Goals, plans, and lofty aspirations: Turning 35

Monday was my 35th birthday.  I would typically publish this post about my goals ON or before my birthday but I was waiting to hear back from a job interview that I had.

For my birthday, the kids stayed up late and made these lovely cards and flowers for me. They presented them to me with this awesome B-52s charm bracelet! So sweet!

So it seems that I didn’t get the job and after a good long cry, I’m ready to move forward with refocusing on my goals for my 36th year.  Ahem.
1.  Writing… and publishing.  This year I will continue to focus on my writing.  But I’m finally ready to work toward a goal of something bigger.  I’m prepared to write a cookbook/memoirs.  I’m also prepared to work towards publishing a brochure to be distributed to and by the families of sick children.  And, I hope to move forward with a graphic novel idea… if I can find someone who can illustrate it.

2.  Exercise.  This is self-explanatory.  I must I must I must start exercising again.  Yoga.  Running.  Just Dance.  Wii Fit.  Something.

3.  Comedy.  I will continue to read about comedy, watch comedy, learn about comedy and write comedy.  Then, I will perform comedy.  And I will keep writing with my friend Jake (an answer to prayers… about a week after I decided I was definitely doing comedy, he contacted me and asked me to write comedy with him and we’ve been working together ever since).

4.  Make Money.  I will pray that God shows me some way to help financially support myself and my children.  So far it’s not been very clear.


Some other things on my radar:  starting a business of my own, investigating going to school to become a lactation consultant, getting myself an agent and pursuing an acting career of my own, and of course the ridiculous goal of somehow, some way getting my own tv show.

If you wouldn’t mind, I’d appreciate prayers and good thoughts as I work toward these goals.


Saying Farewell To iCarly (featuring a recipe and a webisode)

It might be hard to understand why a 35 year old mother of three would cry her eyes out at the finale of a “kids'” show.  But to me, “iCarly” has been so much more than just a tv show on Nickelodeon.

It was three years ago when my now 7 year old daughter discovered “iCarly”.  She would slip out into the garage and watch television by herself.  Then she would come inside and talk about all of the crazy things she had been watching on some show called “iCarly”.  It sounded so bizarre that I even asked my friend if her kids watched it and if it was acceptable.  Because I was not sure what to make of it based upon my almost 4 year old’s comments.

Finally I decided to TiVo an episode and see for myself.  Immediately I was hooked.  The humor was just my style.  The bffs Carly & Sam reminded me of Laverne & Shirley or Mary & Rhoda.  This was no kids’ show.  This was a full fledged sitcom that would forever be held in high regard as one of my favorite tv shows of all time.  It was authentically funny.

Pretty soon we were hosting “iCarly” birthday parties and driving all over town to try and find a Sam figurine and buying too-big shirts for a little girl who just so desperately wanted to wear her favorite tv characters.  And eventually it led to the same little girl making videos of herself for youtube.  And finally it served as an escape from reality and a source of laughter when her heart was broken because her brother was sick and now lived in the hospital.

Our most amazing “iCarly” memory would have to be having an ice cream party (which Ronin won) with Jennette McCurdy.  It was only a couple of weeks before Hunter’s transplant process began and it happened to occur at a time in his treatment when it was relatively safe for him to be in public.  It was an incredible experience.  She was super sweet to us and it sure did help distract us from what was to come.

Over the years we have laughed, we have cried (okay, I’ve cried), we have eaten spaghetti tacos, we have sung along loudly to the theme song, and we have spent quite a few dollars on “iCarly” merchandise.  And we have loved every second of it.

TV shows end.  It’s a fact of life.  But this is the first time that a tv show that my children and I have loved together for the better part of their childhood has come to an end.  It’s the first show that we all watched together and loved together.  We will have to say goodbye to a couple of other shows that we watch and love together in 2013 when “The Office” and “30 Rock” come to an end.  But so far, this is the first time we’ve had to watch a series finale of a show that we’ve watched together.  And it just feels monumental and huge.  Sorta the way turning 35 is starting to feel.

Thank you to the creators, writers, directors, cast, and crew of “iCarly”.  You have given us more than we can possibly explain.

Spaghetti Tacos and Crazy Hats: iGoodbye in style

(BTW, spaghetti tacos , a Spencer Shay original, make a delicious gluten free, dairy free meal.  Here you see my special spaghetti tacos. Recipe as follows.)

Vegan gluten free healthy spaghetti tacos!

1 bag organic brown rice spaghetti noodles (we use the Trader Joe’s brand)

Organic marinara (again, Trader Joe’s)

Leftover roasted veggies from Thanksgiving (I used turnpips, beets, radishes, and carrots)

Garlic, salt, pepper, basil to taste

1 box organic taco shells (you guessed it, Trader Joes)

Prepare the spaghetti as directed.  Blend the veggies, seasoning/herbs, and marinara together in a blender (I use a VitaMix).

Combine spaghetti and sauce.  Serve in taco shells.


Please watch this episode of our webseries “The Real Homeschoolers of the Boro”.  It’s all about saying goodbye to “iCarly”.

Happy Rebirthday, Hunter (and a webisode!)


