Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday update

Dear friends of Melissa,

This is Melissa's sister Becky updating her blog.  I wanted so much to be able to bring the best news from today, but unfortunately, we did not get the report from her surgery that we were wanting.  The surgery was much more extensive than they had originally planned and they have given her a diagnosis of stage 3 ovarian cancer.  The surgeons were able to remove the majority of the cancer and encouraged us that our immediate focus is to get her recovered from this surgery and then we will look ahead to treatment plans.  While we are most assuredly disappointed, we know that God is good.  Please continue to pray for her, for Brian and their family.  Right now, we are simply waiting to even see her.  Pray for Brian as he shares the results from the surgery and that somehow they would be able to rest tonight.  I will try to update again tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your prayers and love for Melissa and her family.  They are precious to us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Surgery Tomorrow

First of all, let me just say that I was mortified to discover I've been saying gynelogical instead of gynecological. Seriously hate misspelling things. Brian kept telling me my friends would forgive me. :)

So we spent 3 hours at the hospital today. I cannot tell you how I felt the heavy weight on my heart lifting throughout the day, and I know it was because of your prayers. I am so grateful that God provided for me in that way. Brian and I were able to laugh many times today. Met our doctor and really really liked him. His news wasn't necessarily reassuring, but he is going to be a great doctor to have in my corner. My tumor is pretty enormous, which is never good. I'm having surgery first thing tomorrow morning and will have a 4-5 day hospital stay. They will know before the surgery is out if the tumor is cancerous. He said there is a chance that it is not, but there is a strong possibility that all my stomach problems in the last 5 months are a result of ovarian cancer. Surprisingly enough, I'm not that scared. I'm sure the fear will return, but for now I am just so grateful to have a good doctor and so grateful to be moving forward tomorrow.

I'm giving Brian all access to the blog so he can update you, and I've told him he has to do it tomorrow after surgery; fairly certain I will not be coherent enough to do it myself. The most exciting medical thing to happen to me to this point is having my wisdom teeth removed so I have no point of reference as to how I'll feel after major surgery. I told Brian that all my life I've been so healthy and my medical history is ridiculously boring (per the pre-op nurse I saw tonight), but tomorrow I'm picturing an ER/Grey's Anatomy scenario where all the doctors want to see the enormous ball removed from my abdomen.

My agenda for the evening includes 10 ounces of magnesium citrate and a tap water enema. Anyone want to join me?


It's been 11 days since we learned stomach issues might not be so simple; 7 days since the word oncologist was used; 5 days since not so simple turned into serious. And the waiting has not been easy, my friends. But as He's done in the past, God has been so good to place scripture, songs, friends directly in my path to encourage me. I have been overwhelmed by the number of phone calls, emails, facebook messages, skype sessions, etc. and feel very loved and prayed for.

And I'm not gonna lie, the drama in the last 5 minutes of AI Thursday night and watching Daniel-son (a.k.a. Ralph Macchio) and Hines Ward dancing in sparkles helped divert my attention for a few moments as well.

The original plan for today was to get up, rush ourselves out the door to get Camden to school, then Rory and I drive 45 minutes to a dentist's appointment, spend several hours waiting for Rory's teeth to be cleaned, drive 45 minutes back home in time to meet Brian, drop Rory off at Gram and Gramp's house, then drive 45 minutes in a different directions to the doctor. I decided that I wanted normal, not rushed. So Rory is watching Dora while I used the treadmill (and now blog). She's going to hop into a bubble bath while I clean bathrooms (I've become a bit obsessed with coming home to a clean house tonight). We'll play the Dora Matching game, eat lunch, and then the not-so-normal part of my day will start.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Monday, March 28, 2011


Both my kids loved this game of swinging between two adults, and nearly every Sunday walking from church to home with Uncle Michael and Aunt Liz, we hear "1....2....3....jump!"

Rory giggled uncontrollably when she saw this picture because "you took a picture of my booty."

