Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cleaning Up Christmas

Ahhhhhhhh……….December09 007 Well finally our house is starting to look a little more normal!  I am all about Christmas decorations and the festiveness and beauty they bring to the season, but honestly, I am also very ready when it’s time to take the whole thing down and get it put away when Christmas is over!  I feel like I have my house back!  And I can’t lift anything “heavier than a gallon of milk,” so that meant that my boys had to do all the heavy lifting…yeah that part wasn’t so bad ;-)

But the tree is down and everything is put away and my house is clean.  And our tree is 13 ft tall and huge, so when it’s put away we feel like we have a TON of “extra” room!

Check out the sign that was hiding behind the Christmas tree:

December09 008

Coming off what has been probably the hardest year of our lives, this Scripture from Ecclesiastes rings especially true for us.  I am excited to see what God has in store for us in the new year.  I am open to whatever He sees fit because He is, well, perfect.  He constantly sees the BIG PICTURE. 

I am praying for a season of health and happiness in 2010, and I know that no matter what GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that while we make plans, the LORD determines our steps.  I am asking that God will make me open to surrendering my steps to Him, ‘cause I’m not really good at surrendering, y’all!   

December09 009

So the rest of my Wednesday is looking pretty good!  I am planning on sitting in front of the fire, enjoying my clean house and hearing my kids playing and watching movies…which will probably lead to a not-so-clean house, I am prepared.   I think ;-)

xoxo

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Recap

Well it’s been a little while, y’all!  Guess you can say I was too busy and having too much fun to write any posts;-)  I have been seriously slacking on my blog writing and reading for the past week…it has been so crazy around here.  As it has in your homes, too, I’m sure!

If I wrote about all the busy-ness we’ve had in the past week or so, the post would go on for many more pages than any of us have time to read so here are the highlights:

  • My mom had eye surgery the Monday before Christmas to lift her droopy eyelids.  She has been wanting to get them done for years and they finally had drooped enough for them to be covered by her medical insurance.  It went beautifully and she is seeing better and looking younger already!
  • I had a great 2-week follow up checkup with my ob/gyn.  All my pathology came back perfectly clean from the hysterectomy!  Praise God!!  AND she cleared me to run, which I have been doing, slowly, for the past few days.
  • We had a great Christmas Eve at my mom and dad’s house, having dinner, reading the Christmas Story (a tradition), opening presents, and visiting.  And while we missed my sister Layne and her family, they arrived the day after Christmas and are here FOR A WHOLE WEEK!  YIPPEE!!
  • We opened presents here on Christmas morning and I was so in awe of my children…I have to brag for a moment…because they while their presents and stockings sat looming, they were most excited for Jack and I to open our gifts they had gotten for us.  They truly showed the meaning of Acts 20:35 …’It is more blessed to give than to receive'.
  • Christmas Day was spent at Jack’s parents.  All his brothers and sisters (he is the baby of 6) and their families came and we enjoyed a wonderful day of more food, presents, and fun. 

Here are a few pics from our Christmas:

We had a white Christmas!!  Not much snow, but enough to make it beautiful:christmassnowAll 3 of our “little” ones with their stockings and gifts from Santa:December09 018Cookies and milk gone…he must have been here:December09 020Oh yeah!  He was DEFINITELY here:December09 019Katie digging in to her presents:December09 027Zachary opening presents:     December09 022 Tyler opening presents:December09 023 Katie posing with her Cardinals hoodie:December09 024Zachary LOVES his new UA hoodie: December09 025   Katie and Daddy trying to figure out her new camera:christmas09katiedaddy Katie and I posing at my in-laws:christmas09katiemommy  More presents:christmas09katie2And more presents:christmastyzac09

We had a very blessed Christmas, and I hope you all did too!  Now I am desperate to get my tree and decorations down and my house back to “normal,” what ever that is.  But it will have to fit into my schedule this week of enjoying the time off with my kids and spoiling my nephews :-) 

xoxo

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Simply Saturday

Happy Saturday, folks ;-) Seems so easy and truthful to say that on a weekend, right..."Happy!"

