Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Wait and See"

(by Brandon Heath) Brandon Heath - What If We - Wait and See



I'm sorry I haven't posted much this week. If I haven't talked to you personally (or you haven't seen my facebook status), you probably aren't aware that my mister ended up having surgery yesterday. Let me start at the beginning...

Christopher had an appointment with his ocular oncologist on Thursday (basically, just his regular 3-month visit). Dr B was still concerned about the blood vessel that has been bleeding since the beginning of August. As you may recall, Chris saw a specialist (Dr C) back in September; but at that time was advised against surgery. Dr C's concern was that there were possibly cancerous cells still in the tumor, and the surgery would risk spreading it. As I've mentioned before, the bleeding is not a metastatic concern; but it prevents Chris from being able to see, & it prevents Dr B from being able to get a good look at his eye.

So, Dr B sent Chris for another ultrasound, and we found that the tumor has shrunk some more. Again, this doesn't mean much from a metastatic standpoint, but we take what good news we can get! It is still considered medium-sized, but it is now more in the middle of medium, rather than at the top! {If you care to know more about the staging, you can see a detailed explanation here. Christopher's tumor started at about 6mm deep & 13.5mm in diameter, and is now about 3.5mm deep & still 13.5mm diameter, which is considered T2a.} Dr B was very pleased with the amount of shrinkage at this point.

After looking at the ultrasound pictures, Dr B recommended that Chris go back to Dr C to have the surgery to cauterize the hemorrhaged vessel & clean out the blood. He explained that the tumor is sterilized, so there shouldn't be a risk of spreading cancerous cells. When we went to see Dr C, he also warned of a higher possibility of a cataract developing. We are already expecting cataract surgery as a result of the radiation, so this isn't really a concern for us. He just may end up needing surgery a little sooner than if he only had radiation damage. The only other concern is that after surgery, other vessels inside the eye may ooze some blood, and they'll have to go back & suck the blood out. That, also, isn't too big of a concern, because it shouldn't be any worse than what he is dealing with right now!

It just so happened that Dr C had an opening for surgery the very next day, so we took it. It was an outpatient procedure called a vitrectomy. [I was going to post a link, but the picture is just too gross!] We went in super early on Friday morning, only to wait over FOUR hours for him to finally be taken in to surgery {I still don't understand why we couldn't just show up an hour before they expected to be ready for him!! Ugh!} A little over an hour later, Dr C came out to say that surgery went well. He was in recovery for about 30 minutes, and then we were free to leave. He seemed to have slept well last night (with a little help from some hydrocodone he still had from his last surgery).

At the follow up appointment today, Dr C explained that he saw some white spots in Christopher's eye. These spots indicate a lack of circulation due to radiation damage, so he might not be able to see as well as they had hoped. He said we'll just have to wait & see. Other than that, it looked good. To me, it looks worse than when the plaque was in his eye, but that blood will go away WAY easier than the blood on the inside of his eye. When Dr C checked Christopher's vision, he was unable to see the chart. But, he could see a few feet away, so that's progress!

As for my mister's recovery, he's doing very well! He is only on Tylenol & shouldn't need anything more than that. He doesn't feel great, but not awful either. He describes it like a paper cut with stitches & all of your eyelashes turned inside your eyelid. {Sorry if that made you gag!} He felt well enough to have a couple of friends over tonight, so I think that's good! He can go back to work on Monday, & he should be able to see out of his eye within a week or two! He'll be able to get rid of the patch & not have to deal with pirate jokes {though I must say, he rocked the patch! Not everybody can get by with that!}



Amy

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Fireflies"

(by Owl City) Owl City - Ocean Eyes - Fireflies



OK, so I'm not necessarily suffering from insomnia (as Adam Young was when he wrote this song), but I can't go to sleep right now. I've had a migraine today, and I took two Excedrin Migraine at about 8:45 tonight. When I get a migraine later in the day, it's always a toss up as to whether I should take the medicine or not. There are no guarantees that the migraine will actually go away. And, because of the caffeine, there's always the chance that it could keep me awake. But, I can't go to sleep when I have a migraine. So, without the medicine, I would definitely be awake! Tonight, I figured that I was better off awake in the middle of the night possibly without a migraine than awake in the middle of the night because of a migraine. And this time, I made the right choice ~> my headache is gone!

