Sunday Post 101: Astounding Love

The Healing Tree

The Healing Tree

In December of 2009 as Lisa was headed to surgery to remove her large tumor, some friends of ours did a really special thing for us.

They felt like a lot of people would want to support the Tanner family at Christmas.  Rather than encouraging folks to help in their own way, these friends put together a coordinated effort to do something that would be both meaningful and lasting.

Our first two elves came by our house in early December. They delivered a small Christmas tree full of lights, an angel for the topper and a beautiful hand-made tree skirt with our name embroidered across the front. They told us they had delivered our “Healing Tree” and that ornaments would soon follow.

Over the next four weeks, we received over 200 packages in the mail or on our front porch.  In each one, there was an ornament. With each ornament, there was a story – a story of how that person was connected to our family.

An English tea cup

An English tea cup

One English woman at Lisa’s work sent a teacup because Lisa always picked on her about her accent. A college friend tied string to a matchbox car van – a similar vehicle to the one they drove to Florida one spring break.

Some sent small framed photographs from years past. DSCN7380Lisa worked in fundraising and one lady made up a tiny rolodex with a fake listing of capital campaign prospects.

The creativity was impressive. The deeper meaning for us brought laughter and tears.

Putting up ornaments this year was not nearly as emotional as years past – until I opened the Healing Tree box. Every item I touched had such significance.

It’s not just the loss of Lisa that I feel when I think about that tree, that’s only part of the emotion.  Equally touching is the reminder of the love that was shown to our family during that most difficult time and my lack of ability to repay those who gave so much.

When you are so fully surrounded by love; when you know how desperately people hurt for and with you; it is a beautiful thing. I’ve seen compassion every day of my life, but never had I so personally experienced it in such an overwhelmingly large dose.

I am not thankful for my loss, but how fortunate I am to have experienced that astounding love.

The Smarties Star - sent to us by a college roommate who apparently ate a few of these with Lisa at UNC

Sunday Post 83: A Really Good Uncle

Posted by Danny

Uncle Jesse moved out about a month ago.  He has been working his full-time job and starting a sports video production business on the side.  Both of his offices are across town.  We haven’t seen much of him since February.  He says his move is an attempt to be closer to where he spends 95% of his life.  I’m taking him at face value hoping his exit isn’t due to a big brother watching over his shoulder and three girls who idolize him and watch his every move.  The man has been a trooper.

His new business has him editing video into the wee hours of the night.  Five out of seven nights a week he’d come home after we’d gone to bed, and we’d be out of the house before he stirred.  We’ve actually seen him more since he left – making it a point to plan dinner a couple of times each week, catching movies and listening to his advice on what we should do to make our lives better (buy a pig, move DJ to the basement apartment, move the laundry room upstairs, etc.)  It’s just like when he lived here but even more! 

We’re still The Real Full House.  Jesse isn’t going far.  He’s still the first one I text when Michelle says something funny; he’s still the first one I call when I need an in town kid sitter; he still rolls in to razz the kids throughout the week.

Sometimes God puts people in your life at just the right time. He did that for me when Jesse agreed to move in with us in January 2010.

Jesse has more friends than Cher has hair follicles.  Everybody in town knows him – young and old, married and single, Democrat and Republican.  He’s just that kind of guy.  That is why it meant so much for him to put his life on pause for us.

I’m not sure what the future holds for him. He may continue to develop his career in sportscasting. Or maybe his production business will become the next ESPN. Perhaps he’ll get married and have kids.  If his love for my children is any indicator, he’d be a really great dad.

But regardless of what his future holds, he has already accomplished one of the most important things that one could do on earth.  You see, Jesse saved my life.  He saved my family too.

He came in to our house at our darkest hour and helped us find laughter. He danced and joked and tickled when I didn’t have it in me. He brought the music back when our most beautiful voice was silenced by cancer. 

More than that, he was my closest confidant – sitting across from me in my den late at night as I searched to find pieces of a life that was shattered.

Yea – he’s done his work. He has helped make us whole again.

I have  really grown to love Jesse; he’s more like a brother than a brother-in-law.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay him.  But I will try; yes I will try.

Because he hasn’t been around much, I thought the transition would be easy. But there was just something about having his junk in the basement.  When I first walked into the house the day after he moved, two things hit me.

