Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quickly Ending 2008

I only have a few moments to get in a post this morning. I just finished a quick 5-mile run and now am off to get showered and have some breakfast. I have a full day ahead of me because we are leaving for STL later today...still not sure of the time because it all depends on how hubby's work goes today. Could be noon, could be 4pm...this stresses me out a little. I'm a planner. But anyway, I have to get kids packed and ready for their 2-overnights and us packed as well. My FOURTH(!!) chemo treatment is on Friday but we are leaving early again to spend the new year with friends who are also having chemo (hers is a 3-day inpatient cycle). So we will be at the hospital with them, then go for my treatment on Friday morning. I am so excited for #4 of 6! I am over halfway done with chemo! Wa-Hoo! I am praying for good test results all the way around, from my echo last Friday to the blood work they do prior to chemo...that all comes back good and we can stay on schedule. Please be in prayer for our safe trip and good reports! Ya'll are awesome!

Oh, and I am so excited to be back in the ownership of a pink laptop...but you can bet I'm not leaving it in the car for ONE SECOND! I hope to get a new Bible this trip, too! And you know a trip to Whole Foods is on my list! Have a great New Years everybody! Stay safe!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." 2 Corinthians 3-5

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Haircut!

I know, I know...she's 5 and can you believe she's never had her hair cut, trimmed, anything?! I just couldn't bring myself to cut her beautiful curls, afraid that they may not grow back or whatever. Plus, it is so long... I always said, it took her so long to get hair that I wasn't in any big hurry to cut it! Seriously, she was bald forever!! *lol* So today when I took the boys to get their hair cut, I asked her if she wanted to get her hair trimmed and she was all about it. She just hopped up in Lacey's big chair and was ready to go! She just sat there like such a big girl. She just as beautiful as before, just a little more like a little girl instead of a toddler. And her hair is still very curly, thank goodness!

Here's my big girl with the first cut!

She looks so big sitting in the chair!
She looks stressed out in this picture! But she just didn't want to get water sprayed in her eyes!

The finished product...lovely, lovely big girl Katie!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

~Last Sunday of 2008~

I hate to copy fellow bloggers talking about the crazy weather, but it seems that no matter where you live the weather has been just that...crazy! Just last week we struggled to get into double-digits, then had ice, the last couple of days we set record warmth with temps near 70, last night we were under a tornado watch and had severe storms, and now today it is absolutely b-e-a-u-tiful outside and a high of 50ish. I know I sound like a meteorologist, but seriously! But today is gorgeous...better enjoy while I can, it could change in an instant!

I got up this morning and incorporated two of my favorite things: running and Desperate Housewives. My mom got me a DVD box set of Season 4 so I popped it in this morning and ended up watching like 2 1/2 episodes on my 10-mile run. It was wonderful. Not only to have a great run, but to watch one of my fave shows while I'm doing it! The episode I finished on was the one where Lynette's anti-nausea drugs weren't working during her chemo so her mom secretly used some "alternative methods" for medicinal purposes and baked it into brownies so she would "feel better!" It cracked me up! Needless to say, she seemed to feel much better! Ha! It gave me a good laugh!

Our trip to STL was good...quick, but good. I like that an echo is probably the easiest tests I've had. You just have to lay there. And turns out that the lady doing the test is a 2-year breast cancer survivor and she was full of wisdom and encouragement. It's so awesome how God continues to put these people in my path to lift my spirits and keep me strong! Hallelujah LORD! We don't have official results yet, those will come at my chemo appt this Friday. The tech said it looked about the same as before, but a cardiologist has to read it of course. I continue to believe that the results are going to be great! I'm Believing God! (Shout out to those also doing the "Believing God" Bible study by Beth Moore!!)

There is nothing going on here today. My hubby took the boys out for the day and Katie and I are here just enjoying our girls' day and quiet house! We took the tree and all the Christmas decorations down yesterday so there isn't even any work for us to do! Yay! I hope everybody else has a good and relaxing Sunday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Exhaustion!

I am absolutely, tee-totally, completely e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d!! We have had such a busy couple of days, going to this house and that house, and family and food and gifts..... the list goes on and on! Oy, the FOOD! I have come to the conclusion that there is no way I could run far enough to burn all the extra calories I've consumed in the last two days! I hate that!! I hate that lack-of-control feeling...and it seems I get that way around the holidays! Now I feel bloated and gross. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. But, thanks to my darling hubby, I am managing the exhaustion part by sitting propped up in my bed watching the Parent Trap and typing this post on my NEW PINK LAPTOP!!!! Yep, that's right, he got me another one to replace the one that was stolen a couple weeks ago in STL! I was so stunned this morning when there were these two huge boxes sitting underneath the tree...I knew THIS Santa didn't put them there! The laptop was in one and a cool new pink and gray bag was in the other. I couldn't believe it! I was so happy and surprised!
The kids were up around 7, we managed to keep them in our room until 730am but then it was a free for all! I hate that it doesn't last seems that after only a few minutes we go from Santa's wonderland in the middle of the living room to ultimate destruction as everybody wades through paper and boxes. But it was wonderful! Then we spent the rest of the morning getting things ready for our next destination.
Now we are home sweet home, resting and feels so good. Now I'm going to go for this evening and go to bed early, we have to leave the house at 730am for STL for a repeat echocardiogram. Please say a prayer for my heart that it is strong and healthy. I believe God that He will make this test result come back perfect and I give Him all the praise and glory for taking care of me and always watching over me. He is so good!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Portrait Session

Merry Christmas Eve!

It is finally here...the two days that we wait all year for! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Our family plans are rather uncomplicated, thankfully. We do the same things pretty much every's great that way. Today, Christmas Eve, we go to my parents' house. Dinner is tonight, but the kids and I usually go around midday to hang out, visit, help in the kitchen, etc. Just be together basically, it's honestly the best part of the day...before lots more aunts, uncles, and cousins come over for dinner. Not that I don't love that part too, but we always have such a nice day chillin with my mom and sisters! Then we will be back home tonight around 9 or so...depends on how much work Santa has to do tonight. Christmas morning starts early around here, of course! We will open presents here then head out to my in-laws around 11 or so for a noon Christmas dinner. At their house we play the Dirty Santa game...I still have to get a gift for it! Oops! I was trying to be extra creative with my gift, but I've totally given up on that and am just going for a normal gift. I kept thinking about a box of tampons or something that a guy may choose to unwrap that would be hilarious, but meh, I'm kinda over that now. I think I'll just go for something regular. Aka, boring! Oh well. But after hanging at their house all day, we will go back to my mom and dad's and open presents there...we don't do many presents on Christmas Eve, just what the extended fam brings, so we go back to open presents. And we will probably nibble on some food, too. Then we come home, and collapse!! Seriously, we have done this exact same routine for 14 Christmases now. It works great! So let the celebration begin! And in case you don't remember what we're celebrating:

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth good will to men.'"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Claus Is Watching You!

Hello everybody! I hope everyone is being good 'cause Santa Claus is watching! Can I just tell ya, I love that man?! He has single-handedly whipped my 5-year-old into behavioral bliss without so much as lifting a finger or raising his voice! This time of year is awesome for parents because the threat of "Santa Claus is watching you..." is like the ultimate bribe! I'm tellin you, it works so well that when I see the jolly ol' man, I'm going to ask him to come once a month! But seriously, Katie can be acting completely rotten, and at the mere mention of Santa, she is a new person! Love it!

