Sunday, April 26, 2015

Last Week

I found myself finishing off the week with a little bounce in my step. I don't think I live in constant fear or worry over cancer, but I would definitely say I could feel the unseen weight removed from my shoulders last week.

Tuesday night was the spring drama at school. Rory's class sang 2 songs, and Camden was in the cast of the drama. He was fantastic. I love how much he loves performing.  Here he is taking his bow - notice he is not holding hands with the girls on either side of him. They worked it out that if they kept their arms close and slightly beside them, no one would know they weren't holding hands. Hilarious.


Rory and I had appointments at the eye doctor Friday morning, and 3 hours later we had discovered her eyes had drastically declined over the past year with new glasses ordered and on their way. Seriously, the girl could not even read the largest line with her old glasses on!

Friday night our church hosted the David Platt Secret Church simulcast, and I am at a loss for a term to describe the experience. It was convicting, incredible, heartbreaking, inspiring all at the same time. It was 7 hours of teaching, and we completed a study guide that was 198 pages long! I'm pretty sure David Platt could set a world record for fastest speaker of all time. He literally can talk as fast as I can read. We didn't get home until nearly 1:30 a.m. so everyone slept in Saturday morning. Rory says she has never been up at 1:16 in the morning before.

Saturday we were finally able to celebrate Family Day for both Camden and Rory with Korean food and family. Sunday was church, of course, then lunch with friends; Sunday night Brian and Camden attended a men's event at church. Yes, it was a busy weekend!

This coming week promises to be a little lighter on the extra curricular activities, which is a welcome change from the rest of April.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stable Again

We might have had to wait about 4 hours working our way through the Vanderbilt system, but the news that my scan was stable was worth the wait. I'm going to continue on Tamoxifen (a daily pill) for the next 8 weeks and then have new scans. I had a feeling this was going to happen - it's nice to be right. Dr. C is one of those worst-case scenarios kind of doctors, but I'll admit she scared me about 2 weeks ago when she announced her opinion was that my disease was progressing. It's nice to have stable back in the picture.

Because Brian was off work and it was a beautiful sunny 70-degree day, we had grand plans of lunch and celebrating at Jeni's with ice cream, but those extra hours at Vanderbilt nixed those plans so we ran next door to a college pizza spot and ate a piece of pizza on the run.

The kids when we told them the news.

Just kidding. I took these last week. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Snapshot #19

I am . . .

Thinking: that while I do a pretty good job of not living with anxiety/worry, certainly not over details out of my control like kid safety, the state of our world, finances, etc., there's nothing to be done for the certain level of queasiness in the pit of my stomach on the mornings of big appointments.

Thankful for: having Brian at home with me this morning - he took off for my doctor's appointment which means he handled the morning routine while I take it easy. He's generally gone before the kids get up so a morning partner is fabulous.

Trying: to do a better job of staying on top of the housework so it's not so overwhelming at the end of the week. I've also discovered that an hour or two of hard work and meal-planning/prep on Saturday makes me feel a whole lot better about the coming week.

Wondering: why the good behavior/good attitude phase can't happen for both kids at the same time.

Hoping: for good news for myself and someone else today.

Buying: does sending a large check to the IRS last week count as a purchase?

Cooking: These roasted brussel sprouts and Pioneer Woman's Tortellini Primavera - both big hits at our house.

Snacking on: sugar snap peas and (in all honesty) peanut M&M's

Drinking: what I should be drinking is water; what I am drinking more of these days is sweet tea.

Reading: Gray Mountain by John Grisham - it's been years since I read a John Grisham book, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Also this blog post titled When You're Stuck in the Middle.

Watching: RealityCheck every Monday night as soon as it posts - it's a commentary on American Idol/The Voice on YouTube, and I've watched it for years. I look forward to it every week. Also, Lip Sync Battle clips (John Krasinski is my favorite). Yes, I'm so shallow.

Smelling: Lavender/Peace and Calming in my diffuser at night

Working on: Two things: (1) trying to get back into Project Life. I derailed big time in 2014 and have had a very hard time finding motivation for 2015. It's still important to me, I just don't feel very creative and the project feels overwhelming. (2) to say yes more to the kids; I have no idea why my first instinct is no, so I've been trying to take a deep breath and say yes instead.

Finishing: ummm, pretty much nothing these days. Well, maybe this one scrapbook page - first one in over a month. (credits here)

040915_this today

Kid Funnies: Yesterday Camden told me his "pulmonary outline" was due. Totally cracked me up because he's got such a great vocabulary that we don't get many missed words from him.

