Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The hardest time of my life

This is a long one.  It's somewhat of a therapy session for me.

I've been debating all week whether or not to post about this.  I've been getting a ton of support from everyone but I've been avoiding talking about it.  I'm the type of person who has no problem talking about other people's feelings or listening to other people's feelings and giving advice but when it comes to my feelings, I shut down completely.  Ask the Hubs.  It's his least favorite quality of mine.  But I've always been good with words. 

Growing up I always had a diary, which evolved to a journal as I got older.  It wasn't until I got married that I stopped journaling.  I honestly don't know why I stopped.  It's so therapeutic for me.  So why not give it a whirl now.

My grandpa passed away on Saturday.  I feel like it was totally unexpected yet expected at the same time.  He's been on Hospice care for a few years now.  He had lung disease, COPD, and emphysema really bad.  I guess a lifetime of smoking can do that to a person.  He didn't want to go into a residential Hospice facilty no matter how hard my grandma pushed him to. Then on Thursday afternoon, he decided it was time to go to Woodside (the residential Hospice facility in our area).  We were all shocked he decided to do this but he was getting too weak to care for himself and didn't want to burden anyone.  He was his normal sarcastic, dry sense of humor self when my parents left him Thursday night.  My mom was even mad (I should say irate) that they left him there.  Friday I got a phone call I will never forget.  My mom called my work to tell me he was unconscious.  Those words took my breath away.  How could this be?  He was fine a few hours ago.  After I composed myself (a few times) and got my patients squared away, the Hubs picked me up from work (I was in no shape to drive) and took me to Woodside, where we started our 29 hr vigil.  I went immediately into nurse-mode, monitoring his respiratory rate, depth, perfusion, etc.  I talked to the nurses and aides.  I feel like my grandma looked to me for validation that everything she was seeing was the way the dying process was supposed to look like.  It was a great coping mechanism because I've watched patients pass away. I also feel like it put me in a horrible position.  I was almost "working", trying to make sure everyone understood what was happening that I wasn't allowed to fully deal with what was happening.  But it's ok.  Again, it was a great coping mechanism.  My nurse-mode also allowed me to find out that he was actually alert and talking at 8am Friday morning.  Then he took a drastic turn for the worse within 2 hours.  How could it happen so fast?

There were many times I didn't think he'd last too much longer.  I didn't think he'd make it to 8pm.  Then he proved me wrong.  We didn't think he'd make it until Uncle Steve got there.  He proved us wrong.  We didn't think he'd hold on through the night.  Morning rolled around and he proved us wrong again.  So we all assumed he was holding on for Aunt Robin.  She was getting into town at 11am on Saturday.  She got there and he hung on.  Proved us all wrong again.  I guess I should tell you that my grandpa is one of the most stubborn people on the planet.  So I guess none of this shocks me.  He was doing everything his way, not ours.  At 6pm Saturday evening, my aunt leaned in and told my grandpa that she and her brother (my uncle) and his wife were taking my grandma to dinner and my parents, me and the Hubs were staying with him.  Once the door shut, I asked my dad where he wanted to sit.  He chose the comfy chair at the end of the bed.  My mom was on one side of the bed and I was on the other.  At that moment, my grandpa took his last breath.  I truly believe he chose that moment because it was the first time anyone told him my grandma wasn't in the room.  I don't think he wanted her to see him pass.  It's sorta romantic in a way. 

More than that, I am so blessed to have been by his side as he passed.  Yes, it was the hardest moment I've ever faced, knowing that I just saw my grandpa take a breath for the last time.  But it was also comforting that he felt comfortable enough, with me by his side, to take the next step in his journey.  I consider it a gift from my grandpa.  This idea helps me be at peace with everything (or at least get a little bit closer to being at peace with it).

He is the first grandparent we've lost.  My brothers and I don't really know loss.  Yeah I've lost patients that have been so close to my heart but it doesn't come close to comparing to the loss I feel now.  Seeing my Dad cry for the first time in my entire life was hard.  Seeing my baby brother look lost at the death of this great man was heartbreaking.  Watching my grandma lose the love of her life was almost too hard to watch.  It's all so hard to deal with.  I know he's in a better place and I know this is for the best.  But that does nothing to lessen the grief I feel. Hopefully it will as time goes on. 

