Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall is Coming

Remember all our family walks last fall? All the photos I took? (I could link you up, but that would take way too long and I'm trying to finish up before the kids are up.) We live on a country road. But about a mile from our house, there's a teeny tiny road with no traffic that's about 1.5 miles long, and we like to drive down there and let the kids ride their bikes while we walk. It's a great way to have a little family time - the kids generally have a great time together; we can talk about their day and while they're off riding, Brian and I can talk about our days. In the fall we do this several times a week, and in the spring as well, but I have to admit that the fall times are the best. I love that it's cool, that the leaves are turning (okay, they're not turning quite yet). I grew up in Illinois where they have a pretty long and cool (in temperature) fall, and I miss it. Sometimes you can blink and miss fall in Tennessee.

I got a little sidetracked there. Anyway, we took our first family walk Saturday evening. We were sitting down to play a game with the kids, and I said let's just go for a walk instead. Despite the fact that it had been 90 degrees earlier in the day, the sun was just starting to go down, the temperatures had cooled off, and the humidity was low.

Of course I took a few pictures although not as many as I wanted. Turns out that taking a long family walk after a full day of soccer and other activities makes me very, very tired.

See me in the picture?

It's not fall yet, but the light is golden and there are hints of fall colors behind Rory.

Getting ready for a race.
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I had Camden snap this one of us. I was seriously tempted to edit a little color into my cheeks and lips but decided to leave it as a reminder that I should never, ever leave the house without lipstick! And, yes, I am totally this white.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

For all my fellow Korean drama lovers, I just started Heartstrings on DramaFever. Anyone else watching?

Ran across this blog post about the amount of sugar in your kid's food. Shocking! I'm glad to say the only thing they're eating on that list is the cheerios, Yoplait yogurt and Quaker granola bars, but still! I'm definitely getting rid of the Yoplait yogurt.

On the phone with my mom, Rory says, "You know I saw Dr. V when I was 3? Well, I've been DYING to see him again because I just LOVE Dr. V." Dr. V would be the dentist, and while he is nice, I don't know why she would love him - she has to have work done every.single.time. In fact, we're going again tomorrow for the 3rd time in 8 days.

When I asked Rory how she liked her yogurt at lunch the other day, here was her reply (I totally wrote it down right then and there on a scrap piece of paper): "It has an interesting kick, but I still like it. I like the freshness here." Oh, yes, she did. We watch a little too much Food Network on the days following chemo.

Did something yesterday for the very first time: went to a restaurant and ate lunch on my own. I had a couple of doctor's appointsment yesterday so Gram kept Rory while I did lots of running around (more on that later). I took my iPad, my mi-fi, and went to Kalamatas and had falafel. I'm on such a weird cucumber and tomato kick that I ended up taking off most of the falafel and just eating the cucumber and tomatoes with the tzatziki sauce.

So yesterday. All my running around was kind of crazy. Dropped Camden off at school, drove to Nashville in crazy traffic, met my friend Tina for a very quick breakfast, headed to Dr. W's for bloodwork, went to 3 different floors before I remembered the right one for Dr. H (hello, chemo brain), bought 4 scarves at The Wig Shoppe (goodbye, budget), went to THREE Targets (and, yes, I bought something at each one, just not what I was looking for), 2 libraries, the bank, the post office, picked Camden up from school then went to pick up Rory. I was e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d. last night.

And my trip to Dr. H. I've got more lumps, all near the two incision sites from the port surgery. Apparently, it's just more scar tissue and it's just my bad luck that because of the location they're always going to be uncomfortable. One set rubs against my rib cage and the other is at my belly button which is where pants/belts, etc. hit not to mention bending over. I'm glad it's only scar tissue, and I guess I'll just deal with a little pain. Dr. H is one of my favorite doctors and I was kind of sad to say goodbye to him yesterday. Unless I have more problems, I won't need him anymore (and I really, really don't want to need him). He hugged me goodbye, which is sweet.

You just might find cute pictures of Rory and a little photography tutorial right here. More from that photoshoot coming sometime this week.

And two pictures from the weekend that I'm pretty sure will not make either Project 365 or a scrapbook page.

