Holy. Busy-ness. Batman.

One week.

Eighteen hours of driving to get here.

Three birthdays.

Fifteen family members.

Several good friends from Colorado, as well as Texas.

Eighty birthday party attendees.

Lots of presents.

One exhausted mama.

But what a wonderful time it was.

Now all is quiet. Everyone has returned to their home, whether they be in California, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, New Mexico, or Texas. 

I will definitely miss the daily party with so many people under one roof, but I have to admit, it was a bit of a thrill to sleep in until noon today while the house was so quiet and my husband took over the child care. I can't remember the last time I slept until noon, but man was it awesome.

It was better than awesome, in fact.

And, while we have already celebrated the birthday party, Thad's actual birthday is still two days away. It's hard to believe that my little monkey is about to be three years old. I have no idea where the time has gone. It was especially crazy to see so many people at the birthday party who, not long ago, had been there to celebrate his life at my baby shower. 

Now I am not going home with baskets of receiver blankets and bottles. Pacifiers and bootie socks. 

Instead, I am headed home with construction trucks, Matchbox cars, Toy Story shirts, a Baylor shirt (yesssss), coloring books, bubbles, toy golf clubs, and all sorts of other things that I could not have imagined my 7 pound, 6 ounce little boy playing with only three short years ago.

While my dreams of him one day playing baseball danced around in my head for a long, long time before he was even born, on Saturday I actually got to see some of those dreams come true. He had such a good time. And he mastered his "game face."

My. Oh. My.

Weddings are quite possibly the most exhausting thing that ever existed under the sun.

Taking. Applications.

I'm taking applications for a new football team.

One that doesn't include Tim Tebow.

One that didn't just lose to the Detroit Lions.

Please include references. Deadline is Sunday.




Mackinac. Island.

So, in an effort to wrap up my remaining time with my parents here in Michigan on a good note, we decided to take a little road trip up to Mackinac Island for these past few days.

Two things:

1. When you're on a strict diet, do not go to Mackinac Island. The people there do two things: make fudge, and try to out-do the size of one another's hamburgers. 

2. When you travel 200 miles north, don't just assume that the weather will be as warm as it is where you are. It won't. My family and I ended up investing in an entire new line of sweatshirts and jackets.

We decided that we loved the Island, but that next summer, when we are all super skinny, we are going to eat our way through the town. Pizza, fudge, caramel apples, hamburgers, fresh cut french fries, all of it. You're going to watch us die of a food coma on that Island because we were so incredibly deprived while we were there the past few days.

The Island is awesome, by the way. About 100-some years ago, they banned any and all vehicles, so people can only get around by foot, by bike, or by horse (which, on a bad note, means the entire island smells like horse shit, but that's ok...it keeps you from eating too much food when you are trying to enjoy the aroma of your lunch, and instead get the aroma of whatever has fallen out of the horse's ass). 

Sorry for the "visual" on that last line, by the way.

Anyways, we did the whole horse-carriage tour thing, and then we caught a glimpse of some butterflies, we managed to eat some popcorn, and then took the Ferry back to the mainland. 

Overall, a good trip.

Now if I could get rid of this ear infection/sore throat/cough, life would be perfect.

(And yes, Thad is really asleep in the picture. What more does a little boy need aside from his grandpa, a big boat, and some popcorn!?)

One. More.

I've got one more exam.



I feel like Rosie O'Donnell should be next to me in a baseball uniform, screaming, "One more, Helen Sue! One more!"

After exams, Tom is heading to Virginia to see his family, and my parents and I are headed up North to see the sites. We've never been up North, so it should be a fun trip. Once we get back, I'm scheduled to shoot a wedding, and then we are packing the car and heading to Colorado for Thad/Grandma Birdie/Grayson's big birthday celebration.

I'm so excited to get back to Colorado for awhile.

I've missed the mountains.

Newborn. Love.

I was telling my mom today that one of the reasons I love photographing newborns so much is because the end result always seems so much more "worth" all of the time and work I have put into it.

Don't get me wrong, I love looking at the end result no matter what, but newborn babies are a different kind of animal.

They take patience.

Lots and lots of patience.

They take editing.

Lots and lots of editing.

But they absolutely steal my heart when it comes to my passion.

This was Baby W:

He was such a joy. 

And he gave me baby fever. :)

If you're interested in seeing the rest of the sneak peek collection, click here.

Rhymes. With. Schmaschmortion.

Final exams.

Shoot me in the face.


Last night, Danielle and I pulled an all-nighter. And no, I'm not talking about hanging out until 3 or 4, getting a few hours of sleep, and then heading to the exam. Nope. We hit the books at Denny's at 10, drove to my house at 7, studied some more, then went to the exam at 9.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I came home, fell into my bed, and didn't wake up until Thaddeus came into the room to tell me, "Mommy, there's a poop in my pants."