We are preparing for the service on Saturday.  I know it will all come back to me.  I'm going to be a wreck.  It's going to make it even more real than watching him take his last breath.  The funeral will make it permanent.  I don't know if I'm ready for that.  I have to be and I'm sure I'll be just fine.  I'm just not sure I'm ready.
2 of the most important men in my Dad and my Grandpa
I love you Grandpa.  I know you're feeling so much better and you're in a better place but that doesn't make me miss you any less.  Please keep an eye out for us.  My kids need someone looking out for them and quite honestly, so do I.  Can you do me a favor?  Find all my kiddos that are up there with you and tell them all the great stories I grew up listening too.  I know they're going to love them as much as I did!!! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fabulous Fall Challenge #7

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

Day 7: Fall Recipes

I'm going to clue you in on a little secret.  I'm not much of a chef.  I try to look the part by having a really cute Vera apron, buying tons of cookbooks and cooking magazines, and even pinning a ton of recipes.  But I'm not that big on cooking.  I aspire to be but I don't have the drive or initiative.  So this post will leave you with pretty much nothing.  My mom has a great stew recipe (we call it Super Soup) that I make whenever it gets cold but do you think I have the recipe???  I get it from her every year, write it down on some random piece of paper, and that piece of paper never makes it to my recipe book.  I know it calls for V8 juice, ground beef, lima beans, corn, carrots, peas, and thats about all I remember.  So unfortunately I have nothing to share with you.  Maybe I'll find the recipe tomorrow and I can share it then (but don't hold your breath). 

But I'm stoked to check out everyone's recipes and more than likely steal them for my own use!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fabulous Fall Challenge #5/6

I was planning on taking a little blog vacay due to my grandpa's passing but I need a little care free fun after my first day back to work and my first day having to talk about what happened (aka I cried too much today).  So I'm taking on Friday's Blog Challenge along with todays!  So thanks again to Amber and Neely for giving me a little escape!

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

Day 5:  Things You're Looking Forward to for Fall

~ temps below 80 degrees (although not too much lower)
~ decorating my house for fall
~ the USF game we're going to!!!
~ Baseball playoffs
~ Halloween costumes for the kiddos
~ Christmas shopping (I know this says fall but this year I want to get a head start)

Day 6: Fall TV Shows

I am a huge Glee fan.  I've loved it since day 1.  I was over the moon for it to come back!  I can't wait to see what they come up with this season!
Zooey Deschanel is such a kooky chick!  I've loved her in every thing I've seen her in.  I couldn't wait to check out New Girl.  It's following a great show (Glee) and its actually pretty good.  I kinda wish she was my IRL friend!
This one is so out of character for me because I am not into guns, shooting, etc at all.  But the Hubs and I stumbled across this show while we were in NYC on our trip and it's pretty cool.  Its a reality show that brings together a handful of expert marksmen and makes them do competitions using a variety of weapons (like hachet cool is that?!?)  We even saw one that had this expert archer who hit a single aspirin that was tossed in the air from like 100 feet away.  Yeah, they're that good.  Plus the host Colby is nice to look at ;)

Thanks to everyone for all the prayers being said for my family.  It's a lot harder than I thought it would be but I'm comforted by the fact that Grandpa is in a better place. 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

My grandpa passed away on Saturday night surrounded by all of our family.  That's why I've been a little MIA and will continue to be MIA for a few days.  Please pray for my grandma and all my family as we deal with losing one of the most amazing men I've ever known.  Pray especially for my Dad who was super close with my grandpa (his dad) as he makes all the arrangements while dealing with his grief.

Make sure to hug your loved ones a little tighter.  You never know when you have to say goodbye.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fabulous Fall Challenge #4

Post #2 of the day....It's Fabulous Fall Challenge Day 4 which is all about Fall Decorating.  Amber and Neely have really come up with some great topics for this challenge!!!!

My fall decor is really kinda boring.  I know I said yesterday that I don't like Halloween, and I know that Halloween isn't the only way to decorate for Fall but the Hubs just loves it!  I'll put out a few pumpkins here and there.  My owls come out in full force {If I haven't mentioned it, I collect owls.  The owl is Chi Omega's mascot and since I'm a Chi O, of course I love owls!!!)  My owl collection is usually on display but I have some fun Halloween themed owls that come out around this time.  If it were up to me, this is what our house would look like for Fall/Halloween:
source: via Jessica on Pinterest
source: via Jessica on Pinterest

But sadly, this is the only holiday that the Hubs actually likes so I tend to let him make some of the decisions when it comes to outdoor decor.  He does not think cutesy fits with Halloween.  He's about zombies, tombstones, spiderwebs, and fog.  No cute ghosts or witches allowed.  This is what the house looked like for our first Halloween as homeowners.  Now imagine it with fog, more cobwebs, and a few other items.

