Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Choices, Choices

Gosh, we spend a lot of time in doctors’ offices.  Geez.

So Monday (Jan. 28) I had my last fill at my plastic surgeon’s office in STL! 



Dr. Marissa visited with us for a long time (LOVE HER!!) about all the whats-whys-and hows of the exchange surgery.  Meaning exchanging my tissue expanders for implants.  She got out different implants and helped us (SO much, thankfully) decide which implant to go with. 

I already knew that I wanted silicone implants, based on some survivor friends who had saline implants and were not particularly happy with them, and went back and replaced them with the silicone.  Of course every woman is different; I had already decided on the silicone for me. 

The decision really came down to what style of silicone implant to use.  In years past, there wasn’t many options- basically a round silicone implant with different projections and sizes.  But now with the FDA approval of a cohesive silicone gel implant (also known as a “gummy bear” implant), we had a decision to make. 

2012-10-29 0023

I’m tellin’ ya, sitting there in the exam room, in my gown, shopping for boobies was interesting.  I am an upbeat and positive person, and pretty much always look at the bright side of things, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that while I was sitting there I didn’t have thoughts of how much our lives have changed in the past 4 years.  <sigh>…life used to be so “easy.” 

This easily came to mind and pretty much sums up my life as a breast cancer patient…


Thank You, Lord.

After talking, and talking, and talking with Marissa, we decided on the “gummy bear” implants.  They are nicknamed that, by the way, because their consistency inside is like that of a gummy bear, or a marshmallow.  And as far as shape, we decided to go with the contoured shape; they tend to be more natural looking.  As for profile, it will be a high profile implant because there is no tissue to back up the implant so more profile is needed.  For someone having breast augmentation, the profile is more a decision that will have to be made, for a mastectomy patient like me, it’s pretty much standard to use the high profile implants.   

So after all that, I had my last fill.  It was only 20cc, which brought me to an even 400cc each.  Done!  Yay!!

We scheduled my surgery for Friday, February 15th…two weeks from this Friday.  I can’t wait!!  I am so excited to have my new, SOFT implants!  These tissue expanders haven’t been horrible, but pretty much feel like I have rocks in my chest.  I’m not looking forward to the time off my normal schedule again [Boo!], but it will all be SO worth it. 

After my appointment we had some lunch, went tool shopping for the shop building, and headed home to our kiddos (who were enjoying yet another day off school due to flu and illness).

Ugh, I’m so tired of all this sickness that’s floating around here.  Is it bad where you are?? It’s been awful here.

Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

“Boot” Is A Beautiful Word

How about an update on my Zach’s broken foot

Since the odor coming from Zach’s cast had us a little concerned last week, I took him to the doctor a week early so they could investigate and make sure his foot wasn’t rotting off inside his cast.

Sure enough…kidding, kind of.

2013-01-25 001

The smell was from a very sweaty 15-year old BOY foot sitting inside a cast…duh.  But his foot had sweat so much that it was starting to look like it had been sitting in a bathtub for a week.  A bathtub of sweat.  I promise you that I had to keep from gagging while I was sitting in the exam room. Blech!

But it was all good news from there, as the doc decided to go ahead and do his x-ray a week early and he determined that Zach was ready for a BOOT!!!!  No.more.cast.  Thank You, Jesus.

Zach’s first steps of 2013!

2013-01-25 0011

We left with a happy boy and a happy momma!  Now on to more healing!


PS-And seriously, I know this has nothing to do with a broken foot, but it DOES have something to do with raising boys… Truth. IMG_7810

This Is How We Get Together

Thanks to our friends and family, who worked like CRAZYYYYY to get our shop building built after our fire, we are toasting and celebrating!

2013-01-27 001

I cannot say enough “thank yous” to everyone who helped us get our shop back up!  And it was done in like, FOUR, work days!  One week and six days after the fire that left us with nothing but a concrete slab, we had a shop initiation/christening party with family and friends.

