Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's gettin' kinda hectic

The holidays are starting to get underway around here.  Or should I say busyness?!  Friday night Steve and Olivia went to a daddy/daughter dance put on by our church.  They had a great time.  Unfortunately, I still have not taken the time to get the pictures of the two of them from my phone.  But at least here you can see O in her adorable Christmas dress.

This girl is turning into such an amazing person.  I wish you could get to know her.  (Granted, she does have her moments...) but overall, I am so proud of who she is becoming.  Recently, we've decided to sponsor a child through Compassion.  Steve and O spent a long time researching countries.  We told her since the brothers have each other, we could choose a girl O's age.  They settled on a six year old from Bangladesh.  Her name is Pritilota and Olivia has been THRILLED to have a *sister.*  We sent Pritilota her first letter with O's school picture from this year.  Apparently we will get a letter back from her at some point.  Dear lord, please let it come soon, because this girl is beside herself to hear back and its only been 12 hours.  It's been a joy already to pray each night for this girl a half a world away.

This week is our neighborhood's home tours.  Several homes decorate and allow people to walk through.  Sunday night was free for people in the neighborhood.  It started out with carolling in the park.  It was a warm night so we managed to make it through half of the tour.  If you live in the Dayton area and are ever looking for a cool thing to do at the holidays, I would highly recommend the Oregon District home tour!

Our neighbor, Rob, is one of the tour guides.  It really is a fun and unique experience.  And my kids were even complimented on their manners.  And I didn't even medicate them before hand!  Our kids were very disappointed to find out our house was not on the tour.  When I made a comment about people probably not wanting to pay to walk through our trashed home, Olivia declared, "But our house is BEAUTIFUL, Mom!"  See what I mean?  She is such a keeper!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bring it on

I had a post pre-Thanksgiving all set to go.  And then I got sick.  And never sent it.  Now it is post Thanksgiving and obsolete.  So, here is our Thanksgiving synopsis:

The kids were off of school.
I got sick.  102.5 fever.  Steve got sick.  We let the kids watch a super ton of tv.
We went to the Crowne Plaza for Thanksgiving day lunch.  I ate 3 bites and felt like crap.
Steve stayed sick until Sunday until we had a terrible fight because I was being a baby.
We feel better, kids are back to school and life rolls on.
The end.

Somehow in the midst of hacking coughs, Vick's Vapo Rub and cough syrup, I managed to haul all of my Christmas crap down from the attic.  We re-arranged our downstairs furniture and transformed our house into a winter wonderland.  This is the first year since we've been married w/ kids/dog that we have had a full size tree.  We usually have a 3 ft table top tree in order to keep ornaments out of temptation's way of kid and canine. This year I feel like a real grown up. The kids and I have been super excited about this.  I'm not sure Steve has even noticed.

I allowed the kids to decorate the 3 ft tree that will now live in the guest bedroom. They used all of the additional, unused decorations to decorate their own little space and they did a great job.  They had a blast and I didn't have to keep saying, "Please don't put that there." Or "Don't hang all the ornaments in one big clump."  They did it however they wanted.  It was a win/win.

Now I only have 27 more days to answer the "Is it Christmas yet?" question.  Let the Christmas season begin.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


You probably thought the ten days without sugar killed me.  Nope.  I'm still here.  And knee deep in refined sugar.  In fact, I've been so busy pillaging my kids' Halloween candy, I couldn't be bothered to blog.  Sorry.  Making up for lost time.

Truth be told, life has been busy.  And my i phone continues to keep me from blogging.  Well, my i phone and three kids, volunteering 6 hours a week at their school, a nearly week long trip to Lexington, KY for a work conference, a lost tooth, riding a bike w/o training wheels (daughter, not me), my friend Susie's health, play dates, trick or treating, birthday parties, re-decorating our guest room, and other odds and ends.

I can't believe a week from today will be Thanksgiving.  And guess what we are doing to celebrate?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I'm not even cooking.  Does that make me the worst mother/wife/American/person in the country?  I can live with that.  We are going to find a nice buffet at some hotel in town and let someone else cook.  I'm not a super huge fan of Thanksgiving dinner and I'm an even smaller fan of being the one who cooks it.  I like to think of it as creating jobs and doing my part to improve the economy.  Now THAT is the ture American spirit, right?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sweet Nothing

If you know me at all, you probably know I love me some dessert!  You know the question, "If you could live on one food, what would it be?"  My answer is always, "Wedding cake!" Hands down.  Don't get me wrong, in a pinch I'd take any kind of cake - or ice cream, or cookie, or cream pie, or candy- you get the picture.  But for some reason, wedding cake is the perfect food for me.

