Friday, February 28, 2014


I woke up this morning without a voice. A sore throat has been brewing for the last 48 hours or so, but since my throat is sore every day (still) after my surgery, I didn't take too much notice. I'd be okay with a little cold and sore throat if, you know, I hadn't just had my tonsils out. Apparently my expectations regarding this throat of mine and surgery were a little too much. I tried to call upstairs to the kids this morning, and I cracked myself up with the pitiful squeak that came out. Several cups of hot coffee, and I've got a bit more volume.

Last night we got news that my grandma was having emergency bowel surgery. When you're 80ish, this is a big deal. My grandpa has Alzheimers so this is also a big deal for him. I've had a good week with little anxiety, but that information combined with a cancer dream kinda messed with my head last night.

I am very much looking forward to our weekend. Korean restaurant tonight to celebrate Rory's homecoming 6 years ago. Tomorrow is a district church youth competition, and we have friends competing so we'll be spending part of the day watching them. Tomorrow night is a girl's night out that includes dinner, dessert, and a play. Sunday is church and then our first quiet Sunday night in several weeks.

It's been a little too chilly to play outside this week, but here is photographic proof from last week's trampoline adventures. This is the first place they go when the weather warms up. They don't do much actual jumping on the trampoline, but they jump rope, wrestle (sometimes in good fun and sometimes in earnest), play football, etc.



Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

6 Years?

So we were in Korea meeting this cutie pie for the first time 6 years ago today. It's hard to believe that many years have gone by, but even harder to believe she was this little.That week in Korea still goes down as just about the best week in my life. It was amazing to be there and experience my children's birthplace. We dream about going back someday, although at this point it's definitely more of a dream than any kind of reality. But still fun to dream. 

And in the meantime, I'll watch Korean dramas and rage over Yuna Kim losing the gold medal. :)

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And some PL catch-up.

Week 4

Week 6

Week 7

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

And this would be the blog post in which I bombard you with pictures from the first Saturday this year that included warmer weather.

And we had Addison, so, you know. Lots of pictures.

Girl does not look happy.

Possibly because Rory kept putting the book in her face.

We went to the park, but the entire population of Clarksville was on the playground so we decided to stick to the open field.

The temps may have been 70 degrees, but notice there is NO green to be found yet. Okay, actually I just noticed little patches of green. But not much.












Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

I've managed to stick to that whole no-soda thing. I miss how I think my caffeine free diet mt. dew is going to taste, but the one time I gave it a shot, I almost spit out the first drink and definitely didn't go back for a second.

Other foods have tasted different as well. For instance, those cookies I mentioned yesterday? They were my first taste of chocolate since prior to surgery, and they were a.m.a.z.i.n.g. The Mexican food over the weekend? Super salty. It's strange how your taste buds reset themselves.

I am super proud of Brian for getting up and running 3 mornings last week. When you've got 2 jobs and a family, it's hard to start up a new habit. Me, on the hand? Well, I did 10 minute of yoga 3 days last week. I'm working up to working out.
    * * * * *

    So Camden and this speech competition last night. It was the 3rd level and involved all the counties surrounding Nashville, including Nashville.  We had absolutely no idea what to expect, and it was definitely an experience.

    There was choreographed pacing, creepily perfected politicians in 9 year old bodies, inspirational quotes, etc. The phrase, "the burning question of the day is . . . " came out of a 9 year old's mouth, as well as another contestant asking us to stand to honor the flag and recite the pledge of allegiance during his speech. Without a flag present.

    The girl who received 2nd place spoke on perseverance and quoted a business journal, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks. She wore heels and had a very slick, polished routine that there is no way under the sun she put together herself without an official coach. I spoke on perseverance during my high school graduation so clearly kids are smarter today.

    All that to say Camden placed 10th out of 22, and while I think there were about 3 others ahead of him that absolutely should have been behind him, there were also some very clear front-runners (who will obviously be future politicians and CEO's). He prepared well (and the parents survived hearing that speech approximately 612 times), was age-appropriate, wrote the speech himself (which most of the others clearly did not do), performed well despite some nerves, and should feel good about a speech in front of 100 people. I mean, seriously, how many of us are willing to do that?

    And you know that phrase about a child being your heart walking around outside of your body (or something like that)? That has never felt more real than it did last night watching him speak in front of all those people.

    You can watch his speech below.

