Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Road Kill

We woke up on Saturday morning to one less pumpkin on our porch.

Jay was devastated.

He loves carving.

And he loves his pumpkin creations.

Later on that afternoon while driving to the store, guess what I found?


Friday, October 29, 2010

you're welcome


Big day today here at school.

Lot's of learning to do - then our Halloween Party.

I can't wait.

I might be just a bit excited.

Can you tell?

My dress decided to be difficult and the zipper totally ripped this morning.

So much for buying a more expensive costume.

Apparently no matter how much money you spend,
they still sew on a ridiculously cheap zipper.

Oh well, I won't let is ruin my festive mood.

I hope everyone has a great day!

More pictures to come ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fur Coat Kid

Why am I more nervous about taking Cooper to the vet tonight to have his hip/leg looked at again ...

Then I've EVER been about any of our prenatal and/or blood work appointments in the past?


He's my baby.

And he keeps occasionally limping and favoring his other leg.

And it breaks my heart.

I love my little man in the fur coat.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27th

Happy Birthday to my wonderful father-in-law.

You are an amazing person, and I'm thankful for your love & support.

I sure got lucky in the in-law department.

Also, a big SHOUT OUT up to heaven.

One year ago today, our Baby-Boo went to heaven to be with Jesus.

Your mommy and daddy love you so much.

I'm choosing to spend this day as a joy-filled day, remembering the weeks of excitement that you grew in my belly.

So cool.

You continue to be a blessing & joy in our lives.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


If I'm dead this evening, it's because I OD'ed on Goldfish crackers.

Pretty sure I'm almost to the breaking point of death.

I can't stop.

They're so good.

I'm so INTO their salty taste today.

Gotta go ... I'm staring to twitch.

The lack of eating due to typing this post is KILLING ME!

KILLING ME, I tell ya.


It never fails.

It happens every year.

We have been learning consonant clusters in 1st grade this week.

Yesterday we were brainstorming words that start with "cr."

And someone brainstormed CRAP.


Always a fun one.

Always a crowd-pleaser (cr consonant cluster not intended).

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm continuing to grieve and process through my heartbreak & loss.

"I'm sorry, I can't find a heartbeat."

Words that no parent should ever hear.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Student QOTD

I really need to start a column called Student Quote of the Day.

These kids seriously crack me up.

Here are a few examples from this week ...


"Mrs. Stookey, when I'm thinking, my thirst is bothering me from my work."


Me (to student A): Stop picking your nose & go wash your hands.
Student A (not bothered AT ALL that I said that in front of the class): OK
Student B: Huh, that's weird.
Me: What?
Student B: He's not embarrassed at all.
Me: Dude, my thoughts exactly!


Student: Mrs. Stookey, I was born in South Carolina. When I was little we drove all the way here to Washington State to move.
Me: Oh wow, that's a long drive.
Student: I know - but we stopped for food.


Same student as above, about 5 minutes later ...
Student: Can you believe we drove that far?
Me: No, it's crazy.
Student: We drove all the way across - even across Montana.
Me: That's cool, you drove across the great plains huh?!?
Student: No, we drove a car.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Eye For Nature

Jay has such an amazing eye for nature.

Honestly - I am super impressed by his shots.

We went over to my parent's house for dinner on Saturday night ...
they live on Lake Washington.

Here are just a few of the {UNEDITED!} pictures that Jay took.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Getting the perfect picture for your Christmas card is HARD work I tell ya.

Enjoy these funny outtakes ...

I'll be honest
- I'm half tempted to actually use one of these on our Christmas card -

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun Weekend

We had a great weekend in the Stookey house!

Which basically translates to I-didn't-cry-all-weekend.

Yippee for me and more healing days to come!

On Saturday, we went to the pumpkin patch with our good friends Ty & Jordan.

We took a ridiculous amount of pictures,
so we could capture the perfect one for our Christmas card.

While I was going through the pictures, I spied this gem.

This one is guaranteed NOT to be on our Christmas card.

