Nov 2, 2010

yup, i did

yup, i did, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Oct 21, 2010

can't believe it's been a year...

It's October 21st 2010...nearly a year since my Dad took in his last breath. One year since he looked into my eyes. One year since he squeezed my hand to comfort me as I cried knowing that he would be gone soon.  I can't believe it.

It truly seems like that horrible week in October just happened.  I remember my family doing everything we could to give him permission to let go. It killed all of us to see our strong, vibrant father melting away cruelly in front of our eyes.  Still, he held on. We brought all the grand kids over. He held on. My brother visited, I visited, my husband visited, his friends visited and he still held on.  Finally, on the afternoon of the 22nd, less than 12 hours before, what would have been his 83rd birthday, a couple of men and a priest came from the church. The priest gave him last rights. Giving him permission to let go. God was telling him it was okay and it was time. Being the ever faithful and vigilant Catholic, that was the "okay" to go. I came over to visit Dad around 2pm, they left around 1pm.

He passed sometime in between.

It was hard to be the one to find him.  I walked to the back bedroom where he was and knew he was gone without stepping foot into his room. The air was still. His presence was gone. There was a definite vacancy in the air. Still, knowing he was gone, I walked over to him, closed his eyes, held his hand and kissed him one last time.  My mom was sitting in the front room. I shouted for her to come to the back room. Hearing her approach I simply said "he's gone mom."  She had a  confused look and replied "no he's not, he's still breathing. see?"  My eyes never left her "no, he's gone mom. His fingers are blue. He's gone."  She never walked into the room, she turned on her heel and walked into the den across the hall and called the funeral home.  This is her way of coping; get the details hammered out..don't stop for two seconds to realize or ponder the fact that the man you loved, the man who completely adored you and had for over 50 years, has left this world.  I, on the other hand, was simultaneously devastated and relieved because his long fight was over.

My Dads long illness started to drive a wedge between my mother and my brother and I. Well, not his illness, rather our mom's way of dealing with (or being in denial about) his illness. See, my Dad had Alzheimer's; a disease like no other.  It slowly and systematically erases the one you love. Erases everything about them that makes them them. My Dads short term memory started showing holes in it about 15 years ago. progressively over the years the short term became null. He would start a conversation with you and within a minute of finishing he would start all over again like it never happened. He was stuck in some infinite loop he didn't realize he was in and had no way of getting out of. Most of us never let on that, yes, we have already heard this story 12 times. My mom was not one of those people to let it slide. She would call him out on everything like he was a three-year old. "Vern, you already said that!" in her shrill, sharp-edged tone she has. He would throw back some wise alec reply to her. It's how they communicated. At least when he was sending the verbal volley back at her, you knew he was still there.

I wasn't the best daughter. I should have visited more, hung out with him more, seen him more but I tried. Once you lose someone so close to you you start reaching back for something tangible to hold onto. You want to think about happier times and that's the time you sometimes realize, yeah...I missed a lot of opportunities with my Dad. Fortunately and sadly he had no recollection of visitors. You could spend 10 hours with him but five minutes after you're gone he'd ask, "Where's Margaret? I haven't seen her in a while."

It was heartbreaking.

I think I had a moment with my Dad a few days before he died where he was there. He looked me in the eye and I saw my Dad. I went to his room to visit him. I knelt on the floor and talked to him. He looked like he was asleep which helped me say what I needed to say. I don't think I could've been so honest if he was looking right at me. How sad is that? My Dad is dying and I still can't say what's in my heart? What was I afraid of?  I don't remember everything I said but the gist was I was so sorry for anything I'd done. I was sorry I didn't visit more. I told him he was the best Dad to me. I was so blessed and lucky to have him as my father. It was then that the sobs came; big, sloppy, loud, sobs. I couldn't even talk. I felt my Dad grab my hand and squeeze it. Hard. I looked up and there he was. Clear-eyed and sharp minded. He couldn't talk but that look said so much. It was okay. He heard me. He loved me. He knew I loved him. I just wanted to curl up with him and tell him everything will be okay like I was talking to my seven year-old.  The moment passed and he fell back asleep. I am forever grateful for that last glimpse of my Dad. I prayed so hard that week, his last week of life, for God to please take him.  Please end his suffering. he's fought for so long and so hard...why are you making him suffer more? But God and my Dad were already talking I think.

When those visitors came they mentioned that as they prayed my dads eyes flew open and he gasped. Not in a scary way...but I think that was Dad letting go and getting his first glimpse into Gods eyes. He would be gone within the hour but I think his spirit was gone right then. His body was just hanging on. That gives me some measure of  peace knowing the God he loved, fought for and lived for was there waiting for him when he was ready to let go of this world.

I miss you Dad. Happy Birthday.

Oct 12, 2010


train, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
stuck at the railroad crossing waiting for the train to pass...

Oct 8, 2010

not the typical family

not the typical family, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

but i love 'em ♥

Sep 29, 2010


wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

I {accidentally} opened a package and was really surprised to find a lens all wrapped in bubble wrap. As I'm starting to unwrap it my hubby walks in.. "NO! weren't supposed to see that." It was delivered to the house while we were out.
He saw my facebook post about this mug from photojojo and bought it for our Anniversary present {last month}. When he found out it was backordered...he figured, HEY great December birthday present. Well, until I opened it! ;) I LOVE, love, love it. All the little parts move too {squeal!}

Sep 27, 2010

I ♥ it

I ♥ it, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

The sign I won arrived today...I hung it up immediately :)

This is the closest I'll get to a beach around here. Ha.