And maybe one of these days I'll try this shot again with a little more planning than, hey, let me grab my camera while you stand here and wait in the freezing cold on a very gray, dreary Sunday. ;)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

2011 Project 365, Week 11 & 12

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Friday, March 25, 2011


When Rory saw the pictures of Camden as a baby Wednesday, she was full of great reactions (drama queen, this one) so when she asked to see the baby pictures again, I decided to grab my camera before I navigated to the blog. She did not disappoint. :)

Ignore the atrocious desk. One of these days it will be clutter-free again. And let's not pretend some of you don't have desks that look exactly the same way. :)

In other news, my blood tests did not come back with good results so I'm seeing a Gynelogical Oncologist Tuesday. Obviously, not what we were hoping for, but I know that God has a master plan and that this development is not news to Him so I am choosing to make a strong effort to stay calm and not panic. Our friend Randall reminded me of Psalm 56:3 which says, "what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." It's the verse my dad recited to me over and over as a child when I was afraid of storms, and it's what we recite to Camden and Rory when they're frightened. And now I'm going to recite it in these times of uncertainty regarding my health.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jumping Rope

Camden is kind of obsessed with jumping rope ever since they had Jump Across America at school a couple of weeks ago. One of his friends let him borrow her jump rope this week, and I had the best time watching both kids. There just might be a jump rope in his future (as in tomorrow), but don't tell him. :)



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seven Years

Seven years ago we flew to Chicago and laid eyes on the cutest 8 month old boy. Since I've used those airport pictures over and over, I decided to pull out a few from his first week home instead.

His first bath. Yes, in the sink. He screamed bloody murder when we tried to put him in the bathtub, but he loved the sink.

One of my all-time favorite pictures. He did not sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time during the first few days so I would take the first shift and then Brian would take over at 3:00 a.m.

He always smiled with his tongue out.

Yes, he's leaning in for a kiss after being home just a couple of days. He's always been an affectionate kid and it started just a few days after he came home.

And a few things about Camden today:
Finally made it to 50 lbs soaking wet, fully dressed, with shoes. . . and couldn't be happier about it.

Loves, loves, loves all things Star Wars and can describe every single character in excruciating detail.

Seriously loves food. Every thing he eats is the best he's ever had. For example: when I asked what I could cook for him tonight, he could not make up his mind because he likes it all.

Well, everything except cinnamon. Seriously, who doesn't like cinnamon?

I think he might be a comic book artist when he grows up. He creates intricate drawings and has recently started adding bubble conversations to them. The first time we noticed it, there was a bubble coming out of an alien character that said, "I'm not afraid to use this thing." Brian and I had a good laugh over that one.

He leaves all those drawings on our pillows. He's learned that I clean the fridge off every Friday so he doesn't want to put it on the fridge because it will disappear. :) (Please tell me I am not the only parent that does not keep every single page their child ever colors or creates.)

He happened to see part of the news on Sunday afternoon and saw some of the war coverage on Libya. He immediately started drawing pictures then asked if we knew any soldiers that he could mail them to. He wrote sweet notes on them, and I'm going to mail them off this week.

His love language is most definitely quality time, although physical affection would probably come in second; he's a snuggler.

His room is a constant disaster, but on the top shelf of his bookshelf he keeps whatever is his current prized possession. Sometimes it's a paper from school, sometimes it's a Legos creation, etc.

He is fairly reserved, almost shy, when he talks to adults one on one, but put him on stage in front of alot of people and you'd never know he's nervous.

Has alot of fears: spiders, bugs, heights, new situations, etc. He also scares easily while watching movies although he's perfectly without fear when it comes to Darth Vader (who is much scarier than anything we've let him watch).

He's very cautious. It's entirely possible that's my fault, although I think it's more a personality trait than my babying him when he was younger.

