Monday, September 30, 2013

The Birthday Celebration

Brian and Rory celebrated her birthday by taking a father/daughter camping trip. From what I hear, she didn't stop talking the entire time although she did do a lot of entertaining herself with a whole pile of seashells . . . she just didn't stop talking even while entertaining herself. Sounds just like her.

And I guess camping is alot of work (I wouldn't know) because my kids always sleep on the way home. Hence, the tired face.


This is the first birthday for either of my kids that did not involve any grandparents, but we had Uncle Michael, Aunt Liz, and Addison to help us celebrate. The only thing on Rory's birthday list was a DS; and she made sure to remind us of this pretty much every day since her last birthday (Camden got one for his 7th birthday, and she was not going to let us forget it).

Waiting patiently to open presents. She would like everyone to notice how long her hair is getting.

Tackling Camden in excitement once she opened the DS. Camden was a trooper and kept this a secret for an entire week. I think he was as excited as she was.

We Facetimed with my dad so he could watch part of the festivities, and then we Facetimed with Grandma (who is in OK with Becky, Micah, William, and Xavier). This was when William and Xavier were singing happy birthday to her.

ice cream cake (coincidentally the same one Camden requested in July)

The required family shot. We were dodging rain bullets at this point.

And one of my favorite things? She received these silky pajama bottoms with a Hello Kitty top and eye mask. She wore this eye mask for the rest of the day and when I went to wake her up this morning? She still had them on. Cracks me up.

While I was working on my Thousand Gifts journal this morning, I was reminded of how on Rory's 5th birthday, I made the trip with Brian and Rory to Nashville. We left Rory with some friends while Brian and I met with Dr. W to hear confirmation that my initial 6 rounds of chemo had not worked. After meeting with him, I started up a new chemo cocktail. I came home feeling sick, nauseous, and sure that Rory's birthday would be forever marred by that doctor's appointment and subsequent chemo. I remember calling Becky and crying as I told her that I was scared I wouldn't be alive for Rory's 6th birthday. Two years later and this memory did not even surface on her birthday, much less the worry that I might not be here for the next one. And I know for sure that the only thing Rory remembers about that day is that she had her mama and daddy all to herself; we took her to get a feather in her hair and for lunch at her favorite chicken place (McDougals); and that she got to stay with some of her mama's friends, who made her feel very special. 

God is good.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I am not exactly sure when this happened, but my petite, sassy baby girl has turned into a still-petite and still-sassy big girl of 7. I mean, seriously, when did this happen?

Just a few snippets to give you insight on this girl of ours.

She has recently been cuddling up to me on the couch, pulling her arm through mine, and telling me, "I just want to give you a little comfort, mama."

I apparently have a habit of deep sighing at the end of a long day or when I'm tired. Rory will hug me and say, "I'm so sorry you had such a horrible day, mama" when I sigh. Since most of the time I didn't have a horrible day or even realize I sighed, this makes me feel very guilty.

She has now lost 6 teeth total, 4 of which are still gone, and 3 right in a row on top. This means she has serious trouble eating right now, but don't tell her that!

Four missing teeth didn't stop her from biting Camden last night in retaliation for him trying to be "the boss of me." Oh, I'm not kidding.

Anything Camden can do, Rory thinks she can do better. See previous comment. This gets her into alot of trouble these days.

She has a love/hate relationship with Camden. She wants to be like him so badly and is SO jealous that she is not 10 or a boy. She thinks she is missing out on EVERYTHING. This leads to alot of Star War, Lego and super-hero worship when he's around and Fancy Nancy and baby dolls when he's not interested in letting little sister in his room. 

She is a giggler. A serious giggler. This gets her out of alot of trouble when her daddy is trying to discipline her. *Trying* being the key word here.

Every day after school she is full of the school gossip. Not what she learned, but the gossip. Heaven help us.

She has such a sensitive heart and feels deeply for others. That is going to serve her well in the future.

And, finally, she is still a mama's girl for sure! It is a bit overwhelming for me to realize how much she looks up to me and how much I am shaping the woman, wife, and mother she will be.