Fish fry,


lots of people, IMG_7884

music (and I won’t even TELL you what THAT song was about Winking smile),IMG_7915

friends, IMG_7908

a photo bomb or two, IMG_7906

a cute firefighter, IMG_7913

a gift, IMG_7914

And our hearts so full of love and thankfulness. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Red heart


Monday, January 21, 2013


Happy MLK Day! 

Do you have the day off work/school??  I am SO happy that we do!  It’s always so nice not to have the usual morning pressures of getting everybody up, ready, and off to school…just a nice laid-back morning.  Ahhhh…

I have had amazing runs back-to-back yesterday and this morning. 

2013-01-21 001

Sunday- Half Marathon (13.1 miles)!!!!!!!  My longest distance since my surgery on October 22…which was 13 weeks ago today.  I added the “1” in the picture above since the treadmill doesn’t show it when you get to 100 minutes and beyond.

Monday- 7 easy miles

I do all my runs at 1% incline to try to add a little resistance in my effort to mimic outdoor running as much as possible.  Something I found super interesting for my treadmill-loving self, is a chart I found on Skinny Runner’s blog the other day, it’s a treadmill conversion chart.  Check this out:


So if I average 6.5 mph on my treadmill, by leaving it set at an 1% incline, it’s more like I’m running a 9:09 pace effort rather than a 9:14 pace.  You can click above for the link.  Pretty cool!

In other news, things are moving right along on our new shop building!  All the debris and rubble was cleaned up last week and then a new concrete floor was poured on Friday.  This morning (Monday), the structure for the metal building started going up.  

2013-01-21 0011

We don’t waste any time, y’all!

It’s time to get ready for ballgames today.  We may have the day off school, but another conference tournament starts this week and the Bulldogs are craving a win!  Let’s go!

Health reminders- Have you scheduled your annual mammogram/physical/other yearly visits??  Keep on top of your health, friends!  It is so important.




Friday, January 18, 2013

Week In Review

It’s bad that I had to break out my calendar in order to write a post about our week.  I really can’t remember what all has gone on!  My brain is crap.

Speaking of which, I read a study the other day that talked about how “Early Surgical Menopause Linked to Early Cognitive Decline.”  Umm, hello?!  Breast cancer with chemo and all the fixins’ at age 30, PLUS a complete hysterectomy at age 31…double whammy. 

Anyway, back to my week.

The flu has been rampant around here, along with another stomach virus that is wreaking havoc.  Tyler is the only one to come down with it so far in our house, and of course on Monday it peaked-and Tuesday was game day.  First round of conference tournament and he felt like total crap.  Of course I didn’t think he needed to play, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  There is no way he was NOT going to be on the court.  He gutted it out, but we lost by one stinking point.  The ONLY bright spot is that it has given him the rest of the week to get better and he’s good to go now.  Next game-another conference tournament on Monday.  Go Bulldogs!

2013-01-18 0011

Wednesday we headed back to the foot doc with Zach.  We were really hopeful that he would be ready to be put in a boot and get this darn cast off, but after the x-rays, no such luck. Sad smile  He was so disappointed.  BUT, the doctor said that definitely a boot in two weeks, for sure.  Yay!!  I know he will be SO happy to get this cast off and get rid of the crutches.  He’s been such a trooper though.
2013-01-18 001

Also this week the shop rubble has been cleaned up.  All that’s left is the concrete slab where the shop once stood. IMG_7765

But hooray for new beginnings, because just this morning, they poured the new concrete floor for the new shop!  We don’t waste any time around here.  The plan is for a christening party to be held in a week or so. 

I’ve been running on my treadmill every day this week, except yesterday (Thursday) when I did the Fitnessista’s walking workout that she had posted on her blog.  I did it twice and it was a killer!  But in a good way. Winking smile IMG_7788


I found out what happens when you’re eating chips and salsa and your boobs stick out further than you’re used to.  Oops!



My beautiful and amazing Momma was on the news last night-that’s her in the background-


She was there with other healthcare leaders meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon.  She said she didn’t know she was going to be up on the podium with him!  Pshh, that’s exactly where she belongs!  She’s adorable.  And pretty awesome. Smile

But the highlight of my week may be the group text that we had going last night between myself, my two sisters, Layne and Jessica, and our Mom.  It was like we were all sitting in the living room together, chatting and laughing away!  It was so great.  I wish we could all be together more often. 