Future Plans I'm Looking Forward To: Secret Church with David Platt Friday night.

Rest of the Day Plans: appointment with Dr. Crispens, lunch with Brian (maybe at 312 Pizza?) and then the spring program at school. Camden has a part in the drama and has been bouncing off the walls in excitement for several weeks now. I love that his favorite part of each day is choir/play practice.

Favorite Picture from Last Week:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Planning Party

While Brian made about 13 hours worth of balloon animals at Rivers and Spires this weekend, I had a big Disney planning bash with Jenne and Kari (and their cute babies). The Big Trip (yes with capital letters) is coming up soon, and we are all starting to feel very excited. Thanks to Saturday's planning session, we have dinner reservations and fast passes booked with magic armbands on their way. I am guessing we're about 99% finished with advance plans. The Lewis family is so completely out of touch with all things Disney, but we're about to become experts.

Brian came home at the tail end of the planning party and put little Z to sleep (yes, his sunburn is as red in real life as it looks here).

Because she is all kinds of classy, Jenne brought a rose for my table along with the baked brie and French bread. Delicious!


This pink rose and green vase could not be prettier. Almost makes me want to try my hand at gardening. Oh, who am I kidding. That's never going to happen.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Walk in the Park

We're on our 5th straight day of rain, and it feels even longer than that, but these pictures prove we had sunshine (and a lot of it) this past weekend.





Right after he tripped (notice the smile).

My visit with the clinical trial oncologist went well Wednesday, and I'm very hopeful about the drug she has available for me. I have a scan today (along with an unrelated breast MRI, appointment, and lab work) then results on Tuesday. I'm feeling as if it's very possible Dr. C overreacted last week when she said my cancer was progressing. It's not like I'm an eternal optimist so if I'm feeling upbeat about the situation, that should be a good sign, right??

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Summer Cut

When I took Camden for his haircut last week, Brian told me to get a summer cut so I took him literally. It's a little bit of a shock since he hasn't had it this short in several years. However, when he made this face (as I pulled the camera out to take a picture of his freshly shaved head), I just smiled because I knew I had taken a similar picture back in 2010.

So here's the 2010 picture

And the 2015 picture

Some things don't change.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

Camden and Rory have been playing the slugbug, cruiser bruiser, slaphappy game in the car. Unfortunately, Rory has absolutely no idea what the difference between a Volkswagen bug or PT Cruiser is. She does, however, recognize yellow vehicles.

I am thankful . . . for my friend Kathy who is coming with me to my appointment with the clinical trial oncologist tomorrow, for my friend Tiffany who texted me yesterday afternoon asking if she could bring us dinner, for an unexpected Friday lunch with my friends Amy and Malu.

Why read inside when you can read outside?

I don't know if it's the recent visit with Aunt Robin or Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique, but Rory is all about spa time. This sign completely cracks me up. The "and more" meant a drink and snacks. She left the sign up all weekend, but finally took it down after Brian kept trying to take her up on the offer. She is completely grossed out by boys/men and their feet.

I always forget how hard it is to take photographs in the full strength spring sun. Basically, I only want to take photographs during the fall. LOL


Googling "what to ask your clinical trial oncologist" is weird, but I did it today.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


(this post has been sitting here unpublished since January - it's not his birthday, just things about him right now)

It's the best of time; it's the worst of times. Eleven is proving to be tough. A few things about Camden at eleven and a half.

He is a little adult, but still a child all at the same time.

He is very clever, and it's fun to see his personality and sarcasm develop.

He has mastered the art of obnoxious. Finding out what drives the rest of us crazy is top of his "to do" list.

When he started 5th grade, he outgrew Children's Church, and I've loved having him sit next to me in church and watch him absorb the sermons.

I also love having him sing next to me - he's good and LOVES it so much. Music is our love language. We both don't bother with lyrics so much (although he's really good at memorizing them), it's all about the sound, beat, and harmony.

Fifth grade has been challenging. He can pull off near perfect grades about 95% of the time. However, he's a perfectionist who is not really willing to put in the hard work to do perfect work. We have spent many, many frustrating evenings this year. He works himself up into a tizzy (this is putting it mildly) that is almost like an anxiety attack. When he finally settles down, he makes up his mind to do the work and it's over. This issue is much more difficult than I've chronicled in this paragraph, but it's all I'm willing to share for now.

I hear he sits by his teacher at school during lunch nearly every day.

