The one where I return and report

Hi all.

Didn't mean to drop a bomb like that on you and then disappear for over a week. Sorry 'bout that.

The Dan update is this: Surgery went well, though it was hours and hours of an agonizing wait. Took way longer than it was supposed to.

They were able to remove the entire tumor without removing his kidney, but it did turn out to be cancer. He is doing great and will see the doctor next week to find out more. We are not sure what the next steps will be (if any). We are furiously hoping that the tumor removal is the end of this saga for him (with the exception of those body scans and blood tests he'll probably have to endure every six months or so). Fingers crossed that there will be no chemo or radiation.

Thanks a million for your thoughts and prayers. Daniel has no idea how many strangers out there were pulling for him. You peeps rock.

Me? I returned last night in the wee hours from a gorgeous, ridiculously lavish vacation with the family. My laptop died on the plane ride out (literally. Won't turn on. Any ideas, anyone?), and as soon as I am finished washing the sand from our laundry, I will upload the millions of photos I took and make you feel extremely jealous of how I spent the last six days.

Plus? I've got my favorite person ever coming to visit this weekend, and I can hardly wait.

Now I KNOW I've made you jealous.

Be back soon. Promise.

I love him anyway

Hi internet. How are you?

I am still here, and have missed you thoroughly. I have been busy with some of my favorite house guests, father's day and the Husband's birthday (all in one week), summer, gearing up for a vacation, and eight photo shoots in two weeks.

I'm exhausted.

But that is not what I am here to share today.

I am breaking radio silence to thoroughly embarrass and humiliate my brother Dan.


Dan is known by many of you here as the commenter who speaks his mind in a hilarious, if not slightly insulting, way. I can always count on him for a dose of reality and a good laugh. Usually at my own expense.

But what you don't know about him is that he is a father to four beautiful children and husband to a gorgeous, thoughtful wife. He is the dad who gets on the floor and plays trains with his boys. He has attended more of his daughter's tea parties than most men would have the patience for. He changes diapers and does the dishes.

He always has my favorite snacks and drinks on hand whenever I come to town - even though no one in his house ever consumes either. On those visits, he stays up until the wee hours of the morning, listening to me, making me laugh, and sharing stories of his own, then cheerfully gets up for work with only a few hours of sleep.

Sometimes he even calls me on his way home from work for a quick chat. Just because. And I love him dearly for it.

He is one of my best friends.

And right now, he is the one in need of some extra help.

A few weeks ago, doctors discovered a tumor on his kidney that is most likely cancer. He's going under the knife tomorrow to get it removed. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and I am asking you, dear friends, to add him to yours.

The risk is great that he could lose the kidney entirely.

I gladly offered to donate one of mine, but he doesn't think it'll come to that. I was slightly disappointed because I imagined the lifelong joy I would derive at the thought of one of my organs socializing and infecting the rest of his with my cooties. When I said that to him, he quickly put me way down on the list of donors. Right after the water-logged carcass of Osama bin Laden, I'm sure. Darn.

Anyway, if you think of it, your prayers on his behalf would be greatly appreciated. The power of a collective voice to our Heavenly Father is one that can work miracles. And that's just what we're in need of.

Though I know this post will annoy him to no end, I think that makes it all the more worthwhile, don't you?

Love ya, brother. Get better quick so I can come out there and kick your trash.

The basic brown tee

Yesterday, my brother Daniel made a comment which I would like to address here. You see, he falsely accused me of wearing the same brown t-shirt in several different photos.

What he does not understand is that it is possible for a person to own multiple brown t-shirts.

I know he happily spends his days in a wife beater tank and dingy sweatpants (and who are we kidding, probably even wears them to work), but I feel it is my duty as his sister to help him see the possibilities open to him. He CAN own multiple shirts, even in the same color.

I know, right? It's like living dangerously.

Plus, I'd like to introduce you to my all-time favorite t-shirt. Internets, meet the basic tee from H&M.

They come in every color imaginable, fit snug and comfortable, and the best part? They are ONLY SIX DOLLARS. Which probably explains why I own at least ten in every color.

I have tried the $40 t-shirts from every store out there. And you know what? I always come back to my H&M tees. They fit just the way I like, plus they're long enough to cover the tramp stamp that I have across my lower back.

Okay. Well, maybe I don't have that. But if I did, it would cover it up nicely at those PTA meetings.

And guess what? If they wear out (as six dollar tees are prone to do), you can buy like 19 more. Because they're cheaper THAN SEEING A MOVIE.

So, Daniel, mock if you must. And be sure and stay tuned tomorrow when I model my 14 different black H&M tees.

Because spending a morning taking pictures of yourself for spite? Totally a worthwhile and productive endeavor.

Back from the dead with an introduction


Remember me?

Well, I'm back from the dead and in tip-top shape, thanks to antibiotics, codeine cough syrup, and sleep. I appreciate all your many well-wishes while I was away. Unfortunately, you didn't listen to me when I said not to blog. I do not think my Bloglines will ever be caught up.

There was someone who forgot to send well-wishes and good thoughts my way, however. And that someone knows who he is.

My brother, Dan.

Have you not met Dan? Well, that's a shame. Let me introduce you.

Dan was born the third child in our family, right after me. Which makes him at least second best for sure. Unfortunately, he is now, and will always be, our mother's favorite. This is a fact that my elder brother and I cannot not possibly forgive him for.

Dan was always an annoyingly happy child. Very comfortable with whatever life threw at him. Even if it included the inability to tan or gain muscle:

He was a cheerful worker. Happily doing his chores with a stupid grin on his stupid face. It's no wonder that Mom liked him the best.

Oh, and you know the kid that could spend an hour eating an ice cream cone? Yeah, that was him. We'd all gobble ours up in about fourteen seconds flat. And then we'd have to sit there for another 40 minutes, greedily watching Dan, as he ever-so-delicately ate his ice cream.

One. lousy. miniature. bite. at. a. time.

You'd have tied him up in the basement, too. I know you would have.

His pre-teen years were the only years in which he rebelled. [And Dan, don't be pretending you didn't look at Jared H.'s girly magazines with the rest of your buddies. I know the truth. Perhaps that is the reason for your sour expression in this joyful family photo. Guilt, maybe?]

I sure hope so. Pervert.

(Notice my guilt-free, shining countenance.)

And in his free time growing up, Dan did a lot of this:

Sadly, he has still not outgrown it.

But, he was able to clean up his act in time to serve a mission for our church to Brazil. This was a great time of growth and learning for Daniel. I think he probably found teaching people equivalent (or above) his intellect to be quite a challenge.

Here is an example of an intellectually superior investigator:

Yes, Daniel converted many farm animals to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And his growth and knowledge has certainly continued after his mission as well. He is now married (to a beautiful woman who is WAY too good for him) and has three adorable children (so cute, in fact, that we all think they're the mailman's).

He continues to strive daily for the spiritual enlightenment that comes from studying the scriptures. As you can see, Dan is always extremely diligent in this area:

In addition to his dedicated spirituality, Dan is actively involved in a rigid exercise program. Here, you see him leading his weekly men's group in Hula Dancing.

Or auditioning for the Village People. We're not sure which.

All in all, Dan is a very generous, wonderful, giving friend. He always has the nicest things to say to me, his favorite sister. Especially on my blog. I do so look forward to his thoughtful comments, for I know that each comment is crafted with love and care, and said in the hopes of raising my fragile, yet growing, self-esteem.

Smell ya later, loser.