He sleeps and sleeps hard. Still goes to bed at 7:30 (when there's no church or baseball) and I have to wake him at 6:45. Once he falls asleep, it's nearly impossible to wake him up. We've had some very funny moments trying, though.

He's a funny, quirky, smart, cute kid, and we're so happy to call him ours.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

Camden had a dentist's appointment yesterday and had only good news from the dentist - something that hasn't happened in quite a while around here. Hurray for healthy teeth!

Re-entry into the real world after spring break was a bit tougher than I had hoped for yesterday.

Camden actually used the sentence, "Sadly, that was not the case." at supper last night, and he was not joking.

When I told Camden that I was able to get all the stains out of his new baseball uniform, he said, " Nooooo! I wanted them to look like I played hard!" (Biz works wonders in case you need a laundry tip)

I was on the phone when Rory and I arrived home from grocery shopping yesterday and Rory took it upon herself to help me unpack. I later found the new package of toothpicks in Camden's bathroom, and my new tube of mascara has completely disappeared.

This is how Camden feels about the sun these days.

I've been wavering about whether to mention this or not but finally decided I could use the extra prayers. You know that stomach issue I've been griping about for months now? Well. Turns out a baseball sized mass on your ovary can cause a few problems. And, yes, I am officially one of those crazies who has enormous things growing inside of them but simply endures the discomfort rather than go to the doctor. There is a small chance it's cancerous although both my primary doctor and my gynecologist think it's probably just a crazy-out-of-control cyst. The fact that they're using my age as the prime reason this is not cancer doesn't exactly bring me alot of comfort since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. So. All of that to say I'd appreciate prayers that the results of my test come back negative for cancer. I should know preliminary results by the end of the week and will probably have surgery next week. Really, I'm just hoping for some bed rest out of this whole thing. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thousand Gifts 117-143

Before church last night

117. first sign of green grass
118. yellow daffodils on the side of the road
119. short unexpected afternoon naps
120. really good doctors
121. the sound of Camden on the phone describing cookie dough to Gram
122. steroids
123. Rory's evil giggle while taking steroids
124. the smell of Orchid Allure Downy on my clothes
125. sunlight streaming through the windows
126. help from family
127. pretty (and free!) Starbucks cake pops
128. safe trip to and from Illinois
129. family you want to be with (totally stole that wording from Becky)
130. Whitey's ice cream
131. Lactaid :)
132. reconnecting with old friends
133. good services
134. beautiful parks
135. brand new white baseball uniforms
136. lots of sunshine
137. 7 year old boys in baseball uniforms jumping for joy
138. photoshoots
139. finally some medical answers
140. making family memories
141. Rory's cute toes
142. flip flops
143. Target trips

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Games #2-#5

24 hours
5 games
5 wins
1 enormous trophy

At bat

Making it across home plate

This picture totally cracks me up.

Does she look tired yet? And, yes, that's her baby on her head. We let her bring baby and stroller to the park, and she had the best time with it. She also had to fight off other little girls wanting to "share." LOL

Aaaannnnddd, finally giving up. I think I look as tired as she was.

Little boys in baseball uniforms are just seriously cute.

Do those coaches look tired or what?

It was one long day, but it was also lots of fun. Camden CRASHED last night into bed, but he'll always remember this day not just as a whole lotta fun, but also the first time he got to experience first place with a big trophy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Game #1

Camden's first batting attempt of the evening. They won the game 10-4, which Camden declared "unusual." He's kind of right - in two soccer seasons and now three baseball seasons, we've yet to be on a winning team so this just might be our year.

And what you don't see because I cut the video off too soon is that he actually got out at 2nd base, but it was a close call and we're going to blame it on the coach since he sent him on to 2nd base while knowing that Camden generally runs in slow motion :)

And Rory told us on the way home that when she plays baseball, "we'll be the pwincesses and get home runs and triple plays."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Taking Advantage of Sunshine

Yesterday we took advantage of the sunshine and went to Nashville to run a few errands, visit a park and have lunch at one of our favorite spots. We're already starting our "this might be the last time" frame of mind.