Wow, I’m really alone now.  I really wasn’t more alone than I had been the day before.  He hadn’t been home on a weeknight in months.  But on that Monday night, his absence was glaring.  It is interesting how stuff can be a whole lot of company.

My second thought was that another little piece of Lisa was gone. They were alike in so many ways.

And yet he’s not gone.  You will still hear Jesse stories.  He dropped by last night and wiped his sweaty basketball head on Michelle – sort of a special Welcome Home from summer camp.  We’re eating dinner together tomorrow night and went to see the new Batman movie last week when all of the girls were out of town (he slept through most of it).  We’ve had some good conversations lately about his importance in our lives – I think he’s all in for the long haul.

He has developed a really special and yet different relationship with each of the girls.  I suspect when asked by the minister at their weddings, “Who gives this woman to be married?”,  I’ll reply, “Uncle Jesse and I.”  Maybe he can just wear DJ’s Winter Formal dress.

I owe that man a lot. I thank God for Jesse and for the love and joy he has brought, and will continue to bring, to our family.

Are you having fun yet?

  

Posted by Danny

I was at a party last month and someone came up to me and said, “Our family just needs to have more fun – like yours does.” 

I thought that was pretty  cool.  A family who has had tremendous sadness over the past few years is seen as a family who laughs and has fun.  Well, we do.  Do you?

This is a pic from our monthly family dinners.  All are themed.  January was my neice’s 1st birthday, so we all wore pink in her honor.  Then we went to the movies – without changing clothes.  No one said anything, but I’m sure some of the North Hills patrons thought we were weird.  Who cares?  We were having fun.

In March, we celebrated my nephew’s 3rd birthday.  He wanted a marching band – so we obliged.  Sam was our base drummer:

 I wanted to be the Drum Major but my pants kept falling down so no one wanted to follow me:

I thought Jesse looked more like a creepy magician.  I was afraid of what he might pull out of his hat:

My mother-in-law even recreated her majorette costume from high school – boots and hat vintage 60’s:

DJ razzed her about the length of her skirt – what goes around, comes around Nana.

Fun really isn’t difficult.  My girls and I get into wet sponge fights some nights as we clean up the kitchen.  Nothing makes me prouder than Michelle nailing me in the head with a suds filled dish rag.

My parents plan elaborate family B-I-N-G-O games, with prizes, when we’re with them.  They have also exposed my kids to 1950’s musicals – a tradition started by my grandparents. 

Sometimes we just look through old picture books and recant happy memories with mom – like the time she scheduled a personal family tour of Disney World with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

A tiny bit of creativity and full participation from the crowd can turn a humdrum night into a memory.  And I can attest to the fact that the memories are sometimes all we have.

Roast or My Boots?

Best thing on the menu, provided by the guests

Posted by Danny

I simply can’t cook.

I woke up this morning knowing that the family was coming over for dinner – 13 and a baby. I was planning on cooking up some Mexican fare but my sister-in-law called and said they were bringing a tomato pie. She then informed me that tomato pie went with ANYTHING. Have you ever seen tomato pie on a menu at Dos Taquitos? I don’t think so…

I knew I could cook a pot roast but I sort of felt like mine was too crock pot and cream of mushroom soupy. My mother-in-law is such a good cook, I sort of thought I should put in a little more effort – less onion soup from a box and more clove of real garlic. By the way, took me twenty minutes and two children to find a clove of garlic in the fresh food section at the Kroger. It was hidden behind the avocado – another thing I’ve never purchased.

I found a recipe on-line – someone’s grandma’s oven baked pot roast. It looked simple.

I got home at 1:30 in a panic. Grandma called for her chuck roast to cook for four to five hours – she must have been retired. Who has time to cook a five-hour meal? That should have been my first clue.

The second should have been a dish that required alcohol. Frozen burritos do require alcohol, but in a glass while you’re eating them. This chuck roast called for searing (had to Google that) followed by a bath in red wine. It killed me to waste a good pino noir like that.

It first called for me to rub salt and pepper all over Chuck.  I found it difficult to believe that I was giving a dead cow a rub down.  I closed my eyes and pictured Meg Ryan.  Didn’t work.  I’m sure her skin would have been softer and warmer.