Sep 26, 2010

time for some...

time for some..., originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
"..and now goodnight, it's time to sleep so we will sleep with our pet Zeep. Today was good, today was fun...tomorrow is another one. Everyday from here to there, funny things are everywhere." - Dr. Suess

Sep 25, 2010

baby shower for baby Colt

baby shower for baby Colt, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

with only 6 weeks to go...time for another maternity session!

Sep 24, 2010

visiting papa

visiting papa, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
can't believe it's nearly been a year..Ha'o wau ia 'oe (i miss you), Aloha wau ia 'oe (i love you) Pops.♥

Sep 22, 2010

lil rascal scouts

lil rascal scouts, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
you know....sometimes an *oops* is a good thing. I didn't have my flash on and this pic was nearly round filed which was a real shame because the faces...oh their faces just crack me up! Then I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like and here's the result. :)

Sep 19, 2010

good day sunshine

good day sunshine, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
the sky was crazy bright blue today with awesome clouds!

Sep 16, 2010


these are my favorites from the new scents out of Scentsy. I love the names too...."my dear Watson" (hmmm...and how does that smell?).

Sep 15, 2010

to me and my hubs ♥ 20 years today!

Sep 13, 2010

beware of random Ninjas

good advice, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA. happens

Sep 12, 2010

last days of summer

last days of summer, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
Ian enjoying his Sunday and the last few days of summertime.

Sep 11, 2010

Never forget

Never forget, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Sep 4, 2010

SacAnime 2010

SacAnime 2010, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
cosplayer taking a break @ the convention

Aug 29, 2010

rocking the shades

Ian rocking the um....look while we were at Party City!

play time

play time, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
just having some yogurt in his bus/ tent


8-29-10, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
It's moments like this I love. They're quiet, they're happy and they love each other.

Aug 27, 2010


8-27-10, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
mostly a full moon....I wanted to capture it before it was gone.

Aug 26, 2010


8-26-10, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
just playing with the light on the palm tree..

Aug 25, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together!

As Hannibal from the A-Team used to say..."I love it when a plan comes together!" Found this at a local thrift store and it matched my wall color perfectly! neatly on my bare wall by my coffee area. :)

Aug 24, 2010


8-24-10, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
ian found a cute book at his school library called "10 minutes to bedtime". 
We've read it every night this week ♥

Oh no! Domo

Oh no! Domo, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
this gave me a hubby was going to string a ball so I'd know how far to pull my car into the garage. Well, apparently my son absconded with the this was the next best thing. :)

Aug 23, 2010


nummy, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
Sonics coney dog...really, really, really yummy!

Aug 21, 2010


8-21-10, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
driving home with the family I made them stop the car so I could photograph this sky. Sure, it was with my point and shoot...but I LOVE the results!

Aug 18, 2010

first day of school 2010!

first day of school 2010!, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
My "junior in High school" and big "First Grader!" Off they go.♥♥

I'm absolutely stunned at how fast time has flown by. When did my baby girl become a Junior in High School? UG! slow down....please slow down. Ian is finally in first grade and sprouting a bit himself. We're expecting a growth spurt vertically or horizontally because he's eating everything in sight lately. Usually when that happens it means soon his shoes won't fit and his Jeans will magically shorten overnight.  In honor of starting her Junior year I let Emmy get the red highlights she's been nicely asking for for about a year. I think they came out great and afterwards she said she was finally excited about going to school. Done deal!

Aug 17, 2010

Full Metal Alchemist Costume

Full Metal Alchemist Costume, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
Emmy finally got her new costume for the upcoming Anime convention.

Aug 12, 2010

Linde Lane's Tearoom

tea cup, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
what you see when you first walk into Linde Lanes tearoom in Dixon, CA.

candelier 2

Aug 5, 2010


legos, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Ian built this this morning....I found it at lunchtime. i ♥ it.

Jul 31, 2010


cupcakes, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
we watched "DC Cupcakes" back to back last night so, naturally, we had to make some today. Sure they're not nearly as pretty...but they're pretty good!

Jul 29, 2010

Uber cool

saw this the other night on Facebook.....I want one! :D

Jul 24, 2010

sacramento sunrise

sacramento sunrise, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
Taken by my daughter as we zipped by at 65+mph on our way to Clarksburg at O'dark early for the 3rd Annual Photo Walk

Jul 4, 2010

backroad sunset

backroad sunset, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Jun 12, 2010

getting closer...

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

walrus , originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
dolphin grin

Jun 5, 2010

oh the lovely mirrors

funky family picture

Jun 4, 2010

fly the friendly skies...

heading back to Sac from San Diego

May 31, 2010

aunt stacy and ian

stacy and ian, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Ian trying to talk his way out of Jail with Aunt Stacy

May 30, 2010


miltary, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.
If you can see it...everyone is standing for these guys to pass. That did my heart good!

May 28, 2010

valley clouds

valley clouds, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

{fish eye attached to 70-300mm lens}

May 24, 2010


wheeee.....Glee!!, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Thanks to my hubby ♥

May 23, 2010


mmmm.....slushie, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

May 22, 2010

my Em

my Em, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

heading to her Best Buddies Prom

May 21, 2010

let the games begin

let the games begin, originally uploaded by MaggieRDA.

Google gets Pac Man Fever!
he likes it!