We've actually been a little busy today and now I'm relaxing in the recliner watching my beloved Tennessee Lady Vols play Stanford...it's halftime so I got a good 15 minutes to type;-)

After I got up this morning I was gauging how I felt and thought that another walk sounded good...imagine that, right?! So I turned on The View online and walked for 45 minutes, 3 miles. I'm not sure if I'm going to walk every day right now. I'm just judging how I feel each day and going from there. But I DO know that I feel so much better when I move...and not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

I'm also currently battling a stuffy/runny nose. Katie has been kind enough to share her symptoms with me I guess so now I am suffering as well. I have made the mistake to take a decongestant/antihistimine the last 2 nights at bedtime and I forgot how sensitive I am to something in that type of med. So today I have a slight medicine head. That's a mistake I won't be making again tonight you can bet. I have soooooo much to do, and no time for the sick stuff! My Walmart list is growing by the hour, but I definitely don't feel like tackling it on the weekend before Christmas...can you even imagine?? Ugh. I need to make plans to go at like, midnight, or something when nobody else is there. But seriously, do you think there's ever a time when Walmart is empty?? Probably not.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to share something with you. I was reading Living Proof Ministries blog this afternoon and Beth's post today just totally touched my heart. She had a hysterectomy just a couple of days before I did and in her post she shares her story. Be sure to watch for Grace and Mercy...yeah, read the whole thing and you'll understand...and be blessed I'm sure.

Have great day, y'all :-)

xoxo

PS- Want to hear something cool? This was in my Daily Bible Verse email this morning:
"We are more flawed than we want to admit, but more loved than we could ever dream."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Walk It Out

As you may have guessed by the title, YEP, I WALKED TODAY!!!!

I was talking with the hubby last night about how good it would feel to move, just walk. And he agreed (and remembered) that my dr said that at one-week post op that I could start with walking again. I.was.so.excited! I even toyed around with the idea of going to the park this morning and going for a fabulous walk, but lo and behold it was freeeezzzzziiinngg this morning after I dropped off the kids at school. Even if I had come home and put the UA ColdGear on, it wasn't enough to entice me to walk outside. So me and my friend (the TM) got in an little quality time in the form of a 30 minute, 2 mile walk!


It felt so good. I found myself getting tired towards the end, which made me sad, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am only 1 week post op from major surgery. So I will start small and not push myself. I DO want to heal!

I did quite a bit of office work this morning, cleaning off my desk and going through mucho mail from the past week. I hate it when I let the mail pile up like that...gah. But then I did bookwork, figured Christmas bonuses for our guys and left the office clean for the hubby's meeting this afternoon. Awesome.

Now I am just killing a little bit of time before I head to school for Katie's Christmas Party. The boys have outgrown classroom parties, much to their dismay, but Katie is all about it. Although she was a little weepy this morning when I dropped her off, I had to stay and sit with her for a good 30 minutes before she decided that, yes she would indeed stay for school. ;-) I think she's just wiped out from a busy week at school. They've had their concert and all kinds of special activities going on...bless her heart. She's ready for her 2-week vacation. I don't think I'm going to make the kids go to school tomorrow. It's only a 1/2 day and they will just be putting in their time, and not much work so we may start out Christmas break officially tonight!

We are looking forward to "Survivor" tonight! We LOVE that show, and this season Russell beats all I've ever seen. He absolutely cracks me up! He should SO win!

Have a great rest of your day, friends <3

xoxo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Driver's License

Hey hey there!

I got it!!

"What," you ask?

PERMISSION TO DRIVE!! Woop woop!

Before you laugh...never take for granted the little, sometimes mundane task, of DRIVING. I haven't been able to drive for a week since surgery and it has been driving me nuts! The first couple of days were kinda nice, but after that it has just been a huge pain in my rear. I am WAAAYY to busy to be house-bound. Especially with 3 kids and Christmas in NINE DAYS!!!

My original dr's orders said not to drive for 2 weeks, but with stuff going on and me going crazy, I decided to call this morning and see if I could get a reduced sentence. After the quiz on when my last pain meds were (Saturday) and my overall pain (virtually none), they gave me the all clear to drive. I could almost hear the angels singing! LOL~

Now I'm sitting here thinking about what I should do first... Grocery store, Post Office, Walmart (oooh, maybe not that one yet!)? After some contemplation, I think I'm going to head to the grocery store first and then swing by the post office. My kids will be SO excited that I will be there to pick them up from school today!

So now I'm off to run (err, drive) some errands and maybe cross some things off my to-do list.

Have a great Wednesday, friends! We are officially halfway through the week! Yay!

xoxo

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photo Op!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

How's today treating you so far? So far my day has included doing a load of laundry, getting the kids sent off to school, some java & Jesus time, a little breakfast (oatmeal in case you were wondering), Facebook, Twitter, and now just watchin some Rachael Ray on tv. Can you see how the morning started off strong but has slowly faded?? But I'm supposed to be resting, right? Yeah, and it's driving me completely crazy. I'm thinking of calling my dr today to ask her if I can drive...or maybe I'll wait until tomorrow since it will be 1 week post-op. We'll see.


