Saturday, April 19, 2014

Four Eyes

We made our annual visit to the eye doctor's last week and, to my surprise, Rory failed the eye test. Miserably!

She was more than a tad excited about choosing frames. I managed to nix the neon green and neon pink big thick frames, and we settled on a purple wire pair. There were not many choices that would accommodate her little Asian nose bridge.

We picked them up Wednesday, and she thinks she is big. stuff. Quite honestly, I was a little sad. She looks much too grown up and very different from my baby girl with these glasses.

Three days later, and she is completely tired of them.



Camden got new glasses as well, but his fit him so perfectly that I can hardly tell he got new frames! Our vision insurance only pays for frames every 2 years so he was in desperate need of a new pair, as evidenced by the permanent lines on the side of his face from the too-small frames. And his eyes are now almost as bad as mine. Which is to say - blind!



(I paid extra for the anti-glare coating, and it looks like that anti-glare coating gives off a green reflection. Fantastic.)

And just to be clear  . . . my dad used to call me Four Eyes back when I was a kid, and it was not a negative term. Just being silly. When we called Rory Four Eyes after we picked up her glasses, she literally thought she now had four eyes. I'm telling you, this girl is secretly blonde.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I made a resolution in January to do a better job of stopping with my camera when I saw something that warranted a picture (inspired by you, Vicky). And by "do a better job" I meant "start."

Well, I've done it exactly one time - last Friday. There's a beautiful row of blooming trees in the middle of town and after school Friday, I stopped with the kids and my camera. I wasn't trying to take pictures of the kids (although they snuck in a few); just wanted to capture something pretty.



My only attempt at making them stop for a picture. Hello, fake smiles.


So not happy that she wasn't tall enough to climb on her own.

Camden to the rescue.

I promise I did not make him pose like this. He just knew I had my camera in hand. Hello, cheesy.








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits (4/15/14)

April 15, otherwise known as tax day. Why, yes, we did wait until the very last minute in order to put off sending a big fat check as long as possible.

April 15 is also my dad's favorite day since it means he's finished up with tax season for another year.

And we love it because it usually means my parents take a post-April 15 trip and come visit us.

I spent several hours yesterday cleaning out the kid's closet and swapping out their fall/winter wardrobes with spring/summer clothes.

Which means, of course, that it literally snowed this morning and we have a freeze watch for tonight.

And speaking of clothes, I had saved some things for Camden from last year. To my surprise, the boy could not even button the shorts. When did he grow so much?? I may be short, but he's still almost as tall as I am. And, yes, this is in a bathroom.

We kept Addison for a couple of hours last night. He is such a good cousin.

I guess it goes against the law of nature to be this sweet to his sister?

Rory admitted this morning that when Addison was a baby (as in that tiny 4 pounder I used to keep full-time), she would try to pick her up when I left the room. When Addison cried, she would "put her back."

And yesterday Camden nearly strangled Addison accidentally with the seatbelt. Sorry, Liz. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014


I'm pretty sure I've been starting off every single blog post with some note about how busy we are these days so I won't do it again.

But we are. Super busy, that is. :)

Without a day-to-day rundown, I'll just say we have spent more than our fair share of time at church this week/weekend. I told my sister the other day that it's a good kind of busy. It's hectic and frustrating and exciting all at the same time. Selfishly, it's not always how I want to spend not only my own time but also our family time. There is much value in serving, and my prayer has been that instead of remembering the craziness and how absent Brian has to be right now, the kids are learning a lesson on selflessness.

I'm kind of on an 8-hours of sleep a night kind of roll so I've got lots of energy to handle not only the extra activity but also the extra parenting duties. 

And you know I've just jinxed myself right there.

In an effort to show off my new shoes, it's possible my jeans look like mom jeans. They're really not.

We're usually really conscientious about not working on Sunday (other than church) and using the evening for family time, but the yard had. to. be. mowed. It's the first time this year, and Camden is so not a fan of mowing the yard (Brian and Camden usually split yard duty).