There is seriously no better way to wake up from a 5-hour nap than to be tapped on the face by a child with feces in his pants.

Next up?

Constitutional Law.

But that's on Sunday.

So, in the meantime, I have a date with my camera and a 9-day old little boy named Wyatt.

More on that tomorrow. :)

I'm going back to bed.

Getting. Skinny.

Well, I'm hoping to, anyways.

Now that my parents are in town, I have started myself on the same diet that they are on, with the hopes that all of this Prednisone weight will finally be gone, once and for all.

So far, so good. The food we are eating is insanely healthy, I've had enough water today to fill a small lake, and the Vitamin B12...well, I'm not sure how that part is working yet. It's supposed to give me lots of energy, but considering I took a 4-hour nap today, I'd say so far it isn't doing it's job.

Then again, I took my Chemo today, so I'm sure that played a role in 99.9% of the reason why I felt like I could hardly keep my eyes open.

My first exam is on Monday, and I am really starting to feel ready. I have two more days to just start cramming my brain with worthless information which, in the past, has proven as more than enough time to succeed in my endeavors.

Wish me luck!

The. Dentist.

I took Thad to the dentist today, for his very first visit. Ever. When we pulled up to the office, he asked me where we were. I told him we were at the tooth doctor, and they just wanted to look in his mouth.

I wish you could have seen the look of fear that overcame my child at that very moment. It was like it was instinctual - never before had I told him any stories about the dentist, but he suddenly knew, in his heart of hearts, that he was terrified.

The conversation in the lobby, as I was filling out his paperwork, went something like this:

Thad: Mommy? Where's the dentist?

Me: He's back behind that door, visiting with other little kids who need their teeth looked at, too.

Thad: Kids? Kids go to the dentist?

Me: Yep. All kids go to the dentist.

Thad: Oh.


Me: Yes?

Thad: I'm not a kid, so I don't need to see the dentist. I'm a big person.

Me: You mean you're an adult?

Thad: Yep. I'm an adult and I don't need to see the dentist.

Me: Well, actually, if you're an adult, you will see the dentist a lot more than a kid will.

Thad: Oh.

(At this moment the most horrifying sound came from my child's rear-end. It was long, and loud, and it sent women in the office running out with their screaming children.)

Thad: Mommy?

Me: Yes, honey?

Thad: I tooted.

Me: Thank you for sharing honey. Now what do you say?

Thad: Excuse me.

Me: You're excused. You know, you don't have to share it with me every time you toot. I promise.

Thad: Ok.


Me: Yes?

Thad: Can we go home?

Me: No, honey. We cannot go home.

And then we were called back to the office.

I have to say, I was truly horrified at the possibilities of how this visit with the dentist would go, especially hearing stories from other moms whose children weren't allowed to go back with their parents, or whose children were scolded by the dentist because they were scared. I was ready to lay into any man in a white coat who wasn't completely understanding of the fact that my child is not yet three years old.

But, it was wonderful! Thad sat on my lap the whole time, and let the dentist look into his mouth and look at his tongue. He got a clean bill of health, and we were told that the brown spots on his front teeth were developmental in the womb (the result of a likely high fever) and that his adult teeth would not be impacted. That was a huge relief.

At the end of the visit, the kid walked away with a whole new set of Cars toothbrush, paste, floss, stickers, and toys. He also got to pick a toy out of the bin, and got some sugar-free candy.

As we were leaving, this is how it went:

Thad: Mommy?

Me: Yes?

Thad: I like the dentist. He gave me toys and candy. That's fun.


Yep, we did it. The cut-off for preschool was "must be 3 years of age by September 1" and, since he will be 3 years of age on September 1 exactly, we enrolled Thaddeus.

He's so excited to "go back to school" --- even though we keep telling him that he can't go "back" to school, when he's never even been in the first place.

We met with his teacher today. He loved her, and the preschool director. He cried when we had to leave. I think that's all a good sign, despite my concerns that he will be the youngest one in his class, which could potentially pose some problems. I don't want to send Thad to Kindergarten when he is 5 (I'd rather wait until he's 6), but I don't see the harm in starting him in preschool early. Socially, developmentally --- there are so many benefits to sending him a few days a week.

Another bonus? The school we enrolled him in is a private Christian school just down the street. They read the Bible every day, and they give the kids a good foundation in Christ --- something I have so wanted to do for Thad, but have been unable to follow through on my own personal promises. I have been riddled with guilt for the past 3 years that Thad's exposure to Christ has been through my words to him, his bedtime prayer at night, and the occasional episode of Veggie Tales. From day one I wanted to start taking Thad to church, but settled instead for forcing he and Tom to listen to the Rise Up country show with John Ritter on the way to the beach every Sunday morning.