I wanted to share with you a couple of pics we took on Sunday before heading out to church. The first one is just of the kids and believe it or not, this is the FIRST picture I took! Mind you, this never happens...it's usually quite the feat to get a pic where all 3 are looking and smiling. Maybe they were taking it easy on Mama since I just had surgery and all, or maybe they are being good for Santa?? Either way, I'll take it!
Next is the family picture. I rigged up the camera on the coffee table and set the timer to get this one. It was the second one we took and it turned out pretty good, too! Yay!

I've already ordered reprints from walmart.com and had my mom pick them up yesterday so today I am all about getting them in my Christmas cards. Hopefully today I will finish them and can get them in the mail sooooonnnn!

We have the kids' Christmas music program tonight at school. Katie is BEYOND EXCITED about it, but the boys...notsomuch. Oh well, can't make them all happy at once. Katie gets to wear pjs for her part. So you know what this meant...last week's shopping adventure turned into a massive hunt for the cutest of the cute pair of pjs for the little princess. And God bless Gap, they had TWO of the cutest pair ev-er. Anyone want to take a stab at how long it will take her to pick out which pair she is wearing tonight?? Oh my ;-)

Have a good day!

xoxo

"One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple."
Psalm 27:4

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shopping & Grass

Hello Monday! Wanna hear something stressful??


11 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS!!!


Um, yeah, that's what I said. Omgosh. I hope y'all are done with all the prep work, cause it's comin' ready or not!!


I have actually spent most of the day like this:

Studying...

Frustration when an item I choose is sold out online...



Absolute glee when an item I select is available and on it's way to be wrapped underneath my tree!


Yes. This is me, shopping online. Can you say "last minute girl?" Yup. That's me! I do it to myself every.single.year. You think I would learn, but sadly, no. And it's especially difficult now because I am on all these restrictions following my hysterectomy last Wednesday. I don't know if it's the best thing that I feel pretty good...because it just makes me want to get up and do something that much more! Sitting is not easy for me, people. But I am doing it. ;-)

Now I'm off to chug some of my Amazing Grass chocolate milk as part of my snack. Man, I love this stuff. I just mix a scoop of it with 1 cup of skim milk and prob 1/2 cup of crushed ice and give it a quick whir in the blender...like a chocolate slushy! And the best benefit of all is that I am getting my 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I've been drinking it daily since Nov. 16 and love it.

Have a great what's left of your Monday, folks! Get on that gift list if you haven't already done so!

xoxo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Before and After

Happy Sunday, friends ;-)

We are thoroughly enjoying our Sunday, I hope y’all are too.  We got up this morning and I felt well enough to go to church so off we went.  I’m so glad we did, because our church choir was presenting their Christmas Cantata and, as always, it was beautiful.  The choir sounded like an army of angels singing praises to our risen Lord.  The music of the Christmas season is so wonderful.

This afternoon we are enjoying watching the Colts game and relaxing.  Relaxing now at halftime because the Colts are up 21-7!  Hope they continue to play well.  A win today guarantees home field advantage in the playoffs!

So I thought I would share with you my before and after port pics…cause you KNOW I am so proud to have it out!  Here’s my port the morning of surgery, lookin’ all bionic.  The thing looked like a plug in of sorts…well, I guess it kinda was!  Through this port I received lifesaving meds for a year and had countless blood draws…all saving my arm veins any trauma.

BEFORE:port 

AFTER:

port2

Yippee!!  No more port!!  Thank you little “plug-in” for supporting me for the past year, but I must say, I was glad to see you go!

Have a great Sunday, lovelies ;-)

xoxo

Friday, December 11, 2009

Post-Op Update

LUUU-CY, I'M HOMMME!

Hello friends, I am so happy to be writing to you from HOME today! I got discharged yesterday early afternoon, and I'm not kidding you when I say that I had my clothes on before the nurse could get out the door ;-) My iv had already been stopped, I was going the bathroom and eating well, so there really wasn't any reason to stay any longer. My dr said that I could, of course, if for no reason other than rest, but I KNEW I would rest better at home. Which, I have.