After searing, chopping, poking, daydreaming, basking and simmering, I finally tossed my new friend into the oven in a big silver pot with an enormous silver lid.  This large kitchen item has not been used since my wife died. And I’m not sure it has ever been used, although it has taken up an entire cabinet since 1995. 

It was 2:15 when I tossed him in the oven – we’d be pushing it, but Stephanie had several new constipation jokes that could entertain the guests for a good 20 minutes.

I set the timer for 5 pm just to check in on Chuck. I pulled him out of the oven and hour before the guest arrived and opened the lid. As I jabbed him with my knife, I realized he was the consistency of myboots. When I took a bite, thoughts of my summer lawn shoes filled my head.

Crap! I’ve ruined yet another meal. I called my mom, as if this woman could tenderize pounds of meat from 90 miles away.  “Is there anything that can be done for a piece of meat that taste like a bike tire?”

She didn’t flinch, “Honey, they have these great chickens in the deli at the Harris Teeter. Why don’t you go buy a couple of those?”

She used to talk me through my cooking failures.  Now she just suggests alternate arrangements. 

As we sat at the table, my oldest daughter critiqued the corn. She then explained to the family how I’d run into the house at 5:30 with a new meat. That was unfortunate since I’d already accepted the compliment of my brother-in-law’s sister who told me the chicken was delicious. I simply said, “Thank you.” Sometimes I’m prone to lying through omission my grief counselor tells me.

So – I ruined another meal. The corn was too creamy. The meat was in the outdoor trash can. The potatoes were mushy. Thank the lord the guests brought a really good salad – and several bottles of wine.

And next time, I’m sticking with Mexican – tomato pie or not.

Hiding Out From Child Protective Services

she looks fine to me

Posted by Jesse

I can’t believe this happened again.

I offer to drive the morning shift all the time (by “offer” I mean I stumble into the kitchen two minutes before departure time, sparsely dressed, one eye open, and grunt “need me to drive? no? cool.”) but Danny handles it almost every day. He says he enjoys the time in the car with the girls and I enjoy the extra sleep enough to believe him.

But once every two weeks or so Danny has an early meeting, and I get the morning shift.

Late in the spring we had one such morning. The girls were eating cereal and I was making lunches, when Michelle begin mixing tears with her milk. It should be noted that encountering her melancholy countenance in the a.m. is NOT a rare occurrence. It can be triggered by a frustrating bout with hair, a missing button on a skirt, or not getting the prize in the cereal box. Or, apparently, an upset stomach.

“I don’t feeeeeel gooooood,” she sobbed.

Uh-oh. Two things come into play here:

1) The Tanner family (Danny’s parents) and the Katsopolis family (my parents) handled sick days very differently. He likes to claim we weren’t allowed to miss school if we revealed a severed appendage dangling loosely off of our bodies. I like to tease that he was basically home-schooled since “sick days” meant any day he had gym. Both are exaggerations. Slight exaggerations.

2) I am not about to be the sucker Uncle who gets played! And, to be totally honest, I hate having to bother Danny when I’ve got “kid duty” because he won’t ask for help unless he really needs it, meaning he’s either got an important meeting or he’s taking his quarterly night out to socialize. I try to avoid contacting him if at all possible. His over-caring self would literally feel guilty that one of his girls got sick on a morning he wasn’t there.

So I did the thermometer thing. Normal enough. I inspected for unusually pale (or green) skin complexion. Other than her claim of not feeling good, I couldn’t see any obvious sign of illness. I worked at Camp Sea Gull for over a decade, and the nurses have told me repeatedly that a stomach ache with no other symptoms is usually just something else. Michelle probably forgot to do her homework and was dreading facing the teacher.

I cracked a few jokes, got a smile or two out of her, got the other two girls in on the “buck up, kid, you’ll be fine by lunch” routine, and we were off.

She threw up on her desk around 9:30 a.m.

If there were a place you could go to voluntarily be lashed with a whip, I’d have signed up in hopes of relieving my guilt.

Fast forward to last week. I’m on morning duty again, and again we have morning tears. This day Michelle is going on a field trip, so she’s picking out an outfit rather than wearing her usual uniform–a source of much consternation, since she has to choose between shorter-legged jeans (tapered? capri’ed? cuffed? what do you call those things?) that leave her a bit chilly or the longer jeans that will almost certainly get a bit wet. I know where this choice will go–Michelle HATES wet jeans. But she’s not happy being chilly either.