Thanks babe - every woman LOVES a butt-shot of herself.

My goodness.

When I asked him why he took this picture, he only said, "Ha ha ... gotcha!"


Moving on ...

On Saturday night, we went to dinner at my mom and dad's house for a HUGE crab feed.

It's a Diederichs Family Tradition.

Buy a ridiculous amount of crab,
then drink wine and eat crab until you die.

That's how we do it.

Here is a picture of my mom & dad while dad cleans the crab.

On Sunday, Jay cleaned cars and mowed the lawn while I planned for the next few weeks of school (I LOVE that feeling!) and went grocery shopping.

I also made a BOMB-DIGGITY dinner which I failed to get a picture of.

It was pasta w/chicken, roasted cauliflower, collared greens & lemon zest.


How was your weekend?

What did you do?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are You Normal?

I recently watched an Oprah show titled "Are You Normal?"

Turns out, I'm more normal than I thought.

TMI warning ... this post is riddled with TMI.

Here are some funny areas in which I fall into the NORMAL category:
  • I treat my dog (and talk to him) like he's human
  • I've lied about my weight on my driver's license
  • I've hidden a food wrapper in the garbage so no one would knew what I ate
  • I've said, "I'm fine, nothing is wrong" when in fact, there IS something wrong
  • I HATE strongly dislike football season, and it irritates me when it's constantly on TV (sorry babe!)
  • I look at my poop (hee hee)
  • I look in the tissue after I blow my nose
  • I pass gas (I know, shocking)
  • I use the paper covers on public toilets
  • I sing by myself in the car
And did you know ...
  • The average person picks their nose FIVE TIMES AN HOUR?!?
  • 43% of all people do not brush their teeth before bed
  • 1 in 4 men travel with a stuffed animal
How about you?

What's your confession?

How are you normal?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Happy Day to my two angels who are up in heaven.

Your mommy & daddy love you very much.

I am also thinking about my girlfriends
who have lost babies today.

You are loved.

And so are our angels.

* * * * *

The following excerpt was shared on September 28, 2006
to the House of Representatives when House Resolution #222 was passed,
and October 15th became Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I love it.

"Mr. Speaker, when any baby or child dies, there is deep grief for the hopes, dreams, and wishes that will never be. Left behind are a sense of loss and a need for understanding.

Every year, many lives are touched by miscarriage or the death of an infant or child. According to a 1996 study by the Center for Disease Control, 16 percent of the more than 6 million pregnancies that year ended in either a miscarriage or a stillbirth, and 26,784 births ended in infant death.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, which will be held on October 15, will assist in bringing the process of healing to families and will help to heal families who are coping with and recovering from a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of an infant.

Families will always struggle to cope with the devastating crisis of a miscarriage or loss of an infant child. Parents often cry, feel ill or depressed, or have other emotional responses for months or years after a death.

The pain is a normal part of grieving. Parents often want to talk about their pain and are pleased when others take the time to listen. People who come into contact with a grieving family have a role in helping to resolve the family’s grief. The role of each person will be determined by his or her relationship with the family and the family’s stage of grief. As a community, we should remember that no one can take the pain away from a grieving family.

We can, however, provide comfort, sympathy, and understanding.
There will always be the need for compassionate support for grieving families, and I hope that all Americans will take the time on October 15 to show their compassion for families that have experienced the loss of an infant or a child.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Embarrassing & True

This is both embarrassing and true.

When I put my shoes on yesterday,
I noticed I had a random creamy substance on my shoe.
(Jenna, that description was for you because I know how much you love the word CREAMY).

I honestly have NO IDEA what it is.

I was running too late to stop & wash it off.

And let's be honest - I basically justify everything with
"I work with 6 year-olds ... I'm not impressing anyone!"

This picture was taken on my way to my car
AFTER school at 4:30.

Yes, I wore the nastiness all day.

And yes, not ONE 6 year-old said a THING!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I'm freaking out here people


Costco has FINALLY updated their Christmas card styles for 2010.