Tuesday, the day prior to surgery, we had a great time enjoying the day in the city. We shopped at the Galleria and ate at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch...yes, yum-o. And I found the most perfect and beautiful purse at the Coach store, but it was not to be...mainly because I had the hubby with me, but also because it was $300...sigh... I thought he was going to choke when I was showing him the purse and then the price tag just sealed the deal. Oh well.

When my parents got into town, they took us out to dinner at Charlie Gitto's on the Hill. OMGosh. No words. It was the most delicious meal I have ever eaten in my life. The guys had prime rib and mom and I had chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, artichoke hearts, and ricotta cheese and served with angel hair pasta with pesto. Oh, I am drooling as I type! We couldn't leave without dessert of course, so mom had the creme brule, and I had a cannoli. Not only were there no words for how delicious it all was, but also no words for how completely stuff we were! It was ahhh-mazing.

Surgery day (Wednesday) went great. The patient scheduled for surgery before me didn't show up (what?!) so since I was there, I got bumped up a couple of hours, Yes! There's nothing worse than waiting. My dr said the procedure went perfectly and that I have the most perfect uterus and ovaries...well ok! And the residents assisting her said that they rarely see any organs that are so "textbook." She even gave me some pics of them from inside...I decided to spare you. She also removed my port, Hallelujah! So nice, I tell ya.

So today I am resting at home with my feet up. It actually feels better to be up, but I'm trying not to do too much. My hubby did a pretty good job getting kids ready and out the door for school. But they still needed me ;-) My sister, Layne, and her fam are here for the weekend so they are going to come over in a little while. And Jessica's baby shower is here at my house tomorrow...never a dull moment around here!

Thank you all for your prayers, please continue to pray for a quick and easy recovery! Love y'all!

xoxo

Monday, December 7, 2009

Manic Monday

Oh my my, how do I get so behind??

It seems that I get so busy and get to doing things, and I check the blog and it's days since I have posted...I don't think I've made it to weeks yet, so I can still say "days";-)

I hope y'all had a great weekend. Ours was crazy busy! First of all, Friday's appointments all went great! I saw 2 of my drs and came out of both checkups with lots of smiles. I LOVE that! Obvi.

In the appt with my oncologist, I finally got up the nerve to ask him about my recurrence rate for breast cancer, since that is a question I never asked before. I had wondered occasionally, but never had enough nerve to ask...I just wanted to get done with treatment and be cured and worry about that later. So I asked him. And he said while it's difficult to determine because Herceptin has only been used in patients like me (without metastasis) for 3 years, his thoughts are around 20%. I asked him is that like 5-years, 10-years, what?? And he said, "No. Like 80% cured. That it will NEVER return." Whoop whoop!! I was excited, duh! Because that puts my recurrence risk at like almost the same as any woman's breast cancer risk, which is 1 in 8. Sing praise!!!

After the appointments we headed to an orthotics and prosthetics place that my physical therapist had recommended and I was fitted for a nighttime lymphedema sleeve. I am beyond stoked about this because I am so sick of wrapping my arm with the compression bandages every night and unwrapping every morning. It's not a huge deal, but it's a pain. So, thanks to the prescription I got from my dr, the $700 sleeve (um yeah ridiculous) should be covered by insurance. So I got measured and picked out a hot color...PINK, of course ;-)

We grabbed lunch and headed to the mall for a little retail therapy, much to the distress of my hubby. But lucky for him I was too wiped out from getting up at 330am to make much shopping progress. It's ok, though, we are leaving first thing tomorrow morning for Wednesday's surgery, so we will have the whole day and evening to shop tomorrow. And yes, I will totally use the pity-surgery excuse to have a little extra mall time. I know. I'm bad ;-) But whatever works, right?!

I'm picking up the kids early from school and going to PB for lunch and Tyler's orthodontist appointment...he's very excited, he's got an "off-date" for his braces, January 14! Also on the list are a winter coat for Katie and pants for Zachary. And I hope to stock my fridge and pantry for my post-op days. I hate the thought of explaining to my hubby which Greek yogurt I like and my sandwich thins...oi vey. Better just do it now!

Have a great Monday everybody! Please keep us in your prayers for a quick and successful surgery and an even quicker recovery!

xoxo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Headed To The Lou

Well tomorrow is my very first post-treatment checkup with my oncologist and also my pre-op appointment for my surgery next Wednesday.  I am looking forward to the checkup, except for the first appointment time, which is 730am.  And for those of you know have been reading for awhile you know what this means...yep, up and at em BEFORE the butt-crack of dawn.  Like leave our house at 430am…YIKES!  Did we consider leaving today to avoid the early morning drive, you ask?  Oh yes, that was most definitely the plan but the hubby’s late work schedule today put quite the kink in our plans.  The kids, however, are still going to stay the night at my mom and dad’s so we don’t have to wake them up that early. 

