Friday, May 22, 2009

My Happy Place




Welcome to Amazing Grace Estates! Welcome to my happy place!


Beautiful sunrise, huh? This is my favorite time of day at our cabin at the river. Before everyone is up and around, I love to sit on the deck with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise while I have my quiet time. Although, I admit, I had my quiet time on the couch this morning while watching the sun rise out the picture windows because it was a little chilly outside and I forgot my jacket at home. ;-) We love it here, and while we're only about 40 minutes from home, it feels like we are a world away.


When I was first diagnosed last September, I would ride down here with Jack to check on the crew and look at the progress, and I remember standing on the deck watching the river flow by and saying, "This is my happy place. Before we know it, next summer will be here and all this will be over." And now here we are. I truly feel like I've come full circle. Now I can sit on my deck and Praise the Lord for all our blessings, and be so thankful that the past 8 months have gone so quickly. I never want to forget how He has guided us through and given us the gift of healing. I never want to take for granted how precious each day is, and what a gift it is.



Here are my 3 favorite little people, posing on the deck!




Yes, we are right on the riverbank, hence the piers. All homes right on the river are built "up" to protect from flooding.





I hope ya'll have a great loooonnnggg holiday weekend! Enjoy it and be safe! xoxoxo

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anniversary In The Air

Happy 14th Anniversary to us! I can't believe it's been 14 years since we were married...where has all the time gone?! We are probably going to enjoy dinner out without the kids tonight...I'll leave ya'll to enjoy some pics from the last 14 years!


Our Wedding Day - May 20, 1995
Oh, we were babies! He was 20, I was 17...wow. That's all I can say.

Pic from cruise April 2002
Chaperones for my sisters' high school senior trip!

Birth of Katie - November 2003

Go Cards! May 2005

October 2005
Taken after I modeled my new half-marathon running attire for him!

Summer 2006


And here we are taken just a couple of years ago...very happy, very much in love, and enjoying all the blessings God has given us. I thank God everyday for making Jack just for me. He is my rock and I couldn't possibly love him any more than I do right now. He is now and forever my high school sweetheart! <3





Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happenings

Hello, friends ;-)

I really need to work on putting up posts more often now that I am done with radiation and home more often because I have TONS of stuff that has gone on from the past few days!  We spent some time at our cabin on the river, cheered on the STL Cardinals at Breast Cancer Awareness Day at Busch Stadium, and had my first physical therapy session.  And tomorrow is our 14th wedding anniversary, my how time flies! <3  So rather than type for days about all the goings-on, I will just show a few pics and narrate a little!

My first physical therapy session went very well.  I really like Stacy, my certified lymphedema therapist.  She told me that basically I am in a preventive/maintenance phase and that as active as I am, wrapping my arm would be a great way to ensure that the slight puffiness I am having won’t progress into full-on lymphedema.  Good news: I don’t need a compression sleeve, and I only need to wrap my arm either while I run or for a couple hours after I run and at night.  Easy enough.  Totally doable!  The wrapping is going to take some practice…I’ve already learned that when my fingers start turning purple, it’s probably too tight!  Ha!  So after my appointment we headed to eat delicious mexican food for lunch and then headed to Coldstone!  Oh my, was it good or what?!  [See pic below!!]  That place is like ice cream heaven.  Um, yeah, now’s probably not the time to go on a rant about my extra 10 lbs I’m trying to lose…  I’ll save that one for another day!  teehee ;-)  May 09 018

 

Here is a pic of what my arm looks like all wrapped up like a gordita…got that one from Ricky Bobby!  Sorry, no pic of the face, this was post-run and pre-makeup.  Yeah…you know what I mean.

May 09 020

 

 

Ok, post-wrap and with makeup!  Much better!  Katie was fooling around with the camera.  All decked out in my new hot pink UnderArmour cap!  LOVE it!! 

 May 09 021

Have a great day ya’ll!  I’m going to try to post some blast from the past pics tomorrow in celebration of our anniversary.  As long as we don’t end up going somewhere I should have plenty of time!