In fact, if I could, I might just shoot sugar straight into my vein.  Did I just say that out loud?

Recently, several of my friends have been doing a *cleanse.*  Yep, just the sound of it was enough to make me want to roll my eyes and eat a brownie.  Which I did.  I said things to them like, "Wow, that's amazing.  I could NOT give up sugar."  Then I thought about it.  For a few weeks.  The inner voice of "I could NEVER" got louder.  The thought of going without chocolate for 10 days seemed impossible.  That's when I really realized, I'm an addict.  A true addict.  So I thought, I'd better try this.

It wasn't really a need to lose weight (although a few pounds would be nice) but rather a freedom from the magnetic pull of the chocolate chip bag my hand found itself in several times a day.  Sheesh, I just need a hit every once in a while- is that wrong?

Seven days ago I started *the cleanse.*  Somehow, I managed to convince Steve to do it with me.  He was on a trip when I started, so he is three days behind me, which actually was helpful since I was able to figure it out before he started.  The cleanse is part of a plan and is not just eliminating sugar (and almost all processed food, bread, pasta, dairy, drinks except for water and fast food) it is filled with supplements and gentle herbal fibers to help eliminate toxins from your system.  There is a second phase and is actually a 24 day challenge designed to change your eating habits and help you lose weight.  I don't think we'll do the whole thing, in general, we eat rather healthy, but I will step it up even more after this.

Honestly, the first day was pretty rough.  I thought about food all day long.  I craved sugary treats.  I was grumpy.  Not hungry, because there is plenty to eat on the cleanse, but I was an addict going through with drawl... for sure!  The plan is set up for you to eat fruit/eggs or some kind of protein for breakfast, a snack and supplement for a mid morning snack (like nuts) lunch of fresh veggies, lean protein and fruit for lunch, another protein snack for afternoon, dinner of lean protein and veggies and perhaps a complex carb and then another snack before bed.  But dang it, cake, wasn't on the list.

I can say that on day 7 (today) I am not grumpy.  I have lost 2.5 lbs but also took measurements and I'm sure some inches around my waist will be gone.  Since I wasn't doing this with the intent to lose weight, I have to keep reminding myself I am reaching my goal of breaking the pull of sugar on my life and that I am succeeding.  If nothing more than reaching a personal goal.

I do have to add, since my experience with cancer, I kind of hate it when sugar is made out to be the devil.  I'll say it here, I do NOT THINK that.  I do not think that by eliminating sugar from my life I will keep cancer away forever. That is God's job!!

 I'm certainly not saying I will never eat sugar again!  Because I will.  I hope to do it in a much more controlled/limited way, though. I'm not even sure I *feel* all that much better.  (You know when people say, "I feel SO much better.")  Honestly, I felt really good and healthy before the cleanse.  But mentally and emotionally I feel amazing that I've been able to tackle this giant in my life. I don't think world peace would come if we all gave up sugar and sang kumbyya.  I just wanted to see if I could do this.  And I can.

Apparently, you can do the cleanse every three months.  I'll probably do it again.  I also might forever have a grudge against my husband- he's on day 4 and has lost 5.5 lbs.  Men.  Sheesh!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We are what we are

We had a family photo shoot the other day.  Why on Pinterest are all the families in co-ordinating outfits, on the beach, smiling, carefree and not pouting, whining or complaining?  Or they are and they are faking waaaayyyy better than we did! 
Obviously, Olivia was cold.  She made no bones about it.  Not so obvious, Steve and I were a bit *annoyed* with each other.  But grown ups can fake it a bit better than 6 year olds. 
And then there was the fight about my daughter wearing a certain hooded jacket that didn't match anything. She won. Oh well.
So guess what?  Our family isn't perfect.  We fight, we throw tantrums.  We pout and complain.  Sometimes we smile for the camera, sometimes we don't. 
But we press on.  We love each other.  We laugh.  We try not to take ourselves too seriously. We are not Pinterest Perfect.  And I kind of like that about us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

That day

I woke up, answered my phone to the generic hospital number. Not good! A doctor with a thick accent told me there was not much more that could be done and that they would like the next if kin to please come to the hospital.

