Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

So I have to say that Santa as well as all of his helpers were very good to me this year. Not that this has any real bearing on the holiday.

At 7:30 Alice & Eddie as well and Aunt Bea came over to have Christmas Morning as a family. Mya woke up went potty and Nana & Mya started heading down the stairs. The first thing that caught her eye was her new tricycle. She played with that for a few minutes then we started to open gifts.

After gifts were done we ate breakfast. We had tamales and eggs and Bea made posole per my request. We had a nice morning enjoying every one's company.


After Eddie, Alice and Bea left my Mom put her pies in the oven and I made my potatoes for Mary & Rick's house. Eddie and my Dad both went back to sleep. While my Mom was in the kitchen Mya took the opportunity to whip us up a little something while wearing her new apron and chef's hat.


Mya and I took a shower and got ready, woke up our Dad's and we were off. Then we were right back because I forgot the potatoes. Then we were back on the road.
Mya took a quick nap while in route to Chino Hills. Eddie and I were laughing because my parents left at the same time we did and we had to go back and get the potatoes and we still made it to Chino Hills 15 minutes before my parents. Oh well, what can you do.
After Mya woke up she played shy for a few minutes once Kiki and Liam came Mya was all over the place.
When all was said and done it was a nice day visiting with all of our family. I love the whole aspect of family and spending time together.
I leave you with my favorite picture on Christmas Day.

Midnight Mass


I don't speak too much of religion or politics. I was born and raised Catholic. Mya is baptized Catholic, she has only been to mass 4 times since she was born. I do not see how I could handle taking Mya to mass alone so I have chosen to start taking her after she turns 3.

Tonight was the first time I went to Midnight Mass. My parents got to our house about 10:00. We had the plan of going to Midnight Mass. So we all got ourselves together about 11:30 and headed over to Immaculate Conception which is 5 blocks from my house. I honestly had no idea what to expect for a Midnight Mass. Further more I did not know how I would feel about going back to church. It was very important that we baptised Mya very young, though Eddie and I have different feelings on this. The first thing my mom and I noticed was how beautiful the church was and how it was decorated.

Since we found out Sophia was ill I have always felt why did God do the to me? Have I not been through enough and now this? Well one of the things that was spoken about what being at peace with yourself during this time of year. I thought this mass must have been said for Sophia and I. There were so many subtle reminders of Sophia throughout the church and throughout the mass.

They even had a candle lighting at the end of mass. How perfect was this to remind me of my sweet angel. I left Immaculate Conception thinking 2011 will be the year I make an attempt to reconnect with my religion.
I look at some of my fellow BLM and think how could they be OK with God's plan. Though it is personal for everyone I have to say I admire all of these Mom's for being OK with God's plan. Or even how Eddie rationally says this is the way things have to be. Yet me the over thinker is now just starting to work on being OK.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve



Long before the days of children, Eddie and I have always had the luxury that we spend Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas Day with my family.




Tonight we spent the evening at Eddie's Uncle Johnny's house. We had a nice night.
As I have said tons of times it is very important for Mya to know her family. I am very fortunate to know my family. My cousins are all a phone call or email away at all times. Mya is the only grandchild on both sides of the family so her cousins technically are all 3rd, 4th or 5th cousins. I want Mya to know them all.
Tonight there were three little ones. Mya, Robert and Ray. They all played well together and that made me happy. The guys played cards and the ladies sat around the table chatting about various things.
Most importantly we got a family picture tonight. That is a very rare thing. We usually are missing one or two people in our picture but tonight it was all 6 of us.
As every holiday comes and goes I always wonder how life would have been as a party of 4 rather than a party of 3. Not a holiday (or day for that fact) goes by that I don't think of Sophia. How would our family handle having two wild haired crazy girls.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thinking and Speaking of Sophia

Friday Eddie, Mya and I went to the mall after dinner. Before we left I went up stairs and got Sophia. We were on our way. Mya was asleep the whole time giving Eddie and I a chance to enjoy and not rush.

Our first order of business was to go to Things Remembered to pick out a box for Sophia. I had found three that I liked but I wanted Eddie's input. After all Sophia is not just mine. So I showed Eddie the three options and we decided to get the box that was the same as Mya's. I am looking at it as a twin thing. They have something the same.

I decided to only get her name on it for now. I have to think of something special to put on it. I am happy now we have a proper box for Sophia now. I feel like this has been something that needed to be done and I am happy it is done for now.

Fast forward to this morning.......

Alice came to our house this morning to pick something up. While I was busy wrapping things to ship today Alice was playing with Mya. Out of the blue Mya says "That is Sophia's" Alice then asked her what is Sophia's? She walked to the Christmas tree and pointed out Sophia's angel I made her. Right next to Sophia's angel is Mya's star.

It felt like it was music to my ears to her Mya speak Sophia's name without having myself initiate the conversation.

Though we/I have never told Mya, Sophia is her twin sister who has passed away. This year I have made Sophia part of our life. I know when the time comes I will tell Mya, Sophia's beautiful story in it entirety.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sophia Rene Beserra

So here is my tribute to Sophia:
My Sweet Sophia,

I love you and miss you. This year has been an amazing year living your legacy. Without you I would not be the person I am today. I am also happy to say that you have become a bigger part in our life this year. Mya now knows Sophia is in our life. Your name is now commonly spoken in our home. Mya asks where her Sophia is. Mya will also ask me what is this? And my response is that is Sophia's or that is from Sophia's friend. She says oh. She asks me about your name is sand that I keep a copy on the refrigerator. For this I happy that you have now become an everyday part of our life. If it were not for you Walk to Remember, Los Angeles may not exist. For all of these things I thank you. I love you and miss you. Please take care of all the other angels that have joined you.

Love and Kisses,
Your Mommy

Operation Ornament

I have been working on Cinnamon Ornaments for all of our BL families for the holiday. I have posted some that are finished on Facebook. I have more to finish. I hope to have the project done by Friday and get them all in the mail. I want all of the families to have their ornament.