We are having yet another spell of bad weather today. It started icing early this morning and now everything is covered in a thin sheet of glaze. It's very slippery out there! My hubby had to call off work for the day and we are all hunkered down here watching movies and waiting for it to warm up, which it's supposed to do this afternoon thank goodness. The weather man said it should melt the ice fairly quickly...I hope so!! We have plans this evening to have a birthday dinner for my little brother, he will be 22 tomorrow. And since his birthday always gets crowded with Christmas, we are celebrating tonight. We usually just give him a card and money, but I'm getting creative (or ornery!) and thinking about giving him a big box of diapers and baby supplies because he and his girlfriend are having a baby in June. Is that a little too rotten of me?! I think it would be funny! My mom may not appreciate it, but...... I don't know, I haven't decided yet what I will do. We'll see!

Have a great day before Christmas Eve ya'll!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


My friend, Kim, bought me a book before my last chemo treatment "Multiple Blessings" by Jon and Kate Gosselin, from the show "Jon & Kate Plus 8." I don't know if any of you have seen this show, but I LOVE it! I love seeing how they make their lives with twins and sextuplets work; how they manage the everyday tasks that seem overwhelming for a "normal-size" family, let alone their extraordinary family. It's just a really neat show, if you don't watch it already you should check it out on TLC sometime. Anyway, so Kim bought me this book and I started reading it a couple of days ago and couldn't put it down! It is full, of not only their story, but how God has answered prayers and blessed their lives beyond belief; and how He has sustained them during times when they didn't think they would make it. I now have pages dog-eared throughout the book where I was reading and completely struck by a thought that applies to not only me but anybody going through any type of situation where they need God's sustenance. Then, in the last chapter, Kate sums up 6 lessons that God has taught her throughout their journey of having sextuplets. The beautiful list absolutely gave me goosebumps when I read them:

  1. God is in control - I love the song by Twila Paris and have sang it over and over to myself the last three months, since being diagnosed with breast cancer.

  2. God is gracious and strong - Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

  3. God can be trusted - "God doesn't give us what we can handle, He helps us handle what we have been given." We must trust and obey Him, for His will is perfect.

  4. God is love - Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning." Praise God that He loves us so much that He sees us through the dark times in order to have another chance to give it our best shot!

  5. God will provide - God's promise in Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Whether that need is mental, spiritual, and emotional or for finances, strength, and a smile, God will provide. You just have to have faith and BELIEVE HIM.

  6. Give God the glory and praise - Instead of asking "Why me?", trust in God's perfect plan that He has for our lives. Trust Him and give Him the glory and praise that He is leading us on a path that will ultimately bring us to His goal: to be closer to Him. Praise God that He loves us so much that He just wants to be close to us! And all He wants in return is that we love Him back! Wow. Hallelujah LORD!

I didn't know until I read the book the depth that the Gosselin family loved God. How they trusted Him and let Him guide them. It was an absolutely inspiring book and I have no doubt that I will be referring to it often for my own reminders for strength. And I also have no doubt that God put this book in my path for a specific reason. And I promise I'm not doing pr for the book, but it would make an excellent Christmas present! Have a blessed Sunday!

"Thank you Lord for again revealing your promises for my life, not only through this book, but every day. Thank you for your perfect plan. I pray for the strength and grace to remember every day that You are in control and that You alone are bigger than anything I could possibly face. Continue to hold me tightly by the hand, pick me up when I fall, and carry me when necessary. In Jesus' Precious Holy Name, Amen."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let The Sun Shine!

After a totally gloomy and winter-y week here, the sun is finally shining! And it was 50 degrees this morning, too! Talk about a great morning for an outside run! So you know what I did?? Yep, I ran on the treadmill. I very rarely get to run outside because with 3 kids going in 3 different directions and a husband who works crazy hours, it is next to impossible. So I hopped on the treadmill, turned on Desperate Housewives, and ran 6 miles. When I came back upstairs, our housekeeper was here already (did I mention I LOVE her?) so now it's time to begin the day!

We have payroll and such to do today, so I have some office work to do. But other than that it should be a pretty easy day...yay Friday!! I'm not really sure what the plans are for this weekend. Shouldn't be too much going on, just gearing up for Christmas! I hope ya'll are having a good, easy Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside~

Teehee! I love the movie "Elf!" It makes me smile. So I thought I would include a bit of it in today's post. I got up this morning and had a great 6-mile run. I think the running helps with my bone pain...either that or it's just starting to wear off. But, really, I think it's just as much from the exercise. Yay!

The boys are back at school today...can anyone say "Hallelujah!" *lol* But seriously, Christmas break starts at noon tomorrow and to add an extra week to it would be a little much! They were starting to get bored already. At least when the official break starts at one o'clock tomorrow there will tons of "holiday stuff" to keep us all busy.

Anyway, enjoy the little snippet from "Elf." Maybe it will add to your Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Snow Days, Not So Much Snow

My boys are home for a second-straight full-day. They were let out at noon on Monday for icing/snow that was moving into the area, and then school was called off yesterday and today for light drizzle that quickly turned slippery during the evenings. The boys are so happy for snow days, even we have very little actual snow. They were so funny last night when we got the automated call from the school, they did a little "happy dance!" It's quite funny to see my 13-year old do such a cute little jig for a snow-day! Teehee!
So we have been pretty low-key around here the last couple of days...not a whole lot going on. I started coming out of my chemo-funk yesterday afternoon...Thank You, God! My bone pain is lessening as well. I actually felt well enough this morning to put in a 5-mile run/walk, yippee!
The rest of the day looks pretty boring, really. I don't plan on going anywhere. Katie was asking to go to PB to eat at Maya's today, but I just don't feel like being around people. Do you ever get in those moods where you just want to hide out?? Usually the week after chemo I just want to lay low and not do the whole public thing.
I hope you all have a great Wednesday...only 8 days until Christmas!! Hope your shopping is almost done!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Half Snow Day

We are experiencing a taste of winter here in the lower-midwest. We pretty much knew it was coming by the look of the local radar last night, but this morning there was nothing but COLD. The boys were so disappointed that they had school this morning! But lo and behold, it did arrive; it just took a little longer than they thought! So school was let out at noon, much to my boys' great joy! Right now it is sleeting (ugh)/snowing. The temperature at midnight was around 60*, and it has since fallen to about 18*. That's FREEZING! And it dropped so quick, too!
On another note, I haven't felt very well since my treatment on Friday. :-( I have pretty much felt like crap and I'm having bone pain from my Neulasta shot. My legs are aching, and I'm in a bad mood 'cause I don't feel like running. I wish I did! I need the endorphins that exercise gives me; my runner's high. I miss it terribly when I can't do it! But hopefully this won't last long and I will feel back to normal tomorrow. For now, I will just chill and relax...and let the chemo do it's work. That's where today's verse comes in:

"Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet against them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you perish." Deuteronomy 7:20

Friday, December 12, 2008

Halfway Point!!!

Treatment #3, the halfway point of my chemo is here! I went all decked out in my Cardinals gear for the day...even wore my hair! lol The treatment went very well, in and out and another one knocked out. I thought I would be horribly bored without my laptop or my Bible, but there were the greatest people to talk to in my pod. One lady had both her daughters there and they were loud and funny and cracking me up! They were a hoot! I was hoping to get to take chemo with my friend, but since she was in an inpatient room and I am outpatient they wouldn't let me. Boo. But we ended up finishing at about the same time and they weren't too far behind us coming home. But it was a good day and everything went very smoothly!
As soon as you step off the elevators at Siteman, there is a section of tiles that patients have painted. This is just a very small portion of what is all over the place up there. But I always stop and look for one or two that will touch my heart. The two I really liked this time were:


So Yay! Halfway through the chemo section of our treatment! Next appointment is Dec. 26 for a repeat echo of my heart to make sure that the Herceptin is not having any effect on my heart. And then on Jan. 2 for treatment #4! Once again, we will be up here with our friends; hers is another 3 day treatment and so we are going to come up and spend New Years Eve and Day with them and have a big ol celebration right there in her room! Sparkling grape juice and pizza sounds just right for us! We will make it fun for us all! They are so special to us! Hope you all have a great weekend!!
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Roman 8:28

Whole Foods!!!

