Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lindsay Laneigh Ferrill

One year ago tomorrow, April 25, 2012, my friend, Lindsay Laneigh Ferrill, was taken from her daughter, her mother, her family and friends.

I don't remember when I first met Lindsay but I know it was at the church we both attended in Tulsa. Later, we worked at the same company for awhile. I was around for lots of major life changes for Lindsay. I remember when her father passed away. I remember when she got engaged. I attended her wedding. My husband took post wedding pics after the wedding at Widney Manor. It was one of the most fun shoots we've ever done! Lindsay was so beautiful and the camera LOVED her!!! I remember the last time I saw Lindsay after the end of her marriage and before we both moved from Tulsa.

Lindsay was sweet and kind and hard-working and TALENTED!!! She could draw anything. Lindsay made the best cakes! I used to love looking at her Facebook when she posted new pics of her cakes. When Lindsay had her daughter, I loved looking at her Facebook to see pics of her mini me. To say that I was proud of Lindsay is an understatement. She knew how I felt about her. For this, I am supremely grateful.

When I think of Lindsay, I remember her smile. Her laugh was infectious. She was shy but we were friends so I tended to forget that she was shy. I can't think of Lindsay without thinking of how beautiful she was. And fun. Lindsay was fun to be around.

Last spring was a crazy busy recruiting season for me that went into a crazy Widney summer. Lindsay had not posted much but there had been a few pics of her posted. In September, I went over to Lindsay's Facebook to see pics of her cakes and to see how her daughter had grown. That's when I realized that Lindsay had not actually posted anything on her wall. It was all posts by other people. And they were talking about how they missed her so much. I Googled Lindsay's name. Then I messaged her mother. I just wanted her mom to know how much I love Lindsay. Shari has helped me get through the loss of Lindsay more than I've helped her! That's the kind of person Shari is. It's the kind of person Lindsay was.

I'm not the kind of person to look at the Facebook wall of someone that is no longer with us. I've always thought people who wrote on the wall of someone gone was odd. I get it now. I really do. It is so comforting to visit Lindsay's wall and see her life. See her daughter as she grows. Read what her friends say about her and how they also miss Lindsay. I'm also not the type to believe that someone that is gone is visiting me when I see a butterfly. But now I get it. And I believe it. And I hope for it.

I haven't made sense of Lindsay's death. I am not sure I ever will. But Lindsay was much more than how she was taken from us. Lindsay Laneigh Ferrill lived. She continues to live in her daughter. In her family. In her friends.

I love you, Linds. And I miss you so much!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bad Dreams

A few days ago I had a bad dream. Two bad dreams actually. BAD dreams. When I was in a pre-wake state I had the sense that some bad things were going to happen to us but to not worry because it was all going to be okay.


Okay so it wasn't just an "sense" but rather I felt like God (or the Universe if you are my dear friend, Oprah) was saying don't stress it because it will work out. Either way, I'm hanging on to that!

We've had a few crazy things pop up this week and I'm just letting it all go. I have just let it be. Well, there was one situation that REALLY pissed me off yesterday but that was resolved within a few hours.

Overall though, less than 2 weeks to move day and I am in such a peaceful zen state that if I didn't know better, I'd say I was smoking the good stuff.

Bad dreams with good take home points are wonderful.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


My receipt for TWO items at CVS pharmacy today!!! FIVE coupons attached. Took longer to print the receipt than it took me to swipe and pay for my 2 items in self-checkout. Excessive, CVS. Excessive.

Thanks to the Container Store for their lovely display.

Couch View

View from my living couch. We look like box hoarders! There's even a path like the hoarders on TV have....

Kitchen Ready

I prefer this pic to the one posted before. This is free of the construction debris. Starting to get excited! Cross fingers - should get the certificate of occupancy tomorrow.

Change. Change. Change.

Our kids are going through such a season of CHANGE!!!

- New job for J which means a new church for us.

- For the first time in their little lives, they are the only Caucasian children at church.

- Motor Mouth is on a new swim team.

- Mini Me starts a running club for first time.

- Mini Me starts a new chess club for the first time.

- Moving at an age when they are more aware of what a move entails.

- We are moving to new home in a new neighborhood.

- We will live on two floors for the first time and our master will be on a different floor.

- Our children will be the only Caucasian children in our new neighborhood.

The kids are troopers. I'm planning lots of play dates and trying to make special moments for them. I am looking ahead as much as possible to reduce their stress. We have to keep in mind the amount of change they are dealing with and love them through it. I love them so much!!!

The good news is that we will still be bad ass parents. Fortunately, some things never change.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Are Dolls Real?

Maybe. Maybe not. Just in case, I packed them face up so they can breathe and talk to each other. And I popped holes in the box so they can definitely breathe and so it won't be quite so dark for them.

Look, I'm just not willing to take the chance....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Take Flat Stanley to Work Day

J took Flat Stanley to work today!

Okay. J took me to work today and I put Flat Stanley on the keyboard. Same thing.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Best Chicago Real Estate Agent

Meet my new friend, Amanda Bell. I got lucky and met Amanda during our recent home search in Chicago. Not many people know that I used to be a real estate agent. Yup. So as a former realtor I know who is good and who is not. Amanda Bell is a top notch realtor.

Amanda listened to what we asked for and delivered what our family requested. When we met in person, Amanda was on-time every time, all locations were completely lined up and ready for viewing, and she had insights on each location. She gave us all the time we needed to view and never made us feel rushed.

More importantly, Amanda fought for our best interests. She was supportive and let me have my whiny meltdown and didn't skip a beat! Throughout the experience, it felt like Amanda was a really knowledgeable friend. So I friended her on FB so we can keep in touch!