In all reality we could leave tonight and get there around 9 or 10pm but I would rather wait til morning.  You see, our very first dr appt trip to STL we left with our good friends about this time of evening.  And I can remember so vividly the scared and nervous feeling I felt as we approached the absolutely HUGE hospital/medical center complex and hotel and the fear of the unknown that consumed me.  Ever since then I can’t stand to go to the Lou at night.  It just brings me back to that horrible place and I just can’t stand it.  I think if it required that we get up and leave at 2am I would probably do it.  So…our choices are leave during daylight or leave the next morning, and we can watch the sunrise while we drive.  Much better…for me.

I am believing God for a great appointment tomorrow!  Good labs, good exam, and everything else that goes along with a checkup.  I am also looking forward to meeting friends for lunch after her treatment and then getting some Christmas shopping on!  Shhhhh, the hubby doesn’t know that yet.  It’s ok.  What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him…until tomorrow ;-) 

Please keep us in your prayers as we head out in the morning for a great checkup and safe trip.  They are so much appreciated!!  Love you guys!

xoxo

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pink Gloves

Check this out! I was doing my morning blog reading this morning and while perusing Carrots 'N' Cake, Tina had this video posted. LOVE IT! This just made me smile today! Hope you enjoy it and are having a Great Wednesday;-)



xoxo

Monday, November 30, 2009

Way To Walk

Change in plans. All my boys (big and little) went fishing tonight, so Katie and I are enjoying our girls' evening. It requires a little shuffling on my part (dinner menu gets pushed to tomorrow night, homework needs to be done in the morning), but for the most part it's all good:-) The boys love it and gigging season only lasts til the end of January, so it's not like it's an every night deal...sorta;-)

Since I'm not cooking family dinner (yes, I fed Katie and I, but we don't require all the trimmins' like the boys do!), I had some extra time on my hands. I decided to log more treadmill time because I had something that I've been wanting to try. I have been reading Angela's blog, Oh She Glows and she is a runner and I've been noticing that some of her treadmill time includes walks. But not just any walks...10% incline walks...at 4mph. Um yeah.

I've never done a 10% walk for a constant 30 minutes before. I usually kick it up and then after a couple of minutes, kick it right back down! So I started off and all was good for a few minutes. But it wasn't long before I was reaching for the incline button but I DIDN'T LET MYSELF TOUCH IT...but oh man I wanted to! It was a serious workout. No kidding here, folks. Thirty minutes is a lot longer than you think when you are just steady, steady climbing a 10% hill! I did find, after much shuffling through the iPod, that "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas is the best for hill walking. It had the perfect beat for my stride and it kept me going when I seriously wanted to quit. I must've repeated it 4 or 5 times! Hehe;-)

Ok, so I'm gonna sign off for tonight and enjoy the rest of my girls' evening with Katie. She is the BEST FRIEND a mama could have;-)

xoxo

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lessons From Stefanie

Hello Sunday evening, friends ;-)

I hope that everyone has had a glorious long weekend chock full of things to be thankful for! I know I have. I have had my family around me all weekend, and have certainly felt the love. Awwweee... Believe me, we have been counting our blessings.

I have also managed to keep to my running routine, which is sometimes difficult with schedules changing and things not being in a normal routine. I got up and hit the treadmill for an 11-mile run this morning before church. I watched the Biggest Loser on the NBC website and when the contestants were doing sprints on the treadmills, I raced them ;-) But it did have me thinking that I SO BADLY need to add more strength training to my regimen. So this afternoon, while watching The Proposal, I did a lower body workout. I can really tell the biggest difference in my body when I am lunging and squatting more, it's just getting up the motivation to do it!
Today I did: 50 standing squats,


10 side squats w/ leg lift (each side),


20 leg lifts w/ last rep hold for 30 sec (each side)


10 jump squats
My plan is to do a different body part each day, in addition to my runs of course. Tomorrow I plan to do abs, and Tuesday I'll do arms. We'll see how this goes and if need be, I'll tweak it as I go. But I really need the added benefit of some strength training. Yay!

We had a great service at church this morning. The pastor started in the book of Isaiah, chapter 9 which has the heading "To Us A Child Is Born." That's right. We're talking about Christmas, folks!!! As if December 1 lurking just a couple of days away isn't enough of a wake up call for ya, Christmas sermons being preached will certainly get a person in the Christmas spirit.

