Wednesday, April 30, 2014

12 week check-up

Today is my regular 12-week check-up with my oncologist at Vanderbilt. As usual, I've been able to push it to the furthest part of my brain until the last 24 hours or so. I tend to get pretty twitchy by the day of the actual appointment. Twitchy enough that I went ahead and called my primary care doctor and asked for a refill of my anti-anxiety meds. I haven't used them in about 5 months, but decided there was no shame in having them on hand for this week.

After my last appointment in January and initial good news regarding my scan, we received some fairly devastating test results from Dr. C, and I am almost more nervous to hear further details about that from her (she is not exactly Ms. Positivity) than I am for the regular exam and CA125 bloodwork.

My appointment isn't until this afternoon so I'm sure there will be no CA125 results until tomorrow or late tonight. I've stock-piled reality TV and light-hearted podcasts for mindless distraction. As always, I will update as soon as I hear something. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits (4/29/14)

The world did not end yesterday, but Brian and the kids did get out of school early. We all came home and had a nice quiet afternoon playing games, cooking supper, etc. It was an unexpected blessing!

Ever since Camden sang Beauty and the Beast at this school's spring program, he's been trying to sing harmony. With every. single. song. (and we listen to music around here pretty much non-stop) Sometimes he gets it; sometimes he doesn't. And it's fairly painful when he doesn't. However, I'm fairly impressed that a 10 year old can pick it up even half of the time.

Anyone else excited about Michael Phelps coming out of retirement? It's just like how my dreams came true when Michael Jordan and Brett Favre did the same thing. Now if only Apolo Anton Ohno would join him. I do like a champion!

We tried to introduce my parents to Korean food last week. Unfortunately, the cute little place we go to was closed for dinner, and we ended up at a sketchy place down the road. I think it all turned out okay, but it felt touch and go for a while there.

Rory has decided she really wants to grow out her bangs, and since I'm making a conscious effort to let the kids make more decisions on their own, I'm just going along with it. It's only been a couple days, and it's already torturous. I'm trying to gear myself up for bad hair days for approximately the next year.

"Banana bread dough is like raw meat, but with chocolate chips." - Camden

My agenda for today includes women's Bible study and lunch with a friend. It's a rough life, but somebody's gotta do it.

Pigtails courtesy of Aunt Melissa.




Monday, April 28, 2014

Rivers and Spires

Another busy weekend in the books. Camden arrived home from his field trip Friday night . . . only 2 hours late because the bus broke down. He had a fabulous time, but was probably the most tired I have ever seen him. He didn't even want to eat! A funny from the trip - not only did he not take pajamas (which I set out for him), but he did not change his clothes until at the last rest area stop before they arrived at school. Boys.

Rory downed a huge burger while we waited.

One tired boy.

Saturday we spent part of the day at Rivers and Spires, a downtown festival. Our church had a booth so Brian spent approximately 15 hours there Friday/Saturday. The kids and I stayed a few hours until their allergies got the best of them. Pollen is insane this year, and our booth was right underneath a blooming tree. I got roped into doing some face painting, and it was tragic. I have never claimed to be artistic and will avoid face painting at all cost in the future.

Brian, on the other hand, is pretty good at balloon animals. Between the Eggstravaganza event last weekend and Rivers and Spires this weekend, he went through over 2,000 balloons. That's crazy.

Camden rode a mechanical bull.

The kids met some fun characters.

After church, we all kind of crashed Sunday afternoon. Brian slept for a couple of hours while the rest of us retreated to our bedrooms. It was blissfully quiet.

Then we took a walk, made popcorn, and watched The Amazing Race.

Today everyone is back in school while I do domestic duties here at home. The weather people are predicting severe weather for the next 48 hours so the news is on perpetual repeat, and I feel as if we're waiting for the world to end.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

"Resurrection means the Worst Thing is never the Last Thing" - Beuchner 

It's pretty easy to get caught up in the Easter Bunny and egg hunts and dresses and baskets. If you're on staff at a church, it's even easier to get caught up in all the work surrounding an Easter service. Because I knew the actual day would be so crazy, I tried to really focus earlier in the week on the reason we even celebrate Easter. Loved the quote above.

Not only was it Easter Sunday, but it was the Grand Opening of our new church. We had a great day with nearly 65 first-time guests, 7 baptisms, and a total of 237 people. It was amazing (and exhausting, if I'm honest).

I snapped a few Easter photos, but not many. The pictures I snapped earlier in the day at church were lost when my brand spanking new memory card failed me. No worries - I still have enough to remember Easter weekend.

The kids did not participate in the BIG egg hunt we went to Saturday (our church helped pass out armbands and make balloon animals for some 3,000 people) - their choice - so we surprised them with a little egg hunt at home Easter night (thank you Uncle Michael and Aunt Liz for the eggs!).

I think dandelions have taken over our yard.

Sneaky Uncle Michael hiding them in the gas tank.

Camden was the only one tall enough to pluck them out of the trees.

I did not really think twice about Easter outfits this year; second year in a row with no planning. It's a shock, I know. They ended up matching/coordinating despite my lack of plans.

Addison totally matched as well. This definitely looks planned.

And I couldn't leave out this picture. Addison's face pretty accurately expresses her sheer enjoyment of Cousin Camden.

This pose doesn't look awkward at all. ;)

I never really thought Michael and Addison looked alike, but those eyes and grins are pretty similar.


Grandparent/kid pictures.

This one is my favorite.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Field Trip

My big kid left this morning for an overnight school field trip.

Without us.

I know. How does this growing up thing happen so quickly? He was so excited. And by that, I mean, he has been bouncing off the wall and possibly a little obnoxious for the last several days. They're going to Mammoth Cave and then on to the Creation Museum where they'll spend the night (in the museum!) and then be back late tomorrow afternoon.

