August 31, 2010


Community Reformed (our church) is starting a MOPS program this fall.  We will be meeting on the first and third Friday of the month.  They have started a wonderful blog full of great information, we would love to have you join us.  The open house is Friday, September 17 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. There will be refreshments, a chance to meet the steering team, & a kids craft. You will receive a welcome packet when you register.  We've got some great speakers and craft projects lined up!

We are also doing a fundraiser on September 11.  A garage sale at the church.  You can reserve a table to sell your own things at for just $10 (think of how much you would have to spend on advertising for your own garage sale, this is a great deal), you keep your profits, or you could donate items for us to sell and we keep the profits.  Either way, it's a great way to get rid of some junk!

On another subject comepletely... I'm growing hair.  My shower this morning took longer than usual because I had to shave.  Definitely didn't miss that ordeal.  My hair on my head is growing longer every day (and every morning I get up and check it out and then make Matt look at it too, he's kind of sick of it).  Yay for hair!!!!

I have five treatments left!  FIVE!  I'll be thrilled to be done with all that, although I'm far from done.  I will then have radiation (the thought of that scheduling nightmare stresses me out more than I care to admit) and then Herceptin treatments once every three weeks until next July(ish).  Today my appointment is much later in teh afternoon than normal, I'm hoping to still get out on time, I've got a photoshoot tonight as well!  Busy busy busy!

August 24, 2010


I've had a few people ask why I don't have any meals scheduled anymore.  For a while I felt guilty letting others cook for me, I was feeling pretty good, had decent energy and there really wasn't a great reason not to do it ourselves.  But, as I get more and more worn out and with Matt being gone 3-4 nights per week it's getting harder and harder to get time (and energy) to cook something.  So, I've added a few dates to the ekklesion site (see link on the right side of blog), please read the info at the top of the page (on the ekklesion website) as I've revised it just a bit.  Any help is appreciated, if you can't bring a meal, but want to help, gift cards are great options too, we have been so blessed by so many of you doing wonderful things to help us out in this way (both meals and g.c.'s), you can't possibly know how helpful this was and continues to be for us!  Thank you!

For the Broken

In Isaiah 6:10, Isaiah said that those who do not seek to know and understand God have hardened their hearts against Him and cannot turn to Him for healing. Only when our hearts are broken can God shower us with righteousness (Hosea 10:12). (Fill in the blank here, make it personal) broke my heart wide open. It shattered It into a million pieces. It was my brokenness that allowed the Word of God to slowly begin penetrating the depths of my hearts (Prov. 4:20-22). And, it was through that brokenness that God could begin the most significant restoration project in my life.

Have you given God the pieces of your broken heart? Sometimes we hold on to our brokenness because we’re not finished grieving, were not finished being angry, or we simply don’t trust Him to make us whole again. But, God wants to fill the empty void you feel in the pit of your soul. He wants to send you a skilled craftsman, one who knows every piece of your shattered heart. One who knows your every pain, one who has shared in your suffering, and one who can put the pieces back together and make you well and whole and more beautiful than before. (Isaiah 61:1). He wants to give you Jesus.

Just some thoughts and inspiration from a book I was given by a dear friend.  The book is called "Grace for each hour" by Mary J Nelson.

August 18, 2010


I promised some of these pictures a while ago... but it took way longer to finish than I thought it would!

Not the greatest pictures, but I took these with my old camera so that I wouldn't have to resize them for uploading.  I now wish that I had painted the larger frames with chalkboard paint, but I won't tell you how many coats matt put on them to get them perfect and I didn't dare ask for a change!  :)  All in all I'm happy with how it turned out!

FYI, these are all hung with Command Adhesives, best invention EVER!  No holes in the wall and when I want to take them down I can and no one will ever know there was anything there!

I started Bailey's backpack, just that one ruffle on the bottom, but I was super excited with the change that just that one ruffle made!  So much more personal!  Can't wait to get more on there.  Slowly but surely!

And... look what I got working today!  I was doing all the sewing by hand and wow that was taking forever, now I can go much faster!

August 16, 2010

Links galore

Seriously trying to do this for Bailey this year... so super duper cute!

Some SUPER cute roses...

How cute is this t-shirt.  Reminds me of something I would get at Ann Taylor Loft!

Wouldn't Miss Lila look absolutely ADORABLE in this?

OK, that's good for now, but I've got lot's more.  Now if only I knew how to fix my sewing machine, but then I guess I would have to figure out how to work the silly thing!  I don't really have the patience for sewing, but I sure wish I did!

