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Friday, May 26, 2017

Five on Friday (May 26, 2017)

Can anything every separate us from Christ's love? 
Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or hungry or destitute or in danger or threatened with death? 
(As the Scriptures say, "for your sake we are killed every day, we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 
No, despite all these things overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. 
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. 
No power in the sky above or in the earth below; 
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us 
from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Roman 8:35-39

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1. As I mentioned Wednesday, the 2016-2017 school year is officially behind us. May was a marathon and June looks much the same, but without homework or early mornings.

2. I heard through the grapevine that my eldest child wrote and delivered his first love letter this week. One of these days he'll learn there is never anything truly secret, especially when your aunt works at the school you attend. ;)

3. Chemo this week was l.a.t.e. and we didn't get home until 9:00 p.m. I went straight to bed and then couldn't sleep. Maybe it was the peanut butter shake from The Grilled Cheeserie we picked up on the way home or maybe it was the new-to-me Youtube channel I found: Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper). She is a dermatologist who videos her in-office procedures and I could not turn away. I'm too embarrassed to link to her channel so you'll have to look it up on your own, but consider this your warning that it's hard to look away.

4. I decided this was the week I was going to skip the scarves and hats and just be naturally bald. Please, no one tell me I'm brave or send me emails telling me how much you admire me. This is like a SAHM succumbing to yoga pants every day. I am just too hot and lazy to continue with the matching headwear. Not saying I love the side looks or the fact that I feel very conspicuous, but I just can't do the headwear in summer weather. I will continue to use them for work and probably church, but vanity is going to just have to take second place.

5. Our Memorial Day is going to be busy and extra special with my parents, grandparents and aunt/uncle coming to visit. Next week, I will skip my Five on Friday because Brian and I will be in Chattanooga for a couple of days celebrating our TWENTIETH wedding anniversary! I am really looking forward to these days away and I expect it to be awesome. We're mostly resting, eating great food, exploring the coffee scene and spending time together sans kids.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Goodbye, 7th and 4th grade

The kids completed grades 7 and 4 this week and have officially moved on to bigger and better things. Seventh grade was tough but not as bad as 6th grade (my guess is this will be on repeat over the several years). Fourth grade was good for Rory in many ways. The organization of 4th grade fed into her need for independence and she conquered it. Well, as much as you can expect a 4th grader to conquer independence regarding schoolwork. Her teacher was one of my favorites of all the teachers the kids have experienced and I'm sorry to lose her as we move into middle school with Rory. The choir teacher (also Camden's home room teacher and Rory's piano teacher) is moving away, and both of my kids are so sad. As in, they both climbed into the car and said they'll never be in choir again (said with tears from Camden). It's hard to say goodbye to great teachers!

Mostly I'm sorry to say that I now have 2 middle schoolers. 

Both kiddos have faced challenge on the social front, but I think we can chalk that up to our crazy, ever-changing world. Life is always going to be socially awkward and never more so than as a tween and teen. God, please grant me patience and wisdom. Lots of it.

You will not find a more awkward set of end-of-year pictures, but here they are in all their glory.

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And the first day of school for comparison's sake.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Five on Friday (May 19, 2017)

Rejoice in our confident hope, be patient in trouble and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
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We have several someones close to us going through hard, hard days and I have cried more tears and prayed more prayers in the last month than maybe ever before in my life. All around us people fail, face unimaginable hardships, give up. Each week when I sit down to write my Five on Friday post, it seems silly to keep this little list of family happenings. But I look back through the past weeks and months and cannot ignore the blessings in the little moments. How could I not document those things? (I literally walked to the mailbox after writing this paragraph and found a sweet card and coffee gift card waiting for me.)

And then there's the big fat Life as a Lewis 2016 book that arrived in the mail last week, and it did my heart good to watch Camden sit down and read for two solid hours. He smirked and laughed, rolled his eyes and groaned, but it was worth every penny of the $100+ and 361 pages to watch him read and remember.

1. Rory attended her first beginners tumbling class this week. The girl has been saving her pennies for over 6 months now; she was responsible for registration and the first month's fee; we'll pay for the next several months and see how it goes. Making her pay for an extracurricular may seem harsh, but pennies are a little tight and she has a track record of wanting to try all the things and then skipping out or giving up a few weeks in. It was an hour of solid exercise, learning new skills, and the only competition is herself. As in, improving her own skills week to week. It's also something her brother hasn't tried first.

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2. Camden had his one and only middle school field trip Tuesday to the Tennessee Discovery Park. He requested banana nut bread for both buses full of kids and so I obliged. In fact, there's a list on our fridge of 5 different occasions that required baked goods for kid activities. I feel like these are just the beginning days of being a full-time chauffeur and cook for the kids as they grow older, and I want to look at those acts of service as love gifts to them instead of an inconvenience.

He also took his own money and brought me home a necklace for Mother's Day from the gift shop. Rory is the spender of the family, but Camden holds onto his money and spending it is a big deal for him. It is a sweet teal cross, and he was so proud of it.