I have been struggling with the holiday's this year. And what makes me feel worse is that this seems to be the first year that Mya "gets it" yet Mommy don't not care to participate this year. I have been playing Christmas music in the car for Mya and she loves it. Our Christmas tree is half way decorated. I will get to it I promise.


So a little more about Operation Ornament......When I was younger my Aunt Margaret made these same ornaments except she would paint them. I am sure if you ask my Jojola cousins they will remember the ornaments. My Aunt passed away in January 2004. She was so creative. She also made these ornaments from walnuts. I wish I could figure those out.


So as I get all the pictures edited and all the ornaments I will post each one here on the blog. I want every BLM to know how much you all mean to me and how you have helped me with "Living my new normal"
So in the coming days look for your child or children's post. Also if you would like an ornament done for your child please feel free to email me (cassie@walktorememberla.org) or message me on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you Coach.

So this morning on my way to work I looked down for some reason and discovered my purse had 2 holes in it. My jaw dropped and I just got my purse 7 months ago for Mother's Day. I wanted to cry. I had just blogged http://livinganewnormal.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-28.html about how much I love my purse. I was my first Coach purse. How was it possible that it had two holes in it.

Eddie has always said around the holidays that I deserve a nice purse but there was nothing I really liked. This purse I LOVED. I loved the two flowers. It always made me think of Sophia and Mya, my two flowers.

So as soon as I got to work I called Coach to see what could be done. She told me to take it to the store and they will exchange it or send it for repair. So on my lunch I went to Montebello to the Coach store. When I was there I explained how much my purse meant to me. She took it to her district manager who happened to be visiting the store. The manager came to me and told me that she wants me to keep the purse and she feels that if we were to send it back to Coach I would never get it back. She she offered me store credit and she let me keep my special purse. So I looked around and I decided what I wanted. It was the same style just black leather. When all was said and done I had to give the manager a hug because I was so happy I got to keep my special purse, though it is not in the best condition I still have it.

I think after today I may just be getting into the Christmas spirit.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Can't I Get a Break? Please?

I have been having a hard time these days. Every things seems to be happening at once. I just don't know what to do any more. I guess that is life.

I am having a hard time with my teeth. There is so much garbage coming from my gums that I have an infection in my throat.

Work has been getting the best of me. It already feels like tax time. I hate this. But I know what can I do? I am very thankful to have a job with the way our country is these days. I think all I think about it work right now. I am already mentally preparing for tax time. I enjoy every moment with Mya and Eddie right now. Because in a month that won't be the case. I think that is the 1 thing I hate about my job. The fact that for nearly 3 months a year I am not as involved in Mya's life as I should be. I am her Mommy and she needs me. It is as simple as that. That is why Eddie says she is my "Mini Me".

I am not into Christmas this year. Two years ago it was exciting because it was Mya's first Christmas. Last year Mya had a little idea that something special was going on. This year we walk into Target or any other store and she tells me "It is Christmas Time" but I just can't get into it.

Walk to Remember, Los Angeles has been put on a back burner. As much as it hurts me to say that it has. I am planning to form a committee to help but I feel I should let everyone get past the holidays. So that is my 1 order of business (besides work) for January.

I think this about sums up my complaints. Thanks for listening.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Kind of Mother am I?

This is the question I ask myself. What kind of mother am I?



Here is the back story to this is: Today is my father in-laws birthday. This morning Mya and I went to go see Tangled with our cousins Dave, Linnea and Kirsten. After Tangled Mya fell asleep. We went home for a minute to grab everything we needed to go to GG's (Eddie's Grandma Gloria, Mya calls her GG for Great-Grandma) and make enchiladas. Eddie sat in the car with Mya sleeping while I got what I needed. Right as we got to Gloria's Mya woke up.



Mya played and was fine until about 2:30 then she started acting up. Here is the problem. I don't know if this was just the terrible 2's or if this is the fact that according to Eddie I don't lay down the law with Mya. The first time she was talking back I put her in time out in the hallway and she did not stay put. So I took her in Jessie's room closed the door and she threw a loud 5 minute temper tantrum. We came out and she apologized.



Round two: This time with Eddie. He did the same thing. He took her in the room and she screamed and screamed. She finished came out and apologized to everyone.



So our afternoon went on. We left and all I thought was what do our family members think of my parenting. Mya is a brat!

.
So now I ask is this terrible twos or do I need work. I often think I let her get away with so much more because I hate to think of all that she went through. Not that warrants bad behavior.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mason Maxwell

Since starting Walk to Remember, Los Angeles I have met so many wonderful people. Many of them I know call my friends. Friends that understand me. One of those friends is Karen. Karen is Mason's Mommy. I have kind of started looking at Karen as a little sister. I can not even fathom what Mason, Karen and Luis went through.




Today is Mason's 1st birthday. Mason now dances with Sophia in the heavens. I was very blessed to have made time to take a long lunch today to go to Holy Cross to visit not only Mason but my grandmother.
I arrived at Holy Cross about 1 pm. I immediately went to find Mason. I called Tiffany to ask approximately where I would find him. She gave me great direction. When I got to Mason I told him:
"Happy 1st Birthday Mason. Your Mommy loves you so much. I am so lucky to know your Mommy now"
I also asked Mason to please look out for my Sweet Sophia.
I looked around at all the other children and it brought a tear to my eye to know just like I have said before every single one of those children have a story and how I would love to know all there stories.
I then went up to go get Mason some flowers. I also went to go find out where my grandmother was. When I finished I got a text from Karen that she had arrived.
When I got back to Mason, Karen was there taking pictures.
She looked so in place. It was where she belonged. She was so happy taken all these wonderful pictures to celebrate Mason's 1st Birthday. I felt so proud that she was in her element. For this moment she was at peace spending Mason's birthday with Mason.
As time went on more of her family and friends showed up. So I told her it was time for me to go back to work and first I was going to go find my grandmother.