First up was Percy Warner Park which has a beautiful driving (or walking) trail. Even though it may feel like spring, the trees haven't quite gotten the message and are still very brown and bare.

It's hard to see, but there is a large, long stone staircase that takes you to the bottom of this hill. And, yes we walked it although my knees were wishing we'd taken the road that loops around instead.

Me and the kiddos

We stopped off at Fontanel Mansion to look around, and I wish we'd made a trip here in the fall because it would have been beautiful. Side note to my photography-loving friends: I'd forgotten how difficult it is to shoot in full sunlight, middle of the day with no shade in sight. Yikes!

This one is my favorite because they all just plopped down and I snapped this picture . . .

But this one is a little better from a photography stand point. Tip: When it's full sunlight and there is no shade, put your subject's back to the sun, meter off their faces, and then shoot the picture - helps eliminate the shadows and hot spots on their faces.

Today's agenda is includes a trip to Nashville for a doctor's appointment, lunch with a friend, and a trip to Sephora since I used the last drop of my make-up this morning. Run home for a quick brush-up on newborn and family photography, then back to Nashville for my first photo shoot of the season. Back home to pick up the family and off to a neighboring town for Camden's first baseball game. Tomorrow's schedule includes F.O.U.R. baseball games. Yes, four. I am tired just thinking about the weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break

The kids thought it was really funny when I looked down from the deck, saw them playing, and asked them to lay down for me. They played outside for hours yesterday. Hello, sunshine!

We're off to enjoy our one free morning of spring break. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Spring break is this week for Brian and Camden so we packed up, drove 9 hours to Illinois on Saturday, had two fundraising services at local churches Sunday, crashed on Monday, then drove 9 hours home Tuesday. I feel like I describe all our trips as whirlwind trips, but it's the truth. I was so glad to see my parents and be home even if it was only for 48 hours, and we loved seeing our old friends at church. We've been gone for 9 years but it still felt like home Sunday morning.

I was able to snap a few pictures while we were home. Wait for it. . . . . .Keep waiting . . . . .

Uncle Matt and the kiddos - they just adore him, and no wonder! He plays and plays with them, lets them climb all over him, etc.

Taken 7:30 yesterday morning as we were headed out the door.

Yes, a total of two pictures. In my defense, it was 30 degrees outside and our schedule was crazy, but two pictures is pretty sad.

And I was going to complain about spring break being before spring actually arrives but since the weather forecast is 70's for the forseeable future, I won't complain. :) Maybe this warm weather will bring about some photography inspiration because I have seriously struggled the last 2 weeks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

2011 Project 365, Week 10

I'm not gonna lie: not every picture on this page was actually taken on the right days. But I won't tell if you don't.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Not Cool, Just Regular

A couple of months ago Brian and I had this great idea to let Camden grow his hair out and then have it cut in one of those cool longish Asian boy hairstyles. Well. Not only was it taking a very long time (it's been 3 months since we last buzzed his head), but it became increasingly clear that he would never sport one of those hairstyles because he has a large patch of hair on the back of his head that grows up instead of down. Seriously! So we decided that until we knew what we wanted to do, we'd at least send him to someone to shape it up because it was kind of messy and out of control. Now Camden was very against a haircut. He's never been a shy kid, but over the past few months he's become very fearful of new situations and he's never had his haircut before by anyone but Brian. He kept telling us, "I don't want to look cool, just regular." The situation was not helped in any way by the fact that Rory insists on telling him 10 times a day that he was going to look "sooooo cute."

Last night I took him in for the haircut, and he dragged his feet the whole way, didn't want to speak to the stylist (yes, my kid is that kid), and hated the whole experience. However, this morning, he got up out of bed and said, "I love my hair!"