Wow, so in St. Louis I had my first, but definitely not last trip to Whole Foods in Town and Country!! I was so excited to go there and Jack kept making fun of me the whole time...bah. But as soon as we walked in the store, he was like, "This place is awesome! We've got to come back!" Woohoo! I could have just looked and walked and looked and walked for hours. I could have bought out the whole store! But I filled my basket with a little of this and that; things that all my bloggie buddies have raved about. But I was most impressed with the section of bars!

Check these out!!! I stocked up on Larabars, Prias, Luna bars, ohhh I was in heaven! But I didn't want to totally freak the hubby out by running up a huge tab so I tried to pace myself! And when I heard that we were going to come back next time when we had more time, it was all good.
Here is my basket at the checkout. See that Chobani in there??! Yes, our hotel has a refrigerator in the room so I got ONE to have for breakfast the next morning before treatment. How on earth did I decide on just ONE?? I wanted 3 in every flavor!! *Note to self: We are coming back, next time we will bring a cooler!* But when I had this morning, it was AWESOME! It totally lived up to all the hype! Thick and creamy with sweet blueberries...ohh, wish I had another one right now! I also heard a lot about the granola planks so I am also very excited to try those out, too!
Yes, this stop made this girl very happy! Just as happy as going to a mall! And the fact that my hubby liked it as well made it even better. And next time I know what to expect and will have my list in hand...and try not to drool and look like I'm starstruck. The hot foods and salad bars they have there are soooo impressive! If we hadn't been in a hurry to get back to the hospital to eat with friends, we totally would've eaten there...bummer. Ok, next time! I've finally experienced a Whole Foods...I feel like I'm one of the gang! Teehee!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


OK, so very eventful day today in St. Louis. We are here for my 3rd chemo treatment which is on Friday, we came up early to Christmas shop. So we went to St. Louis Mills outlet mall as soon as we got into town, ate at Chevy's there, and shopped for about an hour and a half. When we got back out to the car, we realized that our car had been broken into! As I got closer to the car, I noticed that 2 boxes of granola bars were dumped out in the seats and my consoles were open. Uh, yeah, our car had been broken into. They pried off the door handle on the driver's side door and took a checkbook and my laptop bag containing my pink laptop (some guy will be walking around with a hot new pink laptop), my Bible study and my Bible (I'm most upset about that), and all my dr appt papers. I am so upset about my Bible being gone. It was given to us by my parents on our wedding day and was engraved with our names and wedding date; in it was my last letter from my Nana who passed away a year ago, the last letter from my friend Amy who was killed in a car accident with her husband and 1 year old son 9 years ago, and many other mementos and papers that I have just stuck in the back pocket that can never be replaced. But at least it was just material least we are ok. It could have been worse. But anyway, here we are in St. Louis with our friends who are here for 3-day chemo, I'm using her computer to post here so it may be a little while before my next post. Anyway, moving forward...we are going to go finish shopping tomorrow and I'm going to get a new Bible. God is still the same as He was before this happened, and He will be the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. I find much comfort in this. Have a good evening.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Perfect Traditions

Last night was Christmas tree decorating night at our house! My hubby did get the elk moved down off the wall so the tree could go up. Can I just say that "I LOVE a pre-lit tree?!" No more untangling or stringing lights...ahhhh, very nice indeed. Our Christmas tree is 12 ft tall. Growing up we always had a huge tree that touched the vaulted ceiling in our living room; a real tree, mind you. It was tradition. My dad would go out in the woods, sometimes we would go with him, and we would cut down the p.e.r.f.e.c.t. tree. And when I say perfect, I mean it. He would start looking around in early fall to find the perfectly shaped and sized tree. My dad is cool that way! It may take him forever to pick something out, but when he does, it is perfect. So to make it really feel like Christmas in our house, our tree has to be HUGE! We have a 20'+ vaulted ceiling in our living room so we have room for a very large tree. The 12' one is, yes, perfect!Our ornaments are not your everyday ornaments, either! I am the oldest grandchild on my mom's side, and when I was born my grandparents started a tradition of getting each grandchild a personalized ornament every year. The ornaments range from a beautiful, etched glass piece for my 1st Christmas, to ornaments from Germany from when they traveled there for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, to these beautiful handpainted ornaments seen in the above picture. These are extra-special to me because they are made from the actual slate tiles that my grandparents had on their roof when they were young parents raising their children, back before they had a new shingle-roof put on their house. My Nana sat and filed and shaped and smoothed each ornament to her liking, and then would take them to a lady she knew that would paint what she wanted on them. Then Nana would tie color-coordinated ribbons on them and wrap them ever so carefully to give to us. She made these for each of our first Christmases. There is one from 1995 that says "Jack, Erica, and Tyler Ray First Christmas." Zachary's says "Zachary Robert 8-7-97," and Katie's says "First Christmas Katie 11-25-03." They are my very favorite on our tree and make me think of Nana each time I look at them. She passed away last year on Dec. 16. She hadn't been quite as mobile in the last 5 or 6 years, so my mom has been doing ornaments for everybody since then. She looks far and wide, early in the year, for the perfect ornaments for us all. I'm telling you, we are getting quite the collection! But each ornament has a name and a year on it and is perfectly suited to that year.

Here is Zachary hanging ornaments!

Tyler decorating the high parts of the tree!

And he got in on the ground-floor action, as well.

Katie loved finding all of her ornaments and putting them on the tree!

Here is one of my favorites, from 1996.

This is another favorite, from 1997. We own our own log home manufacturing and contracting company, so of course our little log home ornament is perfect for us! I just love this one! Who am I kidding?! I love them all!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday = Lazy Day

Today is turning out to be a lazy day...except for the 8, yes 8!, miles I ran this morning! Can you say "Woohoo?!" It felt great! But now I am in comfy lounge-wear, pulled up to the computer, checking out what's going on in blogland, getting ready to break open my Bible study, and THEN watch some football. Sounds like a fabulous day, huh? My goal for the weekend was to get out Christmas tree up and decorated. But since it is still sitting in the box in the middle of the living room floor waiting for an elk to be taken down from the wall AND my hubby's dozing on the couch, it looks like it may not happen! He's kinda cranky about taking it down so he's taking his time! In all fairness, I guess it is pretty heavy and it looks like it's going to take an act of Congress to get it down. He's just not as motivated as me!

When I got out of bed this morning, it was FREEZING in the house! Like, 60 in the bedroom and 58 in the living room! I crawled out from under the covers and promptly jumped right back in! Turns out, the fire in the boiler had gone out last night and we didn't have the backup heat turned on. But on the other hand, once I managed to get out of bed and get my running gear on, the run itself felt cool and wonderful! Tyler went outside and got it going again, so everything was nice and toasty in no time. He's such a little man, and a GREAT kid!

Yesterday, we had a mini-girl's day! Katie and I, and Michelle and Hailey went to PB and ate at Maya's, the BEST mexican food you could ever drool over. I was craving it so bad for the last 2 weeks so when the men decided they were going fishing, we took off! We hit Walmart, too and got a few things and looked at a sporting goods store for a cute new "treatment outfit." (Hey, if I can't use it as an excuse to get new clothes...!) I didn't find anything, though. But we are headed to STL on Wednesday afternoon to get our Christmas shopping finished up so I figured I would find something cute up there. We are also leaving early to spend "chemo time" with our friends who has her treatment for 3 days at a time. So we are going to be there with them, also. Then my 3rd treatment is Friday....I will be HALFWAY done with chemo after that! YAY! Praise God that He has carried us this far and I know He will continue to carry us! Hallelujah! I am also excited about having more STL-time because I want to go to Whole Foods! They have 2 in STL, and I am excited about going there! I know I will be so overwhelmed when I get in there though, so if anyone is well-versed in WF shopping I am open to advice for must-haves or whatever!