I got back into the car and drove to section R. When I found R there was a
grounds keeper cleaning her section. This is the first time I have been to see her, that I remember. I asked him to please help me find her. We walked down a hill and there she was. They had just mowed the lawns and he was so nice to he even cleaned her marker with his hands. I sat there for a few moments and just took in my surroundings. I was only 3 when she passed away. But the few things I remember about my grandmother was that she was my "Nana Dumpling" and I was her "Little Dumpling" I remember she had very short (shorter than mine now) white hair.
When Mya was born my mom called Mya "Little Dumpling" and even now she still calls her that at times. It was a pleasure spending a few minutes with my Nana Dumpling, Mary Francis Gutierrez. I am sure I will visit her and Mason again.
Sometime in my visiting with my Nana Dumpling I got a text from Karen to come back that she had something for me. When I got back I Karen came to my car before I could get out. She thanked me for coming for Mason's birthday. I asked her how she was doing and she told me OK. I told her that I personally struggled with Sophia & Mya's 1st birthday more than the 1st anniversary. I told her I can not promise but I can tell her from experience that the 2nd year is easier than the first. Then while we were talking two eagles flew over us. Karen immediately told me it was Sophia and Mason.
So Happy Birthday Mason. You Mommy and Daddy love you as well as your entire family. It is such an honor to get to know your story and to know that your Mommy is doing everything she can to live you legacy and remember you every day of her life.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HOPE

About a month ago I got two angel ornaments. One that said "HOPE" and one that said "BELIEVE" since then I have been trying to decide which one is right for Sophia and which one for Mya. Who exactly is Hope and who is Believe?

Yesterday it all became very clear to me. Sophia is Hope. Mya is Believe.

When I got to work I got a card from my new friend Kyna. It is a beautiful bracelet that is made with pink pearls and in the center is says HOPE. Right then I knew my decision was made for me. Sophia is HOPE.

Sophia was survived by nothing but HOPE. We all prayed and HOPED that she would be well and I personally held nothing but HOPE for Sophia. It came to a point that when we saw her getting sicker that all I HOPED for was that no matter what the outcome she would either make it and we would do what ever we had to for her or she would rest in peace and that I could be at peace with her passing.

I can say now that I am at peace with her passing. Though I wish things would have been different and that I would have got to say a proper goodbye. Now I HOPE she is safe. I like to think that she is looking after all the angels that have come to dance with her in the heavens, as I have now become such good friends with their mommy's. I know they are all looking down at us so proud of what their parents have been come and they all want us to know they are all OK.

I am sure that all of our angels have HOPE for us their parents.

When I am done personalizing HOPE and BELIEVE I will be sure to share.

Day 30

Day 30 - a dream for the future
Mya has a little sign her Nana got her that says "dream big". I don't know that I am one to "dream big" but I do know that I hope more than I dream. I dream that WTRLA will be a place for families to turn to for support. That was the whole point when I started this project.
At first I looked at it as a way to remember Sophia and honor her. Now I look at it for all the other families of loss. I love that I get to know Mikayla, Mason, Genesis, Aidan, Aubrey, Collin, Quetzali, Parker, Sarah, Whitney, The Ott Angels, and all the others that I have got to know through my journey.
Like one of my good BLM's says we are all sisters. I feel that we are, we all understand each other and that is such a huge thing.
Personal dreams for the future are to get my act together. I know I will and I really just need to do it and be done with it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29

Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days


My biggest hope and plan is for Walk to Remember, Los Angeles to double its size next year. We want to have 300+ people attend the walk.


I am in the process of forming a committee to help with all that is involved with the walk. I know that Kassi is very busy with school and work and I know that her and I can not do it all.
There is so much potential for Walk and I really want it to be all it can be. My problem is now that I am starting to get stuck in the tax time chaos I don't know how I am going to juggle both. But I know it will all work out.
Another hope I have is that in the coming year Mya starts to know Sophia more. If it was not for Jessica I don't know if Mya would have Sophia in her very hands. I want Mya to know she is a little sister, twin sister and NOT an only child. Though I love Mya with all of my heart and soul she should know about Sophia.
Overall I just want a happy, healthy 12 months ahead of me. I know that the upcoming months are so very hard for my family with my absence and I know that I am the only Mommy in our office and it is just so different for a Mommy to be off working all the time. Even more so when this Mommy and Mya duo is so close to each other.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28

Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse

Well this is a funny one. I just changed my purse again. Alice got me a very nice purse from a client. I used it for about 3 weeks and it was simply too big for me. It became a pit as my boss Paul described it. So today I just went back to my old faithful.
For Mother's Day I got my first Coach purse. I have pondered getting one for some time but Coach finally came out with something that called my name. So it was brand new to the Coach line and because of the price at the outlet and the additional off I got myself a $395.00 purse for $130.00 and Alice paid for $30.00 of it. So this is my purse. I love it. It is very "me"paid for $30.00 of it. So this is my purse. I love it. It is very "me"
So what is in my purse. I have 2 cell phones. My new one and my old one which acts as a phone book at the moment. I have my wallet, two transfer drives. A set of headphones. 2 chap sticks, Boogie Wipes, 2 Wisps, work keys, house keys, car keys, business card holder with my two business cards, Rx glasses/sunglasses. water, snacks for Mya and antibiotics.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Things Kirsten is Thankful For.

How do I start this?

Mya is the only living grandchild in Eddie and my families. Mya is the world to all of her, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunt Molly. But today I learned that Mya also means a lot to her 3rd cousin Kirsten.

Kirsten is my cousin's daughter, she too is an only for her family. Since Mya was born her and "Kiki" have done many things together. To each other they are first cousins. Kirsten's parents treat Mya like a niece as do Eddie and I with Kirsten.
From the time Mya graduated from being "Baby Mya" to "Mya Pants" and from the time Kirsten self proclaimed her her name to be "Kiki" (and Mya was able to say Kiki, and she now calls her "Kiki Bug") These girls have loved each other.

Mya Pants and Kiki Bug love to spend time with each other and have done so much together. Many trips to Disneyland, the Zoo, the Pumpkin Patch, Children's Museum, the list goes on and on. Today we spent the morning at Disneyland then had lunch together and I saw this sitting in the living room. It really melted my heart.