She is celebrating her birthday with a camping trip with daddy tonight, and then we'll have cake, presents, and Korean tacos (her request) with Uncle Michael, Aunt Liz, and Addison on Sunday afternoon. Happy birthday, big girl!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Flowers from Brian on my appointment day.

My phone rings for the second day in a row after regular operating hours, and I have to say I'm impressed by the patient care. Even more impressed by my CA125 number of 14.3 - ties my lowest number ever, and you can just see the relief washing over all of us at the supper table. I don't have another doctor's appointment scheduled until January 14. Also a record!


Camden and Rory are out of school the rest of the week, which works out well since that cough Camden has had for the last 4-5 weeks finally made me feel guilty enough to take him to see the doctor this morning. Guess what? It's pneumonia again. Oh, when will I learn.

Our Thursday afternoon schedule is very easy: we're all taking it easy. All except Brian, whose school is not dismissed, but the rest of us are kinda doing a whole lot of nothing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Vanderbilt's standard operating procedure is to have blood work one hour prior to appointment so that the results will be available during your meeting with the doctor. Due to a lab error, my results were not ready. Nor were they ready when the hard-working nurse called me at 6:20 last night, but I'm impressed with the phone call to let me know.

While I'm waiting for CA125 results, I ran across these 2 things this morning that made me laugh out loud.

1. I'm Not Sassy, I'm Suzanne from the Momastery blog. Because, hello-my-feelings-about-summer!

2. This sketch by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon about hashtags. Love it because I find hashtags way more trouble than they're worth. (please feel free ignore the very last sentence in the sketch which includes a bleeped out cuss word)

Man, these kids are cute. 
Full disclosure: they're not this happy together this week. These happy faces were all for the camera.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello, fall!

Well, our rite of passage was completely canceled by rain. I was clearly making my weather prediction for good weather based on the sunshine outside my window when I blogged and not on the official weather forecast. We decided to introduce the kids to Scrabble, and let's just say it was an exercise in patience for the adults.

With the exception of Friday night's rain, the weather this weekend was perfection: 75 and sunny with cool mornings and evenings mixed in. If it were up to me, we would have fall weather year round. There's something so motivational about the brisk mornings mixed with the sun filtering through the trees. It makes me want to open up the windows and get right to work.

Sunday we took the kids to a local park that has mountain biking trails. Or if you don't have bikes, you can call them walking trails. :) We took the short one-mile route, but are definitely going to go back for the longer routes.

(photography note: the lighting was super crazy. Because the trail was so heavily wooded, it was very dark, and I had a very hard time working with white balance. And can we say serious color casting from all the pretty greenery? I still think these are pretty and they reflect our afternoon.)





No, my lens isn't dirty - those are bugs! And excuse the weird sunflare lens thingy. ;)

halfway done

smelling and listening to a red cedar explanation from his dad

racing to the finish

Tomorrow I see my oncologist, Dr. C, for my regular 8-week check-up. It is hard to live my life in 8-week segments, but I think I might be finally getting it down (covering head and ducking because now that I've said that out loud, something is SURE to happen). Over the last year, we've moved, changed churches and started the process of beginning a new church. When I was diagnosed, the majority of my support system was via church family and friends. Now I find myself in the unfamiliar situation of being surrounded mostly by people who don't even know I have cancer, much less know how serious my diagnosis is or how hard life has been at times for our family.

And to be perfectly honest, I have found myself very reticent to share with others. For the first time in almost 3 years, I am not the cancer girl. I'm just the children's pastor's wife with two cute Korean kids who occasionally sings with the praise band. I am 100% okay with that . . . with the exception of when doctor's appointments fill my week as has been the case over the last several days. I am asking if you, my online community, will fill in the gap when it comes to prayer for me over the next 24 hours. I have not really had time to worry about tomorrow's appointment or my updated CA125 number, but it is very present in my head this morning that life could change tomorrow.

As always, I'll update as soon as I know results. Thank you so much, friends. I already feel better knowing that you will be thinking of me.

Friday, September 20, 2013


We've lived in this house for nearly a year and I still don't have the living room fully decorated, but now that I have some pillows made (in fabric I bought 9 months ago, but we won't talk about that), it's getting closer. I still want to find a few burlap fabrics to make it not quite so girly feeling, but I'm loving all the colors.



