Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I totally love and enjoy having a sister. We are night & day different but in good ways. She is one of my best friends. Having a sister is great for many reasons. If it works, you can share clothes, make-up, and boyfriends. Not so much for us. It's always great because she understands things that others don't. You know...about the family. I love to see the ways we are different and the same. We are both pretty strong personalities, independent and okay, even a bit prideful. I do think she's louder than me though. She's gorgeous. I wish she could see how pretty she is. With or without make up. Talking to her is fun, especially when she gets loud. She often resorts to an argumentative tone, even when she is agreeing with you. It's actually a gift she got naturally as a DiBias. I remember we shared a room up until our move to Charlotte the summer before 6th grade. I liked to cuddle with her when we were kids. Having her is having an instant friend and ally. We don't talk every day, but most. I am just really thankful for her. She's one of the most giving, sacrificial people I know. Her mantra is "family is family." And let me tell you, homegirl will do ANYthing for her family. She is also an incredible mom. She became a mom at a young age and has done an amazing job on her own for 13 years. Now she's not alone and I'm so thankful for that.

A week ago today my sister gave birth to sisters. And I just think that is so fun and exciting. We were all shocked when she and her boyfriend told us that they were a) pregnant and b) with identical twin girls. Wow. I was so excited to hear the news. And it became even more exciting after I was diagnosed b/c it's just been a fun thing to look forward to in the midst of this. The date was set for Tuesday the 19th to be induced. She really didn't want a c-section and wanted to go as natural as possible. And I was going to be there helping as much as I could. She came to the hospital looking beautiful. Both she and Rashad were nervous, but they did amazing. She was started at 7:30am and we just hung out. Contractions began slowly then became more intense after they broke her water. I was doing my best to help her stay in tune to her body and relax as best she could. She was handling it with such grace. I, reluctantly, had to leave at noon, hoping the girls would wait for their auntie Amy. No such luck. Things progressed fast and those sweet things could not wait any longer to meet their mommy & daddy. Jocelyn Ivory was born at 12:38pm and Jada Bryce (my middle name) was born at 12:42pm. There was some last minute twin-to-twin-transfusion which can happen when they share a placenta, so Jocelyn was taken immediately to the NICU b/c she was struggling a bit. They nursed her (literally & figuratively) her back to health and everyone went home on Thursday.

i love the way she's looking at rashad here...beautiful in the midst of contractions
It's exciting that Julie got to have a daughter with a sister. I know that I hope Charis will have a sister one day. Jada & Jocelyn are probably going to play a lot, laugh a lot, and fight some too. But they will always have each other...someone who loves them, gets them, knows them, understands them. And they are identical twins!! How fun is that?! This is going to be a fun and scary journey for Julie & Rashad.
(unfortunately i don't have a ton of pictures yet)

me and the girls!! Jada & Jocelyn

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I heart them

I really heart the Indigo Girls. Hands down, they are my favorite musicians. Whether I'm running errands or in the car for hours, I could have their CD in the whole time, often on repeat. But, live they are absolutely incredible. In fact, they are best live. They each have a very unique and distinct voice that sounds amazing on it's own. Then when you put the two together, it's just ridiculous.

I was counting up the times I've seen them and I think it's 5 or 6. Lately, it's been once a year. And I'm hoping they'll still be playing in 7 or 8 years so I can take Charis. This last show was on Sunday at the McGlohen Theater in Charlotte. A friend from church sent us the tickets, which was a sweet and super fun surprise. The venue was intimate and every seat was a good seat. It was Adam's first time seeing them live, which was fun. Every time I see them I have this idea that they are going to call me out and want to hang out. I'd venture to say most of their fans think that. Silly, I know. But it could happen. One thing fun that did happen on Sunday after the show was as we were walking down Tryon Street Emily, their keyboardist and some guy came out of the alley right in front of us. Like no big deal. It took me about a minute, but I mustered the courage to yell something out. "Great show tonight y'all!" Uh, they turned around and thanked me. I was glad I took the opportunity to just say something. Now, if it was Amy Ray, I probably would have reacted less composed and asked for an autograph.