“I don’t feel good,” she let it be known. But–Stephanie can attest–there was no force behind this statement. No insistence. I was sure it was all about the jeans. I didn’t even take her temperature.

Her teachers did. She had a fever of 102. Though, I’d like to point out, that was a reading taken after being outside and doing some creek stomping, so I think when I am on trial my lawyer will be able to make a good case that you cannot prove she was actually sick when I dropped her off.

Regardless….don’t tell Michelle, but next time I’m driving the morning shift? She’s got a four-word “get out of school free” card if she’s smart enough to play it. Blame Danny–he’s the fool who leaves me in charge of these girls.

 

Sunday Post 32: Not sittin’ on the Porch

Posted by Danny

Mr. Stucky is my 89-year-old next door neighbor.  I saw him in the yard on Saturday.

“You know Bruce, it’s ashamed that neighbors don’t visit any more.  I feel like I haven’t seen you for a year.”

I put down my jug of weed killer, a little concerned that our conversation might get in the way of my Yard of the Month prospects.

“I wouldn’t recognize your girls,” he continued, “I haven’t seen them in quite a while.  Back in the day, neighbors spent time together.  They checked on each other.  They knew what was going on in each other’s lives.  That’s just not the case anymore.”

He was right.  We are seldom outside or on our porch anymore.  Why would we be?  We have a wii, i Phones, i Touches, and 1,500 TV channels to choose from.  During the school year there are dance classes, lacrosse games, piano practices and basketball try outs.  Sit on the porch?  Yeah right.

That’s the nice thing about our August vacation at Capon Springs.  There are porches galore and rocking chairs for days.  Happy Hour starts at 5 p.m. every day, come one, call all!  We share about the day’s activities, who played well at golf – and who didn’t.  We discuss politics and occasionally share a bit of Capon gossip. 

Before breakfast a group gathers to chat.  After dinner we sit in a large family room to play games or just to reminisce.

It’s amazing that I might feel closer to a group of people I only see seven days a year than to some who cross my path on a weekly basis.

So I’m gonna work harder to visit and get to know those around me.  I’m going to strive to spend less time on my grass and more time checking on Mr. Stucky.  And I’m going to do a better job of listening to my elders.  He’s a pretty wise man.

Sunday Post 31: The Good Ones

It continues to amaze me at the incredible love shown to my family.  It’s been 18 months since Lisa died, folks don’t have to continue to support.  Some still do because they just know it’s hard.

Not only have our closest friends stood beside us, but acquaintances as well.

Lisa’s fingernails were always impeccable and her toenails too.  She spent a lot of time at a nearby “spa” swapping gossip and being pampered.  I was glad.  I appreciated a woman who looked refined.

What I didn’t know was how much it cost!  On Friday when the girls returned from camp, I let them head to Lisa’s nail salon with specific instructions on what they could do.  DJ and Stephanie wanted a pedicure and to get their fingernails painted.  Apparently there is a difference in just painting your nails and a manicure.  I thought that a manicure was painting your nails.  But a manicure, I’ve learned, is painting your nails plus $18 of other stuff.  Michelle had permission for fingernail painting only (she had just done her nails with her Nana the week before).

When they called me to pick them up, I went inside to pay.  The woman at the counter rang up my bill.  I looked at the list of prices on the wall; she’d been generous.  When I asked where to write the tip on the receipt, she said, “No.  No tip from you.  Our treat.” 

She knew Lisa.  She knows my mother-in-law.  She wants to help me raise these girls.  And she’s doing it by giving her time and the time of her employees tip free. 

It really touched me.

And today we went for the bi-annual dance gear roundup.  Apparently you can’t wear toe shoes for years on end.  Those boogers wear out – I’m not sure what happens.  DJ’s shoes look fine to me – they’re pink and pretty and there’s still a piece of wood in the bottom.  But they apparently lose their spring or something.  The lady at the dance store told me most dancers go through two or more pair a year.  I told her we were changing to tap.