Love~

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Scripture Memory Team - Verse for May 15

Ok, so I missed a couple of chances to join my memory team and choose my Scripture to memorize. No excuses, but I am pleading radiation exhaustion! But the verse I chose yesterday was the same one that Beth has chosen this time. I like to memorize verses that are very real to me at that particular moment and her comments about this verse were perfect:

"I’ve just been thinking about the power that resides in a personal testimony and how our stories with God are meant to be told. And not just one single encounter shared over and over, as beautiful as that can be, but a lifetime of experiences lived out with a living, breathing ever-faithful Redeemer. One of the things God warns us about often in His Word is not forgetting what He’s done: what we’ve seen with our own eyes, what we’ve experienced with our own hearts. Nobody and nothing gets to take those things from us. Keep telling your stories. Don’t decide it wasn’t that big a deal after all…or that maybe you made it up, or that maybe it was just a coincidence. It was GOD. Revelation 12:13 says we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimonies! Let’s open our mouths wide and tell it."

So with that (thank you for the introduction, Beth!) my memory verse for this time is:

"Be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

Perfect, right?! Of course! I feel like I have so much to share that I could testify all day long about how He has guided my life and directed my path, most times before I even knew He was doing it. That's awesome! I don't think there is anything better that getting that big "reveal" and having that moment when you are just taken aback at how God has worked something out to absolute perfection. Now it may not be just how you expected, but it is always perfect.

Enjoy your Saturday, friends. I am finishing up my quiet time this morning and then heading to PB to go work out and get Jack a new phone...you can only drop them in the river and fish grease, and have them fall off the roof of a house so many times before they finally give up. So while I go get him a new Blackberry and lay the other to rest, I hope ya'll have a wonderful day! xoxo

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun Five Senses

Hey ya'll~

So I've read a super cute post by my blog-buddy, Keri, about taking all five senses and naming four things that she liked and one thing that she disliked about each. So I thought I would copy her (sorry, Keri!) and make a list of my own! Here goes!

TASTE~

  1. Crisp Gala apples are my favorite kind of apple.
  2. I LOVE Mexican food! Put some queso cheese dip on it with a little spice, and I'm a happy girl!
  3. I love a good pizza! It's probably my favorite splurge-food. I.have.no.control.
  4. I like big, juicy strawberries dipped in Cool Whip!
  5. I can't stand even the thought of St. Louis Bread Co...can barely even type it. I had it for lunch during almost every chemo treatment and the thought of it now makes me gag!

SIGHT~

  1. I like to see pews full on Sunday morning.
  2. I love to see my children get along! Doesn't happen all the time, so when it does I take it all in.
  3. I like to come home in the evening and see my home lit up and waiting for me...so inviting.
  4. And when I walk into my home I love to see it all clean...especially if I wasn't the one who had to do it! ;-)
  5. I dislike seeing my mom cry.

HEAR~

  1. I love to hear the sound of my children laughing.
  2. I love the sound of boats going up and down the river in the summertime.
  3. I love to hear a congregation sing a praise and worship song like Open The Eyes of My Heart, with all their heart and you can just feel the Spirit moving.
  4. I love to hear my hubby tell me that he loves me <3
  5. I dislike the sound of someone smacking their food while they chew.

SMELL~

  1. I love the smell of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner cooking.
  2. I like Bath & Body's Japanese Cherry Blossom body wash, lotion, spray...all of it!
  3. I love the smell of the river...yes, it does have a smell. It smells of summertime, sunshine, and everything wonderful outdoors!
  4. I like my Woodwicks candle, scent Cinnamon Chai.
  5. I dislike the smell of skunks.

TOUCH~

  1. I like it when my hubby pinches my booty! lol
  2. I like to pet a furry little puppy.
  3. I LOVE to have my back scratched!!
  4. I have had two massages in my life and they were absolute HEAVEN! I could use another one!
  5. I dislike it when my hubby had freezing hands and touches me...anywhere!

Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Like A Monday


It's Monday! (not said with doom and gloom)


My Monday has gone so good so far, it's almost not like a Monday. More like a Thursday! I got up this morning and knocked out 3 loads of laundry right off the bat. I even had all 3 loads folded and ready for the boys to take upstairs to their rooms before I took them to school. Score! 'Course, they didn't think so, but I was excited to get the clothes off my kitchen table, which is where they would've sat all day if I hadn't finished them...teehee. Of course, Katie's clothes are still sitting right here in front of me...per usual.