    Monday, February 24, 2014


    In between the Olympic-watching, Addison-sitting, cookie baking (these were pretty amazing), park-visiting, church-going, lunching with friends, etc., I jumped back on the Korean drama bandwagon this weekend. I'd watched a few episodes of Heirs a couple of months ago, but never quite got into it. Although I am remembering that it sometimes takes a couple of episodes to get me hooked.

    Well, call me hooked now.

    A couple of things that struck me.

    1. I don't quite understand all of the social implications of the second son, etc., but it's interesting. And sad. And I don't know if it's accurate either.

    2. Lee Minho is missing a little chunk out of his left ear, and after noticing it, it's all I can see.

    3. How long can Lee Minho get away with playing an 18 year old rich kid??

    4. What is up with all the tennis shoes with heels?

    5. I've watched 5-7 Korean series from start to finish, and they definitely have a formula, don't they?

    This kid has a speech competition tonight. Did I even tell you that he was in a speech competition in January and won? Well, he did. It was the night before my surgery, and I mostly remember how nervous he was after his speech because he so desperately wanted to win and had to wait well over 2 hours for the results. There were 29 participants. Oh, and how the little mother next to me kept calling me "ma'am."

    (notice the bun on top of Rory's head? it's her go-to these days.)

    Because we're in the running for parent of the year (not to mention this happened literally the night before my surgery and then I was out of it for 2 weeks), we forgot to register him for this sub-district competition. We didn't realize it until last night, after, of course, we've made him practice endlessly. Thank goodness they took mercy on us this morning and are still letting him compete. I'll report back tomorrow.

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    Sochi 2014

    I think it's possible I've reached my saturation point when it comes to Olympics. I have lived and breathed Sochi 2014 for the last 14ish days, and after watching the ladies free skate live yesterday and then again last night with the kids, I'm feeling just about done. And, yes, I am completely dissatisfied with the ending. You know I'm going to think Yuna Kim deserved that gold (and apparently millions of others agree with me), but homecourt advantage is no joke.

    Hello, proof 1 and proof 2. Why, yes, I've spent the morning reading articles.

    I watched the Olympics together with my parents, brother, and 2 sisters growing up. I totally remembering crying over many figure skating and gymnastic competitions. (ha!) We didn't watch much TV, but when the Olympics rolled around, we totally engrossed ourselves in it, and I've allowed my kids to do the same. There have been many late nights (and Brian hasn't made it through a single one), but I think I've managed to instill the love of Olympic competition in my kids. Well, Camden anyway. Rory continues to sleep through them.

    The victories are so big; the losses so tragic. I'm always a weepy mess. Anyone else cry through the Sarah Burke tribute last night? It's somehow worked out that I've been with my parents/sisters for many of the Olympic games held during my adult life, but this year it just didn't work out. We compensated by group texting many nights late into the coverage. I hear my dad settles into the recliner late at night and catches up on our group chat. :)

    I thought Camden might have been bored by the figure skating last night. He definitely has chosen the luge, skeleton, 4-man bobsled, and snow cross as his favorites, but turns out he was just nervous. He wanted Yuna Kim to win, but knew that Gracie Gold was going to get knocked off the podium after Yuna skated. It was kind of sweet. When he saw Yuna's scores, he said, "now that is just messed up." He's totally been my buddy the last 2 weeks.

    Okay, I'm done with my Olympic rant. Clearly, I haven't had anyone to chat with about this. I've managed to completely bore the teenage girls I drive home with everyday from school by subjecting them to my Olympic updates. Maybe they'll forgive me.

    Rory didn't make it to the end, but notice the figure skating bun.

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    There's a Storm Brewing

    Our crazy Tennessee spring seems to have gotten an early start with very warm weather and sunshine this week. The kids have played outside nearly every day. Today's weather includes 75 degrees along with the threat of severe storms that have storm chasers and The Weather Channel camping out in the Nashville area. Sounds promising, right?

    After night #4 of very little sleep, I am happy to be home until 2ish today. I'm keeping it easy with maybe a little muffin-making (my kids have eaten cereal for weeks on end at this point) and watching the women's figure skating final live. I've promised Camden we can watch it in prime time, but considering it's Yuna Kim (from South Korea) who is favored to win the gold medal, I'm pretty sure I would find out who won prior to prime time anyway.