Hope you weren't expecting anything drastic; it's just a little bit of a change, but we're letting the top grow some more. I'm thinking faux hawk. :)

In other news, Rory is feeling MUCH better and is seriously hyped up on steroids. She's developed an insanely evil giggle and got into so much mischief yesterday that I don't even care to recap it here, but it involved telling me an emphatic "no" in a public place, painting the wall with her bloody nose, and toothpaste and literally climbing the walls at the hair salon. I won't complain too much about the steroids since they're making her better, but they definitely do a number on behavior for sure.

Sahlin Studio: Candy Shop

Gina Huff: XOXO

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Party Time

Last weekend we celebrated Rory's 3rd family day. While I would really, really like to be that mom who has beautiful party decorations and goes all out for celebrations, I'm just not. But here's the thing - Rory doesn't care that we used leftover mismatched fall candles or that I didn't have fancy plates and napkins and beautiful hanging decorations. All she knows is that she got to choose her favorite food (bulgogi, although she chose ramen noodles first), that we ate a candlelit dinner, she got to wear lots of jewelry (Camden helped "dress" her up), and it was her special night. Oh, and GiGi's cupcakes. Always cupcakes for her celebration!



The last 7 days have passed in a fog of stomach pain, sleepless nights, coughing, kleenex, and doctor's waiting rooms. Thank goodness Rory and I are both on the mend. We had some scary moments with Rory this week. It is not fun to hear your child gasping for air, but the asthma can't hold out for long against two steroids in addition to a regular inhaler, and she is feeling some better this morning. In fact, I detect a bit of sassy attitude in her which I will blame the steroids for. I clearly remember how hyper Camden used to be when he had to take them!

In other news, Rory has seemingly overnight learned how to say her L's. We no longer hear "wiz" for Liz and "wuv" for love, etc. The good news is she still hasn't mastered her R's so we can still hear cute words like "scawy" and "hiwawious."

I have not had my camera out much, but I did snap these last night.

A moment of comfort from Camden (he asked if he could hold her for a while).

Watching American Idol with me.

And a smile - haven't seen many of these this week.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Hint . . .

. . . about what we've been up to (and this doesn't count the 2 new medicines we brought home today).

Monday, March 07, 2011

Catch Up

I've been a blog slacker for the past few days for a multitude of reasons, but those reasons would not include a lack of pictures or scrapping pages. :) So here are a few from last week.

Rory's been fascinated with catalogs lately. On this particular day, I walked in the living room and found her propped up on the chair, and she told me, "I'm just imagining myself wearing this dress." This dress, by the way, only cost $98. :)

A warm day last week
f2.2, 1/1600SS, 320 ISO

Believe it or not, but I actually shot her face out of focus on purpose. :)
f2.2, 1/1600SS, 320 ISO

Friday was Read Across America Day, and the 1st-4th graders at Camden's school were to dress up as a book character. They had a little parade at school Friday morning. Good thing Camden really wanted to be a ninja from a recent Magic Treehouse Book because I forgot all about it until 24 hours before the big day, and we all know it's not like I'm going to be able to throw together some enormously creative costume anyway.

And after watching Camden's school parade, Rory and I made a trip to Nashville to Gigi's Cupcakes, which has become our tradition as we celebrate Rory's Family Day (more on that to come later). I had no plans to take pictures of Rory and the box, but she acted more than a little offended that we were foregoing the picture this year so I pulled out the camera right there in the parking lot. Can I just say I'm kind of loving Rory's new picture-loving ways.

And not only do I have pictures from the week, but I have scrap pages. Kelly from The Lilypad emailed me recently and asked if I'd be interested in being on their store team and help out with blog posts, specifically photography related blog posts. And, although I feel woefully inadequate, I couldn't pass that up!

So three layouts using the March BYOC from TLP. I could not resist these bright pretty colors!




And now I'm off to tackle the enormous pile of laundry that has been staring at me for the last week.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

2011 Project 365, Week 9

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