Losing my mind and painfully tired

WOW, what a difference a few days makes.  I am seriously losing my mind.  I can remember just about nothing.  I start doing something and can't remember what it is I'm doing (while doing it).  Two minutes ago I couldn't think of the website name where you can upload videos.  You know, the popular one.  The one everyone uses... yeah, that one.  I hope that it is just a result of being painfully tired.  Yes, I said PAINFULLY tired.  Worn out.  Fatigued.  I've been sleeping ok, so I'm guessing its just from the chemo, but it really stinks!  Seven more weeks!  Seven more weeks!  I CAN do it!  I'm still not "sick" and I can still do everything I need to do so I'm still considering myself very lucky, just had to complain for a minute!

August 14, 2010

Note to self...

Cleaning out the closet takes a lot more effort and a lot more time these days.  I decided to get our closet clean this morning.  We do not have closet doors, so this really is a necessary evil.  Don't get me started on why we don't have closet doors, we just don't right now.  Never have actually.  Ten+ years of marriage and no closet doors.  In the big scheme of things, closet doors don't matter though! 

Matt was responsible for his half (actually more like 3/4) of the closet, so I didn't have that much to do. I've been really good the last 6 months or so of getting rid of clothes I don't wear, so there really isn't that much left as far as clothes go. But I do have a bag and blanket obsession that needed to be sorted through. That and all the little projects that have found thier way to the shelf, and the tub of shoes that lie on the floor. Anyway, it was a lot of work. By the end I was laying on the floor nearly sleeping with a back ache like I haven't had before. It occured to me that chemo really is taking a toll on my body. Even if I don't feel it every day. It's all accumulating, making life just a little bit harder. But, as always, it could be worse! It could be much worse.

Last weekend I had the honor of second shooting a beautiful wedding with my friend Becky (of Bee Tree Studios).  The details of this wedding were incredible.  Such a laid back, yet stunning event!

Landon had a fabulous time on his Possum Trip.  They went to Chicago, St Louis, Minneapolis and Madison.  You can read more about their trip here.

On Wednesday I was able to go with some friends and our daughters to Chicago for the day.  All of the girls bought new dolls at American Girl.  When we got to the store, I was completely stubborn about Bailey not getting a new doll, but in the end it was all her money and she could do whatever she wanted, so, a doll it was.  A curly hair doll.  While we were there we saw a doll getting her hair done at the salon, this doll and wicked hair.  Someone had had way to much fun with her.  I'm glad that Bailey got to see it so she knows that it can happen and that her mom really isn't that mean when I tell her not to do her hair to much!

We also hit up Cheesecake factory where our waiter was quite a charecter.  By the end (or actually middle) of the meal we were scared to say "thank you", our waiter ALWAYS responded with "No, Thank You.  That's my job, that's what I do" or "I'm here to take care of you beautiful".  The one time he said "your welcome" we all just looked at each other, not sure what was happening!

And, just because he is awfully darn cute... Elliot!

Speaking of cute, miss Lila is doing way more walking these days than she is crawling!  I would say we officially have a fourth "walker" in our house!  :)

Whoa, I just checked out the Susan G Komen "Team Bell" site... 102 member strong!  WOW!  You are all AMAZING!  If you haven't signed up and would like to or know someone that would go here!
If you wanted to order a long sleeve "Fight Like a Girl" t-shirt or sweatshirt the deadline is fast approching... information can be found here!

August 9, 2010

Life in general...

I thought I would stop in and do a more thorough update, but I warn you right from the beginning, it's not that exciting.

Lila is walking more and more each day, I've found that putting her in a dress helps that situation.  Have you ever tried to crawl while wearing a dress?  It appears that it would be quite frustrating and so walking is a better option!  I still wouldn't call her a "walker", but it won't be long.  She is a feisty little girl, unafraid to let us know what she wants or more importantly, does not want (typically by screaching quite loudly).  Ahhh, life with girls!

Elliot is loving summer!  I was having him try some shirts on for fall the other day and he was putting up such a fight.  He doesn't like "regular" clothes.  He ONLY likes basketball shorts and basketball shirts (preferably sleeveless).  We've finally made progress in this area though, the only thing I ask of him is on Sunday's for church I get to pick out his clothes AND he get's to change right after church.  We discussed how I get to pic out his school clothes, as well, this fall, we have not yet discussed that this may include jeans or pants and long sleeves at some point, I'm sure that will once again be an adjustment that includes some tears or yelling.