All packed up.

Someone (a teacher or parent I guess?) just sent me this picture of him.

Today was my regular 6 month appointment with my PCP. Good news is that I've graduated back to an annual visit after today! Bad news is he wants me to get more regular exercise in. I guess 2-3 times a month isn't regular enough. ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Some April Favorites

The last few days have included a field trip to the Adventure Science Center with Rory, the flu for Brian, a workday at church, a big Easter outreach event, Easter Sunday/Grand Opening at church, and a visit from my parents. While I try to pull myself together and get organized to blog about any of these events, here are a few things I've read/enjoyed/cooked recently.

We've made Friday into a regular pizza/family night, and I've used this recipe several times recently. It's a great homemade pizza crust that is easy and kind of thin and crispy, which I like alot.

I made this honey garlic pizza last week, and it was DELICIOUS.

My mom and I baked these lemon bars. Amazing.

A great article on marriage: Two Words That Can Change Your Marriage.

I have struggled with Project Life this year, but these monthly sets by Just Jaimee at The Lilypad are keeping me going.

And speaking of Project Life, I am clearly not doing these in order, but here are a few catch-up weeks.

Week 11

Week 14

Week 15

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Four Eyes

We made our annual visit to the eye doctor's last week and, to my surprise, Rory failed the eye test. Miserably!

She was more than a tad excited about choosing frames. I managed to nix the neon green and neon pink big thick frames, and we settled on a purple wire pair. There were not many choices that would accommodate her little Asian nose bridge.

We picked them up Wednesday, and she thinks she is big. stuff. Quite honestly, I was a little sad. She looks much too grown up and very different from my baby girl with these glasses.

Three days later, and she is completely tired of them.



Camden got new glasses as well, but his fit him so perfectly that I can hardly tell he got new frames! Our vision insurance only pays for frames every 2 years so he was in desperate need of a new pair, as evidenced by the permanent lines on the side of his face from the too-small frames. And his eyes are now almost as bad as mine. Which is to say - blind!



(I paid extra for the anti-glare coating, and it looks like that anti-glare coating gives off a green reflection. Fantastic.)

And just to be clear  . . . my dad used to call me Four Eyes back when I was a kid, and it was not a negative term. Just being silly. When we called Rory Four Eyes after we picked up her glasses, she literally thought she now had four eyes. I'm telling you, this girl is secretly blonde.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I made a resolution in January to do a better job of stopping with my camera when I saw something that warranted a picture (inspired by you, Vicky). And by "do a better job" I meant "start."

Well, I've done it exactly one time - last Friday. There's a beautiful row of blooming trees in the middle of town and after school Friday, I stopped with the kids and my camera. I wasn't trying to take pictures of the kids (although they snuck in a few); just wanted to capture something pretty.



My only attempt at making them stop for a picture. Hello, fake smiles.


So not happy that she wasn't tall enough to climb on her own.

Camden to the rescue.

I promise I did not make him pose like this. He just knew I had my camera in hand. Hello, cheesy.








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits (4/15/14)

April 15, otherwise known as tax day. Why, yes, we did wait until the very last minute in order to put off sending a big fat check as long as possible.

April 15 is also my dad's favorite day since it means he's finished up with tax season for another year.

And we love it because it usually means my parents take a post-April 15 trip and come visit us.

I spent several hours yesterday cleaning out the kid's closet and swapping out their fall/winter wardrobes with spring/summer clothes.

Which means, of course, that it literally snowed this morning and we have a freeze watch for tonight.

And speaking of clothes, I had saved some things for Camden from last year. To my surprise, the boy could not even button the shorts. When did he grow so much?? I may be short, but he's still almost as tall as I am. And, yes, this is in a bathroom.

We kept Addison for a couple of hours last night. He is such a good cousin.

I guess it goes against the law of nature to be this sweet to his sister?

Rory admitted this morning that when Addison was a baby (as in that tiny 4 pounder I used to keep full-time), she would try to pick her up when I left the room. When Addison cried, she would "put her back."

And yesterday Camden nearly strangled Addison accidentally with the seatbelt. Sorry, Liz. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014


I'm pretty sure I've been starting off every single blog post with some note about how busy we are these days so I won't do it again.

But we are. Super busy, that is. :)

Without a day-to-day rundown, I'll just say we have spent more than our fair share of time at church this week/weekend. I told my sister the other day that it's a good kind of busy. It's hectic and frustrating and exciting all at the same time. Selfishly, it's not always how I want to spend not only my own time but also our family time. There is much value in serving, and my prayer has been that instead of remembering the craziness and how absent Brian has to be right now, the kids are learning a lesson on selflessness.

I'm kind of on an 8-hours of sleep a night kind of roll so I've got lots of energy to handle not only the extra activity but also the extra parenting duties. 

And you know I've just jinxed myself right there.

In an effort to show off my new shoes, it's possible my jeans look like mom jeans. They're really not.

We're usually really conscientious about not working on Sunday (other than church) and using the evening for family time, but the yard had. to. be. mowed. It's the first time this year, and Camden is so not a fan of mowing the yard (Brian and Camden usually split yard duty).

Although he doesn't look too sad right here. (Notice all the pink under his eyes from allergies - it's definitely that time of year!)

Putting the kids to work on new family packets Saturday morning. You do not want to know how many times they argued during this job (or how many times their mama might have lost her cool).

I took this one kind of haphazardly, but when I uploaded it I noticed the focus fell on her hands . . . which are twisting . . . because she was mad at something . . . which is clearly written all over her out-of-focus face.

Why am I taking a picture of a fly? I have no idea. Other than it was there and still and I was interested to see how well it turned out even though I don't have a macro lens. Kinda fun.