That wasn't a huge surprise. For the two weeks preceding this phone call there were signs that my dad would not be going back home. It looked like now would be the time to jump in the car alone for the two and a half hour ride to be with my dad for the end.

I fought the wave of nausea as I headed down his hall and entered his room. I greeted him and kissed him. His eyes opened to tiny slits for a brief moment. He knew I had arrived.

For the next several hours I sat with him. Held his hand. Told him stories of the day and of the kids. One point in that he fluttered. An acknowledgement of awareness. The last I would ever receive. And it was about his grandbabies. A perfect gift.

The clock dragged around and around the circles. Doctors, nurses, hospital chaplains and grief counselors all came in to talk to me.

Nothing more we can do. Won't be going home. Does he have a dnr? What would he want done ?

My mind was swimming. My head still bald from my own chemotherapy treatments. I guess he would want to be comfortable at this point. We never talked about that. With men of that generation there was a lot you didn't talk about.

I decided on palliative care. Basically in hospital hospice. I've never had a longer walk than the one behind his stretcher, holding his meager bag of belongings; headed to a room that would be his last stop on earth.

The new nurse oriented me to the new floor. The floor people go to die. She got him an oxygen mask to keep him from struggling to get air. She showed me the pull out bed and the shower room and the remote for the tv. And then she left.

I sat for a good hour telling my dad all kinds of stuff. Stories. Memories. Fears. Bible verses. I held his hand. Stroked his hair.

My aunt called from the car. She and my uncle were on their way. I needed to talk to her. Cry. Be afraid. It was scary being alone in that room. What would death look like? What if he needed something I couldn't do for him? How could he leave me?

As I hung up the phone with her and took his hand I realized his breathing was different. I took a moment to kiss him. To tell him to run to Jesus and that he was waiting for him. I assured him I would be ok. I hit the nurse call button and realized it was just the oxygen machine working, not my dad.

There I stood totally alone for the next two minutes until the nurse joined me. I know God was there and within minutes God would provide my sweet friend Sarah to hug me and sit for the next hour until I was ready to leave that death room.


It's been a long hard year. I miss my
Mom and dad. There is so much I want to catch them up on. I still have bad dreams about that day at the hospital. September 20,2011.

Jesus has been gracious over and over again. But today I'm sad. And wishing I still could hug my mommy and daddy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Go Figure

Steve had a chance to golf with some good friends this afternoon.  Because I knew I had the *opportunity* to hold down the fort for the evening, we made a quick trip to the library after school.  By the way, I've become a total library addict after this summer.  We were there easily three times a week all summer long.  We rocked the summer reading program and have rented nearly every movie from the kids section.  But I digress.

The kids were each allowed to pick out a few books and a movie to be viewed through out the weekend. 

They've really been into Star Wars this summer.  (The originals, not the new ones.  Because I'm a purist like that!)  With that said, Quinn picked out Narnia for tonight.  I know it's a bit of a mature movie with some more mature themes.  I figured since they can deal with Darth Vader being Luke's father, they could handle a half fawn-half man.

Boy was I wrong!  Within 5 minutes of the movie starting, Quinn was under the couch cushions.  Turner had his ears covered.  They both asked me annoying, frustrating and redundant questions... for the next HOUR.  Finally, in the middle of an actual anxiety attack (mine, not theirs) I had a conversation with myself:

"Hey, wait a minute... I'm the adult here!  What the heck are we doing?  Just because I want them to love this movie, perhaps now is not the time."  Although Olivia was enjoying it and threw a bit of a fit when I turned it off, I realized sometimes you just gotta be the mama.

Who knew that Storm Troopers, light sabers and Sand People would be less frightening than talking beavers.  Oh well, live and learn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smiles all around

It's official!  Mama's on break.  Whew.
I made it.  Honestly, we had an amazing summer.  Maybe one of my best ever.   But the past two and a half weeks with Olivia in school and the boys home, its been rough.  Really, really rough.  So now I can go to the grocery, a little lighter.  Two people lighter, actually.
Maybe I should feel guilty for being this giddy.  I enjoy my kids.  For real.  It's just that we could all use a break from each other. 
Turner and Quinn are in their second year of pre-school and are practically pro's.  Olivia is loving first grade and doing well.  And me?  I do believe the crazy eyes tell it all :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Having fun

It's been a fun few weeks. Now that I've figured out how to add pics from my phone... Here we go! I'll spare you the details of all the pictures but hope you enjoy a quick update in photos because a picture is worth a thousand words, right?!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Still trying

Well, I'm still having problems figuring out how to blog from my phone.  But at least I've figured out one hurdle.  These are pictures from my phone.  Now I just need to figure out how to put it all together :)
I had a post written on my phone about the conclusion of the first week of first grade.  In case I'm able to figure out how to release it from Internet purgatory, I'll spare you all the details.  I will say, however, she LOVES first grade.  I love that she loves it.  She is a big fan of her new teacher who declared her handwriting, "amazing" which is enough to win any six year old over.