    And speaking of Yuna Kim, I don't know why she makes me so emotional. Part of it is pride for my kiddos, part of it is that she really is just stunning. (Maybe it's just the lack of sleep that brings on the tears.) Part of it is that the thought strikes me that she is an enormous star, the biggest celebrity in Korea, and one of the highest paid female athletes, and, yet, a majority of "our" world doesn't even know that she exists. I think in general we're all so unaware of the billions of souls in the rest of the world. So easy to be caught up in our own little space.

    Football has been the game of choice this week. It's kind of fun that Rory is finally catching up physically that they can play something like this together. Prior to this, it's typically Camden being very frustrated that she can't hang with the big boys.




    Stay safe in the storms today, my Tennessee friends!

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Sweet Dreams

    So we get alot of flack for this, but our kids are totally early to bed/early to rise kiddos. As in, their general bedtime is 7:30ish. This early bedtime, however, means they wake up pretty easily at 6:15 on school mornings.

    With all the Olympic viewing, they've had a much looser bedtime. Rory hasn't held up so well. :)

    She started the week out pretty well.

    Second night, slumped over in my lap.

    Friday night.

    Sunday night

    This one completely cracks me up cause it's just so representative - Rory and Brian snoozing away, Camden wide awake.

    Last night in the van.

    Then Camden joined in.

    How many more nights are left of Olympics??

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Tuesday Tidbits

    We're attending a church planting summit this week and last night was a very late night. Camden, who has recently shown some major signs of maturity, set his alarm 30 minutes early (unbeknownst to me) so that he could help me get things ready. So sweet.

    We have been big into the Olympics around here, and I find it really funny that Camden calls the competition against the U.S. our arch enemies.

    He also said emphatically, "I am not doing that" when he watched the brother/sister ice dancing team dance together and the brother kissed his sister's hand before they got started.

    Rory is obsessed with all the sparkly outfits and heavy make-up of the figure skaters.

    I feel like I've shared this before, but just in case, Rory launches into full out singing mode every time I blow dry her hair. She's done this ever since she was teeny. Her songs change, but yesterday's was Jingle Bells.

    I'm assuming everyone else's kids set out each Valentine's Day card and read them as if they were written specifically for them instead of mass produced. I don't remember doing this.

    When I had surgery 2 weeks ago, the surgeon brought Brian back into a little room to give him an update. If you'll remember, when I had my initial cancer diagnosis, the surgeon did the same thing - brought him back to a little room to deliver the news. Brian said when the ENT took him back to yet another small room, his body had a physical, visceral reaction and he literally could not breathe or make himself enter that room. Such hard memories.

    I'm working on about 2 hours worth of sleep and my throat is raw from all the talking I did last night so I'm really hoping my day includes a nap.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Thank Goodness!

    I literally could not get out of bed Friday morning. Thank goodness Brian was off and took care of the morning routine.

    My post-op appointment was Friday morning, and we were supposed to spend the day together; it was Valentine's Day, you know.  Instead, I got a doctor-ordered protein shake on the way home and then slept for 3 straight hours. And then I slept until 10:00 Saturday morning. Thank goodness Brian says we'll just reschedule our Valentine's Day together.

    I had big plans to surprise the kids heart shaped pancakes and all kinds of fun heart shaped things. Instead they requested waffles and I was out of eggs and syrup. I guess that's what happens when you haven't grocery shopped in something like 2 weeks. Thank goodness they were so hyped up on their school Valentine's Day events to even notice that our family events were nil. Camden and I stayed up late watching Olympics while Rory and Brian snored on the floor.

    My ENT says I had one of the worst pairs of tonsils he's ever seen. Thank goodness I finally woke up this morning feeling like a new woman.

    The kids decided they didn't really want to do Valentine's Day cards (it was optional) for school this year . . . until the last minute, of course. Thank goodness for pinterest and a very easy mustache/lip project. The whole family pitched in and spent a mere 2 hours cutting everything out and getting them ready. I hear they were a hit.



    I'm just assuming every mother and wife puts heavy pressure on themselves to make memories. Add to that living with cancer and the ever-nagging thought in the back of my head that maybe I won't be around for the next holiday, and the pressure is pretty intense. Thank heavens my kids don't think about that and certainly don't feel that their holiday was any less special than someone else's even when my plans all fell through.

