Milestone: 1 YEAR

Happy Birthday McKinley!

McKinley is truly an amazing daughter. I know I know…every parent thinks their child is amazing and wonderful and the best. But duh, if a parent didn’t feel like that about their children then I would be confused…possibly even concerned.

McKinley has grown into this free spirited little girl. My little hippie. Her heart is bigger than her body and her hugs sweeter than sugar. She is silly, funny, happy, and bright. Brilliant actually.

Watching McKinley’s growth has been soul changing. Life altering. Inspiring. Faith building. Empowering. The vocab list goes on, but every writer knows that telling you is one thing and showing you is another. I want to show you.

When I think of McKinley’s life, I think back to when my husband and I found out we were pregnant. McKinley was planned, after an unplanned pregnancy, and unfortunate miscarriage. To me, that’s when this adventure began. No matter what, if you are adopting, doing surrogacy, in vitro, etc… It’s a process. And in any given process you will find love and commitment.

I took the road less traveled by and it has made all the difference.

McKinley’s birth was a struggle, but a precious gift. 19 hours of labor, with some unforeseeable aftermath complications, and high levels of stress. Though, it was all worth it, because I met the most beautiful girl. That’s what life is all about. The struggles and sacrifices. And then, the gifts. Gifts of love, growth, and enlightenment. I’ll never forget seeing her wide awake eyes. It was, I swear, the most breath taking moment.

Here is a look back at some of those struggles and gifts:

Me Pregnant

Me Pregnant

McKinley's Born!

McKinley’s Born!

McKinley had Jaundice.

McKinley had Jaundice first week.

First Month : Smile

First Month : Smile

Second Month: McKinley holds head up

Second Month: McKinley holds head up

Three months: I graduate with Masters degree in Social Work (and first time failing board exam)

3rd month: I graduate with Masters degree in Social Work (& first time failing board exam)

That same month (3rd): we moved in with my parents.

Same month (3rd): we moved in with my parents.

4th month: McKinley pushes up, and my husband leaves his job.

4th month: McKinley pushes up! My husband leaves his job.

5th month: McKinley eats cereal & I create McKinleyMilestones Blog

5th month: McKinley eats cereal & I create McKinleyMilestones Blog

6th month: Dad starts law school & McKinley Sits up

6th month: My husband starts law school & McKinley Sits up

7th month: Mom fails exam again, but McKinley pulls herself to standing!

7th month: I fail exam again, but McKinley pulls herself to standing!

8th month: McKinley starts to teeth!!! & Mom quits her job (something she was committed to emotionally, intellectually, and physically since the inception of the business, because she helped develop it.- and still hurts to think about today)

8th month: McKinley starts to teeth!!! & I quit my job.

9th Month: McKinley meets Santa & Mom passes the board exam!

9th Month: McKinley meets Santa & I finally pass the board exam!

10th month: My father & Grandpa (Pawpaw) almost dies, then is diagnosed with Stage3B lung cancer.

10th month: My father & Grandpa (Pawpaw) almost dies, and then is diagnosed with Stage 3B lung cancer.

11th month: McKinley is practically walking! Dad does extremely well in law  school, is asked to be a TA and research assistant.

11th month: McKinley is practically walking! My husband does extremely well in law school, is asked to be a TA, and research assistant.

12th month: Dad gets internship/job at law firm. Mom gets published. McKinley walks.

12th month: Dad gets internship/job at law firm. Mom gets published. McKinley walks.

Through all of these hardships and accomplishments, my husband has been my rock, and McKinley my light. I love you both an insane amount.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

Definition: Family

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Family is powerful.  Powerful was the first word that came to mind, but the word power doesn’t come close to describing what a family truly embodies.

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When you type “definition: family into Google, “A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household,” shows up.  This is a crappy definition.

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Thefreedictionary.com defines family as, “A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.”

Okay…starting to get warmer, but only because of the word: fundamental.

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A New York Times article asked parenting bloggers like myself to define family, and one responded: “Someone that loves you and someone who is there for you no matter what.”

Now we’re a lot warmer.

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How can one truly define Family?  Family is a pretty loaded concept with sub-unexplainable concepts attached, like love for instance.  Would you agree?   Yes, the blanket definition for family could be people coexisting together in a household but that doesn’t necessarily embody a “family.”  Even saying, “someone that loves you and is always there for you” doesn’t fully explain the concept. It touches on the fundamental part of family, sure, but explain?

Family is subjective.  In my opinion, defining a family in part depends on the existential experience of the individual and who they feel their family is.  Family is a concept people spend their entire lives trying to find, run away from, create, or expand. Sometimes families have nothing to do with biology, and other times families are bound and created by biology.