After an hour in the store collecting tights for two, several new ballet slippers (you can’t wear toe shoes in regular ballet class – what’s up with that???), jazz shoes, the toes and the lambs wool you stick between your toe and the wood so you don’t mess up your pedicure, we headed to the check out counter.  The woman who owns the store started ringing things up.  She pulled out a toe guard and told DJ how to use it.  “It should keep your toe from hurting so bad honey,” she tossed it in the bag for free.  She also gave us a deal – the full prices I was adding up in my head were not equivalent to the amount charged to my credit card.

I looked at the woman, “You know I couldn’t do this without you.”

“I do,” she smiled.

“If it weren’t for you, my kids would dance naked.”

She nodded.

Why did these two women take an inordinate amount of time with us?  Why did they invest and why did they give us a discount?

I think I know. 

They’re just really, really good people.  They’re doing God’s work in their day-to-day lives.  And I have to tell you, their love for my family makes a difference.  If we’d all just give a little of ourselves, right where we are, the world would be a much better place.

Sunday Post 17: Our Mothers

When you have a significant loss, it takes a village to fill the gaps.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of our “moms”!

  • To Doctor Walker who gives dad guidance on our physical ailments without a Blue Cross Blue Shield copay.
  • To Darcy who served as DJ’s Elder Sponsor at church this year.
  • To Aunt Susan who reads our blog daily and leaves encouraging comments for dad.
  • To Mrs. Horton who takes care of Michelle EVERY Monday and guides dad on clothes purchases to keep us in style.
  • To Mrs. Strickland who picks us up from afterschool, coordinates DJ’s National Charity League events, and teaches us how to water ski.
  • To Mrs. Dixon who dad can call and invite us over on a Saturday night when he’s a little bit down.
  • To Aunt Sallie who’s moving all the way from Boston to live near us and help be our other mother.
  • To Mrs. Vebber who has so much style and is an encourager for our family – especially dad.  She’s says we’ll be ok.
  • To Mrs. Bond who has us over to dinner and who our dad can call for absolutely anything – from needing a kid picked up and fed to bragging about his accomplishments at work.
  • To Mrs. Thompson who brings us food every single month.
  • To Mrs. Fields our chauffeur AND piano teacher.
  • To Mrs. Bilodeau who helps us finish our homework afterschool and brings us cool dresses when they get too small for Davis Ann.
  • To Mrs. Todd, our snack provider and office buddy.
  • To Ms. Kirstie, the best and most encouraging dance teacher in the free world.
  • To Mrs. Gwaltney who is always available to bring DJ home on Tuesdays, even at the very last-minute.
  • To Mrs. Sanders who brings Michelle lunch for a special treat and sometimes home for a playdate.
  • To Mrs. Balentine, DJ’s special bud.
  • To Charlotte, Francie, Kim and Susan who remember our birthdays with a card in the mail and who took dad on college friends’ “girls weekend” last year!
  • To Beth and Sarah who take care of us, ALL of us, at church.
  • To Mrs. Carmichael who helps to remind dad about stuff that he should be doing.
  • To Mae, with her 70-year-old, 5 foot and 1/2 inch self, who washes 10 loads of laundry every other Tuesday and sews our Y Indian Princess patches on our vests.
  • And to Nana – who picks us up every Thursday, also does a mountain of laundry, takes us shopping and last week to get shots (now that’s a good mother).

We miss you  mom, but you left us in good hands.

It’s March: Time To Cover Your A$$

POSTED BY JESSE

I was checking out the Mothers With Cancer blog when I came across a post alerting me that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. I figured that would probably be a good thing to pass on to our blog readers since, you know, it’s kind of relevant to our situation here.

I am sure that March was designated as the month for colorectal cancer awareness before Lisa was diagnosed with hers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she planned her trip to heaven as a lead-in to Awareness Month; she was a meticulous planner. And this may be too blunt for some people, but it’s a fact: in March 2009 no one had a clue that Lisa’s gastrointestinal tract was a ticking time bomb; by March 2010 she was gone. If that’s not reason enough to get your colonoscopy, I’m sorry–that’s the best I got.

