Showing posts from October, 2012


Just popping in for a quick update. We closed on our house Wednesday evening, painted almost the entire house Thursday/Friday and then moved Saturday. My mom is here until next week, and we could not have survived the weekend without the help of my parents and Brian's dad. Moving is hard work, people!
I'm discovering that we have clearly accumulated way too much stuff after 15 years of marriage and am trying to simplify as we unpack. Loving the house (despite the fact that the upstairs bathroom is not working - yikes!), but there is not as much storage space as we have been used to so finding a spot for everything is proving a little more difficult than I'd hoped.
Not to mention that there is no cable above the fireplace . . . which means I can't hang the big screen TV above the fireplace . . . which means my living room floorplan has completely gone to pot. These are not third world country problems I realize. ;)
I have not touched my camera in a week so there are no…

Tuesday's Tidbits

Oh. My. Stars. I have discovered West Elm. It speaks to me.

I've been DVR'ing episodes of The Cosby Show to watch together as a family, and last week we saw the episode where Elvin proposes to Sondra. The kids could not have been more opposite as they watched it. Camden was gagging at the lovey dovey stuff when Sondra says yes and kisses Elvin. Rory was giggling, leaned over to me and said, "I'm thinking about kissing Camden."
We are neck deep in packing, and our house resembles a war zone. I forget how much I hate the chaos of it all. We're scheduled to close Wednesday afternoon, and then the real fun begins.
One picture from last night, and then I may be gone for several days as we paint, move, etc.

Field trip, naps, scrapping, etc.

Rory's field trip yesterday was a success, although documenting that field trip via pictures? Not so much. I have about 100 pictures of the back of kid's heads as they run frantically toward the next activity. Oh, and they all seem to have a lovely green tint to them thanks to the green field trip shirts they're all wearing. Lovely.
And apparently, I was completely wrong about Rory being happy to have me on the field trip because the very first thing she said to me as we sat down in the school bus was, "When can I ride on the bus all by myself?" And the first thing she said to me as we got in the car to leave was, "Can I go on the next field trip all by myself?" Clearly, I am a downer.
Just one example of my stellar photography skills.
We came home from the field trip (Camden was still at school), and I laid down on the couch to watch a little TV. An hour later, I opened my eyes from an impromptu nap and saw Rory in her p.j.'s asleep as well.
In ca…

Field Trip Day

Today is Rory's first field trip, and she. could. not. be. more. excited. Typically, I would have chemo today, but the stars aligned and my doctor was out of the office so chemo was moved to yesterday. My platelets are super low, but still *just* high enough for chemo.
Now, on my best day, I'm not necessarily that special mother who can't wait to ride a school bus with 25 screaming kindergartners. On the day after chemo, I'm about as far from that special mother as possible. But I just couldn't miss her first field trip. And the good news is that she is thrilled to have me with her. Camden typically prefers to be on his own because it means more friend time. ;) But my girlie will love having me by her side, and I'm looking forward to seeing her in a school setting.
Oh, and to see all these cute little people she spends every day with and talks about constantly.
She would like you to know these are all her own poses. ;)

Excuse the missing hand.
And the missing …

Wordless Wednesday

Last week's after-school pictures. It was all about the bokeh - I am absolutely going to miss this pretty background for my pictures after we move to suburbia.
Test shot. This boy is giving us a run for our money these days and not necessarily in a good way.
Not posed. This happens every time, I just happened to be ready for it this week.
This was last week as she was getting sick, and you can see it in her eyes.
 So, so cute.
Settings were f2.0, ISO200, 1/320 SS with white balance set manually to Kelvin 8330. I would typically set a slightly higher aperture in order to get 2 people in the picture, but I was going for super bokeh in the beautiful fall light.

It Gets Better

My chemo cycle is 28 days. After 4 cycles since July, I'm starting to see a pattern. I seriously struggle days 5-10ish. That's far enough into the cycle to be really tired of feeling sick; far enough into it that it feels like I'm not going to come out of it. To be so tired. To avoid phone calls and email. To feel like the days and nights are running together, and I can't seem to remember anything that's happened. I forget that I will feel better.
But along comes day 11 or 12, and I wake up feeling like a completely different person. This cycle it was Sunday that I finally woke up and felt like myself. We went to church, spent some time with old friends. Visited over lunch. I could feel myself coming alive again. Why is it so hard to remember each month that "this too shall pass?"
This morning I uploaded pictures from the last 2 weeks and remembered it wasn't all bad.
And next month? I'm going to remember that it gets better.
The kids are very in…


I'm kind of a mess today. I woke up to the news that Jen Burgess Thompson went to heaven this morning. She is my age and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last August. You can read her blog here.  I'd encourage you to take some time scrolling through it today. We have matching scars although let's be honest: her stomach is much flatter than mine. She says alot of stuff I couldn't say. We had the same treatment and her portrayal is brutal.
I am devastated at her passing. Although I've never met her, I think I probably feel about her the way some of you feel about me. I feel as if she became a friend via her blog posts, instagram and facebook feed. Her highs became my highs, her lows my lows.
It's been a hard morning. But it's made me think alot about all I have to be thankful for: I'm still here for my kids and family. My cancer hasn't grown in 18 months. That's some kind of miracle all in itself, even there are lot of days that it doesn't f…

"He never changes or casts a shifting shadow."