I had some wonderful quiet time this morning. A couple of interruptions in the beginning when I was making my list and reading devotionals, but powerful (and uninterrupted) prayer time followed. Glorious! I pretty much continued praising God during my run this morning. I put on some of my favorite praise and worship songs and did 6 miles. Thought it would be fun to share my playlist! So here it is:



  • Jesus & Gravity - Dolly Parton

  • Fearless Heart - Point of Grace

  • We Fall Down - Kutless

  • Give You Glory - Jeremy Camp

  • Believe - Amy Grant

  • Keep The Candle Burning - Point of Grace

  • Shine - Newsboys

  • How Great is Our God - Chris Tomlin

  • Blessed Be the Name of the Lord - Discovery Camp

  • You Are My King (Amazing Love) - Newsboys

  • Because You Are - Point of Grace

  • Open the Eyes of My Heart - Michael W. Smith

  • Lord, I Lift Your Name On High - Sonic Flood

  • I Surrender All - Amy Grant

  • Yes, I Believe - Point of Grace

  • Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin

After I get the boys from school it is going to be rush, rush, rush, as Tyler has a baseball game right after school. Thankfully it is at home! And it will probably get me out of cooking dinner! :-D


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mixed Feelings

Oh my lovlies~

Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions. Good because I got my 10th of 17 Herceptin treatments knocked out! Yay! Good because the Lord guided and protected us to and from STL, and the "from" part was rather tricky...there were severe thunderstorms in the area yesterday and they did quite a bit of damage to the area. Good because I got to eat a fantastic lunch out at Casa Gallardo then hit the mall for a quick run-through! Good because I got to spend the day with my mom :-)

On the flip side, I was stressed out when Tyler texted me during treatment and told me that he was under a desk because of a tornado! You think that didn't raise my blood pressure, um yeah, 132/104! I was also on the 7th floor watching the storms move through, lightning and all. Let me tell ya, the last place I want to be in a severe storm is on the 7th floor. Disappointed because when I got my labs back, my white blood count was the lowest it has ever been :-( Everything was great, except for that darn white count. My nurses said it is probably just a lingering effect of radiation. My counts never got that low during chemo because I was getting the Neulasta shot, so this is the first time my body is having to recover without it. So, ok. But it really did weigh on my mind the rest of the day.

But all in all I got a great treatment and am one step closer to being a SURVIVOR. I got up and had a great run this morning, going 5 miles. The rest of the day I have cleaned house...meh. And right now I am watching "Baby Mama," this movie is hilarious! "Did you just put your gum under my coffee table?" "Huh? What?" Cracks me up every time!

Tomorrow we are going to church and then out to dinner with our parents...celebrating Mother's Day! To those of you who are moms...I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHER'S DAY!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Straight From Beth

This morning in my quiet time I was reading from Beth Moore's Believing God Day-By-Day devotional book. Have I told you that I just LOVE her?! Well I do. But today's scripture and commentary for May 8 spoke to me so much that I just had to put it on here for you to see (hope I don't get in trouble for copying this! ha!):

"Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Every now and then I ask those gathered in an audience how many have gotten through something that they believed beforehand they couldn't bear. Hands never fail to raise all over the auditorium.
Living through something we were sure we couldn't endure gives us a small glimpse of our inner man's immortality and is clear evidence that the "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" promise works for us, too. None of us particularly like the face-it-until-you-get-over-it approach to fear banishment, but it can certainly be effective. Yes, you can make it, God and you.
Isn't that just perfect?! Oh how I needed this perfect verse on the morning of yet another trip to STL for treatment. God never ceases to amaze me how He places things exactly where He wants them, and when WE need them. Praise Him! Our God just flat out ROCKS!
Have a fabulous Friday everybody! Keep in His grip...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Please take the time today to say a prayer for our nation today. Pray for our leaders that they will look to God for guidance and direction and that they will seek to do His will. The problems plaguing our nation are vast, but Hallelujah, they are not bigger than God!