It's OK....I promise!!!

It's Thursday so it only means 1 thing.....It's OK Thursdays!  I'm linking up again with Amber and Neely (and I'm going to be linking up with those girlies for post #2 of the day in a minute).  So here goes....

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK.....

To be so excited for Saturday morning's CureSearch walk!  I can't wait to be walking to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to celebrate my patients, those here with us and those who have been called home.

To be spending my Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon at the Trop cheering on the Rays!

To crave Starbucks on a regular basis

To secretly wish it doesn't get too cold this fall/winter because I don't want to wear socks

To have been successful with 2 new recipes I found on Pinterest this week

To love linking up so much this week.  I'm finding so many awesome blogs this way!!!

To love my kids and the Hubs so much!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The one about Halloween

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

Day 3 of Amber and Neely's blog challenge is all about Halloween (What do you do for Halloween/a Halloween memory).  Halloween is a holiday I honestly could live without (although it is the Hubs's favorite holiday ever).  And before you ask, no, I'm not one of those people who never dressed up or went Trick or Treating.  I just don't get that into it.  I think it's great to dress up my kiddos though!

So what do I do for Halloween?

Growing up, we lived on an orange grove.  We didn't have any neighbors (which I always wanted) so there were no houses to walk to.  My parents used to dress us up, throw us in the car, and they'd drive us to our grandparents, aunt/uncles, and friends houses.  I didn't know until I was in about 4th grade that not everyone Trick or Treated like we did.  Once this realization occured, we started going out in my bff's neighborhood (and made a KILLING!)  Now we live in a neighborhood and wouldn't you know....there's no kids on our street so no one celebrates.  Our next door neighbor brings some stuff over for the kids and then they go out to dinner.  We had more trick or treaters show up at our apartment than we do in our neighborhood.  So we head over to my parents and hit up their neighborhood....think block parties, people sitting in their driveways waiting for kids, the works!

Now I look forward to Noah's school Halloween party/parade.  All the younger kids (PreK-2nd or 3rd grade) all dress up and go on a parade around the school.  The 4th-8th graders all line up and hand out candy.  It's really cute and we've made out like bandits on the candy front for years (my mom works at the school so Noah's been going almost every year he's been alive).  I can't wait for this years party!!!

Man....I'm kinda boring now that I think about it.  I hope everyone else has more fun Halloween memories/plans!!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge #2

It's Day 2 of Amber and Neely's Blog Challenge! 

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

Today is all about Fall Clothes/Makeup/Trends.  Again, I'm going to remind everyone that I live in Florida.  It's still 90 degrees for a couple more weeks.  Hopefully it will start cooling off soon.  We had a couple mornings in the high 70s/low 80s but that didn't last all that long.

Fall means sweaters, scarves, oranges and browns.  I love the idea of introducing layers into the wardrobe.  I have a very small comfort zone when it comes to temperature so layers are a must!  These outfits are inspiring my fall wardrobe (in my head for right now since I haven't really gone shopping lately)

I want this to be my typical day to day outfit! via


I love the mustard color!!! via 

This eggplant color....swoon! via
 But until the weather cools off, I think I'll stick to outfits like this:
A little bit of summer, a little bit of fall via

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge #1

Well let me tell you how exhausted I am.  I went back to work today (finally) after a long 3 weeks of being useless.  I thought going back for a 10 hour shift wouldn't be too hard but boy am I beat!  My feet hurt, my body hurts, oh and I got kicked right in the stomach.  Yep.  Right at the belly button where my fabulous surgeon so nicely pulled my gallbladder out.  It's one of the few times I hate working with kids....their flailing extremities hitting and kicking you.  But those instances are few and far between.  But I survived and I'm so happy that I have tomorrow off to recover.  Hopefully my next 3 days will be a little easier.