Waiting for his ECHO test.

My oldest son had cancer.  It still feels really weird to say that but he did.  He had cancer and he survived and he’s okay now. I use the term okay instead of great because, well, everything is not perfect.  There’s the fact that he’s at great risk for other types of cancer.  There’s the fact that he’s got pain in his hands whenever he tries to do normal regular things like writing.  And there is the fact that he is experiencing what is known as late effects of chemo and radiation and it’s caused him to be “impaired” cognitively in a variety of ways (on top of what looks like dyslexia).  He is such a fighter and he’s made so much progress in the past year.  I’ve watched him do theater and start karate and make new friends and take up the hobbies of reading and dolls.  He’s thriving.  He’s doing really well.  And yet I still cry frequently.  I still watch him and worry.  I still peak in on him while he’s sleeping and begin to sob at just the notion that he’s here, at home, with me.  And occasionally I freak out, not sure what the future looks like.  And sometimes I get angry.  Like when he says things like, “When I grow up, I want to adopt two kids and have two of my own” and yet again I have to remind him that he probably won’t be able to have any children biologically but that I’m so thrilled that the Lord gave him a heart for adoption.  Mostly though, I’m just thankful.  And proud.

Here is the premiere episode of our new webseries, “The Real Homeschoolers of the Boro”.  The topic of this episode is Hunter’s rebirthday.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope you learn something from it.  I hope you share it.  I hope it inspires you to look into becoming a bone marrow donor.  And I hope it makes you a little more thankful for what you have in your life.

Read about the day of the transplant here.

Thanking God for Grandpa: Birds of the Air Post 1

My pal Jessica over at Bohemian Bowmans has started a new link up and I love the idea so much that I just have to jump in.  The Lord is so often showing Himself in my life and I love the opportunity to recognize it and point it out… giving credit where credit is due.  While God is constantly providing for our needs physically, I feel like writing about how He provided for more of an emotional need this past week.  Let me explain.

My oldest son, Hunter, had a bone marrow transplant two years ago.  He had to spend this past Friday at the hospital.  The entire day.  It was his two year anniversary check up and these anniversary deals are loooooong and drawn out.  Thorough.  I’ll tell you more about his day in an upcoming episode of our webseries.  Anyway, the plan had originally been for us to find a friend to watch my daughter and my youngest son so that Hunter’s dad could spend the day with us at the hospital.  Because there were so many appointments and you never know how long each appointment might take, we had no idea if we’d have time to stop and eat and we’d be dragging our junk with us all over the hospital.  Plus his last appointment was a follow up to some cognitive evaluations that he’d completed recently and the evaluator really wanted his dad to be there too.

Hunter with his Grandpa who he adores 🙂

Finding a friend to watch the kids proved to be impossible.  Then Hunter’s dad got sick and we just decided to forget him going.  He couldn’t bring his virus germs into the cancer clinic.  So, miracle of all miracles, my dad offered to meet us there.  So that I wasn’t there all day alone.  He was so sweet.  He was great company and support.  He babysat our bags while we were in the appointments.  And he even bought Hunter some ice cream after he finished his lunch (which, luckily, we were able to actually enjoy leisurely between appointments).  Having my dad there helped me feel much calmer and at ease which turned out to be very important because I had to listen to some pretty disconcerting news at his cognitive evaluation follow-up.  Hunter even commented that it was really neat to get to spend a long time with Grandpa because usually when he visits, he’s in and out quickly.  I agreed wholeheartedly.

I am thankful that God provided the perfect support person during a really stressful day.  Turned out that not having Hunter’s dad there wasn’t a big deal because he was able to Skype with us during the follow-up information session.  Winning!

What We’re Reading: November 2012

I love participating in the “What We’re Reading Blog Hop” over at ChristianUnschooling.com!  It’s so much fun to take note of not only what my older kids are reading but how much as well.  It’s mind boggling to think about the massive number of books they are reading each month.  Library trips are so much fun!

Lately I’ve been reading memoirs.  More specifically the memoirs of female comedians, comic actors, comedy writers.  Self-assigned homework I suppose.  I read books by Mindy Kaling, Kathy Griffin, and Sarah Silverman.  Now I’m nearly finished with Jane Lynch‘s book.  All of these books have been inspiring and have helped me learn more about myself not only as a comedy writer but as a woman.  The best thing that I learned from these books is that all four of these women had a crazy obsession with television.  And of course, anyone who knows me knows that I have always had a crazy obsession with television.  Somehow knowing that I had this trait in common with these women helped me to feel calm and at ease in my pursuit of comedy.  Maybe it might even turn into a career.  Who knows?
Hunter and Ronin are both really into graphic novels right now.  The Baby-sitter’s Club, SMILE, Manga Math Mysteries, Baby Mouse.

Hunter wanted to tell you a little about the Manga Math series:

“I like it because the things that they do are really interesting.  And I like the characters.  They do things like solve problems.  In one of the books I am learning about geometry.”

Join us over at ChristianUnschooling.com for the “What We’re Reading” blog hop!  We’d love to know what great book finds you have made lately!

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