And, no offense to Mr. Ritter, but the Rise Up country show isn't exactly the best exposure in the world to the word of God (especially when your husband is laughing and giggling at some of the things the callers have to say).

So, preschool it is! He'll have arts and crafts time, and Bible time, and alphabet time, and singing time, and playschool time, and parties, and field trips, and tons of wonderful things.

And I will have 12 hours each week in which I sit in my home, completely undisturbed.

Praise. The. Lord.

Word. Jumbalaya.

Alright, so I have literally been pouring through 13 weeks of Civil Procedure since 9am this morning. I've only taken the occasional break to send a text to Tom, letting him know that I am still alive. I haven't even taken a break to pee --- instead, I have a catheter attached which runs to a filter system and cleans my pee, making it acceptable to drink (that way I don't have to get up for a glass of water, either. I can just plug on through. Genius!).

So, as a result of being unable to communicate with anyone besides the text message version of Tom, I have one million random thoughts running through my mind that are desperately seeking an exit route.

1. It's so fucking humid in this state (excuse the French, but seriously, it's the only way I could communicate just how humid it really is) right now, that every species of bug ever invented by God is hovering outside of my porch light. It's disgusting. I could never live in South America.

2. I'm eating Taco Bell at 10:30 at night. Judge me.

3. I have no idea why, when I hate law school so much, that I actually strive for good grades. If I don't plan to use my law degree, then why can't I just give in to scraping by and shoot for D's? D = Diploma. Why I am so unable to grasp this concept is beyond me.

4. I keep thinking of these great pair of shoes that I desperately want for $80. I would wear them all the time. Five  years ago, I would have bought them before I paid rent. Now? "Hi, my name is Katie, and I can barely afford Target."

5. When I tucked Thad into bed tonight, he had three candy hearts stuck to his cheek. He must've decided not to eat those after the last time he was rewarded for going potty. He's like a real-life hoarder. 

6. Shark Week is awesome.

7. I think about getting a boob job every single day of my life. Literally. I can't wait to chop them off and lift what's left (very little) to the sky.

8. My cat keeps biting my leg and I have no idea why. It's like some sort of sick game that she plays with me. Except that I don't play back. What am I supposed to do? Bite her leg, too?

9. We are buying a new bed this week and all I can think about is how awesome it will be to not sleep on a concrete slab anymore (Because yes, that is how hard our current bed is).
10. Thad is going to meet his preschool teacher tomorrow. What the hell? When did my child grow up? Preschool? That involves backpacks and snacks, and sensible shoes for the playground. What happened to bibs, and bottles and trying to determine what vaccines won't completely destroy his central nervous system!?

11. I should order a backpack for Thad with his name on it.

12. I did order a cape for Thad for his birthday. He can be like a superhero. It has a dinosaur on the back, and I had the woman put his name on it --- "Thaddeusaurus Rex." 

13. After I finish my Taco Bell, I think I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch something on Discovery Health or TLC. I'm over this whole studying thing.

14. I wonder if it will be weird to take pictures of naked girls at my boudoir party? Nah. If anything, it will motivate me to stop eating Taco Bell.

15. I took this picture of myself tonight in a sheer moment of boredom:

Oh, and this one, too:

There. Now those of  you who read my words but have no idea who I am or why I am so jaded can see my shining face.

16. Isn't that a lovely trach scar!? I think it goes well with the puffy cheeks and the nose ring.

17. Mmmm. This Taco Bell is good.

Da. Beach.

Tom is such a bad influence on me. Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I had gone into panic mode over exams and then proceeded to study for 12 hour straight? Well, somehow he convinced me that today, I needed to spend the entire day on the beach, taking pictures, swimming, throwing rocks, sleeping and reading. So, I did.

And it was wonderful.

Thad had a great time, too. The water was incredibly calm today. There have been days where I am literally swallowing lake water through my nose, but today it was so still, we could consistently see to the bottom as we headed out toward the boats. That was great for Thad, since it gave him more confidence and he spent probably 75% of his time in the water today. He's like my little fish.

I wish that wherever our family ended up, that we could just pick up Lake Michigan and take it with us. It is so much more enjoyable to me than any beach - the water is so warm, and so clean. There's no fear of jelly fish, or sharks or anything remotely dangerous. But it has all the same feel of an ocean. The locals keep it so nice and clean, and the sand is so, so soft. I think if more people knew of the true beauty that is Lake Michigan, that this state would be thriving.

Screw Florida - come visit the MI! (Just be sure to stay on the West side of the state where it's, um, safe).