He has so. much. energy. It's like age 11 has brought on an incredible surge of energy (of course, that's probably called hormones). He's going to play baseball this spring, and I think getting him back into sports will help with some of that extra energy.

He reads everything he can get his hands on. He especially loves series, which I understand - there's nothing better than immersing yourself into another world.

He LOVES food and thinks I'm the best "chef" ever. In fact, he tells us over and over how good the food is. Seriously, he averages 6-8 comments per meal.

I've already mentioned music, but he (like me) likes to have music playing at all times. And he can't help himself from singing along (also like me).

I think many nearly 12 year olds would be ashamed to show their family love, but Camden is not ashamed at all and voluntarily gives lots of hugs.

He does not, however, show his sister that same love. I'm just going to assume this is standard for siblings, especially at this age.

Easter weekend our church helped the city of Clarksville with their egg hunt, and Camden spent a solid 3 hours manning a game, helping little ones toss eggs, encouraging them, cheering them on when they made a shot. I literally could not have been more proud of him, and I felt like it was a sweet glimpse into the man he is going to grow up to be.

(picture from back in December)

Friday, April 10, 2015


Busy week (I keep saying that, don't I?), but not much blog worthy. Kids have already finished their standardized testing so we have a lot of projects, field trips, special days on tap for the remainder of the year.

Hello, Rome Day.

Hello, end of Chinese studies day.

Hello, we're in desperate need of a haircut (happening today).

Hello, Ice Cream Day #4

I'm so tired of talking about myself, friends (I would rather have pretty pictures, reality TV, or funny kid stories to discuss), but here's my update from this week's visit with Dr. C. Her official words are that it's apparent my "disease is progressing." Coming up in the next 10 days I'm seeing a clinical trial oncologist, having a breast MRI, a CT scan with contrast, bloodwork, doctor's visit, then scan results on April 21. Also . . . . wait for it . . . . . . a dentist appointment. I might be dreading that one alot more than the other more important appointments. 

I was also supposed to make a 3-day trip to Baltimore in that same 10-day window, but my thoughtful boss let me off the hook, and that reduces the stress level immensely. I'm feeling fine, both physically and mentally. Not necessarily looking forward to these appointments, but I really feel fine.

I'm trying to cut myself as much slack as I can in small ways like not volunteering to host Bible Study at my house, taking an hour to scrap at some point today instead of doing laundry, etc. It really is a very busy time both at work and church so adding in all these medical appointments make life interesting to say the least.

I hope the upcoming weekend is lovely. We're going to enjoy some cooler temps (it's been mid-80's and super humid this week), and I have every intention of taking advantage of the combination of pretty weather and a free Sunday afternoon to grab some of those pretty pictures I mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

When I found out Friday was donut day at Crema, I knew we had to make a stop on our way out of town. These vanilla sugared donuts were as delicious as they look. They were also $5 apiece . . . so yikes! But worth it.

Anyone else see Kelly Clarkson on American Idol last week? I felt all kinds of nostalgic watching her and remembering how I watched AI way back in it's first season in 2002. That's forever ago! I don't know if I should be proud or ashamed to admit I have seen every single season.

I finally broke out flip flops yesterday for the first time even though my feet still haven't fully recovered enough from Doxil for a pedicure, and it rained all day. Timing has never been my strong suit.

I have an appointment with Dr. C this morning to check in after a month of Tamoxifen. I'm nervous. I won't say worried because I try really, really hard to not waste my time with worry. But I'm definitely feeling nervous with butterflies in the pit of my stomach, slightly queasy, etc. etc. I think I'm going to focus on the finding the next opportunity to have one of those donuts.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Home Again

We picked up the kids this morning, and spending a week with Gram and Gramps did them some good. They came home like two partners in crime, high-fiving and telling inside jokes. It was all kinds of awesome. Rory developed an aggressive hand clap and knee slap when laughing, along with an exaggerated squeal over the past week while Camden seems to have developed a good attitude. 

She also picked up this.

Camden says he would have picked it up, but she did it first. Riiiiiiigggggghhhhht. Not that I blame him, of course, because I wouldn't have touched it either.

When we arrived home, an announcement was waiting for them on the front door (this is as crafty/creative as I get, people). Their reaction was a little subdued, and I was feeling a bit disappointed when I remembered how overwhelmed I felt when I learned about the trip too. It's a lot to take in! They have since spent every waking minute counting up the days, reading all the brochures I have, and trying to decide what color they want their magic band to be.



I am so happy to have them home, but I'm also so glad they were able to spend the time with their grandparents, aunt and uncle. Not everyone is so lucky!