How clueless were we? Extremely. Ignorant enough that I didn’t even know what one was or why you got one before Lisa had hers. And based on our family email chain the week Lisa went to get checked out, you can tell that none of us had a clue what we were in for (the topic was the family Christmas exchange, but as you can see we took a turn into Lisa’s impending screening):

Sallie: I’ll take Lisa! I have lots of potty/poop-related items in mind. Sam will put together a collection of his favorite poopy diapers for her too. (Danny told me to say it!)

Danny: I DID NOT.  Her poop is off limits for me.  I have pledged not to make any jokes about her colon…and except for putting together a care package for her the other night (had each kid go find something potty related to put by her bed – magazine, plunger, t. paper, crossword puzzle), I have done well.

Me: what’s up with Lisa’s colon? And if she gets it -oscopied is there anything we can get bronzed? Or how about poo-wtered? [note: this was in reference to my mother giving us all our bronzed baby shoes one Christmas]

Sallie: Poo-tered – I laughed so hard I nearly peed in my pants. For once it is not me as the “butt” of the joke!

Danny: She’s been having a lot of stomach issues.  They are ruling things out.  Probably much doo doo about nothing.

Lisa: I’m not coming to Christmas [note: it is assumed she was rolling her eyes at this point]

Me: so no one has honestly answered my question about Lisa–has she been diagnosed? the closest explanation I got was Bruce saying it’s much doo-doo about nothing.

At which point my mom informed me what was happening and why, though even then she said she suspected it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We would have really liked an IBS diagnosis–the fatality rate is much lower and, as you can see, we could have made potty jokes for days.

So what’s it going to take to get you to get checked out? I’ve tried fear and humor. I could sprinkle in some guilt and say you owe it to those around you if you won’t do it for yourself. And if you have had any recurring/consistent stomach issues, then by all means get your ass (pun very much intended) to the doctor now.

I don’t want to get into pitting one type of cancer against another (we’ve been through colon and breast in my immediate family; I think a grandparent may have even battled leukemia at one point), but colon cancer is not currently getting the love that breast cancer awareness enjoys, with its turning everything pink. Colon cancer is less of a sexy cause, so it’s even more important we push it on the grassroots level. (I feel compelled to point out again: I am not calling for LESS breast cancer awareness, I’m calling for raised levels of colorectal cancer awareness!)

Later this month Danny and I might share some of our own experiences with getting a colonoscopy. Go ahead and make your appointment now and we’ll walk you through this thing step by step.

Here’s some more colorectal cancer screening info from the CDC:

-“Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon or rectum—is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer also is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States.”

-“It is estimated that as many as 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely.”

-“You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier or more often than other people if:

  • You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer; or
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease.”

Raleigh or Bust!

Posted by Danny
We’ve escaped!  Flew out of Raleigh at 6:55 am on Thursday to spend a long weekend with Lisa and Jesse’s sister and her family in Boston.  Finally, we get to meet Kinsey – the new addition to the family (remember who’s the Godfather!?).

This summer, Sallie, Matt, Sam and Kinsey are moving to Raleigh!  Sallie has accepted a job with Duke and Matt is seeking employment in the Raleigh area (he is gainfully employed in Boston – head of marketing and communications for a large national nonprofit – if anyone out there needs him, I can forward his resume in a matter of seconds).  We can’t get them down here soon enough.

I thought I’d share the top ten things that I believe Matt and Sallie are going to love about Raleigh:

10.  Not as much snirt (snow mixed with dirt).

9.  We throw our empty bottles of liquor in the recycle bin.

8.  No Maritime museums where you have to look at Uncle Jesse in too small dress-up clothes.

7.  If you’re a witch, less chance you’ll get burned at the stake.

Site of the Salem Witch Trials (or close)

6.  No toll roads – ahh, well maybe we shouldn’t really count that one (North Carolina Turnpike Authority – ooops!).

 5.  We don’t have these.

I'm not sure what this is and I'm not 100% comfortable sleeping in the same town with it tonight.

4.  No need for locks on your hub caps – seriously, they just bought a new minivan and opted for the hub cap locks (we do not have hub cap locks in NC).

3.  I think there may be a Fatima’s franchise in Wake County.

Fatima's Psychic Studio

2.  Warmer climate; no need for a hat like this.

DJ's cheer pom poms weren't that big

And the number one reason Matt and Sallie are going to love Raleigh:

1.  They may be sited in this blog more often!

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