Families consist of people who love, support, challenge, and fight for you.  Family stands by your side. Family members advocate, teach, grow, learn, and accept one another’s differences and similarities.  And yet, somehow that doesn’t  100% sum it up 🙂

Special thanks today for all the people that love & support me.  My family.  I appreciate every one of you.

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

Featured Project: The Oscars

ProjectWe watch the Oscar’s every year.  

Each category is worth 1 point.

And at the end of the night…

Whoever has the least points… (the loser)…

Must write a 500 word essay paying homage to the winner!

Wait.

That’s not all.

Then, they must read their essay out loud while being recorded.

It’s a big deal.
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If you want to make ballots:

  • hard card stock paper
  • Construction paper (or different colored paper doesn’t matter the kind)
  • rubber cement/glue stick/zots whatever you have to use as glue (even tape would work)
  • Find the categories online (they have printable versions)
  • Fun wavy scissors
  • Hole punch
  • ribbon

Step 1: find categories online and paste into word document to recreate the font & size.  Print out and cut around edges with wavy scissors.

Step 2:  Cut out triangles of different color paper for the edges.

Step 3: glue on the triangles, and then the categories.

Step 4: Stamp or write at top “Oscars”

Step 5: Hole punch at top and thread ribbon through and tie a bow. Whaaaalaaa! Fancy dance ballot for Oscar party!

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~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

Semi-Homemade Indian Food

Indian food is my by far my favorite. It’s bubbling with spice and flavor.  

And yes, I fed indian food to my 11 month old baby; She loved it!  This is a quick & easy recipe to bring the taste of indian food into your home. Indian food is full of great nutrition!

[Usually I make my sauce (the longer version of this recipe) which includes ingredients like tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, cumin, curry, coriander etc… ] I will be sure to post the sauce in another recipe!

Ingredients: 

  • Ground Turkey, or Chicken (cut into bite size chunks)
  • 1 onion
  • mini Yukon gold potatoes
  • Brown Basmati Rice/ or Quinoa
  • ANY indian paste or pre-maid sauce.  (Tikka Masala or Korma tend to be mild and not “spicy” in flavor)  If you like spicy then try vindaloo or curry.
  • peas
  • You may need sour cream or yogurt

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Step 1: Gather all your ingredients first! Then doing any chopping  (onions/potatoes/chicken)

Step 2 (photo above “#1” ): cook the meat w/ chopped up onion.

Step #2: Boil potatoes (if you can only find big Yukon gold potatoes then chop them up first)

Step #4: start cooking rice or quinoa.

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Step 1 (photo above): Once the meat is fully cooked add in your indian sauce.  If you bought an indian paste add 2 table spoons and water (read label).  Mix together and add in frozen peas.

Step 2: Add in cooked potatoes and mix together.

Step 3: Taste test for flavor. If the dish is to spicy for your liking simply add 2 spoonfuls of yogurt or sour cream. And mix for consistency and preference.

YAY! now put cook riced/quinoa in a bowl and covered with your delicious indian sauce 🙂

Happy cooking!!!!

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia 

Just Beat it

I am like my father.  I need someone to give it to me straight.  Probably why I am sometimes harmfully honest with people.   But, you can handle it.

My father was diagnosed with Stage 3″B”  Lung cancer.   

I feel as though I have entered this “sandwich” generation of caring for my young daughter while preparing to care for my parents. It’s a tricky place and a humane place to be.   It makes me think:  these are the moments.

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In my life I am always brought back to moments.  Moments of time passing slowly, and others quick.  One of Life’s many contradictions that continue my quest for knowledge.  A particular kind of knowledge. Spiritual knowledge.

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To be frank, people ask, “how are you?”  And the pressure to be positive all the time is exhausting.  What am I supposed to say?  How would you feel?  I just nod and say, “I’m fine.”

When someone close to you is diagnosed with Cancer a million things run through your head.  Your emotions go “haywire.”   Common emotions include: anxious, fearful, sadness, loneliness, hopeful, and inspired.

Anxious because you are unsure. You do not have all the facts or answers.  You enter a world of “unknown” territory. Fearful of loosing someone you love and care deeply for.  Someone you trust.  Someone you look up to.  A hero.  Connected souls. Your father. Then, Sadness sets in.  Then alone.  Hopeful for the best.  We utilize tools like logic and reason.  If A, then B.  If we do not have facts and answers, then we cannot draw conclusions.  No need to be fearful or sad.  Then, inspired to fight! BEAT IT! WIN! SURVIVE!

 

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Stage 3″B” lung cancer is not the full story.  My father almost died.  He had a massive blood clot in his lung, lung cancer, and pneumonia, and…He lived.  My dad already is a survivor. 

The new Michael Mafia Motto: Just Beat It, Michael Jackson    

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“How to: Cancer Party”  to come…

~The Chance for growth is infinite~ Georgia