I know it's only October.

But if you're like me - you dream about what your Christmas card will look like ALL YEAR!

P.S. I also love addressing all the envelopes!
P.S.S. If you think I'm slightly insane - then rest assured ... I used to HAND MAKE every single card I sent out. Obsessing over the Costco website it most certainly an improvement of my mental state.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why We're Perfect For Each Other

Walking into church on Sunday ...

Me: Seriously, I am so hungry, I could eat my right fist.

Jay: You should probably just start with your fingers. The entire fist might be too aggressive.

Me: Good call. I like it.

Jay: Now that I think about it - you should start with your pinky. It's not as integral as your other fingers.

Me: Why do you say that? The pinky is PLENTY important.

Jay: I just think you use your pinky less when you type.

Me: Well in that case, I'm switching to my left hand, because I MUST have my right one for the RETURN key.

Jay: Oh yah, I didn't think about that. Good call.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Therapy In A Picture Book

I received the most thoughtful, amazing gift in the mail last night.

My friend Angel sent me this beautiful book.

It was perfect timing.

I sat in my quiet house and read every word.

I soaked in every picture.

The wording was perfect, and the pictures were breathtaking.

Each one reminded me of the babies we've have lost.

I wanted to share it with you,
because if you know someone who has lost a child,
I know this book will bring healing.

Though it's very painful to read, it's a therapeutic cry that I'll never forget.

Angel, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Your generosity and thoughtfulness will never be forgotten.

I will treasure this book forever.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Evidence // Immaturity

Evidence of me being a fun 1st grade teacher:

I dress up stuffed animals in Halloween costumes.

And I document the event by taking pictures.

Or would that be immaturity?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Photo Sesh // Cooper

I found these old pictures on my computer.

This is what it looks like when you bring your dog into your classroom
on the weekend to get some work done.

You end up distracting yourself by
trying to get a picture of yourself with your dog.

And you're never quite successful.

*The last one is my favorite*

Thursday, October 7, 2010

- - - answered

I remembered!

I was supposed to go to the state department and ask them about changing my last name (on my passport) and renewing my passport.


I remembered too late ... but at least I remembered!

- - -

I have that sinking feeling that I'm supposed to be doing something right now.

But I can't remember?

Could it be that I just have a free afternoon?

The Stuff That Fits

I thought I'd engage in some retail therapy before my dentist appointment yesterday.

I tried on a ton of tops and dresses, but nothing seemed to work.

Everything was either too small, or too big and dumpy looking.

So I did what ever rational woman would do ...

I migrated myself to the purse and shoes section!

Because let's be honest.

Shoes, purses, books, home goods, bedding ...


Unfortunately, I found a purse I loved, about 10 minutes too late.

By the time I got in the check-out line, it was 4:50, and my appointment was at 5:00.

So again, I did what every sane woman does ...

I HID the purse.

I really thought about my strategy.

I didn't want to hide it with uglier purses (thinking less people would go to that section), because the beauty of "my" purse would stick out, attracting FLOCKS of women to leap like ravenous tiger at my bag.

I also didn't want to hide it in a random section (say the SOCK aisle, if you will), because again, it would stick out.

You see, I already considered this bag my prized possession and I needed to hide it to the best of my abilities.

I had to think quick since my appointment was a speedy 10 minutes away.

I decided to hide it with the other black purses, but I put it in the back of the rack, and turned it around, so the boring back-side was exposed.


Such a genius move!

So I hid the purse, then scrambled to my dentist appointment.

Throughout the entire appointment, I thought a lot of random thoughts (thanks to the laughing gas) ... but I mainly obsessed about the dang purse.

I was living on the boarder of "I hid that thing good" and "Someone BETTER not find it!"

It was insanity, I tell ya.

Anyway, long story long :) I drove back to TJ Maxx after my appointment, and ended up purchasing the purse (yippee!), a mirror for our entryway (I can't WAIT to show it to you!) and some socks.