Today, Bro. Ron talked about names and how important they are: from what God named each animal as He created it (zebra, what?!), to what we name our children. For example, did you know that "Jesus" means "Jehovah Saves"? I didn't. And it's very cool. Leave it to God to come up with something so beautifully perfect! And the names listed in Isaiah 9:6 for Jesus are awesome as well: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Here are my notes from the sermon this morning:


I find that when I take notes, I actively listen...and I get so much more out of it!

I really needed to be remined of God's peace this morning because last night, I had one of my mind wandering moments that didn't find me at my best by the time it was bedtime. I innocently picked up the new Sports Illustrated and started flipping through it when I suddenly came across an article on Stefanie Spielman. Stefanie is a mother of 4 and is the wife of NFL player Chris Spielman and a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at the age of 30 and had 4 recurrences until she passed away last week at the age of 42. Here's an article on Stefanie and all she's done for breast cancer awareness and research, but more it's about what she did for other people that she will be treasured and remembered. It's a very positive story about her life and her impact she had on other people, but it's also about her death. And, unfortunately, that's what stood out to me just before bed on a quiet Saturday night. And I'm tellin' ya, the devil just took 'hold of that one little discouraging thought and led me right down that path where I felt like I was drowning. Like I had just had a death sentence given to me. So what to do when satan is coming at you full force?? You fight back. And the verse that kept coming to me was 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."


I repeated it to myself over and over and over until I felt it in my soul, and until I began to feel some peace. Peace came, then sleep came, then Jesus' characteristic of being the Prince of Peace came. Ahhhhhhhh..... Oh how I needed that this morning. Isn't it awesome how the Lord gives us just what we need when we need it?

So now I am choosing to focus on the life that Stefanie Spielman lived and the legacy that she left behind. I am choosing, today, to focus on the positive and go forward in the name of Jesus. Living today to it's fullest and knowing that God has a plan for me and that He is in control.

And the same goes for YOU! You don't have to have a diagnosis of cancer to need peace. If you could use some peace today, ask Him for it...He will heap it on your head if you ask:-)

xoxo

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh Happy Day

It has been a wonderful, family- and food-filled day here at our house!  I’m sure most of yours too!  We had the usual spread, deep fried turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberries, rolls…oh my I think the list could go on and on!  And it was ALL so good!!

tg09-2 Mom and Dad and all us kids minus our brother who was at his fiance’s family’s house.

tg09   AND the birthday girl, for the final time this year!  I think 3 birthdays is enough!

tg09-4

Zachary and Ethan playing

tg09-3

Zachary and Caleb getting snuggle time.

I could post pics for days, but now I’m tired and am going to go to bed!  I hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving!

xoxo

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I just finished up a 6.5 mile run and am getting ready to shower and start getting things ready for the day! I am VERY excited to have everybody here at our house again this year, like NORMAL. I craved normalcy so much at this time last year and now here we are, one year later, and we finally have it. Praise God!

In my java & Jesus time this morning, I listed my top ten things I am most thankful for:

10) Work
9) Home
8) Freedom
7) Strength
6) Health
5) Family & Friends
4) My Kids-Tyler, Zachary, and Katie
3) Jack <3
2) Mercy
1) Salvation

And I could have gone on and on. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and has as many "problems" as I did limiting my list to 10! Love Y'all!!

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

xoxo

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday, Katie!

November 25, 2003 at 9:10pm our little princess entered the world.  Katie Elizabeth weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz, which was quite impressive considering she was almost a month early!  She was greeted by her very handsome and excited big brothers who couldn’t wait to get their hands on her.  There were also many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins at the hospital awaiting her arrival.  We don’t do things SMALL y’all!

Wow.  I really does seem like only yesterday!  I can’t believe she SIX already.  Where did the time go?!   

scanscan0001

 

My Precious Katie,

I wish I could put into words how much you mean to me.  You are the perfect princess that we prayed for to complete our family.  I remember being 9 months pregnant and doing that first load of baby clothes laundry and opening the dryer to a beautiful load of just PINK fluff!  It just brought joy to my heart and a smile to my face.  I remember praying, “Dear God, please give me a little girl who will be my best friend and never leave my side.”  Whoa.  You, my daughter, are proof that God answers prayers.  From day 1 you have been by my side.  Even though some days I ask you many times when you are going to sleep in your own bed, inside I am dreading the day when you want to.  So I will cherish every warm, snuggly moment!