Brian likes this one for some reason.

This is the picture I was going for, which clearly did not work out so well since she looks slightly drunk. :)

Happy Tuesday! Rory and I are spending the day at home, no plans today (for the first time since last Sunday) except for a whole bunch of laundry and soccer practice tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thousand Gifts 504-542

Rory's first official soccer game was Saturday, and it was a blast. I mean, they got completely killed to the tune of 20-something to 1, but it was fun to watch anyway. The only way to go from here is up, right? And Rory was the one who scored the single, solitary goal. We got there a little early to see Emma's game, and I have to say that Saturday morning at the soccer field is kinda fun. We followed it up with ice cream cones from McDonald's to celebrate the goal. Rory wanted to know if she scores 2 goals next week if she gets 2 ice cream cones. :)

So my goal this season to somehow capture some good soccer action shots. If you look closely, you can see her tongue sticking out. She runs flat out the whole time, and the tongue is always out. Let's just call her the next Michael Jordan. In little Asian girl soccer form.

And, yes, she was that red, hot, and sweaty! It's hard work to play soccer.

504. "His eye is on the sparrow"
505. enough money to pay the bills (don't we all just sort of take this for granted a little too often?)
506. Rory's chatter
507. Camden's sincerity
508. tears
509. a "date" with Rory
510. Mandy
511. breakfast in bed
512. Chex cereal
513. pretty thank you cards
514. emails from new friends
515. choosing to see
516. successful preview service at Clearview
517. soccer practice
518. "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him." Nahum 1:7
519. colorful crayons in a bowl
520. making new connections
521. watching Rory's determined face as she plays soccer
522. the Sharks
523. hearing Camden cheer Rory on
524. Emma's cute voice asking for Rory
525. church
526. lunch with Andrea
527. water flavored with fruit
528. the sound of Brian, Camden, and Rory wrestling in the other room
529. the screams of sheer fun that come from using the hose and water on each other on the trampoline
530. doing my own cooking
531. successful dentist visits
532. insurance
533. compliment of "beautiful" from a very unexpected source
534. insurance case managers who call to check in
535. May this be your experience; may you feel that the Hand which inflicts the wound supplies the balm, and that He who has emptied your heart has filled the void with Himself. - James Hudson Taylor
536. a reflector
537. pretty pictures
538. "Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name, Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22
539. a family walk
540. the feel of Rory's hand in mine during church
541. fresh whole wheat bread
542. Guy Meets Gal-Vaston nail polish

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I promised you Camden, and here he is. :) I never did an 8 year old photo shoot with him, and while plopping him down in his old t-shirt in between takes of Rory's photo shoot for a Lilypad tutorial going up on their blog tomorrow doesn't quite count, I do really like these of him.




All shot with my 35mm, f3.2, 1/200ss, ISO 320 using my reflector.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You're Going to be so Tired of Soccer

I'm just going to apologize this once for all the soccer pics that are probably going to appear on the blog in the next few weeks. You'll just have to put up with my obsessive pride in how cute Rory is playing soccer.

Last night we scrimmaged with our friend Emma's team. And can I just say that this was only our third practice while the rest of the teams in the league have been practicing for weeks now. It was so much fun, despite the fact that we lost approximately 762 to 2. And Rory played almost the entire hour because the coach made the mistake of asking who wanted to play and who didn't, and she was one of the very few who wanted to play the whole time.

Getting ready for the big game. That would be her coach with the bald head. (It's a toss-up as to who has the best bald head: me or the coach.) And her coach has a ton of soccer experience, but, bless his heart, maybe not so much experience explaining soccer to 4 year olds. I wish I could remember all the soccer commands he was giving them last night but suffice it to say nothing was on a 4 year old level. And the kiddos, bless their hearts, jumped up and down and nodded yes to everything he said.082611_1

Ummm, it's possible these two pink powder puff girls should maybe not be on the field at the same time.