I will post more later and hopefully more often.  But I'm just thankful to be able to get some pics off my phone!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First grade

Ok. I'm back trying to blog . I think I have the picture snafoo figured out. And I didn't even need an expert's help. Turns out I'm just an idiot. I didn't need an expert's opinion to tell me that. FYI, if you want something to work, enter the correct user name!

Olivia's first week of first grade was fabulous. I couldn't be more pleased with her teacher.

My kids go to a Montessori school. If you're not familiar with this teaching methodology, it's very cool and not like traditional classrooms. O's class is a combo of first, second and third graders. She will be with this new teacher for the next three years. She will work at her own level.

She was a bit sad that her good friends Lillian and Sara are not in her class. However, Lillian's brother is a third grader and is in her class. She was very excited about that.

One of the Montessori methods and reasons for the combination of ages in a class is for the older kids to help teach the younger kids. So, on the first day the third graders got to pick their seats first. Then the first graders picked. Olivia chose to sit at a table with Lillian's brother. I asked why. "I figured we could sit around all day and talk about Lillian."

Just what every third grade boy wants to do. Sit around and talk about his little sister with her pesky friend.

Over all, first week of school went swimmingly. Here's hoping the posting of pictures does too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First grade eve

It's the last day of summer vacation around here.  Olivia starts first grade in the morning.  OBVIOUSLY my blogging took a turn for the worse lately.  I was able to download the app for  my phone.  I even downloaded an app for pictures.  But for some reason the picture app (Picasa?) won't work.  I had several *knowledgeable* people (meaning people under 40) look at it and they agreed there was something wrong with my app.  Well, I'm not about to pay another $3 when CLEARLY it's not my fault it's not working.  Nor am I about to go down to Cincinnati to stand in line at the Apple store (holy cow that place is enough to make me keep my land line until I die!) so that they can tell me I need to pay another $3 to re-purchase the app.

If you have any input on my sorry situation, I'll gladly take your advice!  Because what good is a blog about our super fun trip to the outer banks without the proof of photos to make you jealous?  Isn't that why blogs exsist anyway?

I will bust out my actual camera in the morning for the annual first day of school picture.  Olivia picked out her new book bag (I let them get a new one every three years when they move to a new classroom.)  Apparently we have graduated from Disney Princesses.  Now we have a straight up ugly book bag.  I think I prefer cartoons. 

For as sad as Olivia was on the last day of Kindergarten, she is equally excited for her new adventure.

Unfortunately, the boys don't head back until after Labor Day.  Is that wrong to say?  I wish they all started back tomorrow.  I'm ready to get back in our schedule.  I guess what I actually mean is, I wish I had a few hours to myself every morning.

As for me, my health is great.  I mean, I think its great.  I don't have any proof now that I don't go to the doctor every other week.  But I feel great.  My next appointment is not until October! 

Well, maybe with time to myself will come time to blog.  I guess time will tell :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This is only a test

I'm giving this a try from my phone. If this works, I just might have a shot at re-entering bloggy land:)

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's not my fault

Confession time... so here's the REAL reason I have not been blogging lately (No, I'm NOT pregnant!  Small surgery a year and a half ago, rememeber?!  But isn't it funny how that is everyone's first guess for why you're not doing what you normally do?).  I got an i phone.  Steve made me, it's not my fault.  We had archaic flip phones until about 2 months ago.  It all started on our way home from Spring Break.  We missed an exit and ended up in a whole different state.  We found ourselves with no GPS.  No smart phone.  Not even a map or an atlas.  We marched into the phone store the next week and made the jump into 2012.  I kicked and screamed because I knew I would love it.  I knew I would spend too much time on it.  I knew it would suck me in.

And it has.