I hope everybody else is having a WARM and GREAT Sunday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yay it's Thursday! Two reasons I'm glad it's Thursday:

  1. Tomorrow is FRIDAY and
  2. Survivor comes on tonight!

I am so glad this week is almost over! I have been so busy this week: bookkeeping, helping friends move, and now dealing with a sick little one. I put Zachary to bed last night with motrin and a low grade temp but he woke up this morning fine. But I just had to go to school and get him because he is running a fever again and says his tummy feels funny. Ugh! Michelle was here for lunch so she checked him out before she went back to the clinic and said it's probably viral, nothing else seems to be going on. Hopefully it's a quick virus! And we have watched Survivor since it began several years ago, and we really like it. It's good family time for us!

Things I still need to do today:

  1. Bible Study
  2. Load of laundry in the dryer
  3. Take care of my little ones
  4. Get three more bookkeeping items sent to our CPA
  5. Check mail
  6. Pick up Tyler from school
  7. Fix dinner (don't know what we're having....hmmmmmm.......)
  8. Maybe walk for 30 more minutes later if I have time...not motivated to run today!

Wow, my list is bigger than I thought! Better get off here and get busy!! Happy Thursday!

"Whatever you do, do everything for God's glory." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Good Tuesday Morning everybody! I've had a busy couple of days around here, therefore, no posts. Sunday, I went for a 7 mile run (yay!!) then we went to PB and got groceries...I took the hubby and the kids so it was not as quick a trip as I had hoped! But the trip accomplished what it was supposed to: we have food! As soon as we got back we headed to my mom and dad's to eat Sunday dinner, we had steaks (!), with the WHOLE fam! That doesn't happen very often because we are all scattered and are busy, you know how it goes. So my parents and my brother and sisters and their families were all was a great Sunday afternoon!

Yesterday was crazy-busy! I started off the morning with an 8 mile run, the furthest I've ran since my diagnosis 2 1/2 months ago! I felt so good afterwards! There's nothing like the runner's high! So after that, I got into paying bills...good thing I had the runner's high thing going on! Haha! That led to other computer work and bookwork that took me to midday. After I made Katie and I lunch, I made baked ziti so I could just pop it into the oven when we got home from PB from Tyler's eye dr. appointment, which was right after school. It takes 35-40 minutes to get there, and we drove straight there and straight home. The kids were wanting to stop at Dairy Queen and get snacks and treats, but I was sooooo worn out by that time that all I wanted to do was get home! After I cooked dinner, I piddled around with laundry and pick-up stuff, but nothing too serious...I was ready to collapse! But when we went to bed, I couldn't fall asleep (uh!!), but I felt so drawn to my book of Bible verses and a little talk with God. So I got up and read through some verses and thanked God in my prayers that He is ALWAYS available for us to talk to and He always hears us and listens. He is so faithful! After that, I went back to bed and slept like a baby until 6am when my hubby woke me up with a kiss as he was leaving for work. I went ahead and got up and did some more laundry and put away dishes, got my runnin' gear on and cranked out another 5 miles! Woohoo!

So far today I've had my run, done my Bible Study, "Believing God" by Beth Moore. If anyone is looking for direction or a closer walk with God, this study is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I highly recommend it! My friend (who I requested prayers for last week) texted me this morning telling me that there was a song I just had to hear..."Tough" by Craig Morgan. I had heard this song before, but as I watched the video on YouTube I actually listened to the words, and it is beautiful! I tried to post the video here but it says it was "disabled by request." But if you have a chance to click over and listen to it (and watch!) will see what I'm talking about. My favorite verse of the song is as follows:

"We sat there five years ago
The doctors let us know, the test showed
She’d have to fight to live, I broke down and cried
She held me and said it’s gonna be alright
She wore that wig to church
Pink ribbon pinned there on her shirt
No room for fear, full of faith
Hands held high singing Amazing Grace
Never once complained, refusing to give up
And I thought I was tough"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Party Day!

Mommy and the birthday girl!
Family Portrait...Katie always has to stand out!

Katie is 5!

Blowing out the candles! Yes, there are only 4...I ran out!

Well today was party day at our house! Katie's birthday party was today at noon. We had pizza and birthday cake and ice cream...yum-o! We only had family over, still trying to be in germ-control-mode, ya know! But with our families, it's still a pretty big crowd! Jack is the baby of 6 and I am the oldest of 4, so even if half of the fam shows up it's still quite the group! But it's ok, everyone was well and it was wonderful! Katie ran the show, per usual of course. She directed everyone when to eat pizza, when she was beginning to open presents, and when it was time for cake...oh my, the boys in her life will have quite the time with her 'tude when she gets older....MUCH older by the way! Anyway, it was a great time and a great way to spend the Saturday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Top Ten

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! The holiday has prompted me to list my:

"Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For"

1) That Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

    2) My AMAZING husband, who is supportive and wonderful

    3)The 3 most fantastic children in the world: Tyler, Zachary, and Katie

    4) My family: my parents, in-laws, sisters, and brothers

    5) The best friends a girl could ask for: Kim and Michelle are my bffs!

    6) My health, and my family's health

    7) To have a roof over my head and food on my table

    8) FREEDOM! To be a citizen of the United States of America, the greatest nation in the world, where we are free to speak, choose, and live how we choose.

    9) Natural beauty. We live in "God's Country," where we wake up to natural beauty every day: forests, fields, rivers, and springs.

10) It all begins and ends with God, so I am thankful for His everlasting love and sustaining Grace, without which I would be lost. Praise God for freedom from sin: that He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us.

I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving full of all the things YOU are thankful for!

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!" Psalm 100:4

Gearing Up

While many others are gearing up to take trips, or gather at families' and friends' houses, we are getting ready to settle in! Normally both my hubby's and my families all gather at our house for Thanksgiving dinner, probably 30-40 people in all. It is wonderful and I look forward to it so much, but this year it is going to be just us. Since we have to be careful of the whole germ-exposure-thing, we thought it might be "better" if we have a very low-key Turkey Day. As I am kinda disappointed about it, it will be MUCH easier on me I'm tellin' ya! My mother-in-law is bringing turkey and dressing and gravy; my sister-in-law is bringing the mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and other sides; and my mom is bringing green bean casserole, corn, rolls, and salad. I think they've got it covered...AND I AM EXCITED! I won't even have the mess in my kitchen! Woohoo! Maybe those three should open up their own catering business! Ha!

The boys are out of school early today so Katie and I will be headed into town early to run errands and such. We need to go by the post office, bank, and drug store today. I did get to run this morning, 5 miles...before I took the boys to school. And when I got back, I didn't see Riley (the puppy) sitting in the middle of the driveway and I think I clipped one of his back legs! He just kind of yelped and took off running ! Oh, so not what I needed...or him for that matter! I felt SO BAD!! :-( I think he's ok though. My hubby checked him out and Riley's up and running around like nothing happened so I guess we'll just watch him for a little while. Hopefully he's alright.

