Happy Spring!

It's springtime in the Southland! (Technically, it's been spring here for a while with 80 degree temps since late-February and a thick yellow coating of pollen on every outdoor surface.) But today was official and we commemorated it in our favorite way: Spring planting. This year, however, my most avid helper had her own little planting to do -- thanks to a gift from her grandma.

The Chia herb garden. It's a long-standing joke in our house that you have to get at least one silly, as-seen-on-tv gift and that was Bella's this past Christmas. She jumped through hoops to be able to do her planting and took the job very seriously. (And she made sure to wear her "shade hat" to protect her eyes even though we'd be inside [see early comment on the pollen].)

May the next six months or so -- which are guaranteed to be miserably hot and buggy -- be as sweet and fun as our little afternoon of planting was.

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The Beauty of a Bean

Hi. It's been a while. Things are great. Ashley's great. She, Jeremy, Kate, and I update quite frequently here. In other news, there's been birthday party planning, surgery-recovery assistance, website building, and non-fun real-job writing. Let's call it even and start fresh, yes?

Something special happened a few weeks ago. We -- Kate, Jeremy, Ashley, and I -- were in Ashley's hospital room. Jeremy had just been discharged, so he and Kate had stopped by to say their goodbyes and were half out the door when the hospital mail staff came in.

A little birdie had told Kate and I that something was being delivered for Jeremy and Ashley, but we didn't know much else. When the mail cart had two identical boxes, we knew something special was about to happen. There was no way to prepare for the surprise and delight we'd get when Jeremy and Ashley opened their boxes.

Inside a plain brown box was our first hint: White tissue paper with fancy gold lettering we didn't pay much attention to at first. Cradled inside that paper? A tell-tale blue box that sent the girls squealing (and Jeremy wondering what in the hell was happening).

Jeremy, three days post-surgery, wearing an I Heart Guts "When Urine Love" tee. 

If you have two X chromosomes, you recognize this box. Yes. Tiffany's. And it wasn't one little blue box -- it was three of them, complete with thoughtful personalized letters from Rob Waters, the director of Charlotte, NC's Tiffany & Co.

Nestled inside those boxes were three stunning Elsa Peretti necklaces from the Bean collection. Delicate, perfectly crafted, and the one thing that brought home to us how one kidney had changed our worlds.

Shock and awe and joy and totally inability to do anything but keep looking to make sure it's real. (And Kate making sure no one threw away that gorgeous tissue paper!)

Ashley, three days post-transplant, not yet as cool as Jeremy.

Thank you, Mr. Waters, for your kindness and generosity. And thank you to the special little elves who I have a feeling have more than a little something to do with this random act of extreme kindness.

Every time I look at my bean pendant or see it on my sister's neck or Kate's (who feels like a sister at this point), I am reminded that a person can move mountains ... so long as she has the shoulders of an amazing community to stand on.

Thank you for being that community.

(You can see more photos and read Kate's account of the big moment on their blog, where they are detailing their experience with kidney donation.)

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