I'm a lazy son of a gun!  I find that because I can do all of  my computer stuff from my phone, I don't make the extra effort (did I seriously just say that?) to walk over and turn on the computer to blog.  B.I. (before iphone) I would be surfing around or wasting time on the internet and I would think, "Oh, here's a funny story, or something I want to say" and I'd blog.  Now I look across the room at the compter and think, "Nah! Too much work."

And then there is the small matter of how nice my pictures are on my phone.  I love using Instagram.  I don't even know where my camera is.  I'm sure there is a way to easily download pictures from my phone to my computer.  But did I mention that I'm lazy?  It is a whole other step I've not been committing to.  And by other step, I mean learning something new.  I am 40, afterall.

I'm actually sad about this.  I love blogging.  I love having a place to "journal."  I like going back and looking at old pictures.  I need to get out of my rut. 

So, there it is.  The truth.  The embarrassing truth.  I really am looking to get back on the blog bandwagon.  If anyone is still reading.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

40 is the new pink, or black, or 30, or something like that

Last week I turned 40.  I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Other than it sounds really old.  I can remember when my parents turned 40.  A few months ago Steve asked what I wanted to do for my birthday.  I'm not one for big parties.  I'd rather gather with a few people and have good conversations than have 60 people around where I feel like I have not talked to anyone.  So that is what we did.  We gathered a few of our friends, got babysitters for the night and headed down to Cincinatti.  We stayed in a nice hotel downtown and had several fun meals out.  It was perfect.  Mostly we sat around.  And talked.  Uninterrupted.  No milks to pour.  No buns to wipe.  Birthday perfection.

The best birthday present I received was a phone call from the doctor's office telling me that the CT Scan I had earlier in the week came back clear.  A continued bill of clean health.  Thank you, Lord!  It was nice of them to call so that I could be freed up to celebrate.  I went in for my final doctor's appointment yesterday (until October.)  I am now considered "under surveillance." 
That means that instead of going in once every week (on average- for the past year and a half.  Whew, talk about a marathon.) I will now go in once every three months.  I will have a CT scan once every six months.  For two years (although I've already put a year in.)  Then I move to every six months for an appointment.  It's pretty exciting (yet a bit scary).

It was a bit sad to not have my parents here to celebrate.  I know there would have been a cake, and presents and phone calls.  I grieved a bit.  I cried a bunch. 

All in all, being 40 is pretty much the same as being 39.  Except with a whole lot more to celebrate!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

In the blink of an eye

Dear mom,
How have you been gone two years already?  There are so many things I want you to know.  My theology says you are not missing out on anything "down here."  My mind tries to grasp the fact that you are 100% fulfilled and whole.  You are satisfied with your Savior.  But my heart feels an enormous void because you are not here enjoying life with us.  Or perhaps more accurately, I am not able to enjoy you as life happens here.

Two years ago today I didn't know how I would make it through life without you.  The past two years have been some of the toughest I've ever known.  God's grace has allowed me to make it.  Today I am sad.  Today I wonder what life would be like if you were still here to enjoy :

Olivia finishing Kindergarten.
Her going down the big kid slide at the outdoor pool.
Turner and Quinn finishing their first year of school.
The stories week after week when I volunteer in the kids' classrooms.
Giving me advice on the fights the kids get into.
Our first VBS experience last night.
The celebration of me being done with chemo.
My 40th birthday next week.
Our new hard wood floors.
Steve's new job "promotion."
Basically the big stuff and the little stuff that only a *Bebe* would care about.

There are certainly things over these past two years I'm glad you didn't have to face.  Like my cancer, your bald daughter, the stress of decisions, Dad's passing, the loss of Uncle Peter, and others. 

You wanted the details of my day that nobody else (not even me some days) cared about.  You asked good questions and believed our family could do no wrong.  You were my biggest cheerleader.  I miss you so much that on some days my body actually hurts.  Some days I just need my mommy.  Today is one of those days.  I'm so thankful you are not missing out on anything.  You are where you were created for.  But boy, it stinks around here without you!  I love you, mom!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another chapter

I'm a bit of a mess.  Tomorrow is the last day of kindergarten.  A LOT has changed since the first day of kindergarten.  (Woah.. was I really bald?  And skinny?  Seems I've been gaining weight and hair like it's my job . Crazy!)

I have not found myself being sad as my kids transition from one stage of life to the next.  But this one is really getting to me.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe because 1st grade sounds so old.  Like a real person.  Maybe it's because I can remember 1st grade, so I know we are starting to hit actual memory makers.

