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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


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Favorites

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11

I don't have the emotional energy to preserve memories this week so how about a few happy favorites and distractions instead.

Sanuk Yoga Sling Sandals - these are adorable, come in so many different prints, and are amazingly comfortable. Like, feel as if you aren't wearing shoes comfy. I might have ordered 2 pairs in a recent buy one/get one sale, and my feet do not regret it one bit. (Ignore my feet; it is definitely time for a pedicure!)

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Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon perfume - I bought the small rollerball (or maybe it was a freebie?) sometime last fall, and I always receive compliments when I wear it so the full-size bottle is on my wish list. I'm always surprised when I hear friends mention they don't wear perfume because smelling good is one of my favorite things! My perfume favs err on the expensive side (for example, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is my dream perfume) so I tend to have lots of perfume samples instead of perfume bottles. 

Soap and Glory Flake Away - I love a good scrub but hate the oil and the residue it leaves in the tub. This stuff is so light, not oily at all but works awesome and smells even better.

Crazy Cool Threads - I find myself wearing t-shirts and jeans or yoga pants (if I don't have to leave the house) a lot these days, and I've managed to collect 3 of their shirts over the past year. I have the Grace Wins, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and Hope Anchors the Soul. When I wear them, someone always asks where they can buy their own. If you hold out long enough, they'll have a sale plus free shipping.

Now that my hair, brows, and lashes are missing, lips feel like the only normal-ish part of my make-up routine. I am using lipsense almost exclusively these days (my sister Becky sells it if you're interested), although I still have Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk and Clinique A Different Grape in rotation.

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For a guaranteed pick-up to your day, make sure that you're following Macy Makes My Day on Instagram. Heather Avis (mama to Macy and 2 others) recently wrote The Lucky Few, which is on my "to read" pile, and her Instagram feed is just pure joy. You can listen to her on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey right here.

I'm going to blame Becky on my newly found love for subscription boxes. I have tried many since I visited her in OK for my birthday last year (it's pretty easy to try subscriptions for free or at a heavy discount as long as you cancel after the first box), but the Bless Box is my favorite hands down. I discovered Sazan and the Bless Box via episode #126 of The Happy Hour. Yesterday, Rory decided to try out some of the products with a pretty comical result (although comical is not what she was going for).

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And because a favorites list would not be complete without ice cream, Sonic has new custard concretes and they are delicious. I've tried the Oreo Dark Chocolate and have plans to gobble down the Butterfinger Peanut Butter one before they're gone. Only good thing about warmer weather is feeling like frequent ice cream is justified. :)

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Two more things - not sure if they can be favorites since I don't actually own them, but they're on my wishlist and they sure seem like they would be favorites! :)

The She Reads Truth app and reading plans are a long-time favorite of mine, and the newly released She Reads Truth Bible is so beautiful. I recently bought a new NLT Bible, which I am happily highlighting, underlining and using, but if I were searching for a new Bible, this one would be top of the list.

Finally, the Kantha blankets at the Dignify shop have been on my list of favorites for over a year now even though I have yet to purchase one. They are handmade by women in Bangladesh rescued from the streets. You can read all about how the company started here - it's completely inspiring. 

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This is a busy week for us with a spring concert at school on Tuesday, guitar recital for Camden on Friday, pancake breakfast fundraiser Sunday. No chemo this week!