Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Keeping it Real

I had all kinds of plans to get back on track with documenting our life. I even had a grand scheme of blogging every single day in October in an effort to get caught up on sharing photos and stories. Not for my readers, but for me. This has been my main source of documenting our family's life over the last 7 years, and I am just not willing to let that go.

But to be perfectly honest, while very fulfilling, going back into the workforce is using up all I have. There seems to be no time left over for anything extra. I am full out putting all my energy into work, getting supper on our table every night, and marginally staying on top of the laundry and house. I'm sure a good night's sleep would do wonders!

As I head into the D6 Conference in Louisville tomorrow and know that I am realistically looking at 14 hour days the rest of the week, I have to let some things go. This week that has meant skipping consignment season. Those totes with fall clothing from last year are just going back into storage. I went out and bought cupcakes from Walmart for Rory's birthday celebration at school instead of the homemade ones she requested. And I'm going to let go of the blog and photos for a bit. Not forever, of course! Maybe I'll be back next week. Or maybe I won't be back until I return from my birthday trip to Oklahoma in early November. It will be the end of traveling season - I have four trips (as well as a CT scan and oncologist visit) between now and then.  Two are work related and two are fun - I'm looking forward to all of them, but the thought of it is stressing me out a bit.

If you can spare a prayer, I could certainly use it over the next few days. Intentional parenting and generational discipleship are so close to my heart, and I am super excited about being a part of the D6 Conference this week. As a worker, not attendee, my role is one of servant, but I'm still hoping to pick up some good tidbits here and there.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Rory's 8th (EIGHT!) birthday is Saturday, but I cannot let her celebration come without acknowledging Camden's this past summer. If I remember correctly, we left town immediately after his birthday and the kids stayed with grandparents, I had an interview, then got a job, kids started school, etc. Somehow these pictures never even made it out of Lightroom. I only took a few, but here they are.

Ice cream cake, of course.






Oh, look. This was before he grew extra teeth. No lie. His eye teeth grew on top of the other ones and now look a little crazy. Both of my kids have very jacked up teeth at the moment.

Seriously, could he look any more like a teenager here?

And because I think it's fun to compare, I found these and thought I'd share.

Birthday #3

Birthday #4

Birthday #6
071509_happy birthday

Birthday #8
071611_happy birthday

Where do the years go?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

Rory is just FULL of it these days. She told us at supper the other night that now my cancer is gone,  I could just have another baby. And she was just giddy at the thought of it. CLEARLY we have not been upfront enough if (1) she thinks cancer is gone, (2) I can just have another baby, (3) there is no "another" since I never "had" one to begin with.

She has been calling me "mothah" for the last several days. She thinks she's speaking in Spanish.

Camden has mentioned several times that he wants to stay a kid. Last week it was because kids have more energy, read more, and enjoy things that "adults do not delight in."

Also, he says that "time has taken a toll on my voice - I can't hit the high notes the way I used to." That's only the beginning, buddy.

I managed to get in 3 walks this past week, and I am quite proud of myself. You do not even want to know how long it's been since I expended that much energy on exercise.

Speaking of expending energy, by the time Tuesday night rolls around, I am so. tired.

Good night, all!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Giving Thanks

"The whole of the life -- even the hard -- is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up." - Ann Voskamp


Because life is work, busy, stressful . . .

Because parenting is hard . . .

Because I want something fun to happen every weekend instead of the drudgery of cleaning house, doing laundry, helping Brian grade papers, watching Brian work too many hours, etc. etc. etc. . .

Because my heart is so full of discontent that I forget to say thanks for all the many blessings that come my way every day . . .

I'm listing a few of those infinitesimals from the weekend that - without an intentional decision to acknowledge - would pass me by without so much as a glancing notice much less the whispered thanks they deserve.

a clean house
fresh smelling laundry
long chat with Becky
Brian, Camden, and Rory getting to go on a fun church outing
Bonus - that meant a quiet Sunday afternoon for me
painting Rory's toes for her
seeing Camden dripping sweat from playing so hard outside in the sun
that so many of the kid's fall/winter clothes from last year still fit
homemade pizza on a Saturday night
working in the toddler nursery (trying very hard to remember Col. 3:23-24)
finishing up 4 layouts
waffles for breakfast
practicing catechisms with the kids in the car
Rory's excitement over her birthday this weekend
coming up with a workable solution for a father/daughter camping trip (in the back yard)
work opportunities that help pay for fun stuff we haven't been able to do the last couple of years
watching 19 Kids and Counting with Rory (she is obsessed with this show for some reason)
good coffee
being able to attend Sunday School for the first time in months
eating ice cream in bed with Brian while watching a little TV
finishing up a book
placing a Persnickety Prints order of all my layouts and pics from the last 3 months
listening to the new David Crowder CD over and over. loudly.
for Addison's excited "Lissa!" many times over yesterday morning
closing the door on this week and moving forward to the next

Friday, September 19, 2014

Football in the Park

There are an embarrassing number of pictures in this post. It was one of those early fall afternoons that was just perfection. I had a hard time putting the camera down so that I could actually participate in the activity. It just felt like I was missing out on trying to capture the feeling of that hour in the park. If you can believe it, family, I actually played football. :)







Side note: I have alot more pictures of Rory than Camden mostly because he moved too fast for me to capture very well. Most of his pics are blurry.