    And, seriously, thank goodness I'm finally starting to feel more like myself.

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Throwback Thursday

    Two things.

    1. I have a pretty fabulous husband. I'm having one of those two steps forward, three steps back kind of days, and when he found out, he immediately ordered me to get into comfy clothes, take a nap, and figured out a way to pick the kids up from school so I didn't need to do anything other than absolutely nothing the rest of the day.

    2. I had a haircut today, and it's always a nice thing to hear that you're beautiful . . . before she's even cut or fixed your hair. If you're local and looking for someone new, shoot me an email. Not only is my hairstylist talented, she is as sweet as can be.

    Okay, throwback Thursday.



    I so miss these baby days. If your babies are still babies, soak in every second.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    A Single Solitary Snowman

    I'm so behind in posting pictures that I don't even know where to start. How about the most recent and if you never see the others, that's okay.

    The kids woke up Saturday to our first real snow. Brian was thoroughly disgusted this happened on a weekend and not on a school day. I know there are alot of people out there getting way more snow than they want (my parents happen to be a part of that group), but we would really, really like a good snow.

    I was still very much under the weather at this point, so we'll all have to be satisfied with one picture of the finished product and just imagine all the fun they had putting it together instead of having photographic proof.

    I should point out that this snow was completely gone about an hour later.

    After consulting with my new favorite computer guru (who fixed my computer), he confirmed that my EHD is in fact completely demolished. I am very thankful that my pictures seem to be intact, but all of my scrapped layouts as well as years worth of scrapping supplies are gone. I haven't shed any tears yet, but it's only because I'm too happy to be feeling better after my tonsillectomy. I am  determined to spend some time today trying to put together a plan for how to deal with my scrapping situation, although it's almost 11:00 and so far nothing has been accomplished in that department.

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Tuesday Tidbits

    Like many other U.S. households, it is Olympics 24/7 around here these days. Well, it's Olympics 24/7 for me and Camden anyway. Brian is kind enough to force himself to stay awake with me part of the time; Rory has absolutely no interest in anything except fixing her hair in a bun to match the figure skaters and mastering her bow to the audiences. Camden is pretty enamored with it, although I haven't quite figured out if it's just cause he really likes the competitive nature of it or because it's one of the few times we let him watch non-stop television.

    Speaking of Olympics, Camden finds it very hard to understand why we're not winning everything. As in, each new competitor that steps up to compete, he wants to know if "they're any good." I've explained more times than I can count that they're all good. That they've already won and are the best in their country if they're even in Russia for the Olympics.

    It both melts my heart and hurts my heart to see the pride and interest both kiddos (but especially Camden) have in the South Korean competitors. As we watched the opening ceremonies, Camden ran upstairs to get his Korean flag and brought it down to sit on the floor next to him for the rest of the evening.

    After finally getting my computer fixed after being computer-less for 3 months, my external hard drive decided to take a nosedive right before surgery. I'm just now trying to deal with it, and the thing appears to be dead as a doornail. The good news is that I think all my pictures are saved. The bad news is that all of my scrapping supplies plus layouts and Project Life supplies/layouts appear to be lost. That represents a whole lot of time and money.

    And in an attempt to really round out a stellar day yesterday, I dropped my flat iron on our tile floor and it chipped. I'm just hoping it still works.

    After being off coffee and soft drinks all week after my surgery, I had the great idea of just giving them both up altogether. Yeah, one cold morning and I'm back in with coffee. Maybe I can continue on the no-soda track.

    A few things around here this week.

    Verses on all the bathroom mirrors. I just started this and plan to swap out new verses every Monday.

    Rory waiting for the music to start so she can begin her figure skating program. ;)

    I signed up for this Graze subscription on a whim. It's a monthly (or bi-weekly if you choose) organic snack box, and so far they've been very tasty. I've got a referral code if you'd like to give them a try: 2QMYP744B. This will get your first and fifth box free.

    How Rory spends her time while we try to watch the Olympics.

    Pulling Camden into the mix.

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Re-entering the Real World

    The last 10 days have passed by in a drug-induced haze of pain and sleep. It's been so strange. Who knew the surgeon was actually serious when he said 7-10 days worth of round the clock pain meds and that I would be unable to take care of children? 

    I most certainly didn't take him seriously enough!