Although he doesn't look too sad right here. (Notice all the pink under his eyes from allergies - it's definitely that time of year!)

Putting the kids to work on new family packets Saturday morning. You do not want to know how many times they argued during this job (or how many times their mama might have lost her cool).

I took this one kind of haphazardly, but when I uploaded it I noticed the focus fell on her hands . . . which are twisting . . . because she was mad at something . . . which is clearly written all over her out-of-focus face.

Why am I taking a picture of a fly? I have no idea. Other than it was there and still and I was interested to see how well it turned out even though I don't have a macro lens. Kinda fun.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Beauty and the Beast

Camden's school had their annual spring concert last night, and it was all about Disney. So fun to hear all the familiar songs.

Camden had a solo/duet on Beauty and the Beast. I was just proud that he tried out for a solo because he's been too scared in past years. Sometimes taking a risk pays off. And I'm telling you, I could not have done this in 4th grade. In comparison, my parents had to pay me $1/week in 6th grade so that I would play the piano for church. This year he has given speeches, sung solos at church and now at a spring concert in front of a whole lot of people! And every time I watch him, I can hardly stand how proud I am.

And he sings harmony on the chorus! I didn't know he could do that.

Just warning you, they are so cute! Notice how they weren't standing close enough together in the beginning. :) (And thank you to my friend who sent me a much better video than I had - she was on the front row while I was on the back row.)

And Rory asked if she could pose for me. Well, of course!


Clearly no girly poses for this one. For today anyway.



Monday, April 07, 2014

Crazy Busy

This weekend was a crazy whirlwind of more work than I've done in a long time as we prepared to have our first service in our new church building. Being a part of a church plant has been hard work but also really amazing. Maybe I'll blog more about this as we gear up for our grand opening service, but for now I'll just say that we had an amazing first service and I can't wait to see what happens at 180 Church in the future.

I was in charge of pictures after church and, of course, I couldn't pass up these cute kids.





I've spent hours this morning preparing for consignment sale (when will I learn to stop buying clothes for the kids??) and this afternoon is clothes delivery and eye doctor appointments for 3 out of the 4 of us. My poor house is showing desperate signs of a SAHM who has been gone too many days recently, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Just a Walk

I'm trying to take on a new philosophy regarding my camera and events: take a few pictures and then just move on. I'm pretty sure I've spent way too much of the last 6-8 years bugging the kids for pictures. And I'm not going to stop taking pictures, I just want to try to capture a snapshot in time as opposed to capturing every single moment of every single event.

So we took a hike earlier this week, and I knew I wanted a picture of the kids, one showing that we finally have some green around here as well as a blooming tree. So I did, and then I just put the camera away.

And we were all so much happier. :)



Sidenote: I'm having some major focus issues with my camera. As in only about 20% of my shots are in focus, and I don't think it's user error. I had my camera and lenses cleaned and calibrated about 6 months ago, and I thought they were a bit better but not so much now. Since there is no replacing my camera or lenses in the foreseeable future, I'm a little concerned!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 03, 2014


I spent most of the day yesterday in the infusion waiting room at Vanderbilt. I am totally fine, just an extremely long wait for a port flush (which I usually do in the lab, not chemo room) and my regular 6 month check-up with the breast specialist. I watched woman after woman check in. Some bald; some with hair. Some hyped up on steroids; some moving slowly.

And I found myself so grateful that it wasn't me this time.

I also might have laughed out loud at least twice while reading Sparkly Green Earrings during the wait. I downloaded this book for free last year but hadn't picked it (metaphorically speaking since it was in digital form) up until yesterday. It provided a decent distraction for sure.

And then I got home and felt so emotionally exhausted from telling myself I was okay as well as feeling the burden of all those women who aren't okay right now. I find it to be a very hard balancing act to protect my own fragile emotions while wanting to share in the struggles of those around me.

It's a very busy week for us. Besides the regular things of life, we're moving into our new church building. The one we've been dreaming about and praying for many months. It's super exciting as well as physically and emotionally draining. 