Bailey has been working on keeping her room clean in hopes of getting a few toys back, it's not perfect, but I'm trying to remember that she is 9, it isn't supposed to be perfect.  She is getting some much needed one on one time this week.  She is already soaking it all up.  I'm pretty sure she won't be sleeping in her own bed all week either, she is so scared to be downstairs alone (see the following paragraph for the reason she is alone downstairs).  Matt doesn't get it at all, I on the otherhand, remember being afriad of the basement, and even my own bedroom, all to well.  Every little nonise was magnified to an unbearable point, every little noise must have been the monster lurking just beyond the door...

Landon left yesterday morning on a possum trip with a group from church.  If your unfamiliar with possum trips, it's basically where they travel at night (on a bus with beds) and wake up in a mysterious location each morning, the kids don't know where they are going until they get there, this particular trip (although I'm sure it depends on the group) is full of service projects along with other fun trips and activities!  Once the kids boarded the bus we received an itinerary for the trip.  He is going to have such a great time!  Yesterday they went to Willow Creek for church, they fed homeless in Chicago, went to Chinatown and visited Navy Pier.  This morning they should be waking up in St Louis and have another fun day planend there!

We had a great weekend, I made it through all the busyness better than I anticipated (thanks for the prayers).  Nothing really exciting to share.  The heat this week is going to be interesting.  I'm quite sick of the humidity.  Heat is ok alone but good grief, it get's nearly impossible to go outside when the air is this thick.  That said, I'm not ready for winter yet either... I guess you could say I will never be happy!

There's a pretty general update for you, sorry, life just isn't that exciting.

August 7, 2010

2:33 am

Yes, it's the middle of the night, yes, I'm once again awake.  My memory is not serving me as well as it used to and I've been meaning to blog about this for a week or so now.  So, since I'm awake here you go:

Many of you have asked when I will have another PET or CT scan to make sure the chemo is working.  I had never been told anything about it but finally remembered to ask.  I will not be having another one.  Because the first one was clean there is no reason to have another one.  If ever I start to have problems of one sort or another then they will be quick to do one, but in the meantime they say the additional radiation combined with the stress that comes with the fact that they always find something on those scans (making you wait 3 months until they can do another one to see if anything has changed), it just isn't beneficial to do. 

So, there's that.  I still think that my mind would be put at easet to just check things out, but for now I'm trusting my doctor to make the right decicions.  She knows how I feel about this and I fully trust that she has my best interest in mind.

OK, trying to get some sleep now... we'll see!

August 6, 2010

Prayer Requests

Just a quick update, I promise to update more later (like in a few days)...

1. I'm very tired.  It seems to be getting worse each week.  I know this is petty and I am very thankful that I'm not sick (aka throwing up), but I'm definitely more and more worn out each day.  Part of it is my own fault, I tend to over schedule, but I like to be busy and naps have been harder and harder to get (b/c I can't fall asleep, not because I don't have the freedom to do it).  So, prayer request number one is ENERGY.

2.  I started physical therapy again today.  Long story short... the first time improved my movement, this time will actually loosen the cord that was caused by the removal of lymph nodes.  The PT massaged it quite a bit and I am not scared to admit that I was near tears once or twice.  And now it really is hurting me.  I get to go back three times a week for at least 2 weeks, possibly a month.  So, prayer request number two is pain management and time management.  This definitely makes me feel more rushed.  In addition to the pain from pt today, I got rear ended on my way to work.  Luckily I had Matt's truck so the only thing she hit was the big ol' hitch (no damage for me), she had a little damage from the hitch going into her front end, but she did hit me quite hard and I got a jold, now my back is in pain as well.

On a side note regarding the time management, I'm so sad to say that I recently had to quit my job.  I just am struggling to much to find babysitters and the time to actually be there.  I'm sad that I'm missing things at home when I'm gone, and it's hard for me to exert the energy working when I know that I need the energy for my family.  That said though, they are currently accepting applications, it's a great place to work if you want to work approx. 10ish hour/week (stop in soon to find out more information and to get an application).

I am done (for now) with my expansions.  I may decide to do one more before the initial surgery, but I have until late September to decide on that!  This is wonderful for me, as it's one less appointment (although, if I was going to do weekly appts, this office, Dr. Dodde and Dr. Hoberman, is definitely where I would want to do it, they have an incredibly friendly staff!), one appointment down and now I add 3 more/week!