    I'm happy to say that I am finally starting to feel better, weaning myself slowly off the pain meds, and can finally use my voice again . . . a little. It still hurts to talk for any length of time, but it's getting better. Yesterday was the first day that I alternated some Tylenol in with the narcotics and did not spend all my time on the couch with ice packs on my throat and heating pads on my ears.

    Brian was a t.r.o.o.p.e.r. and took great care of me and the kids. Even after my big surgeries and chemo, I managed to do more for my family then than I have in the last week. For the first time ever, I did not even send the kids off to school in the mornings. They made their own lunches, got themselves ready, fed themselves breakfast and headed out. They each kinda thought they were big stuff to do it on their own, which makes me both laugh and also feel slightly unnecessary at the same time.

    Who knows! I might even slap some make-up on today. My family probably won't even recognize me after all this time.

    Believe me, there was no computer time happening since surgery, but here are a couple of pages I finished up in January.

    012114_enjoy copy



    Tuesday, February 04, 2014

    Super Bowl

    I am sure that one day in the very distant future, I will look back on this week and decide it was a good decision to have my tonsils/adenoids removed. But that day isn't going to come for a very long time. After the first couple of days were fairly decent, I thought I might have been over the worst . . . nope, day 4 is pretty bad. As in, I can't keep pain meds down and the pain is significant enough that I wake up in tears on the few occasions I happen to fall asleep. And I am no baby!

    I have officially gone through 20 lbs of Sonic ice. Can you believe that?

    Thanks to all the sweet people who have dropped off food for my family - they are thoroughly enjoying it!

    Because a little tonsillectomy isn't enough to cancel our Super Bowl party, Michael, Liz, and Addison came over to watch the Broncos lose in spectacular form. This is our 8th year to do this, and I love our little tradition. Our favorite teams never win - it's almost as if we're cursed, but it's still fun.


    We did a 4-way conference call. (and, yes, I duplicated a picture. Don't judge; I'm on pain meds)


    It's a good thing they're all cute because it was pretty much impossible to actually watch the game with the 3 of these kiddos playing together.

    Saturday, February 01, 2014

    Tonsils and Adenoids are Outta Here (as Camden would say)

    These are the meds I came home with yesterday after surgery, and this doesn't count the nausea patch I have behind my ear (or the 6 pills they gave me prior to surgery ranging from pepcid to anti-anxiety to cough syrup).

    Most of my concern about this surgery was the pain post-surgery, and while it was pretty awful when I woke up - bad enough that I cried (which I've never done in a rovery room before), they gave me some very good drugs that helped out. The biggest issue was that they use lidocaine on your throat and when you wake up, it feels like you can't breathe, and I got a little freaked out. Thank heavens that wore off quickly!

    Brian is such a good nurse. I'd forgotten how surgeries bring out the caretaker in him. He bought me Sonic ice (because I'm eating cup after cup after cup), ice cream, etc. He waits on me hand and foot, despite my protests. He even slept on the hard floor wrapped up in a blanket with a beanie hat on last night because I was on the couch. Friends, he takes the whole loving your wife as Christ loves the church to heart. I am fully aware that I have a great man.

    Kids stayed with the Kivettes last night, which was an amazing help. It was so fantastic to come home and not have to worry about taking care of them or answer 654 questions. My voice sounds CRAZY. All nasally, and thick back in my throat, and deep in tone, not to mention it hurts to talk. Brian says I was also seriously slurring my words last night, which is always his favorite part. :)

    Thanks for all the prayers, I was very nervous right up until we went back to the holding room (and then stayed for over an hour), and then I was fine. Brian and I chatted and laughed. I should probably also admit that they gave me an anti-anxiety pill because my blood pressure was high. Not as high as it was after the surgery - that's part of why they doubled up on the big drugs was to help bring my bp down. Along with a bp pill, and it was back down to normal last night.

    This pic cracks me up because I (at best) almost dropped my phone down from this height as well as (at worst) almost toppled over it myself when I tripped over a pipe.

    I got a whole lot of great skin and hair compliments yesterday as well as 2 Anne Hathaway look-a-like comments. Pretty sure they might have been on a little of that Happy Juice themselves. My beauty routine these days consists of coconut oil to take the makeup off, then moisturizing with it. This whole no-make-up-or-jewelry rule before surgery is not my favorite.

    I have a video of Camden competing at a district speech competition to share over the weekend if I can manage to get it uploaded.