To know that Mya has a cousin who she adores and loves so much makes me happy. I sometimes feel the guilt knowing Mya will not have any other siblings but knowing that she has her Kiki Bug makes it OK.
I leave you with how Kirsten melts my heart.
Mya and Kirsten's first meeting and lastly with Mya Pants and Kiki Bug this morning. Two perfect paired cousins.


Day 27

Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death
Well it is not since my child's death. It is since my children's birth. I would have to say I drink WAY too much soda. I am a Dr. Pepper fanatic. I try to cut back but I just can't. I need my soda. Soda has been so bad for my teeth and I am now trying to get my teeth fixed so this habit is going to have to end very soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26

Day 26 - your week, in great detail


Well see Day 25 for the Monday-Friday routine. On Saturday mornings we hang out. Sometimes we go to Alice and Eddie's house and sometimes Mya and I go out with Alice. Sometimes we just hang around the house. Sometimes Mya has parties to go to. On Sunday's we either go to breakfast with Eddie and Alice or we go to Disneyland for the morning. We don't lead a real exciting life but it works for us.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Today was Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I love that it is just a time to sit and reflect on every one's year. My mother's family does not really see much of each other throughout the year for the exception of Mya and Kirsten.

It is my way to get the best of both worlds by hosting Thanksgiving because I get to have the Beserra and the Gutierrez families at one time. When it was just Eddie and I we use to split Thanksgiving in two. Dinner with one family and desert with the other. Now that we are a party of three it is important to me that Mya knows all of her family. In my eyes family is everything. I know that your immediate family if really your everything but even you extended family is still very important. Mya will be our only living child and as Eddie and I are both the oldest from our families we do not anticipate Mya having first cousins anytime soon. So for now Kirsten, Emiliy, Jacob, Kimberly, Jeremy and Liam are Mya's only cousins she knows. So for that is beyond important for Mya to know her family. Eddie and I have so many cousins and Mya does not for now.

Every Thanksgiving since 2007 (I know it was not that long ago) I am always thankful for my pregnancy. How blissfully ignorant I was. Just the day before we found out we were expecting. We did not know we were carrying twins we just knew we were about to start a family. So I always refer to this as my innocence of pregnancy stage.

So we woke up and started getting everything ready. My parents had spent the night and my dad's alternator went out on his truck so he was off taking care of that. At 10:15 we put in the turkey. I had made the potatoes last night. So really all that had to be done was setting the tables.

When our first guests arrived Mya and I had just got out of the shower. When we went down stairs we said our hello's. I had several little things to do to get ready to eat. When it was dinner time we went to the garage to say grace and we ate. Mya ate a hearty meal of marshmallows and apple cider (which she loved).

After dinner Bea and Alice helped with the first round of dishes then Aunt Joan and I took over. While doing all the dishes we had a nice conversation about Sophia. I found it to be very healing to speak of Sophia freely. Though I know it is OK to speak of her any time with our family it still was nice to know her presence was with us. After everyone went home I took a moment to reflect on the day. It was nice and I was happy that the day was filled with peace.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 25

Day 25 - your day, in great detail


This could be a long one. Today is Thanksgiving. So we will have a separate post for that.

My weekday in great detail is as follows:

I wake up at 6:30 am and take a shower, if Mya is awake then she takes a shower with me. When we are done I get Mya dressed and get myself dressed. Then Mya and I both brush our teeth put sweaters on go downstairs. Mya gets her vitamins. I get my cup of water and I get Mya her snack for our trip to daycare. We get in the car, say goodbye to Eddie and we are on the way. I recently have discovered it is faster to take the freeway to Temple City. So we take the 210 east to the 605 south to the 10 west. I get off on Temple City Blvd and head up to Mya's daycare. I usually spend 5 minutes with Mya and unfortunately I have to sneak out. Recently I have not to sneak out which is nice to get a kiss before leaving her.

When I leave daycare I drive to Commerce. It is only 15 miles from daycare to work but it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 50 minutes. Some mornings I talk to Alice and some morning I just listen to the radio.

When I get to work I check my work email, my personal email, and my facebook. Then depending on what day of the week it is I start working on various work projects. Most days we eat lunch in the office. One person will pick up and we all eat together. After lunch it is back to work. Thursday is my busiest day at work.

I get off of work at 5pm. Every night when I leave work I call my mom. I talk to her on my commute back to Mya. When I get back to daycare Mya is always excited to see me. We get in the car and I give Mya a snack for the ride home. Once or twice a week we stop at Eddie and Alice's house for a quick visit. Other nights we just go home. When we get home I start making dinner. Mya will play or she will eat left overs from the night before. At 7:30 Eddie gets home from work we eat dinner then it is time Mya to her room and some nights I lay with her for a few minutes. After she is in bed I do the dinner dishes. If there is grocery shopping I go to take care of that.

I usually go to bed around 9:30. That is my day. Fun isn't it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24

Day 24 - where you live


Eddie, Mya, Buster, Boz and I live in Monrovia. Next door to our house is Duarte. We live on a busy street and it has taken me months to get use to the cars, the 210, the fire trucks (that Mya loves), and the additional commute.


We moved this past February from Temple City. Which was a huge change for us. It is not only a longer commute for both of us but it is also not 8 feet away from our family.


Our family was blessed to live in my in-laws back house, It was very nice for us to have them so close but yet it was time to have our family branch out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23

Day 23 - a YouTube video that makes you laugh
I am going to have to go with this video of Mya:
The other one is Baby Mya Laughing at Daddy is not coming up for some reason.
Mya can almost always put a smile on my face. I love her for that and for so many other reasons. I have no idea where my daughter got her "moves" from but hey at least she enjoys herself. Like the sign in her room "Dance like no one else is watching"

Life, or something like that.

I think this is just going to be me complaining, so if you like bare with me.

I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. This year I feel like I am barely going to make it to Thanksgiving. As I just emailed my aunt....I need a drink. This month has not been good to me what so ever.

In the last two weeks I have managed to sprain my ankle. Had two teeth pulled. Have had to have the windshield replaced on one car. The dash lights and rear lights have been out on my other car. Just this morning we had to have the battery replaced in the same car. It has just been non-stop fun. I have now started to have Migraines again since Friday. I don't know if I am just to exhausted or even mentally drained.