Well, if your Thanksgiving plans require travel somewhere, whether near or far, I pray for safe travels for you and yours. Have a wonderful (and delicious!) Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little princess, Katie! On November 25, 2003 at 9:10pm she made her entrance into the world and changed our lives forever! She was born a month early and still weighed in at 7 lbs. 3 oz. Thank goodness I didn't carry her full term...she would've been a ten-pounder! *lol* We were all in love with her from the moment we learned I was pregnant with her, and fell completely head over heels when we heard her first cry. Michelle was there for the delivery, being the most awesome L&D nurse you could ever ask for, and took the most amazing pictures! I can't believe our little princess is 5 today! It has gone by so fast! So today is all about her, of course...but then again, what day isn't?!? She woke up this morning and opened presents and now she is knee-deep in playdoh and a princess art set! I got up early this morning so I could get presents wrapped and set out on the dining room table. I figured while I was up and feeling good, I would go for a run. I did 4 miles before I even had to take the boys to school...good start to the day! I have a feeling the rest of the day is going to be spent painting toenails, fixing hair, and reading books...all things a princess enjoys! I hope ya'll enjoy your day as much as we will!

"Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD." Psalm 127:3

Monday, November 24, 2008

BFF Time

Here are a couple pics of Kim and I having fun! We always have so much fun when we all go out together...sometimes too much! We are just hanging out here at my house today, chillin and catchin up. I was feeling "questionable" this morning when I woke up, so I asked her to come over for the day; she said she was going to anyway. She's awesome like that. I have felt better as the day has gone on, though. Still kinda tired and moving slow but I'm feeling better. So Kim has made dinner already, a lasagna that just needs to be baked tonight when we are ready for it, washed dishes, made phone calls, and sent faxes, and made me toast. :-) She will do pretty much anything I need...she would try to do a backflip in the floor if it would make me smile! Thank God for best friends, and I am lucky enough to have more than one. I hope ya'll have some good bffs to pass the time with, too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Sunday

We have had a great Sunday. My first chemo treatment, 3 weeks ago, left me feeling like I had been hit by a car on days 3 and 4. But today, day 3, thankfully that has not been the case! I have been up and about doing my usual stuff today, even running! I started to just take it easy and go for a nice short walk, but of course, found myself jogging before I knew it! I did 4 miles! Praise God! I started week 7 of Beth Moore's Believing God this morning...I am just so blessed every time I listen to her.

I found this video on YouTube today. I just love this song...I can feel myself worshipping at the feet of our Lord every time I hear it. So I though I would include it today. You know, I took a spin class once on a Sunday afternoon with my sister, and the instructor played all praise and worship music, an ended with "I Can Only Imagine." Beautiful, truly. I hope you have had an happy Sunday as well!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Steroid High

So it seems that the day after chemo will now be referred to my steroid-high day! The day before the 2-day crash! Today I have cleaned my bathroom, done a load of laundry, and stripped all the beds and I almost have the last one remade. I have also made a pot of creamy chicken and wild rice soup that smells sooooo good! I have picked up the mail...and I got 2 new scarves in, woohoo! It seems the only thing I haven't done today is run! I am about ready, though, to hit the couch for the afternoon, after I do my Bible study. My "high" may be wearing off! Coming.down.slowly!

Thank you to all of you who have offered prayers and thoughts for my friend. She found out that it is a recurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, only 5 months after she finished chemo and only 3 months after a clean pet scan. Ugh. So her protocol is for her to do more chemo, a stem cell transplant, and then radiation. The only thing I could think to tell her was that we are a team. We are going to beat this together. And the Lord worked it out perfectly that my next 2 chemo treatments and her 1st two chemo treatments are at the same time! And by the time she does radiation, we will be also ready to start radiation. So that will awesome to have somebody to share the trips and the experience with...although I wish she wasn't having to do any of it! But, you must look at the positive. Attitude is everything with something like this. You can't let it drag you down, or let it beat you. You have to fight, fight, fight! So she and I are gearing up to FIGHT TOGETHER! Hope ya'll have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

2 Down, 4 To Go!!

So here we are in St. Louis at Siteman, having our 2nd chemo treatment! I am in the recliner as we speak, getting all loaded up with pre-meds at the moment. I wanted a bed because we will be here for about 4 hours, but there wasn't one available. I was kinda disappointed about it, because when they assign "pods" to patients (the areas where treatments are given), they should make sure they have both beds and recliners available so we can choose. Ugh. Anyway, that is my only rant for the day so that's good!
I was enjoying my pre-med phase of the treatment, which includes lots of Benadryl! I had no idea he took this pic...obvi!
My appointment with Dr. Pluard went great this morning. He said my blood work looked fantastic and he was extremely impressed with my activity level. He said he didn't think he had drove as many miles as I had run these last 3 weeks (which was 58 miles if anyone's counting). So he told us to go do it again! Repeat exactly as before. That is what I wanted to hear, of course minus the sinus/congestion stuff we spread throughout our house last time!

My in-laws got to the house this morning to do the "grandparent thing" today. They took the boys to school and then Nana Norma and Katie were going to the dollar store to do some serious shopping. It's Katie's fave store, ya know! And then I think they were going to bake a cake and do girl-stuff. They will have a ball today. And they they will pick up the kids after school, too. They are making dinner for us as well. Praise God for helping hands!

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prayers For A Friend

I'm not sure how I feel today. I, physically, feel fantastic! I got up this morning and ran 4 goal was to run 30 miles this week before my treatment tomorrow, and I did it! And things are running like clockwork around here. Laundry is done, floors are clean, etc. But, I am very sad about a good friend of mine who did not get good news yesterday. She went to the dr yesterday, at Siteman-same as me, for her checkup. She had chemo from Jan.-June last year as treatment for lymphoma. She was considered cured, but her scans yesterday showed a possible recurrence. She is awaiting biopsy results before they make a final determination and a plan. She is 24 years old and she and her husband have a 1-year old precious little girl. My hubby is building their first new should be completed in about 2 weeks. Just in time for Christmas! But I know all they are focused on right now is her health and getting well, again. Please be in prayer for her. She has been the greatest source of help to us since we were diagnosed. In fact, the day we got the diagnosis, she and her hubby came over and sat here with us until almost midnight, answering questions and just talking. She had been there...and now she is there again and I am just sick for her. Just please keep her in your prayers, that she would be healed once again.

The day we went to Siteman for our first dr appointment, she and her hubby went with us for moral support and to show us around...just to be there with us. The evening before we left, she gave me a copy of the Serenity Prayer to keep with me:

Grant me
The serenity
To accept the
Things I cannot change,
The courage to change
The things I can,
And the wisdom
To know the

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank You

I must start today by saying a big "Thank You" to those of you that have left sweet comments or sent me an email of encouragement, regarding my loss (of hair, that is)! LOL I have to tell ya, I've never felt more beautiful, per your words! I promise I won't let them all go to my head...ha! pun intended! Can ya tell I'm feelin' it today?! Anywho, thank you all so much for your awesomeness! You all continue to mean more to me than you know!

Today started out with another great, and cool, 7-miler. I have done 26 miles already this week; my goal was to get to 30 before I have to go have my 2nd treatment on Friday...looks like I'm going to make it! Praise God, He continues to give me the strength that I need, I get my dose from Him daily. He is always walking (or running!) right beside me, holding my hand...or carrying me if necessary. Thank you, Lord, for continuing to guide and direct me in all ways! There's not tons to do around here today. A load of laundry or two, and just the general picking up stuff. I think I am going to make chicken fettuccine alfredo for dinner tonight. Michelle has an awesome recipe, tastes just like Olive Garden (Yum!), so I am going to call her to get it. And what italian meal would be complete without garlic bread and salad...yeah I'm all up in it today! Hope ya'll have a wonderful Wednesday!

"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires." Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Commando!