Best part of our convo was trying to explain to Mom what “duck lips” are when doing self-photography.  Girls, please don’t kill me…hey, I put mine on here too!

2013-01-18 0012

Oh my word, I am seriously laughing out loud right now!!!  Open-mouthed smile

Ok, seriously, nothing can possibly top this, so I’m going to stop now.

Hope y’all had a great week!



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Things Change

Things will change.  This we all know. 

People, places, circumstances, everything, is subject to change.

Sometimes change is a good thing.  Annnnnndddd, sometimes it may take a lot of work to find the “good” in a particular change.  That’s what we are doing today.  Trying to focus on some good things.

Hey.  It’s what we do.

Early on Saturday morning, in a moment of panicked phone calls to fire departments and family, things changed for our family.

First of all-we are all ok.  Everybody is fine and we are certainly very aware of how to keep this newest change in perspective.  We’ve been there.

But on Saturday morning, our shop building somehow caught on fire and burned down.  Like, to the ground, nothing left.  Someone driving by just before 7am Saturday noticed that the shop was on fire [and this is not the shop at our house, it is the shop at my mother- and father-in-law’s house and our mill] and stopped to alert my in-laws who were still in bed.

Then came the flurry of phone calls and everybody rushing to the mill to see what could be saved.  RV’s that were parked next to the shop were quickly moved, although not before some of the exterior fixtures and cords melted.  The boat was also pulled out of the way.  But as for the building and all it’s contents, it was a total loss.


The mission then became to save the log planer which was directly behind the mill, and the most vital piece of equipment we own.  It is our livelihood, as we manufacture and build log homes.  It was critical that the planer was saved.  The fire truck immediately began spraying around the planer, trying to keep it from burning.  At one point, they even had it unbolted from the concrete and a chain ready to tie around it to try and drag it out away from the engulfed shop building.

Both my boys had went out just after their dad (with strict instructions NOT to drive as fast as I know Jack did), and Katie and I got out to the mill as soon as we called the fire department and got dressed.  It was the most surreal scene in the world to watch as our shop, our gathering place, our family’s hangout for the past 26 years, and the center of our homestead and business burn.  I felt so helpless.

2013-01-13 001

There were so many people helping at the mill yard.  People just kept stopping by and asking what they could do to help and were pitching in, doing whatever was needed.  Our heavy equipment was used to move debris and burning materials away from the back of the shop.  People were grabbing expensive and irreplaceable machine heads and planer knives and running with them to get them away from the fire.  I cannot even tell you what this scene was like to watch.  I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for our friends and family who helped us yesterday.  We are truly blessed.

Their mission to save the planer paid off, and without even having to move it, too.  The fire was under control and was put out by two different fire departments.  My husband’s face in this picture says it all…


And this one breaks my heart…


Jack and his dad (who is in his pj pants and bathrobe because he had been in bed when they were alerted of the fire), surveying the damage.  This shop contained 25+ YEARS of tools, equipment, materials, and odds and ends that they won’t even miss until they go to look for them this week.  My father-in-law has worked his whole life for the “things” that that shop held.  It was their gathering place every morning, and most evenings; it was THE place to go several times a week for a fish fry after gigging; it was the first building that my father-in-law built on this piece of property when they bought it over 25 years ago [even though he says my mother-in-law threatened to divorce him if he didn’t get a house built first Winking smile].  It was THE go-to place.  It held countless memories and good times, so many impromptu jam sessions I can’t even begin to count, and Christmas parties with dancing and some of the best people you would care to ever meet. 

We will miss it.  In fact, we already do.

I know that Jack and his dad both felt a little lost when they got up this morning, not having the shop to go to.  Not being able to go up and build a fire in the wood stove and sip hot coffee while talking about the plans for the day. 

And about that wood stove…check this out.