Then it dawned on me instead of reflecting on one of the best days of my life, I missed it. I had been preparing myself to reflect on the innocence of pregnancy that I totally missed it. Three years ago on Sunday was the day we found out we were expecting. We did not know that 1 would become 2 or even that 2 would only give us 1.

Before we started our family I still loved Thanksgiving. Now I love it because the day before Thanksgiving 3 years ago we got our news. How thankful we were that year. I still treasure this time of year because from November 21st through January 8th we were so blissfully ignorant and pregnancy had innocence, I even had that pregnancy glow. I like to think that this was the best time of my life, I was so happy and terrified at the same time and it was all OK.

I am really working on getting all of this negative stuff out of my life. I guess when it rains in pours.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22

Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss
I think this is an easy one. I am going to have to go with Babycenter.com,
When I visit the chat boards there I have found boards that I can talk about Sophia openly and I can talk about all the new things Mya is doing.
I think I find a good balance there and that is good for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21

Day 21 - a recipe
I make this one thing that everyone loves and yet I have never tried it. They are called Pralines. The first Christmas Eddie and I spent together I baked for Alice. She told me her friend Nancy gave her this awesome recipe and could I try and make it. So here is it 5 ingredients.
Pralines:
1 stick of butter
1 stick of margarine
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of pecans
2 sleeve of graham crackers
Preheat oven to 350*
In a sauce pan melt both the butter and margarine.
While melting spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and arrange the graham crackers flat on the tray (I personally use a baking mat so I can lift up after baking).
Sprinkle Pecans over graham crackers.
Once butter/margarine is melted add 1/2 sugar and stir.
Allow mixture to simmer for 2 minutes until it starts to raise.
Pour mixture over graham crackers and pecans evenly
Bake for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool
Break apart and serve.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 20

Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss
Hmm, this is a good question. I use to love to bake. I would go all out for the holiday's. I don't know why but I did. Now not so much. I still like to try new things but I really don't find it to be as therapeutic as it use to be.
When I use to bake I would do it for days straight and enjoyed it. Now.....not so much. I do it because I need to for a holiday and that is that. Old me use to love to bake cookies. New me, purchases the tub of pre-made and adds nuts.
This is a good question as I do have some baking to do for Thursday. Now maybe I will get inspired to do it.....probably not.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19

Day 19 - a talent of yours
I love to craft. I use to make toy boxes and baby blankets and adult blankets. I also love to scrapbook. There is so much in the crafting world. Now I have taken up using a Cricut. When I get started there is no stopping me. Right now I feel like I have so much crafting to do but no time. So that is my talent.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18


Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding


I will have to add a picture or our wedding day later as I can not find any here. Here is a picture of Eddie and I They are all at home. So here is a picture from our 3rd wedding anniversary. We went to San Francisco and during our trip we made a stop at the Pez Museum. I was a happy lady that afternoon.
So about our wedding. We got engaged February 14, 2004. We started dating July 2001, 3 weeks after I turned 21. We knew that a traditional wedding was not in our cards. Eddie aways wanted to get married in Las Vegas so I gave in. Though in the back of my head I wanted to have a traditional wedding I was still OK with Vegas.
I made our wedding announcements, yes I said announcements because knowing that we were traveling to Las Vegas I did not think many other people would want to do the same and on a Sunday. So it simply said this is when and where we are doing it and we will have a champagne toast immediately following. I did not ask anyone to RSVP and that was that. So I started making plans and our parents started hearing how excited people were to go to Vegas when we get married. So things started growing. I kept calling the hotel to find out who had booked rooms so I could keep a semi head count.
We ended up booking a suite and having some catering done.
Eddie and I flew from LAX to Las Vegas on Saturday, August 28, 2004. Eddie and I arrived in Las Vegas at 10:00 in the morning and quickly went to scope out the hotel and the chapel. We even tried to go get our marriage license but when we got there the line was wrapped around the building. We went back to the hotel for check in and almost immediately we started running into our friends and family. We spent the day greeting everyone and the evening the guys took Eddie out for his last night of single hood. I went with my sister and her best friend and my friend Robyn to go watch the Fremont St. Experience and the show at Treasure Island. My allergies were not doing well from all the smoke so I turned in around 10:30 pm.
At 1:30 AM the best man had arrived and Eddie came back to get me so we could go take care of our marriage license since in Las Vegas the County Recorder is open 24/7 on the weekend. Rick, Eddie and I went and got the license. When we arrived there was seriously no one there. We were in and out in 5 minutes. Afterword we had celebratory Del Taco at 2am. Eddie and Rick took me back to our room and they went out for a little while longer.
That morning we woke up and got dressed and went to the coffee shop to have breakfast. It was so amazing how many people we ran into that were there to see us get married that afternoon.
After breakfast my mom and I went to Costco to get my $12 wedding cake and to pick up some last minute items at the grocery store.
When we got back to the hotel and then it hit me......I am getting married in 2 hours. I still needed to get my hair and make up done and there was so much to do. I think my sister wanted to slap me and tell me to calm down. That was my bridezilla moment. Everything was fine after that I went to get my hair done and then I went with my sister to get dressed. When we were walking to the chapel I ran into more family. I was still amazed who came to our wedding.
We were so blessed to find out we were the only wedding at the Riviera that day and they did not rush us which was so nice. My dad walked me down the aisle.
When Eddie said his vows I started crying. Then when he was saying the part of "I Eddie take you Cassie" the minister told Eddie "tell her not me" so when it was my turn to say "I do", I looked at Eddie and said "I do" then I promptly looked at the mister and told him "and I do" I felt better after that and everyone laughed.
Before we knew it that was it we were married. After we took our pictures everyone went up to the suite and we had a nice time. Rick, Sara, Alice and my father all said some words and everyone had a great time.
I have no idea how but we ended up getting 2 limos and going down to New York, New York to a club then we went across to MGM. Everyone had a great time.
In all we had 78 of our closest family and friends there. We never expected that but it was amazing.
So that is our wedding day. We had fun, our family and friends had fun. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17

Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you

This is another good one. I have two in mind. One is a painting and one is a sculpture.