Busy busy day here! The boys went back to school today, out yesterday for deer season. So Katie and I enjoyed our usual routine today. Except, I ran commando this! My head, anyway! It was so cool...literally! I could feel the cool air blowing on my head, I'm telling you, I ran a mile further than I planned, 7 miles! I don't know if was actually the "no hair factor," but whatever it was, I enjoyed it immensely!! Then another new experience, a shower where I didn't have to wash my hair! Loved it too!! My hubby said I would like it, I'm beginning to see why. But seriously, my get-ready time has been cut in half, at least! And I just now put on my wig, to go get the boys. I have said since the beginning of all this, that I would have my wig on all the time; I wouldn't be seen without it. But I don't feel that way anymore! I feel free, and beautiful (!), without it...not to mention cooler! And I think it's a good thing that Katie is seeing me comfortable with it, she's getting more used to it too. She keeps feeling my head!

After breakfast I did a lesson in my Bible study and began to clean, clean, clean. I did the floors, dusting, and finished the laundry. Whew! So now I am sitting here relaxing for a minute in my peaceful house, before going to get the boys and the ruckus begins! But I enjoy the ruckus most of the makes our house home-y! I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bald Is Beautiful!

Boy was it an exciting day around here, or what?! I got up this morning, shedding like crazy! My hair was shedding pretty bad yesterday, too, but I just knew that today was the day. I went for a 6 mile run this morning and every time I would wipe my sweat on my forehead, I would have hair all over my sweat rag. Gross. So I informed everyone when I got done, that we were doing the shaving today! The kids were excited, especially Katie. She walked around with scissors for 3 hrs. asking "Now? Can I cut your hair now?" I let the kids all take cuts of my hair before Jack started in with the buzzing. They enjoyed it! My sisters were here, and my dad, and we just had us a good old fashioned head shaving right here in the dining room!

Katie finally getting to cut mommy's hair!

He looks a little too excited! Ha!

Zachary taking his turn with the scissors!
The finished product! My new motto is "Bald is Beautiful!" I actually have a pretty head, if I do say so myself! It doesn't have any weird lumps or bumps, my ears don't stick out, and I don't look like an alien! All good things! I was very impressed with the head God gave me!
Here's me in the bathroom fixing my wig. I still have some playing to do with it, but I really like it. It is HOTT!
And I kept saying that I didn't think I would be rockin' the scarf...but I think I totally will be! I really like it. It is so comfortable and soft. This black and white one is my fave!
So that's our big day! I prayed for strength to take this next step today. God definitely came through for us, yet again. Even my sister said, "I thought I'd cry, but I didn't even want to!" The kids handled it great and we just kept it upbeat and positive, just like everything else. And I am very proud that I took this step...chemo didn't make the decision, I DID. I hope ya'll had as good of a start to the week as we did! God Bless!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Girls Weekend!

I have had such a busy weekend...and a GREAT one! My sisters, Layne and Jessica, have been here all weekend and yesterday we went shopping and eating and were gone all day. Then last night the 3 of us went out to dinner; no men, no kids. We had such a great time! It was such a perfect day.

Then today, we had planned on going to my mom and dad's for dinner, but Jack called me on his way home from the woods (it's opening weekend of deer season here) and he had thrown his neck out while bending over to pick up his deer! Oh boy. My dad had to drive them home, and by the time he got here he was in so much pain. So I gave him some of the pain medicine that I had left over from my surgery and got him propped up in bed, alternating heat and cold ever since. He is still not having any relief, I think what he really needs is a muscle relaxer but we don't have any of those! Darn it! I pray he feels better tomorrow. But before he called, I was at Lacey's salon getting my hair cut again. It is going, going, almost gone! It has been really thinning and shedding the last couple of days so I thought if I wanted to experiment with another shorter haircut, I had better do it today! If it even made it through the cut! It did, but it won't last much longer. Before we know it, it will all be gone! I'm just trying to hold on as long as I can, while still being in control and shaving it while it is still a choice!

This evening I wrote some of my favorite Bible verses on notecards, as a part of my daily Bible study "homework". It's going to be great way for me to keep my inspiration close at hand. What a great idea! I'm very excited to work on it some more again tomorrow. And I also hope tomorrow will bring much less "excitement" around here!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let Go And Let God

"Let Go And Let God." It is the phrase on a simple cross visor clip that I have had in my car for several years. As I sat here tonight at the kitchen table, doing my Bible study, and trying to have my "quiet" time in the midst of the ruckus that is my home in the evening (!), this simple phrase hit me square in the face. I have been worrying and fretting myself to death about this pain in my abdomen; asking Michelle to run every test she is capable of running, and I even called my ob/gyn today (who is also a very good friend of ours) and had him ultrasound my belly to see what could be causing my discomfort. Of course, every test is coming back fine and they show no evidence of what could be causing it. So while I am running around trying to do everything I can to fix it, I have come to realize that I need to "Let Go And Let God." He is so completely capable! I am so thankful that the God we serve is the same God who has performed miraculous works and healings since the beginning of creation. Mark 11:24 says, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." I just need to let God be God and let Him work. This is an important lesson for anybody who is struggling, trying so hard to "fix" something, or "work something out." Quit wearing yourselves out. Give Him the opportunity to work. Give Him your faith. Give Him your belief. Give Him your troubles. And BELIEVE that He WILL do the rest! He is faithful and loves us so much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Sick Kid

Good Thursday Morning! As I sit here and type, I am looking at yet another sick little one. Oh how I wish this thing would hurry up and pass through. Zachary is home from school today with, you guessed it, a sore throat and congestion. Ughhhhh! And bless his heart, there's nothing I can do for him but offer popsicles and pudding to try to soothe his throat. :-( The motrin helps his sinus headache, but that's about it. Katie and I are continuing to improve, other than the sore spot on my abdomen. It's never ending!

I got up this morning and did another 5 miles. After I got cleaned up and ate breakfast I changed the sheets on our bed, trying to rid the house of germs! At wake up time, it was pretty cloudy and gloomy looking but it's supposed to get prettier as the day goes on and reach a high of 65. Perfect! Wish everybody felt well enough to get out and enjoy it! I hope it's pretty wherever you are!

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Having Faith

Things are on the upswing in our household! Praise God! My hubby went to see Michelle yesterday and he got an antibiotic shot plus a round of oral antibiotics, and Katie got worse the night before last, so now she is also on antibiotics. Geez, I think we all need to be on a steady drip of iv antibiotics until my last treatment! Trying to keep everybody well is stressful! I am continuing to feel much better, but now I have this lower abdominal tenderness that we are not sure what it other symptoms, nausea, fever, etc. Because of course I was convinced that it was my appendix at know I'm a hypochondriac now! Ugh. So I am watching that for new and different symptoms, per drs orders. Please pray it is absolutely nothing, certainly not my appendix...I do not need to deal with anything else right now! But, despite everything, I got up and ran 5 miles this felt amazing! My whole day gets started off on the right note when I feel like getting a run in. The day is not very pretty here today, cloudy and cold. All the boys in our house are watching the weather reports like crazy this week...firearms deer season opens this Saturday for 10 days. It is like a holiday around here. Seriously, school is out on Monday because there are so many kids gone that they thought it would be better to just have it as a scheduled day off rather than have so many absent! And it's been like that as long as I can remember...Crazy, huh?! But that's how we roll around here!

I still have my hair as of now. I am watching it very closely these days! Everybody I've talked to says 14 days-ish is when it starts to fall out, today is day 13. I feel kinda like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop! Of course I would prefer NOT to lose it, but I know that's probably not likely. So if it's going to fall out, I kinda wish it would start already so I can break out the clippers and just shave it...get it over with! It's driving me crazy waiting and not knowing what it's going to do. So we'll see. I know that God knows exactly what's going to happen, and it gives me so much comfort that He is in control and He is forever faithful. I will continue to lean on Him and believe. Hope ya'll have a great Wednesday!

"Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Passing The Bug

And by bug, I mean virus, illness, sicklies, etc. We are in the process of passing some sort of sinus-cold-cough thing around our household. Tyler started it about a week ago, then the middle of last week I started with the congestion, and lo and behold Katie woke up with croup yesterday morning, and Jack woke up with an incredible sore throat. Huh. Yesterday my throat felt like I was trying to swallow sandpaper, so we met Michelle at her clinic and she called the oncology fellow on call (nothing is easy anymore) and recommended that since I had been sick for 6 days and not getting better, and progessively worse, that antibiotics should be started...Praise God! I was so glad to get some medicine! And I think I am already starting to feel better. Jack, on the other hand, is feeling pretty crappy with his sore throat and Katie was croupy again this morning. Unforunately croup is usually caused by a virus and there's nothing you can do for it, medicine-wise, so it's humidifier-city and steamed up showers around here for the next 2-3 days. Zachary hasn't come down with anything yet...I was passing out vitamin C like candy this morning! I hope it all moves through the household quickly.

So our weekend was extremely low-key! It was spent passing the motrin around and taking temperatures...yeehaw. I hope ya'll had a better weekend than we did! This, too, shall pass.....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freezing Friday!

Geez it is cold here today! The highs are in the 50s! It is sunshine-y and beautiful but then you step outside and brrrrr! So I am getting ready to go and sit in front of the fireplace to warm up. Sorry I didn't post yesterday...I was feeling too good! I had close to a normal amount of energy yesterday and kept myself busy pretty much all day...yay me! And I've had 2 good nights of sleep in a row and that always helps.


Yes, you read that right, a RUN! I was feeling so good when I woke up this morning so I got up and put on my workout wear...think I surprised my hubby! Then I trotted off downstairs to the treadmill and punched out 4 miles. It.felt.awesome.
Then I got showered up and had breakfast and went to the office with my hubby to do payroll. Another thing off the list...check. I have got my billing done for the day...check. Sent my faxes...check. I still need to do my Bible study, some laundry, and clean my bathroom but now I'm tired! Ha! No, I will sit down and do my Bible study, but the cleaning may wait. ;o) The rest of the day is pretty slow. Katie and I will go and get the boys at school later and check mail and all that jazz. I think the boys are going fishing tonight so she and I may have the house to ourselves. Girls night! Have a great Friday everyone!

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Long Night

Good Morning all! It was a long night for me...bah. I am having this whole sinus-drainage thing going on and it's making my throat a little sore, and basically, freaking me out a little bit because when you are on chemo you have to be vigilant about getting sick. Now, I am getting the Neulasta shot, which helps, but it won't absolutely protect you from picking up any bug. Any fever of 100 sustained for an hour, or a fever at any time of 100.4 means a trip to the dr or ER, because my body is limited in what it can fight off right now. So, as I sat here last night with my legs aching (from the shot, but not being able to take a Tylenol for the discomfort as it will mask a fever), watching the election coverage, I was taking my temp like every 30 mins or so. The highest I recorded was 98.9, Thank You Jesus! But I still woke up intermittently through the night to take it, to make sure it was ok. And my legs were aching and I couldn't get was just a long night! I didn't take my anti-nausea meds yesterday afternoon and evening because I wasn't feeling sick, but this morning I was a little queasy so I popped a pill. Within 30 mins I was feeling better, but now I'm just tired and I'm still taking my temp! I hope that I never do run a fever, but IF I do, I hope it is during the day when things seem easier to manage. Our closest ER is 45 mins away and getting kids up and around in the middle of the night So please pray that God heals my little sinus thing-y and that I will feel much better by this afternoon.

So far this morning I have worked on my Bible study. I started week 5 of "Believing God" by Beth Moore. Powerful stuff I'll tell ya! It seems like she is speaking directly to me each and every time. Praise God! Today's lesson highlighted 2 beloved verses:

"...I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I know I have posted the second one before, but it means so much to me that I had to include it again. I am so grateful that God has me in His grip and will not let go. And He reminds me time after time, "I got this." I only pray that my grip on Him is as tight as His is on me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Someone Voted for Sunshine!

Wow! I think someone definitely voted for sunshine today! It is a beautiful day, doesn't feel like November here at all...well, maybe in the morning, but this afternoon it's supposed to be 75! Perfect day to get out and do our duty...VOTE!! And can you tell I'm feeling better today?! I woke up feeling so much better than the last 3 days...Praise Jesus! I am still having some bone aches due to the Neulasta shot, I'm assuming, and I'm worn out just walking into the kitchen, but hey, at least I FEEL like walking to the kitchen! But seriously, much much better!

I'm not quite sure what today will bring as far as activities go, but I know there is no basketball game tonight because Tyler's team lost the first game of their tournament last night. :-( I think all the boys were just worn out. His first jr. high season has come to an how time has flown! So, no basketball means we will probably be sitting in front of the television watching the election coverage this evening. I'm actually excited to watch it! It is a historic election no matter your view or how you look at it: we will either have the first female vice-president or the first African-American president of the United States. Wow. I just pray that regardless of who is elected, that he will look to God for guidance as he leads this great country of ours into a new age. I pray that when he says "God Bless America" that he in turn, blesses God and gives Him the Glory and Honor for his position. I pray that he will never take for granted the great privilege that has been given to him and that he will lead us with dignity and strength. That is my prayer going into this election day...hope ya'll have a good one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pampering Mom

I had such a nice surprise this morning. I woke up feeling all blah and yucky and shaky, and looked outside and my boys were cooking a feast of a breakfast on the grill! Tyler got his deer yesterday afternoon (it's youth deer season this weekend here) so they were cooking that with eggs, biscuits and gravy, and hashbrowns. They didn't cook it inside because they weren't sure if I felt like smelling it or not...good call! Zachary made me a plate and brought it into me and it was fantastic! I had my feast and my strawberry powerade (a new fave!) and I felt a little better. I am pretty tired today...not sick, just blah-feeling. So I am all kicked back in the recliner, typing away, watching Evan Almighty, yes again. I have done a little bit today, got up, got dressed, put makeup on, made my bed...but I'm definitely not scrubbing floors today! I have been told that this blah/tired phase only lasts a few days...I hope so! Hope ya'll are having a good Sunday!

"The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Down, Five To Go!

Whew! Check out those drugged up eyes! Let's see, it could have been from the Emend (for nausea), Tylenol, Adavan, Dexamethasone (steroid), Aloxi (nausea), Benadryl, Prevacid, I think that's it...and that is all pre-meds! All before the chemo even started! I took more drugs in that first hour than I have ever taken in my entire life! I'm a Tylenol and Motrin kind of girl, ya know. Our wonderful nurse, Renee, said they give you all these beforehand to suppress your body's reaction that it may have to the chemotherapy drugs. Well, that's a good thing I guess, but it knocked my butt out for about an hour! After all this stuff finished running in, the Herceptin started and my loading dose took 90 minutes. The subsequent doses will take 30 min-1 hr. Then the heavy-hitters, Taxotere (1 hr) and Carboplatin (30 mins) started. I guess I sailed right through it. I was up to pee probably 5 times while I was there, but in my defense, everything is ran through with saline and we were there 5 hrs! But it went just fine. Since it was Halloween, everybody was dressed up, Renee was a boy scout, and so there was a lot going on around us. The mood in the treatment center was light and positive, could be because that's how I felt too. Then we left and made our 3 hr drive home to our babies who had gone trick-or-treating with my parents. They had tons of candy and smiles all around, so good to come home to!

