Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back Again

Well, it's back to STL for me again tomorrow. Seriously?! Wasn't I just there?! Ughhhhhhh.... There. That's all I have to say about that.

Tomorrow's visit is for a 3-month checkup with lab work to check on all the necessary blood counts and such. It's not a bad thing except for the fact that I was just in STL on Tuesday! And it's also not fun to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to make the drive. How early? Try leaving the house at 5am-early. Um yeah. Told ya. But we got in the habit of making the first morning appointment because my dr has a tendency to run behind sometimes (who's dr doesn't?!) and getting labs at 8am and seeing the dr at 845am pretty much ensures a timely exit. So. Early it is!

I have a few things I want to discuss with Dr. P tomorrow including an occasional twitching issue I've seemed to develop lately, a spot on my arm that I don't know what it is, and my results from last week's bone density test and heart echo (hopefully my last). It is my hope that in typing all this here that there is a chance I will remember it;-) Oh yeah, my memory is gone too. Like ridiculously so. I feel like my Nana. Heehee;-)

I am suffering, though, with a serious time-change issue! Jack and I are finding ourselves wide awake at like 1130pm! For those of you who know us, that is SO not us! We are 9pm-ers over here. Yeah, we're that cool. Maybe tonight after Tyler's baseball game I can crawl into bed by 9, because if not 4am is going to be brutallllll..., Hopefully at some point over this long holiday weekend we will get things straightened out!

Well I'm off to get ready to go to Tyler's game. Zachary has an away game tonight so Jack and I are divided between the two...lucky me got the home game!

I hope y'all have a good night and a sah-weet Friday.

xoxo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anniversary In Vegas!

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I have only one reply…

Viva Las Vegas!!

That’s right!  To celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, Jack and I headed to the bright lights and big city of Las Vegas for 5 days of rest and relaxation.  And it was fabulous!  We haven’t been anywhere alone together in the last year and a half except to STL for treatments…and that TOTALLY doesn’t count as rest and relaxation!  So as soon as we hit this: May2010 025May2010 026

We promptly got to a lot of this:May2010 023FROMPHONE 027 

(Heehee, hubby is trying to make it look like he’s nudie!  Trust me, he wasn’t!)FROMPHONE 029

We logged a lot of pool time, had couples massages, worked out in the Bellagio’s ahhhhh-mazing fitness center (hello, TVs on every single machine!), and ate delicious food. 

At one point I told Jack that I was starting feel like I was inside an episode of E! News.  See what I mean? :

Pure Nightclub:FROMPHONE 037

 Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill: (OMGoodness, can you say fabulous?!)FROMPHONE 036 

Caesars Palace:May2010 022

The Forum Shops at Caesars: (waaayyyy too pricey for this gal, but fun to look!)May2010 030

Serendipity 3: (original is in NYC and is famous for their Frozen Hot Chocolate)May2010 033   

Here are some more pics from our fabulous anniversary trip!

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Heehee, I just liked the sign… ;-)May2010 046

So we are back, and totally refreshed!  We were soooo ready to see our kids and sleep in our own bed.  Trips are wonderful, but there’s just something special about coming home.  I knew we were officially back when I saw this sign at the STL airport:FROMPHONE 052Yeahhhh babyyyyy….Way to represent!  Makes me a proud Siteman patient!  And that’s no actor in the picture, that Mel’s dr, Dr. Ellis.

We are jumping back into normal routines today.  Katie has a tball game tonight, and Zachary has baseball practice…and did I mention we came home to SUMMER?!  It’s gonna be in the 90s today!  Sheesh!  It didn’t get that hot in Vegas the whole time we were gone!  But we came home thankful and blessed for 15 wonderful years of marriage, and praising God for making us perfectly for each other.

Love y’all!

xoxo

“Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Mama’s Pride (AKA Graduation Day)

I can’t believe we are here.  As of 3pm yesterday, I officially had a full blown high-schooler on my hands!  Wow. 

