Friday, February 24, 2017

Graduation Day

Yesterday was my brother's graduation day.  Graduation day from chemo and radiation treatments.  Now we wait.  We wait weeks until he tests again to see if the treatments did their job.  We continue prayers for healing, prayers for this fight against the most hated disease ever.  But we also rejoice.  We rejoice that his treatments are done. We rejoice that his attitude never wavered.  We rejoiced that his 5 1/2 weeks of inconvenience is done.  We rejoice in the angels called doctors and nurses that were by his side the entire time, and continue to be there.  We rejoice that for now, the daily trips to Houston have subsided.  We rejoice in the miracle of medicine.  

Waiting to go back for his last treatment....

I can't explain how honored I felt to be there yesterday to see my brother ring that grateful I felt he was able to do this.  Choking up walking back and letting the tears fall as he stood there ringing that bell with a huge smile on his face.  He's kicking cancer's ass, just as he said he would.

His radiation nurses....

Dr. Komaki and Dr. Chad (radiation) 

It was an awesome day for sure....

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cookies From The Heart

Today was very much needed extra day off for me and the kids.  I knew it was supposed to be a rainy day so I told Bella we could bake cookies if she wanted to.  Boy she jumped at that.  She was watching Pioneer Woman with me last weekend and saw these cookies and wanted to make them so that's what we we did.

A few things about these cookies.  Chilling the dough is required which was no problem, but I did learn that I roll out dough too slow.  I had to chill the dough again after cutting only 4 cookies.  It became too sticky and once the cookies were cut, I had a hard time getting them from board to baking sheet without messing them up.  The other thing you should know is instead of using flour when rolling out your dough, you use cocoa powder.  I just thought flour made a mess.  No comparison.  After chilling the dough three times, we got 15 cookies and called it good.  I probably could have gotten 2 more but I was done chilling and rolling.  :)

Here are our results...

Instead of stenciled letters, I used a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter for the powdered sugar.  Using a small x-acto knife, I traced/cut the heart out of wax paper.  Placed the wax paper on top of the cookie, then sprinkled the powdered sugar on top.  Bella thought this was GENIUS!!  I love that I can still impress the heck out of my 8 year old. 

The cookies are good.  They are very, very chocolatey. I like chocolate but I'm not a big fan of chocolate, if that makes any sense at all.  If I'm baking a cake, it will be a yellow cake, not chocolate. Every now and then I'll crave chocolate, but not at the top of my got to have it, love, love, love it list.  Christopher wouldn't touch them.  He's never been a chocolate fan either, but give him Reese's Peanut Cups and he'll love you forever.  Bella loves them.  No surprise there.  I think I will stick with my Sweeties.  Now that's a cookie I love but have never attempted to make before.  I think I don't want to mess with perfection.  ha!  

The last I left y'all, I mentioned a procedure I was having last week.  That procedure revealed that yours truly has a stomach ulcer.  Queen Bee worrier right here!  I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow afternoon to see what else my doctor says but he has increased my meds to twice daily for a month and then I'll have a repeat scope in 6-8 weeks.  In the meantime, I am trying very hard to reduce my stress. How to exactly do that, I really have no idea.  Baking and cooking has always been relaxing and therapeutic for me, except when cookie dough kicks your ass.  :)  I also need to make time to get out and walk.  If I could take time off from work, I would totally do that as well, but its not in the cards right now.  I'm also adjusting my diet a little more, but if anyone can tell me where the switch is in my head to turn off the worrying and the stress, please let me know.   

Y'all have a good one!  

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I'm sitting outside cooling off after raking and bagging all the leaves that had piled up by the front of the house. 3 bags total. Not bad at all. The back yard will be a different story. I will save that for another day and after Christopher runs the mower over the yard. It's good for the yard but some leaves will have to be bagged up because there are just too many.

My point to this rant is that it's too freaking hot for February.  I should not be sweating this much already. I'm not even going to think about what it will be like in the summer. I so look forward to cooler temps but they pretty much neglected us this year. My fall/winter wardrobe were barely dusted off. You know what would be super awesome? We are always having a warmer than normal winter. Let's have a cooler than normal summer!  All those in favor raise your hands. I have both of mine in the air.  Lol! Wouldn't that be something.

In other news, I turned 45 yesterday. FORTY-FIVE. Can you tell I'm having issues with birthdays this year? Most days I don't feel like I've reached this young age however, today is the exception. Working in the yard reominds me that I'm not a young whippersnapper anymore. I'm fairly certain y'all will hear me scream when I roll out of bed tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning...that's a whole other story.  Remember all that heartburn I mentioned a while back. Well after 5 days of it I went to the doctor because 5 days of heartburn just wasn't normal for me. Two days isn't normal. After he poked, tugged, listened and asked a lot of questions, he deduced it was stress induced gastritis and gave me some meds to treat it but  also referred me to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy. Apparently it's time to have this done since I'm OVER 40, and since I'm having issue, good to have everything checked out. I'm so happy. Not. So far they are not helping with the stress. I have insurance and while I am super grateful for it, I will still be dropping $800 tomorrow morning for my procedure. Yay me! Anyway, I am hoping and praying all will check out fine and I will not be required to take medicine all the time. I might mention that my blood pressure and EKG were ideal so stress affects me in other ways I guess. Hey, on the bright side of things, I get an extra day off of work!!

I guess I have cooled off enough and should get back to my yard work. Darn the luck, a cool front didn't blow in while I was resting. Ha!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

18 Year Old In The House

Christopher Michael,

I know I asked this question every year but seriously son....18?!!?