When I pray for you everyday, I ask God to keep you healthy and safe.  I pray that He will place a hedge of protection all around you and keep you safe from harm.  I know that I can’t watch out for you all the time, but I know that we serve a God who can, and DOES.  I pray that you will take the love of Jesus in your heart wherever you go, and that others will be able to see His light shine through you.  I also pray that God will leave me here to see you grow and hopefully give me grandbabies someday.  A loooonnnnggg time from now, just so you know;-) 

Thank you for enriching our lives and being a blessing to everyone you meet.  Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  I love you more than you know <3

~Mama

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preparation

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What A Weekend!

Oh wow.  I am a wiped out girl this afternoon.  We have had 3 days of go-go-go and now I’m ready to collapse!  It was all good, fun stuff though so everything was TOTALLY worth it!  Let’s recap:

FRIDAY: Katie had her first-ever friend birthday party!  She will be 6 this Wednesday and with Thanksgiving and stuff going on I thought it would be better to separate things just a little.  So she had 7 of her little friends over from 5-7 for a Fancy Nancy party.  It was the.cutest.thing.ever!  They were giggly and “fancy” and they squealed with delight every time a present was opened.  OMGosh.  Precious.  And after everybody left and the boys had all gone to bed, I sat up with Katie in the living room as she played with all her new toys; I was watching and thinking that I am SO thankful that I am here to enjoy every single moment.

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CAMERA_Nov_09 274CAMERA_Nov_09 239CAMERA_Nov_09 245CAMERA_Nov_09 244SATURDAY:  My sister, Jessica, is 32 weeks pregnant and while our other sister, Layne, and I are throwing her a baby shower in a couple of weeks, her school-friends and fellow teachers threw her a shower at her fave mexican restaurant in PB.  We had lunch and then got to watch her open some wonderful baby goodies!  It was a great day.  After we got home and the boys got in from hunting, we went out to eat and then came home to collapse!

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SUNDAY:  I got up at 630am this morning and had my coffee with my devotion time.  Around 7 I hit the treadmill for a lovely half-marathon, 13.1 miles!  I completed my run in 2hrs 3min 37sec…just in time to get cleaned up and head to church!  Afterwards, Zachary, Katie, and I headed to PB to eat lunch and go see Planet 51.  I was afraid that all hype over New Moon would makes things rather hectic and crazy, and while the parking lot was very full, the rest of the theater experience was pretty normal today.  The movie was cute, but you put a tired mama with a full belly in a dark theater and you had a good opportunity to sleep!  I closed my eyes a couple of times, but I don’t think I ever actually dozed off.  I don’t think ;-)

As for the rest of the week, we are just preparing for Thanksgiving on Thursday.  Everyone from both families (mine and Jack’s) comes to our house for Thanksgiving and it is beyond wonderful.  I love Thanksgiving!!  And this year, we are especially thankful for our many blessings. 

xoxo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Doctor Speaks

I am still pretty hot about these new breast cancer screening recommendations, as you can imagine. As a breast cancer survivor, and one that was considered low-risk at the time of diagnosis, this feels like a slap in the face to me. I feel like they are overlooking women who are considered low-risk and basically sending the message that our lives aren’t worth it. Not worth the screening, not worth the testing…all to save some bucks?? I am angry, offended, and disappointed that the task force made these recommendations.

I don’t know how many of you listen to XM radio, but if I am in the car during the Gayle King show that’s what I’m listening to. Well this morning she was talking, of course, about these new breast cancer screening recommendations and was taking calls for people to weigh in. I have NEVER done this before, but I totally picked up the phone and GOT THROUGH! I spoke with Gayle’s producers and was on the line to talk to her and…they ran out of time!! Ahhhhhhh! Darn it! And I was all ready, too! Fired up, can you imagine?! LOL

Anyway, another lovely lady is weighing in on the topic, my breast dr, Dr. Julie Margenthaler. She was interviewed by the NBC affiliate in St. Louis yesterday and you can view her interview here.

Have a good Wednesday, friends!

xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad Advice

Hi friends! Today feels like a Monday for me. The kids were out of school yesterday for fall break, aka deer season (yes, believe it), and went back today so it really does feel like Monday. After a long, and busy!, weekend I rrreeaalllyyy wanted to pull the covers back over my head at 530am when the alarm started blaring, but alas, I did not. I am motivated by several things at this VERY EARLY hour: my love of this peaceful time of day (it’s my fave), hot coffee, Bible devotion time, and the sunrise. The day just holds so much promise when you are up before the sun. And I.love.it. And these things are what keep me getting up at 530am.