Tyler graduated from 8th grade yesterday as Salutatorian of his class.  We are unbelievably proud of him!  He works so hard and is so responsible, he earned it for sure. 

Here are some photos from the celebration yesterday.  Also included are Zachary’s awards because it was also all of Middle School’s awards day.

Tyler and Jaysa.  Classmates since Kindergarten, members of FBC Youth Group and two all around good kids.  Jaysa is Valedictorian and their GPAs were only separated by .02!  

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Zachary getting one of his several awards. 

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Tyler getting ONE of his pile of awards.  He got awards in every class and sport, plus Top Ten and Presidential Awards.FROMPHONE 023

Tyler getting recognized as class SalutatorianFROMPHONE 042 FROMPHONE 044 FROMPHONE 047

Tyler receiving his diploma.FROMPHONE 050

Tyler and JaysaFROMPHONE 052

Tyler humoring his mama and taking pics with Zachary and Katie.FROMPHONE 053 FROMPHONE 055 Celebration dinner at The Landing.FROMPHONE 056

Um yeah, those are some proud grandparents;-)FROMPHONE 063

   And proud parents, too!FROMPHONE 066

Tyler and Erika after dinner.  The Salutatorian ribbon looks good on her, too:-)

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So, it was a great day.  A day that I can’t believe is already here.  I am so proud of Tyler and his accomplishments.  I pray that God will guide and protect him and that Tyler will always rely on His perfect grace.  I am so proud of the young man he’s becoming.

xoxo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

TV Time

Last night my interview that I did last week aired on KSDK NewsChannel 5 in St. Louis.  I had received an email earlier in the day letting me know that it was going to air during the 5 o’clock news last night.  I was instantly nervous!  I was just as nervous as when I did the initial interview, which was a week ago!  Why?  I guess just because I knew that it was actually going to be out there…you know, my words, my comments.  I was just hoping that I didn’t look (or sound) like a complete goof on camera!  I think I held my breath the first time I watched it;-)

So here it is: 

My overall feeling about it: I am happy with it other than one aspect, that they made it sound like I was the lone founder of Lending A Hand which is not the case at all.  Tiffany and I work together on the foundation and I wish it could have been made more clear. 

But all in all, it was a good way to get our message out there about our charity [can you say FREE ADVERTISING!] and spread the word.  And hopefully it will encourage more and more people to register and donate for the Komen Race for the Cure, which is the reason for the story!  I looked this morning and Komen St. Louis is $800,000+ into their $3.5 million dollar goal!  GO PINK!!

We are off to endure more thunderstorms and t-ball today!  Have a great Thursday!

xoxo

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shirts For A Cause

Hey:-)

I hope everyone has had a great Monday!  I have gotten a lot accomplished for a Monday, and because of that I don’t have to make the grocery/shopping trip for the rest of the week!  Yippee!  I know I sound way too excited, but you don’t understand (or maybe you do)…walmart just sucks the life right out of me.  I mean, seriously.  With a family of 5, I can easily drop $300 in a mere 30 minutes by the time I get household stuff and food stuff.  Ugh.  And my mom keeps saying that as the kids get bigger it only gets worse!  I need to learn how to garden ;-)

Before the massive check writing, I got my run in.  I did 8 miles which is a little heavy for me on a Monday but I was just feelin it this morning.  Maybe that 2nd cup of coffee??

But I REALLY wanted to share with you all something really cool that I discovered via Gina’s blog over at The Fitnessista.  Check out these super cute shirts:

FIT_GINASeriously, cutest shirts ever.  Of course I got one!  Actually, I got TWO.  Hehe;-)  So yes, I love the shirts, but I also love the cause: All proceeds from the sale of these shirts go towards a fellow blogger, Katherine’s, donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation! 

Katherine is currently raising money for the Komen Foundation by doing the 3-day, 60 mile walk in November.  How awesome!!  Oh I wish there was one near here!  Last time I checked the closest to me was Chicago.  St. Louis needs one!