But on a more fun note....I'm linking up with Amber and Neely for the Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge! 
Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

I think these girls are geniuses for coming up with this!  I'm more of a spring/summer girl (I think living in FL all my life contributes to this) but as I get older, I'm starting to appreciate fall more and more.  So this 2 week blog challenge is going to be so much fun!!!  I love the idea of a different fall topic each day.  So for the first day, our topic is Fall Traditions.

1.  College Football! 
I'm a sports girl.  Always have been.  It's one of the reasons the Hubs fell madly in love with me ;)  College football is huge in our house.  I'm a big supporter of my USF Bulls....yay for being ranked #18 this week!!!  I'm so proud of how far the team has come from the first college game of my college career (way back in I'm old!)  I love donning my green and gold!!!!  Every Saturday in the fall you can find me watching the Bulls (while the Hubs watches the Gators)

2. Baseball Playoffs

Again, I'm a huge sports fan.  I live for baseball season.  We're lucky to have a MLB team in our own backyard.  The Tampa Bay Rays have turned into quite the team.  The Hubs and I loved them when they were the Devil Rays and, for lack of a better word, sucked.  It's nice that they're playing well again.  And it's even better that they have made a miraculous turnaround and might actually make the playoffs this season!  If they get into the playoffs, maybe we'll go to one of the games.  We've been to at least one game in every playoff series the Rays have been to over the years.  We were even lucky enough to go to Game 1 of the World Series in 2008!  Hopefully going to a Rays playoff game this fall will be on our agenda this year too!!!

I've realized that I really don't have too many traditions that don't revolve around sports....some fall girl I am ;)

3.  Trick or Treating with the Kids
Having kids makes Halloween that much better!  There's something so adorable about little kids dressing up in costumes, looking so cute!  This year, I'm looking forward to having my very own Captain Hook and Little Mermaid walking around the neighborhood! Here's some of our pics from Halloween's past....

Noah's first Halloween as a Turtle. 2007

2nd Halloween. 2008....dinosaur

Halloween 2009.  Thomas the Train and a Pumpkin

Halloween 2010. A firefighter and Tinkerbelle
I hope everyone has better fall traditions than I do!  I guess since we don't exactly have a fall season in Florida, I don't have great fall traditions.  Oh well. Can't wait for the rest of this challenge!!!

Now it's off to get some much needed sleep after my first day back at work!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What a Great Day!

I almost changed the title to this post because it reminded me so much of The Fresh Beat Band.....a crazy show on Nick Jr that my daughter is OBSESSED with (the songs are really catchy though...don't tell anyone I said that).  But I couldn't change it because that's exactly what today was...a great day!

I knew it was going to be good when I opened my inbox and found an email from Shutterfly for a free photo book.  For those who don't know, I absolutely love Shutterfly.  I love everything about it.  I love their cards.  I love their photo books.  I love their photo share sites.  I should be a poster child for them! (and I am, by no means, getting any compensation for saying this.  I just love Shutterfly this much!)  My creative juices started flowing and I instantly started planning out an NYC photo book! 

The day continued to get better when I got to Noah's school.  The aide in his PreK class is a photographer.  She's actually the photographer we used for our wedding.  She did all the yearbook pictures for the school.  I was talking to Noah's teacher and she yelled over, "Want to see the cutest picture?" I, of course, answered with a sassy reply "Oh you have a picture of me?"  When she showed me Noah's picture, I was in love.  His school picture is absolutely amazing.  He's never smiled as big and bright as he did for this picture.  He looks absolutely perfect.  She was so thrilled when she saw his prints that she knew she had to show me herself.  It's amazing how a great picture of your child can make your entire day that much better!  

I've been working on our photo book all day.  Yes, I said all day.  Not because it's hard but because the program has been a little slow.  But slowness will not tamper with my happiness.  The book is absolutely awesome!  I'm so excited to actually have it!  I think it's going to be a great way to remember and cherish our trip.  And it will look awesome next to the photo book of our honeymoon!

But that's not all!  We took the kids out for a little shopping tonight.  We stopped at Bath and Body Works for the awesome owl Wallflowers I posted yesterday.  While we were there, the Hubs found me a few more owl items to add to my collection and we found a new scent for the fall.  I wanted a pumpkin scent and the Hubs only likes caramel.  What did we find?  Pumpkin Caramel Latte!!!!  OMG it's fabulous.  So we are now Pumpkin Caramel Latte'd out!  Its our hand soap in the bathroom.  It's in our wallflowers in a couple rooms.  It's a great scent and I'm just thankful the Hubs loves it too! 