Before treatment started yesterday, we met with our drs. First the surgeon, who said the incision looked great and is healing nicely and gave us our beautiful path report that stated that no residual cancer had been found in what she re-excised. Praise God over and over! She also told us that after chemo and radiation our recurrence rate is only 5%! So low! And that she will be monitoring me with mammograms and breast mris from now on. Perfect. Then it was on to our oncologist and we had tons of question for him! Seriously, like a whole page full. So we talked for forever about them and then he told us that my echo that I had on Tuesday was a little off! What?! Well, yeah that's pretty much what they said, too. I guess a normal heart when it squeezes and pumps the blood out, will pump out anywhere from 50-75%, mine was pumping 50%. They said for someone older, it would be normal, but for a healthy 30 yr old who runs 30 miles a week, they were just really surprised. They said they didn't know why it was that way, but they are just going to monitor it very closely. They are going to do a repeat echo after my 3rd treatment. They are doing this because the Herceptin, the most crucial of the drugs I am taking, can cause this number to go down. And mine is already at the lower end of normal. So please be in super-prayer that either the first test was a fluke (they told me the test should take 45min-1 hr and it only took the tech 20 min), or that if it is right, that it is just my normal and that the Herceptin will have no effect on it. It is a small percentage that it will affect it, but it is possible. And this drug is the one that essentially makes my condition CURABLE. I am going to stay on my knees that there is only better numbers or no change for the next echo. So I now have a cardiologist on my team, too. I must say, though, that they are so thorough. I love knowing that I have a whole team on my! Are you ready for the third shocker of the day??! I know, how much more can you handle, right??! We were getting all our scripts filled there at the pharmacy in the treatment area (so handy) and our insurance company was denying payment of the $6000 (yeah not a typo) Neulasta shot that I have to have the day after chemo. It is to boost the white blood count that is beat down after chemo. So finally, about 30 mins before we were getting ready to leave, they sent approval, Praise Jesus!!!, but said that we would have to pay a percentage. Now our prescriptions are in tiers $15/30/45/60...but this shot is some sort of specialty drug and our part is $770 per shot! Oh my gosh! Yes, they totally paid the majority, but we were in no way prepared for this! And then all my other scripts were, or course, in the $60 tier, so by the time we had left we had wrote a check for $1000 worth of meds. Depressing. So worth it, but man! At least I only need 5 more of those Neulasta shots. I guess I will be getting good drugs for Christmas! Ha! But oh well! God will take care of us. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and (BONUS!) He helps us handle what we have been given. Praise God!

The Lord has guided us through this entire experience. We have taken hold of His hand tightly and are not about to doubt what miracles He can perform. We are not wavering in unbelief, but believing that God will lead us through the fire, unscathed...and actually come out better on the other side. I am already a better and different person than I was 6 weeks ago. I have learned to put God first before ANYTHING and to trust Him without relationship with Jesus Christ has grown so much. I value my time with my family more, and I appreciate my friends for everything they have done for us. I have learned to completely rely on God and trust that He will provide.

"Thank you, Lord, for using cancer to draw me closer to You and put all my perspectives in the right place. Please let this time in our lives, as well as the rest of them, be used for your Glory and that others will be able to see you through me. In Jesus Precious Name I pray. Amen."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cloudy Turned Bright, Sunny!

Today I woke up with feelings of uncertainty and dread. Tyler started a course of antibiotics last night for a sinus infection and actually felt worse this morning, and I was nervous. I never want any of my babies to be sick, but with me going into chemo tomorrow, this could possibly be the worst time! So I let Michelle check him out this morning, and luckily, it is still just a sinus infection, the antibiotics just haven't had a chance to start working yet. I was so relieved! Not that he was sick, but that it was still the something simple she thought yesterday. I hate the idea of leaving town, even for 24 hrs. with one of kids not feeling perfect...I think that's what bothered me the most this morning, was that I may have to leave this afternoon with him feeling worse. But, since then, he has had ibuprofen and eaten breakfast and said he's feeling a little better. Work, antibiotics, work! Or should I say, Work, Jesus, Work! Heal my big little boy so Mama can go start to get better without worrying that he needs her. (Although, we know a boy ALWAYS needs his mama!)

After that, I was feeling MUCH better! Enjoying the beautiful day, SO LOVING my new haircut and back to smiling! :-) Once we got back home, I did my Week 4 Day 3 homework in my Bible study. I am always uplifted when I dive into His Word; it seems no matter what the lesson may be about, it always seems to speak to just me. Like it was tailor made for me...duh, it totally is! teehee! Today's lesson was about Noah and how he had faith and stepped out in that faith despite the evilness, taunts, and jeers he heard from humanity around him. He was faithful to God, and God rewarded him. Praise God! Praise Him for the endless promises His word hold for us! You know, though, when I was reading Genesis 6 about Noah I couldn't help but keep picturing the movie "Evan Almighty!" Maybe because it was just on the other day and I watched it...twice. But how God kept trying to tell Evan what He wanted but Evan just didn't get it...his alarm clock kept going off at 6:14 am when it was set for a different time, his new congressional license plate was GEN 614, and even someone calling his office with a baby announcement said the baby weighed 6lbs. 14 oz. God was trying to get His attention, Evan just didn't get it! I am so thankful that God is relentless on us when He wants something from us, which is always! He NEVER gives up. Never tires of telling us again, and again, and AGAIN. He is constantly showing us how much He loves us and wants to be close to us, NO MATTER what we have done or how we have lived! He just wants to be close to us! It is like a parents' love times infinity! How awesome is that??! God is so good! Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel! Praise God that He never gives up on us!

From Psalm 91:
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
11 For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
14 "Because He loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Another Pic!

My phone is slowly is another pic of my haircut!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A New Me!

What a difference a haircut can make! I feel F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C! Actually, strangely, I feel grown up! 13 years of marriage and 3 kids and I get a new haircut and feel grown up! LOL! I can't believe I didn't do it before! Now I'm kinda mad that it's gonna fall out! Ha! Hey, but at least at this short length, it won't take as long to grow back out to here. Lacey did such a great job cutting it and Michelle and my mom were sitting there going, "Why didn't you cut it sooner??" But it was such fun! All the kids took a turn cutting a big chunk of hair off...they really enjoyed that! There was so much hair on the floor! Wow, I bet I lost weight, seriously. And I can feel the wind on my!
Check out all that hair! Geez!!

Today was SUCH a busy day! I had all three kids in for me, orthodontist for Tyler, and an eye exam for Zachary. Katie was just along for the ride. Thrown into our to-do list, was new jeans for Zachary, prescriptions to pick up, and a Walmart list a mile long. I was so glad when Tyler said he didn't have to be back by 3 for practice. I could've made it, but it would have been pushing it! But we had a good day. It was very normal...which was very nice.

I was running this morning, listening to some praise and worship music, trucking along, when a song from my childhood popped into my head. It was a song that we always sang at revival when David and Geneva Bentley would come to our church once a year. It went,

"The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind."

As soon as I finished 4 miles, I hopped off and googled it (!), so I could see where it came's 2 Timothy 1:7. Thank goodness for internet access! Ha! Anyway, it is perfect of course, as any thing in God's Word is, and spoke to me, as anything in God's Word does, if you listen to it. That anxiety I'm feeling about diagnosis or treatment is not what God wants for me, it is the devil that gives us fear. God gives is FAITH! And faith is much stronger than fear, anyday! Praise God for that! Praise God that we can count on Him because He is with us always!

More and better pics phone is being cantankerous tonight!

Survivor Spotlight Saturday

Hello!! Is it absolutely beautiful where you are this morning?!  Holy cow, if not you should high-tail it to southeast Missouri, ‘cause it...