Maybe it's because Kindergarten (for this mommy) has been magical.  She has grown, blossomed and become so smart.  She reads.  She preformed on stage last week and didn't even bat an eye.  She is a friend to everyone.  She has been with the same teacher for the past three years and now she moves on.

I realize that by Saturday, I won't even look back.  But tonight, the last day of kindergarten-eve, I am emotional.  My little girl is not quite so little any more!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Party time

I've sat in the same chair (with the exception of about a half dozen days) nearly 100 times- literally.  What can I say?  I'm a creature of habit.  I don't believe in luck.  I believe that God orchestrates all.  But to be honest, I've struggled a bit with superstition.  I've talked it over with the Lord, He knows I'm in process on this one.  I know that being in a different chair won't actually jinx things.  So let's just call it a *habit.*  I was thankful for the final dose of poison, *my* chair was open.

The drug I've been getting for the past 21 rounds is not technically a chemo drug.  It is a bio-chemical drug.  What that means, I'm not quite sure.  I do know the nurses don't have to put the protective blue gowns on when they handle it like they do for the chemo drugs.  So perhaps its not quite as deadly as the other stuff.  Good to know.

FYI, it's always a bit unnerving when you see them gown up so it won't get on them when they put that stuff IN you . 

During my last round, a lady I have gone through this with sat next to me.  She isn't doing well.  I have not seen her in several months.  It's interesting how I felt sad and guilty as I also felt relief and thankfulness for my own health.

The sun is shining today.  My heart feels like there is a party going on inside.  I am overwhelmed by the grace I have experienced lately.  And by lately I mean the past nearly 40 years.  My 40th birthday is in a few weeks.  And when you've battled cancer and are on the other side of it, 40 years seems like a blessing rather than a curse.  I am thankful to have hair.  I'm thankful to be able to keep up with my kids.  I'm thankful for my amazing husband.  I might have dreaded my 40th birthday if it had not been for the past year and a half.  But this year there is MUCH to celebrate.  There always is!

Thank you for the many prayers and encouraging words along the way.  I don't feel totally free from this road of cancer, but I feel one step further down it... and for that I say let's party!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kicking off summer

It's Memorial Day weekend.  One of my favorite holidays.  It's extra great this year because the weather is outstanding.  It's been in the 90's.  For me that is better than the 60's and raining, like it is most Memorial Day weekends around here.  Our outdoor pool opened the other day and we went today.  It was perfect.  Last year I was the bald lady walking around the pool.  This year I'm a normal lady walking around the pool.  I like normal much better.

Tuesday is my very last chemo treatment.  I might skip the whole way there.  It feels really good to have one more.  That will be round # 22.  Twenty two rounds of chemo.  That's A LOT.  To say it feels really good to have one more is an understatement.  Thank you, Jesus!

The boys had their last day of school on Thursday.  Olivia has one more week.  Last week was the week of crazy with award ceremonies, thank you gifts, a spring concert and a cultural fair at the kids' school.  This mama is ready for summer vacation! 

Two years ago this weekend my mom went into Hospice.  It taints the weekend a bit for me, but I'm thankful that we are able to make new memories.  We bought Olivia a new outfit for her award ceremony at school because "if Bebe were here she would have."  I really want to keep my mom's memory alive.  It was a struggle of a week because there were tons of things I wanted her to be a part of.  Stories I wanted to share.  Things she would have had a million questions about.  One real blessing was that my Aunt, her sister, was driving through town and got to be a part of several of those events.  It truly was the next best thing to having my mom here.  Some days I think the grief is getting better and then I have weeks like last week where I literally want to pick up the phone and talk to my parents. 

I'm thankful to be able to have such a fun weekend even in the midst of hard.  I guess that is what I'm learning life is about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This post is like a box of chocolates...

Oh my goodness.  Why can I not get back on my blogging game?  I'm sure you've all given up on me out there.  Things here are good.  Mother's Day weekend was nice.  We went to the zoo on Saturday because the weather forecast was not nice for Sunday.  It was great fun.  I love the zoo.  It seems you either love it or hate it.  I happen to love it.  The kids loved it too which makes me love it even more.