After getting the kids off to school, I came home and busted out 6 miles on the TM. I am amazed, and excited, to see my speed + endurance increase simultaneously since finishing treatment and starting on the BP med. Guess things are getting back to normal. Yay!

I wanted to share with you today, some rather interesting new guidelines put forth by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that made headlines yesterday. Every news outlet is covering it, but you can read CNN's report here. This task force is now releasing new guidelines for women and mammography. Here's the differences:


NOW

  • Routine mammograms should begin at the age of 40.
  • Women should get mammograms yearly.
  • Monthly breast self exams.

NEW (they are saying none of these apply to those who are high-risk = family history)

  • Mammograms should start at age 50.
  • If the screening is negative, a women may be able to wait 2 years in between mammograms.
  • No need for monthly breast self exams.

WHAT?!?! I am so outraged at this report that I can hardly stand it. I was watching the news last night when the report came on and was practically yelling at the tv! I could not believe what I was hearing!! Part of their reasoning is because there are many false positives that occur between the ages of 40-49 in diagnostic mammography...um, well, what about the lives that it DOES save?? Seems to me they are saying that "yeah, it does save some lives, but they aren't worth it." You've got to be kidding me. 15% of women in their 40s detect breast cancer through mammography. Is this task force saying these lives aren't worth it?? The best thing we have in the fight against breast cancer is early detection. MAMMOGRAMS AND BSEs save lives and are a big part of that!

I am so disappointed in this new report. It makes me so sad that some women out there will hear this and think that it is ok to not get their mammos until 50 and not worry about BSEs and because of this, breast cancer will go undetected. Do you know what damage breast cancer can do in that amount of time?? I let mine go for a year and a half and had lymph node involvement by the time I was diagnosed...and I was one of the lucky ones. With my age and receptors, I am lucky that it hadn't spread to other areas of my body. I can't imagine that they would even put this report out there. I can bet you money, sadly, that the death rate for breast cancer, which has been on the decline in the last several years, will slowly be on the rise if this report is allowed to stand. After years of pushing and pushing and getting the message out for early detection, it seems we have just went backwards about 20 years in our mission.

Before this report came out yesterday, I was of the belief that we were headed in the other direction. Where younger and more women were getting screened, and new (and better) imaging tests like the breast MRI would slowly replace the mammogram. I am just disheartened. Apparently so is the American Cancer Society, who doesn't agree with this new report at all. And neither do the physicians that I have seen interviewed on the various news shows. Which leads me to wonder how on earth this task force came up with such bogus suggestions?? Is it insurance companies? Political? Who knows. But I hope it isn't leading backwards down the road that was just paved with the hard work of those fighting for early detection and screening.

So for all you gals out there...go with the current guidelines recommended by the American Cancer Society:

  • Yearly mammograms beginning at the age of 40, unless you have a family history of breast cancer. If so, take the age at which that family member was diagnosed and subtract 10 years to get the age that you should begin getting screened.
  • Do monthly breast self exams. This is how I found my lump. I was only 29 when I felt it...there was no yearly mammogram in the plans for me. It was just what I felt and had to go from there.
  • Talk to your doctor.

< stepping down off soapbox now;-) >

xoxo

Monday, November 16, 2009

Precious Bundle

Hello friends!  It’s been a couple of days, I know, but I have a very good excuse.  In fact, the BEST excuse in the world!  I had another precious nephew arrive early Friday morning!!!

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Caleb Jaxon was born at 1248am to Layne and Brett, and big brother Ethan!  He arrived weighing in at 8lbs. 13 oz and 20” long.  Everybody is doing great!  Ethan loves his baby brother and everybody is adjusting to having another precious boy in the house. 

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  Yeah, I’m a little proud, can ya tell?!  He is soooo sweet!

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Ethan meeting Caleb for the first time…awwwwe;-)

caleb23Ethan making sure everybody is being quiet!

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My sister, Layne, and her boys!  How precious are they?!

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What a beautiful blessing little Caleb is.

 

The rest of the weekend was spent doing some shopping.  We were gone for a total of 3 days and my parents and other sister, Jessica, and I took advantage of every minute.  We shopped and ate, and ate and shopped;-)  The BEST way to spend a long weekend, in my opinion.  I hope y’all had a great one, too!  Love~

xoxo

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.”  Psalm 127:3