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The Tree of Life

My name is Sarah, and it's been 11 months since my last post. I've thought about it, but life is constantly getting in the way. I even made a goal this year to write more, but it really hasn't happened yet.  Until today.

I went on Facebook this morning to check if there were any updates about the accident I saw on the way to work. Instead, I saw an obituary for a woman I've never met. But I know who she is. She received a kidney transplant a few months before I received mine.

And according to her FB page, she had a difficult time leading up to transplant, a tough recovery, lots of additional illnesses and setbacks, and long hospital stays.

I, on the other hand, never had dialysis, was on the transplant list for an unbelievable 5 months (the wait list is normally 5 YEARS), had a 3-day hospital stay, and other than not tolerating pain medication (so I could only take Tylenol which did nothing for the pain), I've been on my merry, healthy way for over 3 years.

I saw …
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2018 Musings

I'm the kind of girl who, at 40 years of age, still calls herself a girl. I'm an organized person living in a cluttered house with child hoarders who keep tiny pieces of paper and use scotch tape liberally on empty toilet paper rolls, er I mean, swords.  I can't figure out why there are stickers on my couch because my twins are in 4th grade. I wish we had a house with a mudroom or a closet or a nook, just so my husband can stash all his running/biking/etc stuff there instead of on his kitchen chair. I just started wearing a plum colored lipstick and realize how much better I look even though according to the fashion magazines, my skin tone is warm and I should wear browns instead. I'm currently wondering how to respond to one of my child's teachers who reached out about the fact that he's acting up in class... and his response - "I want to have a social worker like _____ because he gets to take breaks and play with putty." My daughter took a Chicago H…

Two Years

I wanted to write a moving and inspirational post about celebrating my two-year post-transplant milestone. (I also wanted to post a nice family picture, where everyone was looking at the camera, the twins did not have to be separated because they were hitting each other, the shorter boy on the right was not squeezing his brother's stomach too tightly, and I did not have a glowing bulb of sunlight shining brightly on my lady parts, but well... you know... that's life.)

Instead I will share one of my favorite pictures of this day. We had wanted to do an outdoor autumn photo shoot with my family (grandparents included). It was scheduled for the end of September in Chicago. So of course, I bought (matching) long-sleeved shirts for the boys, had a pretty (color-coordinating) sweater picked out for my girl, Keith was going to wear his grey pullover, and I lovingly pulled out my tights and boots for what I thought was going to be a cool and beautiful fall day.

It was 88 degrees at 6…

A Season of Change

We've had a busy couple of years. 2015, the year of health crises (or the year of the transplant). 2016, the year of recovery (because even though I bounced back from surgery well, it took awhile for things to get back to normal.  Heck, our office is still not recovered with the mess in there. ;) )  So of course, I had to go big with 2017, and it became the year of change.

For a variety of reasons, personal and educational-focused, I chose to remove the kids from their private Catholic school and switch them to public. While this is a big deal to the kids (new school, new friends), you'd think it wouldn't be that big of deal for me. But it is. I attended the same school 100 years ago. I grew up in the parish. I received the sacraments from Baptism to Marriage there. It's my home.

But when you are me, and you pull from private to public, but still want your kids to have a Catholic education and be confirmed when they are older, you need to find a religious education (R…

Book Review: Sweet Tea and Spirits

Book: Sweet Tea and Spirits
Author: Angie Fox

Verity Long and her ghostly sidekick, Frankie, are on track for another adventure! The book starts out with Verity receiving a mysterious call from the Sugarland Historical Society, stating there was a murder. But how can there be a murder when no body is found? She enlists Frankie's help to investigate, which leads to a humorous and engaging story!

The book is well-written, like the others in this series.  I enjoy reading cozy-mysteries, especially those that focus on the paranormal.  The author does a great job of creating funny characters with depth.  I definitely recommend this series, and do feel that the reader should start at book one.

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Memory Keeper

A long, long time ago (maybe 2002?), these two kids went to the Shedd Aquarium. Pre-kids, of course. In fact, they had only been dating about a year. (If you don't count the break someone thought he needed. *insert eye roll*)
The girl bought a cute little-penguins-dancing-in-water keepsake, which she kept on her desk at work for many years. Until she moved to a new building and her office had a window.


But alas, nothing lasts forever, especially plastic with what is probably some sort of toxic chemical keeping the penguins afloat which decided to leak out all over the windowsill...and today the girl had to throw out her keepsake.

But (to sadly quote Metallica *insert even larger eye roll here as the girl hates the band*), the memory remains.


Lady Admired - A Book Review

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of this book, Lady Admired, by Jane Charles.

I absolutely LOVED this book. The only reason I put it down from time to time was because my kids need a mother. ;) This was a a great way to wrap up the Tenacious Trent series. 
Rose Trent, a young widow, is the  Dowager Countess of Bentley.  She finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime, although it didn't quite start out that way. Kidnapped by a Scot after he found out who she was, she was taken back to Laird Aiden MacGregor's manor.  
Aiden MacGregor is a handsome yet firm family man who for once, acted before thinking.  After sending a random letter to Rose's stepsons, he begins to regret his rash decision to kidnap Rose.  He knows that in doing so, he has signed his own death warrant, as kidnapping will result with him swinging from the gallows.
As Rose becomes enamoured of his family... and of Aiden, she also finds her true self.  Married at 15 to a horrible man, she…