Someone whose cancer journey I follow received bad news yesterday, and it immediately sent me into a tailspin. A tailspin not helped by the fact that my throat is on fire and I received approximately 3 hours of sleep last night thanks to a coughing Rory and needing to be on my best mama duty. Unfortunately, today is a chemo day which means in addition to this sore throat and cold, I'm going to be feeling gross within the next couple of hours.  I haven't felt this anxious or scared in several months. And while this is completely not logical, all the good news we've had recently makes me feel as if we're on the verge of bad news. I've said recently (in fact I said it to Brian minutes before learning of my friend's news) that it feels as if I'm one blood test result away from disaster.
Here's the thing I can count on: this verse I read this morning. "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the …


I had grand plans of doing a big picture post with all the fun stuff that's been happening around here.
And then I realized . . . there has been no fun stuff happening around here.
Ever since chemo Thursday (and running errands with Brian Friday), I haven't left the house. Both kids were out of school and they've been a delight, but let's be honest here. Being sick (thank you, chemo) + 4 straight days of kids at home isn't the most relaxing of times.
And, hurray for me, I get to go back to chemo tomorrow. Not looking for sympathy at all! Just kind of wallowing a bit in my reality.
There is this picture to smile at. And you can't help but smile, right?
Oh, yes, she totally has make-up on. We had a little girly afternoon (and I have lots more pics). Brian just shook his head in disbelief.

Tuesday's Tidbits

Great post that points out the importance of not getting so mired down in the everyday stuff that we miss out on the so, so important little things.
Rory's favorite phrase these days is, "I feel awkward, mama!" I am positive she doesn't have a clue what she's talking about since it's said in a perky, cheerful tone.
While at the park yesterday, Camden noticed that someone had carved their names into the picnic table. It was written Will -n- Julie. He read it, "Will minus n." ;)
Rory has had a cold pretty  much from the very start of school, but thankfully it hasn't morphed into her usual asthma related problems. Until yesterday. We're headed to the doctor today for inhaler refills. I've been feeding her cough drops like they're candy (which she loves, btw) and yesterday afternoon she said, "These taste so minty, mama. Now I don't even have to brush my teeth!"
While we're at the doctor's office today, the kids are…

Thousand Gifts October 8

Thank you for all of the well wishes on our new house. My brain is overflowing with decorating ideas, paint colors, furniture, etc. I have this idea in my head of a pale, neutral gray paint with all the color coming from pillows, pictures, etc. Who knew finding the perfect shade of gray was going to be so difficult! I've bought 3 Benjamin Moore paint samples so far, and I'm not convinced any of them are the right shade: Revere Pewter, Intense White, Stonington Gray. Suggestions?
And, yes, I've heard all about how boring gray paint is. :)
We had a pretty quiet weekend. Because this was my chemo/Neulasta weekend, I spent most of it in bed or on the couch with my best friend DVR. 
Brian was out of school Friday and today; the kids are out today and tomorrow so our schedule is out the door. Today is a beautiful fall day, complete with cooler weather that reminds me of home. Brian and I have been snuggled up on the couch with blankets each working on our own things while the k…

Sunday Snapshots

I babysat Addison two days this week, and she was especially delightful Wednesday. This little smiling face greeted me every time I turned around. This first picture was a bit of an accident in the sense that she moved so quickly that I didn't get her whole face, but I decided that I love it because even though only her eyes are visible, you can tell she's smiling up at me.

There was a little morning light streaming through the open door, but I still needed to go a little slower with my shutter speed than I like to. Thankfully, they're still in focus! Shot with my 50mm 1.4 lens. Settings were f2.5, 1/125SS, and 640 ISO. Edited with Florabella Colorplay Matte Film action.

Okay, the details

In 15 years of marriage, we've owned a house one time. For that matter, we've never had a choice about where to live in 15 years of marriage except once.
When we first got married, there was a teeny tiny upstairs apartment that was cheap, close to school, and available right when we needed it. We didn't even look for anything else, even though you had to walk through the door-less bedroom to get to the kitchen and bathroom. The little old man who lived downstairs would routinely let himself in to check out how we were taking care of it and to defrost the 25 year old freezer every couple of weeks.
From that first upstairs college apartment, we moved into a little parsonage in Illinois. Now, the church was super-generous and allowed us to choose new carpet, paint, and I decorated that little spot right up with stenciled walls and lots of paint color. Yes, it was the 1990's.
From that little parsonage, we moved next door into the bigger parsonage when the church pastor (…

Fall Photo Sessions

I've had a few people asking me about fall sessions this year. I am happy to take family and friend pictures, but because of chemo, sessions are limited. If you're interested, shoot me an email at camdensmommy at gmail dot com, and we'll see what we can work out. I'm actually having a shoot tomorrow night here at my house - I have lots of pretty places just in my own front yard. ;)

And just a few of Camden being silly.

Today is a chemo day for me. The big one that includes two different chemo drugs, a visit with the doctor, followed by that oh-so-fun Neulasta shot Friday. Good news is that I get to meet a friend for lunch today; Brian is off work tomorrow so he gets to take me to Nashville for my shot, and we're going to try to find a food truck for lunch!
I'll be back tomorrow with a little more information on my Wordless Wednesday. Enjoy your Thursday!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday's Tidbits

"Well, that's a relief. Our crayons are made in the U.S." - totally serious comment from Camden
We watched the season premiere of Amazing Race Sunday night, and for one of their challenges, the teams had to eat a Chinese dessert: frog fallopian tubes. I guess just one more reason to be happy I was born in the USA. We get to eat ice cream and chocolate for dessert instead of froggie fallopian tubes.
For all of you who have asked, I did not make Rory's birthday cake. I must have seriously misrepresented myself if you think I'm capable of that much decorating!
My brain is kind of overwhelmed with news, but most of it is confidential so I guess I'll have to be satisfied with keeping it to myself.
I have not been very good at snapping pictures the last few days, but here are two.
Rory's first pigtails of the season.
There is not much sweeter than a baby who wakes up happy. They don't seem to take much notice of the gray, dreary days.
Kim Jensen/Kate Hadfi…