I totally want to be friends with them and hang out. At least grab coffee after a show. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, October 8, 2010

T minus one month

"reading" her 11 months sign

That means she's 11 months old! I cannot believe our baby girl is less than a month from being a whole one year old. She is an absolute blast. We are crazy about her. I love being her mama. And I love watching Adam being her papa. We are incredibly thankful for her...her joy and the delight she brings to our lives. We are definitely having fun with her. She trips me out. One of my favorite things she does that I can't capture on film is she'll raise her eyebrows and say "oh!" It's pretty darn cute. Here are some highlights

this is the closest I could get of the "OH!"

- She is constantly flipping the bird. Maybe this shouldn't be a highlight, but it's pretty funny. She points with it, touches with it and seems to always have it in the air. Don't take it personal.

- We visited an Apple Orchard for the first time. It was so much fun. We weren't really sure what Charis would think of it, but she seemed to love it. She sat in the wagon as we walked around the orchard and gummed lots of apples on our tour. We loved being out in the country and she loved crawling around their barn. Adam was feeling so country that he even gave Charis her first boiled peanut. She seemed to like it and had no reaction.

- She is still eating amazingly. I'm always impressed with what she eats...anything. Recently she's had homemade chili and sauteed spinach. Once she gets some teeth I'm sure she'll be able to eat even more. So, yeah, still no teeth.

ate some yummy watermelon ice

- Charis loves to dance. Whether it's a commercial jingle or the radio, she shakes her hips. Well, let's say it's a whole body thing, but it's so stinkin' cute.

- She waves bye-bye and all done. It's the same motion, but she does it at all appropriate times. When she's done with her bottle, when we are leaving daycare, when she's finished eating, when we say "bye bye" or "all done." It's pretty cute. (okay, so anything she does is pretty cute)

you can see the blur of her hand going "all done"

- She makes all sorts of sounds and noises and I'd like to think it's "mama" and "dada" but I'm not really sure what she's saying.

- We got a great visit from my friend, Laura. She came all the way from Cali to spend a week with us and Charis loved her.

- She's not walking and I'm hoping she'll be a late walker. She walks around the coffee table and other furniture. I'm not sure our house will ever be baby proof.

- She's discovered the kitchen cabinets. I finally got a safety thing for the dangerous one. But today she found some fun things to play with in the other one.

I can't believe my next Charis post will be for her ONE year. We, well let's say a really great friend more than me, have a great shindig planned for celebrating her one year. It is going to be such a gift in the midst of what is going on...I'll probably have surgery the week after. I'm thankful for my friend throwing the party for us.
I feel like a broken record but Charis is truly a joy. She is super easy. I mean, she has her cranky days. But, overall, she is one amazing little lady. I love watching her explore and discover her world. Every new thing she does is so fascinating.

"I can't believe I'm going to be ONE!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Team Patwa

Today was the Komen Race for the Cure AND marks 4 months since my Breast Cancer diagnosis. I didn't realize that until later in the day. Which made today even cooler. I got to be surrounded by my closest, bestest, and dearest friends and family today as I walked 3.1 miles to celebrate the women who have gone before me and will come after me in this fight against breast cancer. We set up a tailgate and got to hang out. I got my picture taken with DeAngelo Williams because he asked me. I felt kinda famous and special today. I thought I'd feel sad, but I didn't. I was distracted by the joy of being with others who love me. I was able to see hundreds and thousands of other groups just like us. There was this sweet connection I had with other survivors which was pretty cool. It was also amazing to hear how things have changed for women diagnosed with breast cancer today...the chances of survival are much higher. So, these things work and it's worth supporting organizations like Komen.

I felt very thankful and loved today. My heart was full. I didn't feel afraid of this disease. I still don't know what lies ahead. But what I do know is that God is good. He doesn't change. He has surrounded me with amazing people who love me so well. He has given me a husband willing to be in this with me..in the good and bad. He has given me a sweet little girl that brings utter delight to my life. He gives me hope. He comforts me. He gives me peace. I am thankful.

Here are some pictures from the day. Enjoy

the fam...charis is exhausted

my friend Jac came from Memphis to be with me

my new friend, DeAngelo

my friends from high school...kristen is having her baby Monday!

my sweet friend and team captain, Courtney

my other high school friends! hotness!

2 of my sweet YL girls came! laura from UNC and her sis lindsay