I am enjoying a wonderful day at home today. The sun is shining outside and it is 85*! Woo Hoo...can you say summertime?! When it gets hot and humid outside, all I want to do is go find a gravel bar on the river and park myself there in my lawn chair, part-way in the water so you can catch the cool waves when a boat goes by, and soak up the sun. Ahhhhhh.... Tempting, right?! It is marvelous, trust me.

This morning I couldn't stand it any longer. Yes, I went for a run. I couldn't help it! I had the most glorious 5-mile run and spent the majority of it talking to my Lord. I have so many things to thank Him for and so many concerns to leave at His feet. Praise Him that I can leave them right there. I'm so glad He has big shoulders...

Right after school today I am taking the kids to PB because Tyler has an orthodontist appointment. While we're there, I'm sure we will hit up Walmart and be bringing Buffalo Wild Wings home for dinner. Ha! This means a no cook night for me...and a clean kitchen to boot! Score!

Tomorrow I head to STL for labs and my 10th Herceptin treatment. Yeah double-digits! Woot woot! #10/17...finishing up in October. My mom is going with me tomorrow and we are leaving at 6am because I have labs at 915am and treatment starting at 10am. I'm sure tomorrow will also entail some lunch and a little stop by the mall...I'm sure. Please pray for me that my lab work will be great and right where they want it to be and my treatment will be quick and easy. Man, I can't wait for October to be here......

Have a great rest of your Thursday, friends!

"...LIFT UP HOLY HANDS IN PRAYER." 1 TIMOTHY 2:8

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who Needs Normal?!

Hello, friends :-)

Hope ya'll are having a wonderful Tuesday! I am back home now after a busy morning taking Tiffany to radiation. I am taking her today and tomorrow, she's not going as far as STL but still a couple of hours away. I'm telling you, we don't live close to ANYTHING! But when she called me on Sunday evening, there was no way I was going to tell her no, even if this was going to be my first normal week in about 2 months! I figure, why start being normal now?? LOL So our journey together continues...she only has 16 treatments left, not far behind me! Yay! I can't wait until this is over for the both of us.

My weekend was both eventful, and not. On Saturday we had a baby shower for my little brother and his girlfriend, who are expecting little Mason next month. They got a lot of great things, he won't have to wear the same outfit twice, which is usually how it goes! Sunday we went to church then came home and did...nothing. We had hopes of watching the Cardinals game, but it was rained out. So we just laid around and watched tv all afternoon. It was a good day for it...it rained here for like 5 days straight. Ick.

My sister, Layne, and Ethan were here for the baby shower and to visit for a few days so we spent yesterday getting in all the Ethan-cuddles we could to last us until next month when they come back. I love it when Layne and Jess and I are together...we always have so much fun just being together. Layne and Brett are expecting another bundle of joy in November, so that gave us extra cause to celebrate! I'm hoping that someday soon, Jess and Jason will have exciting news of their own! There's just babies all over the place! What wonderful happiness to have after coming out of a long, long winter! Thank you, Jesus!

So now we are back to today... still no running :-( Feel like I've gained 5 lbs in the last week. I hate feeling like such a slug. But as Jack keeps reminding me, I've got to give my body time to heal and rebuild. I never stopped running during chemo and radiation, now is not a bad time to rest. I guess the rest is working because my radiation burns are virtually gone, just brown now. I look very tan, in certain areas...lol. But now I'm watching my arm and what looks like possibly the beginning of lymphedema (swelling because of the lack of lymph nodes) and now I'm afraid to get out there and run for fear that I will make it worse! I have an appointment with the physical therapist on the 18th, so until then I'm trying to lay low on the exercise front. With lymphedema you are supposed to avoid anything repetitive like vacuuming, mopping...running. Gah! So hopefully the therapist will fit me for a compression sleeve to wear while I am working out so I can get back to it. Until then I am sitting around with my arm up (as much as I can) to help the fluid drain and hating every minute of it! There is a chance that it is just some post-radiation swelling that I am experiencing...I pray so. But if not, we will deal. God is still in control! Just give me a sleeve and let me take off! 39 days til race day! ~Here's to reconnecting with good friends!~

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Just Go Through The Motions


How true is this song? It is beautiful! I hope ya'll have had a good weekend!