The weather was ugly here yesterday.  But I got a nice watch from Steve and a trip to Kroger.  Alone.  Which, although it sounds like work on Mother's Day, was a great treat.  Steve asked later in the day if I wanted to go out to eat for Mother's Day.  As opposed to cook?  Duh.  So we went to this cool place near our house that has been open about 6 months.  It's an old re-furbished Fire House.  The food is good and the place is cool.  The owners gave out roses to the mom's on their way out.  Nice touch.

This Wednesday we are getting new flooring in our back mudroom.  I might post pics.  But then again, the rate I'm going, I might not.

I've found that having an I Phone demotivates me in the evenings.  Which is exactly what I feared would happen.  My I Phone and Celebrity Apprentice.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I've really loved this season.  And if you have not watched it you should go back and watch the season On Demand (or something.)  It's been super addicting.

Oh, and I think I mentioned in my last post that I'm nearing the end of chemo treatments.  I am... but I'm a bit more behind than I thought I was.  NOW I still have 2 more treatments.  So, my official last one should be Tuesday, June 17th.  I will then be going in every 3 months for a blood test and Dr. appointment with a scan every 6 months.  Quite frankly, I'm glad to be going in so frequently.  It freaks me out a bit to go from every three weeks to a bit more spread out.  Don't get me wrong... I'll take it! 

Hopefully I'll be back soon with photos of my new floors. And with that exciting news, I've probably lost the last 6 people who are still checking in on this here blog.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Help Whip Cancer

I have not been a big *cancer is my cause* person since all of this started.  I'm still not.  However, my friend Shannon started a Pampered Chef business recently and she told me about what they are doing during the month of May.  I told her I would let you know about it.  I hope you will at least click on this link and read about it.

Here is how it works: certain products will automatically have proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society.  The other angle has to do with the total proceeds of the *party.*  This is an online party; which means you don't have to come to my house (so even if you don't live in the Greater Dayton area you can participate.)  You don't have to mingle with people you don't know and if you want products you can have them sent directly to you.  I won't get anything free by hosting this on-line party (so don't feel like you have to buy a pie plate in order for me to get free stuff.)  The idea is, if you are already a Pampered Chef fan, have a bridal shower to go to or a Mother's Day gift to buy, why not do it this way? If the on-line totals add up, Pampered Chef will donate up to 25% of the sales to the ACS. 

If you choose to order, please click on the above link to shop Online and enter First Name: Help Whip Last name: Cancer  (this ensures your order goes to this fundraiser.)

I think that is cool. 

If you DO live in the Dayton area and you want to be further involved, there is a Bingo Fundraiser next Thursday night, May 10th from 7-9pm at Parkview United Methodist Church in Miamisburg.  Admission to the event is easy, buy one of the Whip Cancer Event products (and Pampered Chef will donate $1 to ACS automatically).  This will buy you one Bingo Card.  Additional cards may be obtained.  Door prizes and Bingo prizes are pretty cool Pampered Chef products.  If you're looking for something to do with a group of friends, check this out. 

Okay, that is it.  I really try to very rarely promote *stuff* on my blog.  This one seemed like a really good idea.  I hope it helps you and ultimately the research for various cures for cancer.  I guess I have an investment in that!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Whoa.  It's been so long since I've blogged, my blog server changed its format.  Forgive me if this ends up being disjointed, I've got to figure out how to navigate around here.  Serves me right, going so long in between posts.

Around here we are nearing the home stretch for school.  I'm about to have a first grader on my hands.  Now that feels like REAL school to me.  I have major (and fond) memories of first grade.  I'm really excited for Olivia and a bit sad for myself.  Kindergarten has been magical for us.  We've had a wonderful experience and it is such an innocent time.  I wish I could freeze this year and just stay here. 

I've been so pleased with the year I just wrote a letter to the principal asking that Turner be switched to Olivia's teacher next year.  The boys have one more year of pre-school but at their school (because it is Montessori) they are with the same teacher for three years.  I'm pretty sure he'll get switched.  I hope so.

Monday is my next to last chemo treatment.  Which brings excitement/anxiety.  In some ways, I can't believe it's coming to an end all ready.  In other ways it seems like I've been doing this forever.  It will be a huge relief to not have to go into the doctor's office twice every three weeks.  It is also a tad nerve wracking that they've been checking me every three weeks and now they are sending me out on my own.  I'll be checking in every 4 or 6 months (guess I'd better get that detail figured out at my appointment tomorrow.)  I am so thankful to be where I am, considering last year at this time I was bald, exhausted and depressed.