Caught it even with his eyes closed.



Watching barges and speed boats go by.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coffee, Create, Sleep

Drink Coffee
Have you tried the Oprah Chai Latte at Starbucks? It's all kinds of good! Does this even count as coffee?

Create Stuff

091114_hello copy

I've complained enough over the last 6 years about lack of sleep to last us a lifetime. And, yet, it's still happening. The not sleeping, that is.

I took A* intermittently from late 2007 through 2011. Then cancer diagnosis, a whole lot of steroids, surgically induced menopause at 35, etc. I started to take it a little more frequently. Because I process meds in a crazy way (apparently), the stronger extended release A* did not work. At. All. In 2012, I started taking sleeping medication every single night. And I slept pretty well with some random sleepless nights thrown in until recently.

This spring I could tell that my beloved A* was losing its effectiveness (and I'm already taking the maximum dosage). I knew it could happen. I've tried to stop taking sleeping medication multiple times. If I don't sleep well with medication, I certainly don't sleep at all without medication. In July, my doctor switched me to L*. It definitely knocks me out quickly, but I wake up 3 hours later wide awake and stay that way for several hours. My doctor says this is very atypical of L*. Of course.

Now we're trying out T*, commonly used as an anti-depressant (I'm totally not depressed, but I trust my doctor to give me the right medication). A big dose. And guess what. I've been awake a minimum of 90 minutes after taking the big dose and woke up multiple times throughout the night.

Combine this with a new blood pressure medication (thanks again, chemo) and I'm feeling kind of off the last couple of days. No big deal! My body will adjust. If I say that enough, can I believe it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bikes and Balls and Jump Ropes

I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again. I. Love. Fall. The weather (cool and humidity free) and smells (smoking tobacco barns, pumpkin candles) and clothes (long sleeves and jeans) and colors (warm, rich colors) are just my favorite.

I'm working from home the rest of the week since all my work partners are at the Dallas D6 conference. I am slightly jealous, but comforted by the fact that I'll be working at the Louisville D6 conference in just 2 weeks. The workload is low this week so I mostly get to just hang out and be "available" if anyone needs me. I picked up my first Salted Caramel Mocha of the season, am wearing a shirt with an owl on it (it's super neutral and cute but not cutesy) and my morning couldn't be much better.

Addison has been spending Tuesday afternoons with us, and the kiddos played outside for over an hour. After the heat of the summer, there is a renewed interest in all things bikes and balls and jump ropes. And after all my previous talk of fall colors and clothes, I realize that they're all wearing summer stuff. ;)




Addison thinks these kids are crazy.

Choke hold


He is so not thrilled about this.


Notice the hand on her head to prevent another kiss.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Not only is it Friday, but the temps were in the low 60's when we left for school this morning. I do love when fall starts sneaking its way into our lives. I'm currently sitting upstairs at my desk wrapped in a blanket drinking an iced coffee enjoying some computer time . . . none of which seems to come my way quite often enough these days. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good!

The rest of Friday includes a chiro appointment, grocery shopping, haircut, surprising the kids with a trip to the theater to see Dolphin Tale 2. Brian and Camden are helping some friends move tomorrow while I work on some photography edits (a.k.a. my second job), then we're going to take advantage of the gorgeous weather with a trip to the park or an afternoon hike. Brian is still swamped at school, but since this is the first weekend in forever with no official church activities outside of the actual services, we're taking advantage of it and planning to cram in as much togetherness as we can.

I have been extremely lax in the picture taking department, but here are just a few from the last week or so.

I haven't tried this yet, but couldn't help myself from purchasing when I made a trip to Trader Joe's last week (my first in something like 5 months!). Incidentally - and I'm not sure I should be admitting this - but we somehow have like 4 cartons of ice cream in the freezer right now. All of them unopened, so apparently I've been hoarding.

Last weekend was Riverfest and our church had booth (we do this twice a year). Our sweet Korean friend J has been coming to our church for the last few months (her little mama who comes with her as well is SO cute), and she painted faces for the booth. She practiced on Camden and Rory before we got started, and then I asked if I could snap a picture of the three of them. It tickled me to no end when she threw up the peace sign.

Poor Brian has been having some back issues (happens nearly every year at the start) and Riverfest about did him in. After teaching and early mornings all week, he spent about 15 hours making balloon animals Friday/Saturday.

I kept Addison one evening this week. Not sure what possessed me to run actual errands with 3 children, but I did. And they were all cute. When we got home, they all 3 proceeded to participate in an all-out nerf gun war. It was hilarious. And loud. And I might have been ready for some peace and quiet by bedtime.

We're really struggling with balance between work and family right now. Trying to remind ourselves it's just a season and make the best of it. Last night was game night, something we've neglected for months now. The kids are at a pretty fun age - old enough to play and interact, not just be entertained. In fact, Camden won all 3 rounds of Mexican Train Dominos. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up being the game-winner in the family.