My mom (who made the pillows) thought my taste level was a little questionable when I asked her to combine these 2 fabrics, but I kind of love the bright green and retro, grandma-ish vintage feel.

Tonight we're experiencing a first: both kids have a baseball game on the same night so we're starting the activities off at 5:15 and will probably be at the ballpark until 9:30ish. I'm actually kind of excited about it because a double header feels like a rite of passage. Not to mention, the weather should be good and it's the start of a weekend! I think this is the first of 5 double headers in the next 3-4 weeks so I'm thinking that if you check with me in a couple of weeks, I might not be quite as excited. Tonight is our snack night, and I totally took that as an excuse to buy oatmeal creme pies, which I never buy. The kids (and their mama) are going to be super excited when they see those goodies in our backseat. Yum!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Almost the Weekend

My plans for today included cleaning up around here because, let's face it, after being gone all day every day this week, the house has gone downhill fast. Unfortunately, I'm wearing this stupid temporary monitor and it falls off every time I bend over . . . which kind of happens alot when you're cleaning up, so I'm going to take it as a good excuse to spend some time in front of the computer reading blogs or scrapping today.

There are 5 of these electrodes attached to me, and this monitor has a super long cord. You can imagine how well I slept last night. Fun times!

My breast MRI yesterday came back completely clear, which I knew that it would. But still a relief! Now if I can just get the same news next week from my oncologist.

On a lighter note, anyone else update their phone/ipad to the new IOS7? I updated my phone this morning (after needing to clear off most of my photos so there would be space), and it is WEIRD! I do not handle change well. :)

I took my camera to a local specialty shop to have it cleaned and the lenses cleaned and calibrated this week. I am looking forward to pulling it out to see if the cleaning/calibration makes a difference since I've been having some focus issues, especially with my 35mm lens. I'm also excited that nothing was stolen because I managed to leave the van doors unlocked and my front door open with my purse, phone, and camera/lens laying out for the world to see while I went back inside to ask a question. 

After a gray start, the sun is shining and I have my blinds open so the house is nice and bright; our schedule is clear for the evening, and we plan to restart our tradition of sending the kids upstairs a little early on Thursday nights so Brian and I can watch Survivor. It's almost as if the weekend starts a little early when we do that. Hurray!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday's Happenings

I feel like I need to lead off with an explanation as to why approximately 99% of my pictures take place in this chair in our living room. (1) it's got great light here in the afternoon/early evening and (2) it's where Camden and Rory end up sitting - together - when we're all here. Hence, all the pictures from one spot.


And when they're smiling like this, it's kind of hard to put the camera away just because I have dozens of pictures from this same spot.



Yesterday was a long, long day. Parts of it were good like a pedicure (hello, teal toes for September), a much-needed Trader Joe's trip, and lunch with Tina and Kathy at Thistle Stop Cafe. Others not so fun: doctor's appointments and bloodwork. I'm not quite ready to give more details about that yet but today is more bloodwork, a MRI and back to yesterday's doctor to be fitted for a temporary heart monitor. Don't worry - pretty sure everything is A-Okay.

I was so worn out from yesterday that I sent the kids to bed early and at 7:47 I was in bed and closing my eyes for sleep. Crazy, right?

Credits here
Good times from the Derby family visit back in May. I want them to come back. Now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Pictures

I don't know if it was the early dismissal from school on Friday or the fall-like weather we had this weekend, but the kids seemed to have called a truce among themselves and played for hours on end each day. It was kind of fantastic.

She lost yet another tooth. Here's hoping these start growing in before she loses any more.





I sent the kids out to pick tomatoes. If you have a garden of your own, I'm pretty sure I should feel mortified to show you this overgrown mess.



We're eating tomatoes at nearly every meal these days.



Even eating them non-stop, we've had more go to waste than we've eaten.

They moved on to the trampoline. To have sword fights with plastic baseball bats. No need to use the trampoline for actual jumping.


Michael, Liz and Addison came over for supper Saturday night, and while I think Addison has experienced bubbles before, she certainly enjoyed them with her cousins.


(Is it just me or the light already turning into that beautiful fall golden color? Love this time of year!)

She didn't even mind the bubbles in the face.

Didn't mind a bit!

Happy Monday