3. Rory participated in a multiplication bee with the other 3rd and 4th graders at school Thursday morning. Math is her biggest challenge, but she did so well and made it to the final 5. Those girls went round and round spitting out multiplication facts with 1 second on the clock until she finally stumbled and was eliminated. When I hugged her goodbye, she burst into tears from the disappointment.

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4. My friend Amy accompanied me Wednesday for chemo, and the time flew by. Definitely the smoothest process I've had so far. My favorite nurse was back in the chemo room, my bloodwork was the best it's been during the cycle, and we were in and out in 4 hours.

5.  My mom and dad were here for a short 2 night, 1 day visit. I don't remember if I've mentioned it, but they are retiring and moving to Tennessee this summer (along with both sets of my grandparents). Because they're building a house, we've had lots of visits this winter/spring. I have cried off my make-up here and completely left off my brows, but I'm still glad we took this quick picture this morning as they were headed out the door.

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Happy Friday! 
(last one of the school year)


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day 2017

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Five on Friday (May 12, 2017)

1. I may have given a serious eye roll on social media when everyone started complaining about how busy the end of the school year is, but then the last 3 weeks happened in which we have had one free night per week. There have been recitals and spring concerts and field trips and middle school meetings. This weekend alone holds a field trip, 4th-grade lock-in, men's breakfast, mother/daughter tea, evening fundraiser, and Mother's Day.

2. This week's trip to Vanderbilt was long. We arrived at 8, left at 5:30. There was a small break in appointments so we visited old college friends who are dealing with a serious cancer diagnosis. While I hate the reason we visited, I'm glad that we were there and hope to spend more time with them in the future. I also skipped over to work and had the joy of handing out surprise bonus checks! Dr. C is feeling good about my progress; I really am feeling better over these past 2 months. Having that extra week off back in March seemed to give me a little boost, and the new medication is controlling my pain level which is a stress-relief in itself. We ate a very early lunch at The Grilled Cheeserie and then decided the salted caramel peanut butter cup milkshake was too good to pass up, so we went back after chemo was over.

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3. So this happened last night. He's been sporting a little mustache for a while now and when I jokingly mentioned shaving it, he immediately took me up on it.

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4. Between work and chemo, attending field trips have been low priority (and it feels like there have been field trips every other week this school year). Despite chemo on Wednesday, I went with Rory for her final elementary school field trip, and I was reminded why they're low priority - she just wants to hang with her people, not her mama. I'm still glad I tagged along. I love seeing how she interacts with classmates, what makes her smile, what makes her roll her eyes (she is 10, after all).

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5. A few favorites for your weekend: Teaching Our Sons to Walk by Shannan Martin, banana nut muffins (I wouldn't call these the prettiest muffins, but they're easy, seem to be fool proof and they're delicious).

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Six on Sunday (May 7, 2017)

First of all, MAY??

Second, I didn't have the opportunity to blog Friday but just couldn't let another week go by without checking in so we're going with Six on Sunday.

1. The fuzz on my head continues to grow; I like to call it my 5 o'clock shadow. It's still up in the air as to whether or not it's going to turn into real hair or if it's just crazy, BUT last week I noticed my eyelashes (which have been gone completely for weeks now) are also growing. It's just fuzz, but it's there.

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2. My doctor made some changes to some of my medication 2 weeks ago, and I cannot stress how wonderful it has been to take meds twice a day instead of 6. It's not perfect, but so much better. The fact that I need this particular medication is mind-boggling, but I'm just going to focus on the fact that it makes me feel better.

3. Last Friday night Rory competed in our denomination's state competition and won in the Bible memorization category. Tuesday night, both kids were both involved in the school spring concert (which had a 50's theme). These concert nights are always their favorite of the whole year. This past Friday night Camden performed in the end-of-year recital for the music school he attends. Life has been b.u.s.y.

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4. Saturday afternoon, Brian and I resumed our bi-weekly dates. When the school year began back in August, we promised each other to set aside every other Saturday afternoon for "us" but when the craziness of the fall season hit, followed by the holiday season, followed by the cancer season, we quit cold turkey. We're resolving to jump back in even when the time together is a simple coffee date and errands.

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5. Saturday night we attended a version of Cinderella at our alma mater. Live theater is just my favorite.

6. Yesterday afternoon I joined a group of 5 girls (I'm calling them girls because they are all SO young - 41 has never felt more elderly) for a girl's day. We shopped, we ate, we ate some more, and we laughed a whole lot. I came home exhausted physically, but so happy to have spent the day with these girls. Developing new friendships has never come easily for me. Based on the numerous books and podcasts I've seen on this very topic recently, I'm going to assume that it's not just me - it's adult friendships in general. Toss in the ministry aspect and cancer? Well, you can imagine it's been even more difficult. Today was just plain good for my soul.

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This week we jump right back into chemo in addition to activities nearly every single night (and weekends too). I am thankful for the sunshine and the chance to work from home. I hope you have a lovely week, friends.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.
But how can one be warm alone?
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated 
but two can stand back to back and conquer.
Three are even better for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12