Oh but the fun doesn't stop there!  Oh no it doesn't!  I am proud to say I finally own a hot glue gun!  I am so excited over this little bad boy.  There will be crafting-o-plenty going on in the Crimella house!  I can't wait!!!

Tomorrow will be a continuation of the fun!  I'm finally getting a new bedset for our bed.  Ours is a hot mess right now.  And I'll be using coupons so its even more exciting!  And my USF Bulls take the field again!  Looking for win #3 tomorrow against FAMU.  Wish I was going to the game so I could watch the halftime show.  FAMU's band is out of this world!!!

But all that excitement makes for one tired girlie.  I hope everyone had as great a day as I did and have an even better weekend!!!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's OK

I've never linked up with Amber of Brunch with Amber and Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup for their "It's OK" Thursdays so I figured I'd give it a whirl!
Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK:
~To be completely OBSESSED with Pinterest
~To be so obsessed with Pinterest that all my Christmas gifts are planned out, as well as teacher gifts for all year, to have new dinner recipes for days, to be up till all hours of the night testing them out, and to have cupcake recipes galore!!!
~To be counting down the days until Glee returns to TV!!!!!
~To be so excited for College Football Saturdays that we've planned our lives around UF games and USF games (well the Hubs plans his around UF) and the outfits to go with every Saturday
~To be lazy all day but still get everything done by bedtime
~To wear sweatpants all day, every day until it's absolutely necessary to wear real pants to go somewhere
~To love my Chi O sisters to the extreme that I do!
~To let my owl collection take over my house!  Thank you Bath and Body Works for these babies!!!
Go here to buy them!!!
~To be so ready to go back to work it's not even funny!  This 3 week health vacay was nice but not the way I wanted to use my vacation days.  Plus I have some patients who are missing me like whoa (and I miss them back just as much!!!)
~To not know what I'd do without the Hubs and my kiddos!!!

Hope y'all have a great Thursday!!!  The weekend is almost here!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Disney on Ice

We are fortunate enough to have amazing friends!  I know that's a rather odd statement.  All friends should be amazing, right?  That's why they are your friends.  Why would you want less than amazing friends in your life?  But I truly believe that the Hubs and I are extremely blessed in the friends arena. 

A very close friend of the Hubs, well let me put it this way, his "other" brother (not biological but brother in every other sense of the word), was awesome enough to give us their passes to Disney on Ice since the ended up getting tickets through another friend.  We had really wanted to take the kids but the money situation has been a little rough with my unexpected health vacay from work the past couple of weeks.  So it was a great treat for us to end up getting to go this past Friday night.  This was also my first real outing since surgery.  And wouldn't  you know, Emmy gets a fever and starts getting sick Friday afternoon.  I was really bummed about this since I knew she'd LOVE it and because I was going to have to stay home (I secretly wanted to go more than the kids did).  My mom was awesome enough to volunteer to watch her so the Hubs and I could take Noah.  So we got ready and headed to Tampa.

  Our seats were amazing, 16 rows from the ice. Noah was in awe the entire time!  It was a great show.  The skating was so-so (the guys were not landing their jumps cleanly) but all in all, I'm so glad we went.  The concessions were outrageous....$10 for cotton candy???  Give me a break.  But yes, we got cotton candy.  And a $12 sno-cone. And a $7 box of popcorn.  What can you say?  We're suckers.

This also was the first time I have worn real pants since surgery.  I've been living in sweatpants, which are A-OK for home but definitely not for wearing in public.  Let me tell you, after an hour of pants, I was ready to unbutton and unzip, which I did the minute the lights went out!

Here are just a few (ok lets be real, more than a few) pics from the show:
He realized I could see him in the rearview mirror

View from our seats

Daddy and Noah (with the Nemo hat the came with the $10 cotton candy)

Me and my lil man

They ended the first act with a "It's a Small World" show.  It looked exactly like the ride and Mickey went up in the balloon!

Checking out the ice at intermission

Me and the Hubs, who always leans back in pics so he looks ginormous with a small head

A pic of Ariel for Emmy

Fireworks after the show

All the characters at the end
 If you ever get the opportunity to go to a Disney on Ice show, you definitely should.  It's quite an amazing time!