night. She has no side effects really - maybe the weird skin on her feet and fingers, but that is it. Her MRI is in 2 weeks and I am honestly excited to see it. She feels good, looks good. I am hoping for miracles.

Holidays came and went, of course. Thanksgiving, Christmas, family and fun. The pictures will tell the stories in itself. EJ was home all break and so we really got to spend a lot of quality time hanging out and just being lazy together. We had the CCBD christmas party, performed at "home for the holidays" in downtown mckinney, and then, all of a sudden, Aidan turned 10 and Corbin turned 3. And all my babies became official preschool age and it was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Our family, as a whole, is growing up. A child in double digits seems insane to me. Just as insane as it is to not have a baby to tote around. How did we get here so quickly.















Aidan and Sawyer had two separate dance conventions and competitions. While dance takes up a lot of time, seeing their eyes light up, the smiles on their faces, everything, when they are on stage, makes it all worth it. They truly love it and that to me makes it easy to drive them around everywhere lol The studio is doing "Annie" this year as the spring recital/production and Aidan gets to be Annie --- and I will likely melt into a pride induced puddle on the floor when I see it the first time. She works so hard and it is going to be an amazing spring.












I also started a 365 for this year and it has been seriously amazing for me. I wanted to pick up my camera more and now with starting a Facebook page about it, everyone is joining me and it seriously is such a huge motivation. Years ago, when I did a 365 for a few years in a row, I realized that there was beauty in the monotonous. I have spent years, now, finding beauty in the busy. But now that we are somewhat boring again (lol), it has been so wonderful to document such normal things. Most people know that lifestyle photography is where my heart lies - but it does so, first, at my own home.

Here are my first 16 days, plus some in december. Which you can follow along with these (and others) on instagram, of course.