You know, the important stuff.

The stuff that fits.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roller Coaster Business

Um ... HELLO!

I'd like to step off the roller coaster now.


I made it through the entire day yesterday without crying.

Yah me!

Then something triggered me in the evening and I was a MESS.

A mess I tell ya.


I talked to Jenna on the phone for a 1/2 hour and basically cried, then she told me funny jokes and stories.

I felt better.

The second I got off the phone with her, I rolled over and fell asleep.

Because this crying business is exhausting I tell ya.

And that was yesterday.

I'm back to the dentist this afternoon for the FINAL (I hope!) fitting of my crown.

Here's to a better day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Feeling better today.

Stopped at Starbucks this morning for a latte'.


Also put on a dress.

Dresses always help.

I feel really blessed with supportive & understanding friends.

Ellie - thanks for letting me cry in front of you for literally one solid hour.

Jodie - thanks for the hug before work started yesterday.

Paige, thank you for handwritten card in the mail (do you have ESP?).

Suzi, thanks for the talk after work.

Jenna, thanks for lending a listening ear when all I wanted to do was cry.

Jay, thanks for your unconditional support and understanding. How did I get so lucky?

Jordan, thanks for the impromptu visit & giggles last night - you always know how to brighten my day.

Kristi - thanks for the texts ... I LOVE YOU!

Angee - I always appreciate your perspective - you always understand JUST how I'm feeling.

Thank you to all my friends on FB who sent me such sweet messages - I felt so lifted.

Is this started to sound like an acceptance speech?


I am one lucky girl.

My counselor once told me - "We get back from relationships, what we put in."

Well I must be one great friend because you guys are AMAZING!


Today is a new day, and I'm getting my crown fixed today - so I have laughing gas in my near future.

And let's be honest, THAT is something to look forward to!


Monday, October 4, 2010


When life gets me down,

I cry.

And cry.

And cry.

And drop a f-bomb (because let's be honest - the occasional f-bomb feels really good).

And cry.

And go to counseling.

And cry.

I've had a really rough go at it the last few days.

And if I'm being honest - I'd say I've felt pretty beaten down for almost a year now.

I spent my ENTIRE therapy session this morning bawling my eyes out.

I'm not exaggerating.

Very little was said.

I basically cried.

You know when a lot of little things add up and then every time you get another hit it just feels really huge?


That's where I'm at.

I could go on and on about how blessed I am with a wonderful husband & family.

But I don't really feel like it.

Between two miscarriages, a crown that causes me constant tooth pain and falls out every few months, weight gain due to multiple pregnancies in a short amount of time, getting amped on a new exercise program then having it stalled by hurting my feet, nightly icing and massaging of my feet because they are KILLING ME (I've self-diagnosed Plantar Fasciitis), Cooper's hip bothering him & multiple vet appointments, blah, blah, blah.

I feel like I want to go outside and just yell, "ENOUGH" out into the universe.

Heck, I'd yell it to anyone who will listen.

I'll cry mercy, uncle, whatever.

I can't have any other pain on my plate.

My pain is physical and emotional right now and it's really getting me down.

I'm totally glass-half-empty right now.

Which I HATE to write about because that's not really who I am.

But honestly, how much can one person take over such a loooong period of time?

Typically, I'll blog about it - then delete it before hitting the POST button.

But I'm not going to do that this time.

I want people to know that life gets hard and feels REALLY heavy after a miscarriage (or any traumatic event).

Hits feel harder.

It becomes more difficult to juggle all the little things that used to feel easy.

And so maybe I'm just in a slump.

Maybe my hormones are raging because I should start my period soon.

Who knows.

All I know is I'm going to take today as it comes.

And accept where I am right now.

Because that's all we can do.


Friday, October 1, 2010

The Perfect Salad

We were running low on food a few days ago ...
but I had all the ingredients for a perfect salad.

Honestly, is there anything better than this?

fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
fresh tomatoes (from our garden)