Tomorrow is our 9th wedding anniversary.  I can't believe it has been 9 years.  Life sure did look a lot different back then.  Some things are harder now, lots of things are better.  Richer.  It is SO GOOD to be as in love with your husband as much as you were on the day you married him... maybe more so.  It's crazy how you stand in front of a crowd, in a beautiful dress, surrounded by friends and family and you excitedly pronounce you will move through life *for better or for worse.  in sickness and in health.*  Most of the time, I would guess, people have no idea what they are pledging.  I sure didn't.  But I would do it all over again.  A thousand times over. 

So they can change my blog format, add kids to my life, take my hair away, grow it back again, but it is AMAZING to say one thing I wouldn't change is the man I'm married to.  That is something to be thankful for!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What I did on spring break, by EEK

While on vacation, all I did was lay around, soak in bubble baths, lay in the sun by the pool with fruity umbrella drinks and relax!
But you KNOW that is a lie!! Actually, while on vacation, I took my family to an INSANE restaurant that is *famous* for it's 170 item buffet. Gross. Except they had all you can eat crab legs. Not gross. however, when you take your kids and all they want are plain butter noodles from the 170 item buffet, that doesn't leave you too much time to eat the crab legs. Ahh, the crabs got lucky on our visit.
Quinn wishes we would have let him relax more. The third night in town we had dragged them around so much, he actually fell asleep while chewing. Yep, we are all about relaxing on vacation. (I TOTALLY would have judged us if I saw us out... who the heck lets their kid fall asleep at dinner, mid-bite?)
We rode an enormous Ferris wheel. The kids were a bit afraid... well, maybe not Turner. Or maybe not anyone.
Except me.

The kids spent a considerable amount of time on their trip with their faces painted.
I spent a considerable amount of time on my trip waiting in line for the kids to get their faces painted.
The paint spent considerably less time actually on their faces compared to time spent in line.
I spent a wee bit of time being annoyed about that.
We took our kids on a Pirate ship ride. After Olivia got over pouting and whining about how the trip was *only for boys*, they all had a great time!
They got to hunt for sunken treasure, taste real pirate grog, hoist the sail and fight a bad guy pirate with squirt guns. For one hour, my kids really thought they were pirates on a ship.
Restful? Relaxing? Not so much.
Fun? Memories?
For Sure!
I'm ready for the next adventure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It takes a village

Because we rolled into Dayton at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, I had already made up my mind that we would NOT be coloring eggs this year. This confession might make me a really bad mom, but I HATE coloring eggs with my kids. It's so messy. Which is ironic, since my mom had me dying eggs and hunting them through my Sophomore year in college. Yep, college.

My decision was met with tears and complaints from my 6 year old. Drama and hysterics are definitely part of our future.

But I stuck to my guns. After seven days where the world revolved around them, I was not about to kill myself so that we could color eggs. I'm a Grinch, what can I say?

Thankfully, some good friends invited us over for Easter lunch. They have three girls (one is away at college) who have occasionally babysat for our kids since Olivia was a baby. Let's just say when the kids hear we are going to Monica and Meredith's house they jump up and down and do a happy dance. These girls (and their parents) spoil our kids rotten!

Honestly, my Easter started off kind of rocky. Easter in my mind was always associated with my dad's side of the family. I'm not exactly sure why, but my dad really loved Easter. This holiday really snuck up on me (maybe it was our trip that distracted me) but it wasn't until the morning that I realized it was my first Easter without my parents.

My mom always bought the kids an Easter outfit. Here is a picture of baby Turner (pre Quinn days) on an egg hunt at my parent's. My emotion was high and my tears were flowing. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pull it together to enjoy our friends.
God always knows what we need, though! When we got to their house they had pulled out all the stops.

An egg hunt (with toys, trinkets and candy!) An amazing spread, crafts, games, great conversation and even gifts for my kids!
Which is exactly what I needed on Sunday. My soul was overwhelmed. I miss the certain way my parents did things and spoiled my kids. Don't get me wrong... we have PLENTY of family who spoil them. There is a unique way each one does it and its weird and sad some days that theirs no longer exists.

Part of my Easter blessing is that without even knowing it, our friends provided a little something that was missing from my life. God's grace through friends. (These girls are quite the little Pinterest queens, too, I might add!)

No one will ever take the place of my parents. But I'm slowly learning that sad days don't have to be totally sad!