The first is the paint I received as a gift from Alice at WTRLA in October. Though I am still trying to figure out the best place in our house for it I still love it.

I know in my recent posts I have said I don't read but I am now trying to get through the book that inspired the painting. It is inspired by the book "Can You Drink the Cup". It is a somewhat religious book but I promised myself before looking at it I was going to read it. The artiest sent me a copy of it to read and to tell me that it is what inspired her beautiful work.


Next is one of my most prized possessions. This is my sculpture that was made for me by D. Antonia Truesdale you can find her work on Etsy.....http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMidnightOrange
she is also my friend on Facebook. I am so in love with this sculpture. It is a perfect depiction of myself and my girls. I have it sitting on my armour in my bedroom under my most favorite picture of Mya. It is also next to Sophia's butterfly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16

Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly).


Goodbye Baby- by Fleetwood Mac



Well lately Mya and I have been listening to the same song over and over again. Eddie compiled the play list from Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. Here is the list for you:
He made the CD's with the intention of us to play them at the walk. Because of our CD player issue that did not happen.
So I have been listening to the CD recently. On Friday on our way home from having lunch with my mom Goodbye Baby came on and Mya was "singing along" with it. It just melted my heart. Then when the song was over she told me "play the pretty song again" so I did and she kept singing.
So here are a few more tidbits about this song. In 2004 Eddie got for his mom and I tickets to see Fleetwood Mac. They are my most favorite band EVER. This was when this CD came out. They played Goodbye Baby at the concert. At the time I thought it was a pretty song and that was it.
The day before WTRLA when I was running around I heard Goodbye Baby again. At the time I knew it was Stevie Nicks but thought it was a Solo job not a Fleetwood Mac song. Then today when I went to post about this song it all came back to me. I remember the song at Verizon in June 2004.
Just this morning after breakfast Mya asked for the pretty song. Not only is it a pretty song but Mya thinks it is a pretty song and she sings it to me. How could that not bring a tear to your eye.
So here is the YouTube link and the lyrics for your pleasure:
"Goodbye Baby"
Don't take me to the tower
And take my child away
It was I who was The hourglass
And the sands of time like
Shattering glass went past me
Like a tunnel to the sea
And I who went to sleep as two
Woke up as one now only you remain
You'll close your eyes and travel back
To the time when the light went fading fast
And the words you'll never, never forget, oh no
As you slipped away
Goodbye babyI hope your heart's not brokenDon't forget me
Yes I was outspoken
You were with me all the time
I'll be with you one day
And I who went to sleep in tears
Woke up in tears, for all of the years
And I who never, never said goodbye
As I slipped awayGoodbye baby
I hope your heart's not broken
Don't forget meYes I was outspoken
You were with me all the time
I'll be with you one day
Goodbye babyI hope your heart's not broken
Don't forget meYes I was outspoke
You were with me all the time I'll be with you one day
Yes, I'll be with you one day

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15

Day 15 - what you like about your house.


Eddie, Mya and I just moved into our Condo in February. The reason we moved is because, we felt it was time for our family. Eddie and I lived in my in-laws back house for nearly 8 years. It was the home we came home to when we got married. It was the home where we hosted Thanksgiving several times. It was the home that we got our news that we were expecting, where we found out Sophia was ill and the home we would bring Mya to when she was born.


In February we moved from Temple City to Monrovia. We now live in a 2 bed room condo. There are things I love about our house and a couple things I don't like. Since this post is about what I like here is what I like.
I like that I have a huge bedroom and I have a huge closet. I like that I can go up to my room and relax and scrap (when time permits). We have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and now after a couple of months both of our pets are here with us. Mya has her own room and a huge closet for herself. We do use some of it for storage.
I like that I have more cabinet space and a dishwasher.
I like that I can leave my keys and purse in the car and it is safe. So that is what I like about our new home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14

Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss
Again this is a hard one I don't really read. Only to Mya.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13

Day 13- A fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.


This is a hard one. I don't really read much.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12

Day 12- Something you are OCD about.


Mya. Hands down, Mya. This little girl. I am OCD about all that is Mya.
Mya is my light and soul. Eddie and my In-Laws call her my "Mini Me" I know that Eddie and I will not have more children. I want to do everything possible with Mya. That is why her first year I took her pictures every month and since then I have done them every three months. I have kept her blog so I can one day print and bind it for her. I know her blog is just little things we have done but it is still a journal of all the little things she has done.
When she was born she was so tiny I have to remind myself how blessed we were at the time to be able to take her home with us when I was discharged. When Alice and I go shopping and come across preemie clothes we sit there in awww and think how tiny she was.
I constantly have these thought of how my pregnancy was for Mya. I have a very bad tendency to not give Mya timeouts as often as I should. I want her to remain a baby as long as possible because I know there will not be babies in our house.
All of Mya's clothes are put away, all of her hair bows are hanging, all of her blankets and towels are folded and put away. I even still wash my 2 and nearly 1/2 year olds clothes in Dreft. There is something about it that just makes me feel comfortable with my baby. Mya has enough clothes to cloth her and her sister if she was here. I even have a bad tendency to buy things that are the same in various colors. I don't know if that is my twin mommy instinct or what.
When it comes to Mya's health I am beyond OCD. I don't want her to end up looking like me. I really watch her diet. When she gets sick I do not care how many $35 co-pays it costs me. The way I see it I have earned the right to be paranoid Mommy.
If it were not for Mya I don't know where I would be today. Knowing my past I know that I use to struggle with depression. I know that every thing in life happens for a reason. If it were not for Sophia I would have never met all the wonderful woman I am happy to say are my dearest friends. If it were not for Mya I would probably be in a hole somewhere.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11


Day 11- A photo of you recently and how does it make you feel?