I certainly wish this were in focus, but I didn't pull the camera out fast enough. I think you get the feeling of excitement, though, right? At one point, the other coach felt sorry for us and held his team back so we could actually have the experience of driving to the goal, and Rory scored that goal as well. But this goal was the real deal. Those two goals happened to be the only goals our team scored last night.082611_3

Riley and Rory, a.k.a. the pink powderpuff girls

The two little Asian beauties on the field last night. Rory declares Emma to be her best friend ever because "we wuv each other" approximately 6 times a day.

Our first official game is Saturday, and I'm pretty sure we're going to lose just as badly in that game, but it's okay. Rory's having a blast, and we're thoroughly enjoying watching her. And these sport pictures (combined with Camden's baseball pics in the spring) have convinced me I definitely need a sports lens. Any suggestions? Only half kidding here.

And one last funny soccer story. This is how inexperienced our team is. After the game was over, Coach D told our team to line up so we could be good sports and shake hands. They proceeded to shake each other's hands while the other team and coach looked on incredulously. Hilarious.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just a Few Things

Just a few things:

I have felt so good this week! And with the exception of last night, I've been sleeping well, which makes a huge difference.

I am very tired this morning, but thanks to Uncle Michael who had already arranged to spend one of his vacation days this week with Rory, I am kid-free and heading to lunch with a friend. And I'm far enough out from chemo that the food is going to taste delicious!

Rory and I have been to the dentist twice this week already, and there's another appointment scheduled for next week. She has SIX cavities. After Brian was forced to endure the nightmare that is our pediatric dentist back in June, he made the executive decision to see if our family dentist would work on her. She loves going to the dentist and despite all the work she's had done is not scared at all. Not only is our family dentist 10 minutes from home, but we never have to wait, and they are wonderful to us. AND he's not going to try to put two caps on her front two teeth which the pediatric dentist said we must do.

4 months after being diagnosed with cancer, I now have a case manager with the insurance company. And I know that insurance companies have a bad reputation, but this woman has called me several times just to check in with me after chemo and has been very, very sweet and helpful.

Rory had her 2nd soccer practice Tuesday night (did I mention her first game is Saturday?) and I have to say I was quite impressed. The girl just might have skills.

And, yes, there are pictures.





And the chocolate chip cookies were awesome. The recipe was good enough that I just might have to buy  bread and pastry flour to make it with next time (I just substituted all-purpose flour, which the recipe said not to do). Oh, and refrigerating them for 3 days really did make a difference in the texture. I baked one pan Sunday before refrigerating them, and the texture was better on Wednesday.

And because I'm feeling slightly guilty over the sheer number of Rory pics I've shared recently (okay, actually all the time), I'll have some Camden pics for the weekend. I'm also thinking that the number of pictures I take is in direct relation to how good I feel (and I have taken ALOT this week).

Now I'm off to enjoy my morning iced coffee in peace and quiet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life as a Lewis Photography

In case anyone was wondering, yes, I am still taking pictures. :) Just fewer and further between than I would like. One of these days chemo side effects won't be an issue anymore! I've already got several sessions lined up for the fall, and if you're interested, please don't hesitate to contact me (camdensmommy @ gmail dot com). Things are going to be a little more casual, less official, no more website (after September), and more simple.

As I went through some of my Life as a Lewis Photography images, I smiled many times. I hope they make you smile too.








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Wordless Wednesday

Who knew cutting coupons could be so fun (or keep her occupied for so long!).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

Rory had a cold last week (okay 2-3 weeks ago now since I started this forever ago) and her ears were bothering her just a tad so she announced she needed ear buds like Emma (who has hearing aids).

I've discovered that when you don't have eyelashes, your tears fall much more quickly because there's nothing to slow them down. And that wasn't meant to be some kind of sad comment, just an observation. I promise!

And let's lighten the mood with another fun discovery. When you don't have any nose hairs (yes, they fall out there too), there's nothing to stop the snot and your nose kinda drips constantly. Betcha didn't know that!

"So you know how I told you I liked school? Not so much anymore." And this would be from Camden to Becky. Pretty sure this has something to do with the fact that 2nd grade is requiring alot more independent work and Camden would most definitely be against independent work. :)

And speaking of Camden, Mr. Chatty himself got moved THREE times in one day the first week of school trying to find a spot where he won't talk all day.