2013-01-13 0011

Pulled from the ashes.  Cool right?!  The wood stove was built by my father-in-law.  It was the centerpiece of the shop and the door was a piece collected by my FIL some years ago from a smokestack job he had done.  [He is a “retired” chimney man and a superintendent that still contracts with his company occasionally.]  I’m not exactly sure of the location or the circumstances, but I know that the door to the wood stove is very special to him, and the last thing Jack said before hopping on the lift was, “I’m saving my Dad’s stove.”  I am so proud of him.

And our planer, safe and sound…




We are certainly keeping all this in perspective.  We are SO thankful that nobody was hurt.  We are SO thankful that they were able to save our planer.  We are SO thankful for our family and friends who came running to help us when we needed it.  I cannot express enough gratitude in words.

What also adds to this being a little more emotional is that this comes on the heels of my FIL just having found out that he has had a recurrence of his kidney cancer.  He has been doing great, and they did catch it early with his routine scans, but there has been a recurrence back on the kidney, the stomach lining where the initial surgery was done, and there is a spot on his liver.  Everything is small, and his amazing doctors at Siteman are treating him with a pill-form of treatment.  They expect him to have a great response to the medicine and are very optimistic that this will either halt the growth or, as his oncologist said, “go for the bonus and shrink it.”  We’ll take it.  Just like everything else, we are very positive and optimistic. 

We’  And thankfully, God’s got us.  Sweet Hallelujah.

Love you guys.


2009-01-29 Jan Ice 09


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Life Lessons

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer Newspaper, Cleveland, Ohio.


"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step..

3. Life is too short - enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7... Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9.. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11... Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never blinks.

16... Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don't forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38.. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."



I was going to try and choose my favorite from the list, but I just can’t! 

Isn’t this a perfect list?  Is there something you would add?  Do you have a favorite??

Have an awesome weekend.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas 2012 & Another Injury

After a pretty non-existent December for me [blog-wise], I woke up on January 1, 2013 ready to write a post. 

A post filled with all our Christmas goings on and such, and quick updates on how everything was going around here.

That was now 3 days ago.  And here I am.  First post of twenty-thirteen.  Yay me. 


I am just having such a hard time getting it together!  Even now, I’m HOPING that I finish this post before I have to start making the boys’ team dinner and before we leave for the game tonight!  I need to start dinner around in about 30 minutes…and, GO!

Christmas 2012 was wonderful!  It was filled with family and friends and FOOD!  And basketball, and snow, but those didn’t fit into my “f” things.

2012-12-26 001


2012-12-26 0011


2012-12-26 0012


2012-12-26 0013


2013-01-01 001


ANDDDDD…..on that “both my boys starting Varsity” note…

On New Year’s Eve, Zachary was playing X Box Football at a friend’s house.  During all the jumping around and playing, he landed funny on his foot and has us come pick him up around 10pm because his foot really hurt.  He hobbled around on it on New Year’s Day, and was still really gimpy on Wednesday morning.  I had appointments in STL all day so I asked my mom to take him down to our foot doctor [who we love].  I received this picture as we were leaving my plastic surgeon’s office-


With a text that said, “My foot is broke.”

Whaaaaaa?!?!  I could NOT believe it.  I never dreamed it was BROKEN!  I thought he probably just twisted it funny, and tweaked a ligament or tendon or something…but broken?!  No way. 

Yes way.  Broken clean through the bone that runs along the outside of the foot (5th met. bone), and in a cast for six weeks. Sad smile  He’s on crutches and hobbling around here best he can, but it clearly sucks.  I hate it for him so much.  My poor baby!

As per usual, we’ve been focusing on the positive: x-rays show that his growth plates are not fused together yet and doc estimates that by the time he is done growing (which is not anytime soon!), he will be in a size 13 shoe (!!) and that he will be MUCH taller.  Also, he is pretty happy about not having to put away any of his clean laundry while he is on the DL, and doesn’t have to unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, OR fill up the wood stove outside.  See?  Positives. Winking smile

Ok, my 30 minutes are WAYYYY up, but I’ve managed to get team dinner all but packed up and loaded in the car.  I’ll update again when I can.

Why don’t ya just give someone you love a big ol’ HUG today?  Bet it’ll make their day, and maybe yours too. 

God bless.


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...