Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

Darin and I were shopping in downtown Spokane and went into our new favorite coffee shop called Atticus.  I've been there three times in the past week and just can't get enough.  If you know us, you know coffee is a big part of our day.  Nothin' better than snuggling up to a warm cup of Joe on a cold fall morning.  Heck, who said that coffee's only good in the morning?  I say, enjoy a warm cup while you're waking up; add ice chips to the coffee for a little afternoon pick-me-up; and if there's any left by evening time, why not add it to brownie batter, bake it up for dessert, and call it a day!  Okay, maybe that's going overboard but you get the idea.  Coffee = a calming comfort, in our book.  I've been drinking a lot of it lately.

While shopping in this darling little shop, we kept coming back to its British section.  And, here's what we found . . . we just had to buy it.  
Keep Calm and Carry On was a motto followed during the second World War as a morale-boosting reminder for the British during the "testing times" that were ahead of them.  Now it's become kitchy art sold in trendy coffee shops, but I still love it and it's a good reminder to keep things in perspective.  It's a universal lesson to learn and live by. . . when faced with a challenge or something that seems "too big", just remember to stay calm and don't freak out.  It will all be okay.  I told Colleen about the piece and she told me she's been the queen of many freak-out-sessions recently, but this experience with Lilly has helped her surrender to the unknown and approach difficulties with an openness that was not there before.  To head up hill, mentally or physically, is to open oneself up to the discovery of how beautiful and calm the view can be from the top.  When Colleen finds herself not carrying on as well as she'd like, she often reminds herself of the reaction to life Lilly needs to her to have . . . or even what reaction she would like Lilly to demonstrate when faced with tough times.  Keep calm and carry on, sista!

I'd say, with all that has happened recently, Colleen and Matt are carrying on quite well.  They've both been home with Lilly during this time and have been busy keeping her comfortable and entertained during her recovery.  Lilly, within a week's time, has emerged from a sleepy, not-so-like-herself little sprout to a laughing, drawing, wanting-to-chase-her-"baby bro"-'round-the-dinner-table big sister.  Yes, that tough cookie asked for her walker, got into position, and booked it around the house last night.  One week after surgery and Lilly's already on her feet!  Before that time, Lil' indulged in some hardcore video/movie watching (which is a huge treat for her and something that she would not typically do).  There's only so much you can do to entertain a 3 1/2 old in a halo.  I guess that's not entirely true.  Lilly has been spending a lot of time at her art station at the kitchen table and much more.

She's painted and drawn-up masterpieces on her tabletop easel and even created stories about the pictures she and Matt have made.  She also loves to organize her Charlie Harper memory cards, read her favorite books, and listen to music.
When I spoke to Lilly on the phone yesterday, she mentioned a boy named Michael.  Apparently, Michael was the boy Matt drew while we were on the phone.  When Matt asked what the boy's name was she said, "Michael!"  Both Colleen and Matt were unsure where she picked up the name, but my first thought was that Michael must have been angel that was with her in the hospital. 

P.S. St. Michael, the archangel, is the patron saint of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness. Lilly, you and your friend, Michael, are quite a pair.

When Lilly arrived home from the hospital, her Auntie Evie greeted her with balloons and a welcome home sign above her bed.
        Lil's bed has been moved into her parents' room to make it easier for bedtime.

The fam has also had dinner delivered by family and friends each night, and flowers and care packages full of goodies have also made an appearance. Lilly's in love with the sticker books, art projects, and the coolest pop-up book known to man. You all know how in love she is with The Sound of Music. . . .
Well, take a look at this!

Are you kiddin' me with The Sound of Music pop-up book!  Colleen said that Lilly's face lit up when she saw Maria twirling on the cover.  It was meant for Lilly, and now she has Salzburg in the palm of her hand.   
A dear friend of Matt and Colleen's has also worked hard on modifying a few new outfits in order to accommodate the halo and make is easier for Lil' to look her finest.  All the things that you don't think about when you're faced with wearing a halo.  Thank goodness for crafty girlfriends!
Colleen's been busy keeping their home comfy for their days in.  Although the surgery was not something she was hoping to go through with Lilly, she's making the most of her quiet time with her family.  It's forced Colleen to calm down a bit; slow her pace and focus on her kiddos, Matt and her home.  She's been so grateful for that!
Auntie Evie created a "recovery chain" for Lilly. She gets to pull one paper chain off each day in celebration of one more day of healing.  

I can't wait to have coffee with you next week.  Warm up the carafe and get ready for Auntie to spoil the heck out of you, girlfriend!   Cheers to you Lilly.  We all love you so very much.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Words cant explain the feelings your blog produces. YEH LILLY - you go girl!

  2. Thank you, Kate! You sure know how to put a positive spin on having to wear a stiff ole halo for six weeks!! I feel so good after reading your blog and seeing the pictures of Lil getting better and better.
    I hope we get to see you next week. If not, Happy Thanksgiving and please, more happy writing!!