According to Rory the way you tell the difference between boys and girls is that girls have beautiful earrings and necklaces and boys "don't have beautiful stuff."

While in Chick-fil-A with Rory on a "date" I heard an exasperated mother say to her toddler, "Just stop asking questions! I said be patient!" Kinda made me feel better about a certain moment between Rory and I a little earlier this week. Come on, you know you've been there.

And in that same trip, we sat next to a 1 year old who screamed through the entire meal. Made me very glad to be past that stage.

And overheard from Rory while talking on her phone, "Hey, man. What's kickin'? You still in preschool?" I am so not kidding.

I made these chocolate chip cookies Sunday. Actually, I mixed them up (and it's a huge batch). The recipe calls for letting the dough "rest" in the fridge for 2-3 days. I'm having a hard time letting them rest. Cookie dough is my favorite, very-bad-for-you snack; not to mention chocolate chip cookies are my favorite cookie. I'll give you the verdict tomorrow after I bake them.

I changed the blog settings to make it more iPod, iTouch, iPad friendly. Anyone notice a difference on their mobile devices?

And a couple of pics from last week. Look who dived into the lipgloss again. Okay, she asked and I said yes. One of these days I'm going to just hand her all my make-up and let her go wild.




And for my photography friends, these were taken with my 35mm lens, settings are f2.5, 1/80 SS (which is very slow for children) and ISO 640. I used a Florabella photo action called Milk, turned the opacity way down, then did a slight hue/saturation adjustment because she had crazy pink color casts on her face from the reflection of her shirt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello, Skipper

Oh, yes, we're suckers and let Camden have another kitten. The family who gave us the first two had one more left in the litter, and Camden could not be happier. He really is such a sweet kid, and he loves these kittens!




Frenchie, on the other hand, is none too happy about her new playmate. She has been downright ugly to poor Skipper. I am hoping that eventually they will be friends, but 48 hours into it and there is no improvement.

Our weekend was quite uneventful. I ended up feeling fatigued more than I anticipated and spent most of my days at home on the couch. Brian ended up being on soccer gear duty on his own, but he managed well. The further I get into this journey, the less energy I seem to have to push through the chemo side effects, and I'm more willing to let the fatigue take over - not only physically, but mentally. I did wake up feeling quite a bit stronger today so I am hoping for a good week. We have a pretty normal schedule this week, and I found myself today basking in the normalcy of it all: taking Camden to and from school, fixing supper, even laundry (which I never love) and bloodwork at the hospital (which is part of the new normal).

And two more pictures from the weekend. This girl's legs have grown a mile this summer!

I love the look of determination on her face.

And I just like this one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

2011 Project 365, Week 31, 32, 33

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Birthday Giveaway

Not mine. :)

Lisa Leonard is having a birthday giveaway on her blog, and she designs my favorite necklaces so go check it out, leave her a comment, and maybe you'll win.

Click here

Breakfast in Bed

For Mother's Day this year Camden brought me a little coupon book that he made at school full of little coupons like: one kiss, one hug, one walk together, breakfast in bed, etc. If you remember, my first set of 3 chemo treatments were the week of Mother's Day, and I am ashamed to say that the little coupon book did not get quite the attention it deserved.

Last night at bedtime (which was kind of late notice for Brian), I decided I should cash in the breakfast in bed coupon. Poor Camden has hinted at it several times. It was so funny because Camden had something very specific in mind. He went and wrote down a menu, which included items like "biskits, scrambld eggs with chees, topings, hony, serup." Brian and I had decided before hand I was going to choose "biskits." So Camden wrote the menu, Rory was supposed to deliver it to me, and then Camden was going to take my order. I deviously gave them lots of extra orders like chilling my milk glass in the freezer, that I only wanted the bottoms of the biscuits, that it should be delivered at 7:16, etc. Camden was exceedingly patient and wrote everything down. Rory could barely stand to not be in the middle of it all and danced around excitedly adding anything she's ever heard a waiter say to the conversation.

And this morning, I read in bed until breakfast was ready and enjoyed a lovely quiet time.

(let me just apologize in advance that many pictures are out of focus)







All done



I wonder if I could pull the cancer card and get this every Saturday.