You are 18 today!!


I wonder if my parents ever felt that way each year?  Hell, there were so many of us, they were probably thinking, "damn, he/she's only this age??"

I don't even know where to begin.  Do I start with the day you were born or with today? Do I talk about how you drive me absolutely crazy at times or how much I still gush that you are my son?  Do I talk about you have made me one of the proudest mommies in the whole world or how your very bad decisions have aged me at least 5-10 years?  Or do we talk about the biggest, most awesome thing you did for you mommy and that's how you saved my life.


I'm sorry, I'm just blown away this day has already arrived.

If we go back to the day you were born and the hours leading to your arrival, I would have known that you were only preparing my patience for things to come.  Of course to know that back then, I would have needed all the wisdom I have now.  I've said it before, you took your sweet time to get here and it is exactly how you have lead your life.  Everything is in your time.  While I admire that about you, it can also drive me crazy.  That's where my patience have to come in and sometimes I just don't have them.  We push through it and everything seems to work out but Lordy, I am tested.

Proud mommy moments come almost daily.  When you find something you're passionate about, you throw yourself into it.  When you accomplish a feat or something finally clicks for you.  When you cook dinner for the family or help your sister with a simple task.  When you ask if I'm okay or when you're concerned for someone else.  I could go on, but all those big and little things make me so proud of you.

Bad decisions come with growing up.  I know that, but I have always hoped that I (and your father) have taught you well enough that you would never make a single bad decision.  Everyone makes them. I still do.  Its how we learn but damn mommies want so much more for their children.  I don't want you to have to learn lessons the hard way.  I know all these lessons will only make you a better and stronger person.  I believe that and I have faith in that.

Saving my life.  You did that for me after your brother died.  I never thought about taking my life but I didn't care to feel anything.  I thought it was wrong to move on.  I thought I should grieve every day for the rest of my life. Not enjoy life, not be happy.  You changed that because you needed me.  You needed me to help you grieve, to help you continue to learn, grow, play and just be a happy 4 year old boy. Because of you, I went on with my life.  Because you needed me, I tried my best to make things as normal and as happy as I possible could for you. It wasn't always pretty and happy because we were sad for a long time but we went on.  For that my son, I thank you.

I continue to only want great things for you.  I am always here for you and will continue to always be here for you for all things great or small.  You tease about buying a large "cadillac style" shed for the backyard to fix up so you can have your own place but still be close to mommy.  Secretly, I would love it but I do want you to spread your wings and fly.  If that takes you across town or somewhere further away, I am okay with that as long as you always keep mommy close and stay connected.

Happy 18th son....I love you always.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Brightest Star In Heaven

The time is nearing. The time when I got that horrible phone call telling me you weren't breathing well and were taken by ambulance to the hospital.  I don't know the exact time, but I remember it was just after 4:00 and it was Friday.

We were to have your brother's birthday party Sunday, his 4th birthday.  I had gathered and bagged up shredded paper to use at the party.  We were going to hide candy, hot wheels cars and other fun stuff in the paper to make it like a treasure hunt.  The work day was coming to a close and I was ready to leave, get my boys and head home for a fun weekend.

God had other plans.

My chest tightens as that time draws closer to that call.  I can't escape it, no matter how much I try. The flashbacks start.  My body knows the time.

I often wonder how different life would have been had that phone call never came. The lessons I've learned since would have never came. Perhaps in other ways, different times and circumstances.  I would have never known how a parent feels to lose a child or how a broken heart can go on beating once its experienced such a loss.

Life has gone on without you here.  I hate knowing what that feels like.  I hate when this happens to someone else.  No parent should ever have to endure this.  I wish at times I could help them, but truthfully, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do. No words help. No actions help.  Everyone handles loss in their own way and only they can figure out how to manage.

Last year when this date rolled around, my sweet friend Callie gave me a card with this quote,

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars."  - John Green

She went on to say how blessed I am to always have the brightest of stars glimmering down onto his momma always.

He is my brightest of stars in the Heavens.

I love you Jace....


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Be Gentle February

Oh man this month is full of emotions.  A roller coaster if you will.  I'm going in trying to be positive but there are times when I wish we could just skip this month.

Thinking positive....

My friend Steffani posted this picture/Valentine's Day idea on FB yesterday...

I kicked this off last night after the kids were asleep.  I wrote a note to each of them and taped them on the wall in the hallway.  I have no idea if Christopher noticed it before leaving this morning but Bella sure did.  She thought it was the coolest thing.  I think its pretty cool too. I'll take a pic and show y'all as it progresses or we're done.  ;)

This next picture just made me laugh out loud because if I'm being honest....this is reality.

Let's talk about the very first item under daily because I close the door to Bella's room all the damn time.  Y'all, I will get in there and clean, organize and throw so many pieces of paper away, its crazy.  Christopher has done the same but she will inevitably get in there and trash her room.  I shouldn't say "trash" because its not like that but it certainly looks like Tornado Bella went through there.  I have threatened the last item under Daily more times than I can remember, and some things have "disappeared" on cleaning days when she is not home.  When I read this list, I seriously thought that somebody had been watching me to create this list.  Sad, but very true.  Thankfully, I do have a lady who comes to clean my house every two weeks so that helps but during the holidays and other times of the year when we skip a cleaning, its a clorox wipe to the countertops.  I have walked into Bella's tornado thinking I'll clean, stood there and laughed trying to keep from crying and then just walked away shaking my head.  I definitely did not get the "I love to clean" gene.  

Thinking positive...have to be positive.

Y'all have a good one!