So check out Katherine’s blog and her site, and order if you are so inspired.  You won’t find a better cause, I promise;-)

Have a great evening!

xoxo

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Blessed Mama

Hello friends, and HAPPY  MOTHER’S DAY!!

I have had a wonderful day.  I had a great 11 mile run this morning and then we all went to church.  My mom and dad, my sister Jessica and her little Brayden, my brother Matt, his fiancĂ© Charli and their little Mason were all there and it was wonderful.  It’s so nice to have almost all of us there to celebrate moms.

We held an impromptu photo session once we got back to my mom and dad’s.  Looking at all these pictures, I know that I am one blessed Mama.

Jessica, Mom, and Memothersday12

Me and my kids.  I am so proud that God chose me to be their Mama.mothersday1  mothersday3 mothersday4

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My beautiful family:mothersday2

Zachary and Me: gosh this kid looks so much like me!mothersday10

My Mom and Dad:  Aren’t they so sweet?!mothersday6

Jessica, Mom, and Me: Notice I took my shoes off, I HATE being so much taller than everybody else in pictures…and at 5’11” it happens a lot!mothersday11

Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”  Proverbs 31:28-29

xoxo

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hat Head

Hey y’all!  And HAPPY FRIDAY to ya!!  Are you celebrating the weekend yet??  I’m seriously thinking about it;-)

This morning I headed outside to get in yet another glorious outside run.  I ran 5 miles in 45:14 and was a stinky, sweaty mess when I was finished.  It is beautiful here right now but the humidity has increased some every day this week…I could definitely tell a difference this morning.  But it was good.

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I have acquired a new running hat recently so the last couple of days I have used it when I run.  It has been so long since I ran with a hat [think no/very little hair] that I had forgotten how nice it was.  It keeps my sweaty hair back, the built in sweat band catches much of the sweat on my forehead, and it is a nice sun shield.  I will be using this much more often!

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The rest of my day consists of some office work, and watching over Tyler who stayed home today nursing his sore and battered baseball body.  In the past 2 weeks he has been kneed in the ribs by a player barreling  into 2nd, he has jammed his thumb tagging someone out at home plate and it’s swollen huge, and yesterday he was pitching and took a line drive to the jaw.  Geez.  Yesterday he said, “Maybe God’s trying to tell me that I shouldn’t play baseball?!”  Well, maybe a little break from practice wouldn’t be a bad idea!  So when he came downstairs this morning saying he felt like he’d been hit by a truck I thought it a good idea to stay home and rest.  Mama’s orders!

Zachary has baseball practice tonight, and Katie has a tball game too.  Never a dull moment around here!

Have a mah-velous day, friends!

xoxo

Thursday, May 6, 2010

His Glory, Our Blessing

Good Morning, friends :-)

Once again I am up to see the sun rise this morning, praising God for the opportunity to wake up and enjoy another day!  I love this time of day so much.  It’s so peaceful and new…the possibilities for the day are endless. 

And while, yes, sometimes those possibilities aren’t what we would ever hope for –job loss, accident, illness, loss of a loved one, I could go on and on- they ARE important in growing our relationship with Christ.  For it is through adversity that we learn to fully depend on Him.  We learn to trust His perfect Will for our life.  Old things and habits pass away and new ones develop as we let God have control.  But we must let Him reign; He loves us so much and only wants what’s best for us. 

He desires to use us for His glory and for our blessing!

My devotion from Streams in the Desert says it like this, this morning:

God may send you some valuable gifts wrapped in unattractive paper.  But do not worry about the wrappings, for you can be sure that inside He has hidden treasures of love, kindness, and wisdom.  We must simply take what He sends us and trust Him for the blessings inside.

A person who has Christ as his Master is the master of every circumstance.  Are your circumstances pressing in on you?  Do not push away, for they are the Potter’s hands.  And you will learn to master them not by stopping their progress but by enduring their discipline.  Your circumstances are not only shaping you into a vessel of beauty and honor by also providing you with resources of great value.