This is a picture of myself and Tiffany the day of Walk to Remember, Los Angeles. I know that day I had such a feeling of accomplishment that day. Our walk turned out to be 2 times what I expected. Though there was so much work involved, I was still just amazed with how the day turned out.
Not that this is my most recent picture I like this picture.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you

and how it makes you feel seeing it now


I am going to have to find a picture and come back to this one. Eddie and I will be together 10 big old years this coming July and I am kind of excited about that. Though we have only been married for 6 years. So I will have to find a non Cassie Beserra related picture and find a Cassie Jojola picture to write about.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long Beach Memorial/Miller Children's Hospital

Last night I attended the prenatal loss group at Long Beach Memorial. Many of my new BLM friends that I met at the walk attend this group.



Mid day I found out Karen would also be attending this group so I had to make a couple calls to be sure I could go.



At 5:30 I got a call from a client that lives in Long Beach and I asked her the best way to get to Long Beach Memorial. Thank you for the great instructions Nellie. So I left my office at 6pm, grabbed a bite to eat and was on my way. I had my nightly conversation with my mom while driving there. When I arrived I text Lucia to find out the best place to park and I text Karen to tell her I was on site.

When Karen arrived we walked in. This was the first time Karen had been to LBMH since Mason passed away. We got instructions on where the meeting would be and were on our way again.

When we got to the group there were several familiar faces. Sharon started the meeting. She left the new comers for last. Listing to every one's stories of their amazing angels always makes me think what we went through with Sophia was nothing. Though it was something to me it was nothing in the big scheme of things.

Karen told Mason's story and to hear her tell his story brought tears to my eyes. She had never been to a group before and I think she did a wonderful job of telling everyone how amazing Mason is, and what joy Mason has brought to Karen's life.

Then it was my turn to tell Sophia's story to a whole new group of parents. Every time I share Sophia with other parents I always seem to break down and cry. No matter of how proud I am of how far she made it, it still hurts like it was yesterday. I told everyone what we went through with a poor doctor and how things could have been different and that is why I have choose to do the Non-Profit work I have started.

At the meeting I met the first surviving twin Mom ever in person. Dana is mom to Grace and Benjamin. Benjamin lived 24 minutes after birth and now he dances with Sophia.

After the group I got texts thanking me for coming. It was very nice to know that I was welcomed to a group that I had never been to and that they were happy to hear Sophia's story.

Day 9

Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss




Hmm. This is a good question. This is a picture of my mom and I in August 2010 while in Teluride, CO. My parents, Mya and I went to visit my brother and sister. Though I wish Eddie was with us we still enjoyed our trip.
This is also the photo I cropped for my Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope story. I was happy at the time because I had just seen one of the gondola stops was Station Saint Sophia. Seeing this really made my whole trip worth it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8

Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad


These are Sophia's Ultrasound pictures from January 4, 2008. They make me angry and sad. Because if you look at them you can see her Hygroma. It is very large and VERY clear and yet my OB/gyn did not tell us she was ill. She told us we needed to go see a specialist because we are carrying multiples.
Looking back rationally I think she did one of two things. She did not want to tell us the bad news or she wanted to have the whole situation analyzed before we were told Sophia was ill.
I know there is nothing we could do to fix her but to at least tell us hey there is a chance and you need to have another doctor look at this.
Again this falls into the whole "If I knew then what I know now" scenario. Then these pictures looked like our twin A. I cropped Mya's U/S picture off of this. These are the only Ultrasound pictures I have of just Sophia. I have one last picture of Sophia and Mya the tops of their head on February28, 2008. I wish they would have given me more pictures of just Sophia.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Day 7- a photo that makes you happy.

This is a good question. I have so many that come to mind for for the purpose of this blog I am going to go with this picture.
My first ultrasound picture. December 3, 2007. The day I found out my 1 was 2. Though looking at these simple little eggs. You can clearly see Mya is bigger. You can also see her little heart. Sophia is smaller and you don't see her heart. But this is the only ultrasound that you really don't see Sophia's problems. I think though I was scarred out of my mind his was still a happy day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6

Day 6 - twenty things that calm you.


This is a good one and is going to require some thought. So here is what I have come up with.

1. Mya- That little girl simply amazes me. She is so playful and the way she gives her hugs and kisses would calm anyone. Ask Kassi and Nick. Though it took a couple of visits with Nick for her to give him hugs.

2. Music- Music is a very big part of my life. My father and Uncle are musicians. I use to be a musician. Music can be a very powerful thing if you let it. I have been known to listen to the same music over and over again. Like currently I listen to Bethany's blog http://matbethany.blogspot.com/ She is the only mom I keep contact with that is parenting a surviving twin. I think her play list was made for me.
3. Eddie- If he is not the reason I am frazzled then he knows how to calm me down fairly quickly.
4. Surfing the net- Sitting in the evening after Mya has gone to bed can be calming. Checking all the blogs I follow and facebook.
5. Scrap booking- I love scrap booking. Though I have not done it in a long while I still think it is calming.
6. Chatting- I love chatting with any of my BLM friends. I love to hear their stories and getting to know them.
7. Shopping- Though I don't do that much anymore retail therapy is always fun.
8. Starbucks- Nothing like a nice treat for yourself.
9. Baking- When I bake, I bake. I do tons. It keeps my mind off of other things. I will go on for hours and hours.
10. Sewing- Before motherhood I use to craft. I use to make blankets and all sorts of other items. I did my last craft show when Mya was 3 1/2 months old. Sometimes I think about doing it again and then I realize how full my plate is.
11. Talking to my Mom- Or as Eddie and I have a running joke "Are you talking to your MOMMY"
12. Talking to my sister, Molly- What can I say we are sisters and we stick together.
13. Going for Rice and Roll with Alice- Sometime Alice and I sneak off and go treat ourselves to Shrimp Fried Rice and Shrimp Crunchy Roll at Tokyo Wako. It is a nice treat.
14.This one is bad. Picking at my face- Plucking eye brows or black heads is calming to me.
15. This should be at the top of my list, Going to Disneyland- I have an annual pass and going makes me feel like all of my worries are not an issue while we are there. Lately we have been trying new things that we have never done. So that is fun times.
16. Sitting in my rocking chair- As I am doing at this very moment. Sitting in my rocking chair in the dark in my bedroom.
17, Blogging- When Mya was a month old I started a blog for her. http://myaquinn.blogspot.com/ I have always kept her for her so that one day she have it all printed and see every little things she does. Recently I started this blog. I have to say though getting everything transferred from my email to this blog was emotional I have to say it was very therapeutic and I am glad I did it.
18.Family outings- Though most of the time it is nothing major we still have fun. I am always being accused of not wanting to do house work so that is why I am always out but I feel I want to be fun. My house looks like a 2 year old her parents live in it. At times you will find clothes on the floor or puzzles scattered all over but it is not filthy. A 2 year old lives here.
19. Nothing- A whole lot of nothing can be very calming.
20. Remember. When I remember the wonderful kicks I felt one so low and one up in my ribs those kicks remind me of a time so simple. When I had hope that Sophia would make it and always wished the doctors were wrong.
There is my 20. That was a hard one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