Here is a link to Amanda if you are in the market for a home in Chicago - she does home sales and leases!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We're Moving!!!

It's official! The Chicago Widneys are moving!!!

We have loved Widney Loft for five years and have formed amazing life long relationships with our neighbors who are family to us. They are one of the main reasons we did not move sooner. 

We have found a house in Chicago on a beautiful, tree-lined street in a great neighborhood that our family will be able to grow into! The house meets everything on my wish list and then some. 

This is a sneak peek of Widney Crib. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Birthday Cake

One of my high school friends I grew up with in Canada made this cake and posted on FB. This is the next birthday cake I want to make. Inside is a vanilla cake. I want to do a vanilla layer cake with a filling in the middle because this is not nearly decadent enough! That's "Smarties" on top of that cake. Not sold in America. My BFF is literally on a plane there right now. I'm going to ask him to bring some Smarties back for me.

Both of our kids' birthdays have passed as has my BFF and our other really close friend's birthday. It's months until the next birthday. So, I am going to make it when we move in to our new home, as a housewarming treat for the kids!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mother Daughter Bonding

Motor Mouth has an impromptu play date with a friend. He is going to see a movie. I didn't know what to do with Mini Me. Mini Me said, "I wish we could see the Croods."

Movie Club. $6
Popcorn/drink combo w/free refills. $7
Spending quality time with my favorite baby girl. Priceless.

Box Pick Up

Today was my box pick up day. I drove around collecting boxes I had stashed at our offices or arranged to pick up.

I had purchased about 45 boxes and packing materials on Craigslist for $30. The rest I got from work, a dear friend (Dr. C), and a toy store hook up I made through a co-worker. There's more in the living room. This is a good start. ;-)

Guess what I'm doing this weekend!!!

Bad Mother

My itty bitty city car is at capacity with moving boxes laid flat across the folded down back seats and the trunk. So, this child's booster seat is up front. It is exactly what the law and car handbook say is wrong, wrong, wrong. Bad parenting.

My child is at school - not in the car with me. After I get the boxes up to our loft, I am going to leave this in the front seat. Can you imagine what would go through some mom's head if she looks in and sees it?! Bahahahaha!

I Heart Chicago

I love this view. This is beautiful to me. This screams city living as much as our beautiful skyline view does.

As much as driving on Lake Shore Drive in the summer in evening traffic makes my eyes well up with tears of joy. My heart sings when I see the boats in the floating marina on the right as we pass Museum Campus which is home to three world class museums. In the distance is the gentle blue of Lake Michigan. Next to us are joggers and cyclists exercising on the waterfront trails. Beautiful trees.

In front of me is a sea of cars. Each outfitted with drivers and some with passengers. All have stories to tell. Some lead simple lives while others are larger than life characters. I want to know their stories.

On the left is the center median, filled with an amazing mix of flowers. Beyond that is Chicago's front lawn complete with flowers, grass, tennis courts.

To see the tall buildings against the trees is an irony not lost on me.

We drive with the windows open. Music playing. It is Chicago in all it's glory.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sunday Rundown

Yeah. I know it's Tuesday.

My kids are amazing. They really are good kids. J has been gone for most of last week. He had a set install. The kids were great each evening with just me. I'm sure they were sick of being with just me all the time. But they were obedient, played well together, and rolled with the changes. On Saturday, they were very helpful and made a difference in the stage with us.

It's a whirlwind these days. Work is busy, busy, busy. I sent a number of notifications to families last week. It's so hard to tell a family their child is in a waiting pool. There were days last week that I wanted to hug the parents and cry with them. And then I'd get an email from someone who was ecstatic because their child was accepted into our program. It's the excitement that makes my day.

We have so many school events coming up. FIVE events I'm supposed to be at in the next 10 days! It's insane! It's one thing to help organize them as staff but I also have to attend as a parent. Oh lordy.

For the first time we are offering a summer program. I get to market it. Design the flyer, online add, emails, etc. At least I don't have to teach it!!! LOL!

Oh, and we are doing a little thing - moving!

To Facebook or Not to Facebook

I went off Facebook about three weeks ago or more. I thought I would miss it. I don't. Nope. I don't. Thought I would go back at Easter - you know, like giving it up for Lent. Don't feel like it.

I do miss my friends and seeing what is happening in their lives. And I know some of them have reached out to J to find out what happened with me.

Life is crazy right now. Lots going on. Not sure I want to do FB hard core for awhile. But I need to get back on because I'm a marketing director and understanding the nuances of social media is vital.

I Need a Pen!

I have been paranoid about not having a pen to do my work at home. I just cleaned my purse....

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Very Own Ceiling

We live in a loft. The ceilings are up 16-ft in the air. Our bedroom and Mini Me's bedroom have walls that only go up to 8-ft tall. When I showed Mini Me this pic, I told her this could be the ceiling to her bedroom. She said, "I get a CEILING???!!!"

Poor baby girl. She was two when we moved here and doesn't remember having a ceiling in Tulsa.

Yes, Baby, you get a ceiling!

Moving Casualty

I've been a member of the Northside Babysitting Coop for five years. Most of the people in the co-op live on the north part of town. Like the name says. When I first started there was at least one other family that lived relatively close by. Not sure they are still in the co-op. I have a few regulars that don't mind trekking out this way.

Right now, we live just south of the downtown Loop. We are getting ready to move further south. I have 11 co-op hours to use up by month's end. I'm very confident that no one from the co-op will trek out further south to sit for us.

Sigh deeply. I really enjoyed the free babysitting and being being able to get me time when I sat for people with sleeping kids. 

Before and After

THIS is what my husband does. He transforms church interiors with custom work and signature design. This is what he keeps him up late at night and this is what he has traveled the country to teach at seminars and conferences.