BTW-this is an AWESOME devotional book!  I highly recommend it.  Thanks, M, for mine;-)  Love you.

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Today is another busy at our household.  Katie is doing end of the year testing this week in Kindergarten and both boys have multiple baseball practices this week; and even when they’re not practicing they are usually at the field with their dad hitting and catching balls.  They are all about it!

I must finish paying bills today and get a little office work done.  And an outside run in on the books as well, I can tell they may not be happening much longer…the temps and humidity levels are creeping up in the mornings so I’m going to enjoy some outside time before it hits 100* and 100% humidity!

I hope each one of you has a blessed day!

“He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom.  He gives all this to those who fear Him.”  Isaiah 33:6

xoxo

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Television Debut!

Wow.  What a day yesterday was!  I hadn’t mentioned this before but last week I got a call from the marketing director at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Siteman Cancer Center.  He thought my breast cancer survivor story would be a good one to use as one of their feature stories leading up to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on June 12.  He wanted to know if it was ok to forward my name and phone number to the NBC affiliate in STL, KSDK NewsChannel 5.   I said “Sure!” and was excited, but guarded because I wasn’t sure if it would all pan out.

Well….it did! 

The health reporter called me last week and set up an appointment for us to meet yesterday at the Center for Advanced Medicine at Siteman. 

I was SO nervous!  I met with a producer, the cameraman, and the marketing director and I did a 15-minute or so interview there about my journey with breast cancer-how I felt when I was diagnosed, my treatment, and ultimately the Lending A Hand Fund that we have created here in our community.  Then we all headed up to Siteman on the 7th floor and hunted down my nurse Renee and they took some shots with us as well.

Paperwork:May2010 019Getting mic-ed:May2010 021   Interviewing:May2010 028        May2010 023

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The photos don’t do my beet-red face justice, trust me;-)    It was quite the experience, though.  And one I would absolutely do again.  In fact, they asked if they could contact me and follow me through race day and do another interview at the race festivities on June 12.  Well of course!  I said that I would do anything to try and help others through a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Whether public or private, I feel it laid on my heart to minister to others and help them cope with this new world that they’ve been given, and to also realize that the word “cancer” doesn’t always mean that it’s a death sentence. 

After the main interview was over, Jason (marketing guy) asked me to do a little flip cam video for the Barnes Jewish Facebook page.  When I heard “flip cam” the first thing that came to mind was exercises ala Gina!  Hehe;-)  But there were no perfectly demonstrated squats on my tape, just me telling why I’m running on the Siteman team in the Race for the Cure and encouraging others to do the same.  It was fun!

Here’s the clip from their page:

Barnes-Jewish Hospital Erica Griffin of Van Buren, MO was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and over the next year had four surgeries, six cycles of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. She just joined the Siteman Cancer Center/NewsChannel 5 Race for the Cure team.

Erica Griffin races to find a cure [HQ]

Length:0:29

 

For anyone interested in donating to my race, please feel free;-) to click on the Komen logo below to go straight to my donation page!  Every penny is appreciated and is going to such an amazing cause.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who have already donated.  I pray that a cure for breast cancer is in the near future so it is a disease my daughter will never have to fear.

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Oh, and remember this? May2010 017 One of the many walls of tiles made by cancer survivors that get painted on our last day of treatment??  Well, we found mine yesterday!!! 

Can you see mine??May2010 018 How ‘bout now?May2010 015 YAY!!  How cool!  It was so awesome to see it hanging up with all the other tiles!  I am so proud of my little tile:-)  I hope that someone sees it someday and reads Mark 5:36 and is instantly given the peace that passes all understanding.  I remember getting off these elevators the first day of coming to Siteman and reading some of the tiles as I walked by and praying that I would be a survivor and would be able to paint my own tile, too.  Thank you, Jesus.May2010 016

God Bless!

xoxo