How Hard Is It?

Today I saw a post from my partner, Kassi on Facebook. She was upset.

She said:
"Why do I keep getting mail from Similac and Babies R Us?? Not to mention these Facebook ads always say things like,"deals for your newborn." It's been 5 months and I thought I had opted out of receiving these things. So sad"

I know I am that rare case that still had use for my coupons after my loss. But this brings to mind something that happened to me a couple months ago. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a nut for keeping Mya's photo's up to date. I see it as we will not have more children and I want to be sure I document her growing up. So back to my story. A couple months ago I called our favorite photo place and asked to make an appointment for my daughter. They asked me for my basic information then the girl asked me would it be for Sophia or Mya or both? I proceeded to tell her Sophia was no longer with us, so it would only be for Mya. I think the girl felt bad but what else would I say. If I did not tell her now this would continue to happen.

So after commenting on Kassi's status I proceeded to email Similac as they were already closed. I then called the 800 number for Toys R Us after getting hung up on twice after being told that the only person to fix this problem would be the mother. I told them how many times do they need to call you? I decided to call my Babies R Us in West Covina. I told the girl who I was and after the birth of my girls that my breast milk never came in. I told her that I was so happy that they helped me out in letting me return all of my breast feeding supplies and I was thankful for that. I also told her that I have heard from several mothers that have had the same problem Kassi is having and we need to get this resolved. She told me she was going to transfer me to the baby registry department and asked if I would hold for a minute.

Two minutes later Randy got on the phone. He is the store manager and I told him the everything I told the first person. He said he agreed this was not right and we need to fix this problem. He asked for my phone number and he told me he would be calling me back, if not today Monday. Five minutes later he called back telling me that he is getting his district manager involved and that this is not right. He also assured me that we will work together to get this problem fixed.

I then called Gymboree after TJ informed me that she has tried three times to get off their list. I was told that a supervisor would be calling me tomorrow to get information from me.

This makes me sad to know that all of these mothers have to keep going through this over and over. How could large companies like this do this. This is a quick fix and once it is done this will help these moms.

Day 5

Day 5 - your favorite quote


Well I will have to say from the good old words of the US Army "Be All You Can Be"


I don't know if that is my parents strong work ethic or what but I have always tried to do my best at everything. Now I know that does not mean I was not always the best at everything but I was sure to give it my all and have fun while doing it.

I think this is the best quote for me. As long as you give it everything you have that will be fine. I hope that is one thing I teach Mya. As long as she does her best she will be the best she can be and that is fine with her Mommy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4


Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?


I can't say that I read books. About the extent of my reading is the IRS and EDD annual circlular. I read more magazines.


I do read to Mya. A book I registered for and still read to her is Guess How Much I Love You. My favorite quote from the book is:
"I love you right up to the moon and back"
With Mya I struggle when I think about what she went through after Sophia's passing. I often wonder if she will have any emotional trauma from my pregnancy. I also wonder if all the things they say about twins will be true for Mya. Will she know she is a twin? Will she sense her sister in missing from our lives. I know this is not the case like you see on TV how twins who are separated at birth know there is some sort of missing link in their life. Will that be the case for Mya? I worry about Mya a lot. I don't want her to be an emotional nut case like her mom is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sophia At Legoland


I got this today from Shannon. I feel like she is always thinking of me at the right time. When I am struggling she always seems to send Sophia pictures at the right time.

Day 3

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.
This is a hard one. Eddie and I have about three shows we watch together. They are Rescue Me, Dexter, Breaking Bad and It's Always Sunny.
When I watch any of these shows I seem to get lost. I think it might be a form of relaxation for me. Because anyone that knows me know that it take a lot for me to sit and relax.
So I don't know that they have been moving to me but I will say they help me relax. So that is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Am Really Doing It.


For years Eddie has said I don't have friends and that I need to get some friends. I would always tell Eddie my friends are online. I am happy this way. I want to spend my time with Mya.


I keep to myself. I love to craft. I go out and do things with Mya and before Mya I would go to family events with Alice.


I have always thought I am a bad friend. I work very hard and I am always a cruddy friend January-April, July and October. So why bother with the other 5 months.


Plus in my eyes family is everything. I love to have my family over for dinner. I love having Thanksgiving at my house. I love all the holiday's because it is extra time with family. Now that Mya is here and we have adapted to our "New Normal" I feel 500x more about spending time with family.


Then I started WTRLA. I started connecting with other BLM's. I felt talking (chatting) with them and meeting them in person. I could be myself. I could say I have twins and it was OK. I don't bring down a room when I am asked "Is she your only child?" or "How many children do you have?"


While at dinner tonight with Karen I felt all would be OK. All would be OK with her, with me and with life in general. I felt Sophia had such a strong presence tonight. Not only Sophia but Mason too.


I understand that all of us are in different places in our journey of grief but I have Mom's I look up to because they are so much more "ahead of the game" then I am. I am OK with that. I am also OK with not having friends or only having BLM friends, why because like Karen said it tonight "they understand me"


Thank you for dinner tonight Karen.........Thank you for helping me open my eyes just a little bit more.


I leave you with this sign that was at our booth at dinner tonight. Progress, a wonderful thing.