Because everything happens at once, it's also consignment sale weekend plus our weekend to feed the college kids at church. I'm working extra hard today so I can still have a lunch date with my friends tomorrow and possibly still be able to grab a few moments of solitude at some point during the weekend. Because I am WAY too much of an introvert to handle this much excitement. :)

I scrapped these over the weekend.
032314_10 copy


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

I think now that our forecast is calling for 70's all week, I should put away my winter decor and pull out the spring/summer.

Speaking of decor, I am just itching to get my hands on this cow canvas by Meg Duerkson. My mom and sister think I'm crazy, but I kinda think it would be adorable in my living room with my bright, mismatched pillows. Wonder if I could talk Brian into splurging.

I did buy these cute bamboo sticks from Ikea and spent a grand total of about $5 for the bamboo, glass vases and rocks - the beauty of Ikea!

I heard a knock at the door about 4:00 yesterday afternoon, and when I answered it, Brian was standing there with these.

We have been grill-less for several years now, and Brian has been itching to buy one. It was supposed to be a Father's Day present last year, but the van needed tires. This year he's been saving his Christmas money until spring arrived. He grilled his first hotdogs (not my favorite!) last weekend and couldn't have been happier.

Blue milk for the kids today for April Fool's. I'm remembering why we don't pull these pranks. Camden spent all of breakfast worried that the milk was going to be disgusting instead of enjoying the fun part. :)

Today's agenda is a women's Bible study this morning, preparing for consignment sale this weekend, a walk in the park with the kids after school, and cooking this 15 minute lasagna for supper.

Monday, March 31, 2014

3 Years

Today marks my 3 year cancerversary - the day I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer (update: I just realized - because I clearly still have a bad case of chemo brain - that the actual date was March 30. For Pete's sake!). Blessedly, I do not remember much from this day as I was in surgery for many hours and sedated after that. We celebrated with ice cream for breakfast for the third year in a row. It's a silly little way to celebrate that life is good. That God is good.

It seems as if I would look back on that time surrounding diagnosis and treatment as the worst time of my life. And it probably was.

But mostly I remember being surrounded by friends and family.

Brian holding my hand and praying with me.

Flowers (and the beautiful smell of them) filling my hospital room.

My mom, brother, sister and twin nephews driving throughout the night to make it in time for surgery.

My brother staying home with Camden, Rory, William, and Xavier on surgery day and my mom and sister coming home to all 4 kids in different corner. Uncle Matt had finally had all he could take.

I remember feeling so calm.

I remember feeling so loved.

So many friends (most of them from the beautiful online world) did loving, creative things to make me feel better.

Like this video. (Look how tiny your babies are, friends!)

So today we ate ice cream at 6:30. Rory randomly quoted Romans 15:13, and I thought it couldn't have been more perfect.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."


Brian has worn this teal ovarian cancer bracelet for 3 years.

And Camden's prayer this morning?
"Thank you, God, that she's lasted this long." Ha!

Friday, March 28, 2014

So Much Better

I had my doubts this time yesterday that we would avoid an ER trip, but Rory's steroids and a consistent diet of Benadryl and Zyrtec have finally kicked in. The 13 hours of sleep last night probably helped as well. The steroids are in full force as she has not. stopped. talking. She is simultaneously delightful and exhausting. I pulled out an old trick this morning - calling Aunt Becky so she would have someone else to talk to. :)

She says it's like a dream come true to have her hives gone. Quite a different picture from yesterday! I figured that once the steroids kicked in she would have a swift recovery, but I can't believe how much better she is - almost no sign of hives anywhere after being covered for 48 hours.

The first thing she did after waking up (besides singing The Twelve Days of Christmas) was start writing notes for all 18 of her classmates. She started with her student teacher. This totally made me laugh.

In other news, Monday marks 3 years since my cancer diagnosis. We've celebrated this milestone the last two years with ice cream for breakfast. I was tempted to let the day pass by this year, but the more that I've thought about it, the more I want to make sure we are never complacent or less than grateful for life and my good health. So Monday morning we'll start the week with ice cream cones. Feel free to join us!