But, as you can see, I am awake.

And I'd rather be sleeping...

I've already emailed my friend Sally in England, caught up on my friends' facebook statuses & did a little "cyberstalking", entered some receipts & such in Quicken, caught up on my friends' blogs, cleaned out my email inbox, & various other boring things you probably don't really care to read about! I've done all this right here in my room while my mister is sleeping. I don't think I'll be getting the "Wife of the Year" award for this; but in all honesty, he's a sound sleeper. So, I'm thinking he has no idea. He also has no idea that I turned the fan off a little while ago ('cuz I'm freezing). But I bet if I got in bed & put my frozen toes up again his leg, he'd wake up. I don't think I'll do that, though. I may even be nice & put socks on before I get in bed. See what a considerate little wifey I am?

Alright, now that you've gotten a glimpse into my crazy, rambling, middle-of-the-night-Excedrin-Migraine-influenced mind, I think I'll sign off before I say something to really embarrass myself. Speaking of, I've been thinking of a new series that I hinted at WAY back in this post. Would it be just plain stupid to start a series about the dumb stuff I hear, say & do? Prolly. But I may do it anyways. Though I may only be foolish enough to post them on nights like this. We'll see...



Amy

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Star Wars (Main Theme)"

(by The Original Movies Orchestra) 101 Strings Orchestra - Ultimate Movie Themes, Vol.1 - Star Wars



Today was Cody's 9th birthday party, & it was Star Wars themed {just in case you hadn't figured that out with today's song choice!} My mister made pretty neat invitations that looked like the opening crawl of the films. It started with "Episode IX: A Year Older" & went on to give the details of the party. The front was like the title of the films:


My kids dressed up as Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia (sorry it's blurry ~ I'm really not a great photographer! And before any "Jedheads" get on my case, YES, I'm aware that what Princess Leia's holding is actually NOT a Star Wars gun ~ Cody was sure to point that out!)


We made cupcakes that we iced to look like dueling red & blue lightsabers. Here's my silly boy about to blow out his candles! {My mister had the great idea to do the "IX" instead of the usual #9 for the candles. Smart, eh?}


I planned a few activities (that I found online ~> I love the internet for it's help when I don't feel so creative!) There was a hunt for clues that led them to the garage, where we had the piƱata. It was a soccer ball that we altered to look like Luke's training orb from Episode IV. They hit it with a broom handle that I turned into a lightsaber. [For the record: the orb didn't shoot out beams of energy (or whatever), just candy!] :)


In all, I'd say it was a great day! Good night! May the force be with you.



Amy

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Goodbye"

(by Plankeye) Plankeye - Wings to Fly - Goodbye (Original Version)



"It's difficult to say goodbye after only one life
The rain will fall down replenishing all of our broken dreams
And this burning tree that's withering will bloom again
Would you believe?

Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away, it's time to say goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away, it's hard to say goodbye

Now all that's left, pictures on the walls, memories and stories that are told
The more often told, the bigger they get
Create a legacy lest we forget

Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away it's time to say goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away it's time to say

No longer can I hold onto this defeated change in heart, I swear
It's time to sing "fare thee well" to life as we know it
My voice it will be
You know I will be
Yes, it will be still

Something woke me up in the midst of dream and fantasy
Halfway there
But He always fills my cup
And He lifts me up, oh how He lifts me up

Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away, it's time to say goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye
Walk away it's time to say goodbye
I never took the time to stop and realize that death takes many forms
Even while alive"



As I mentioned last week, our dear friend Pete went to be with Jesus, and we are attending his memorial service today. {Have I mentioned before that I hate cancer?} Just a little over a year ago, he was a strong, healthy firefighter. A hero. He was a husband and a father of two grown children. Most importantly, Pete was a man of God with a strong faith & a servant's heart.

We met Pete & his family when my kids were about four & two. Pete & Tara's daughter Kristin was in our youth group in Midlothian (one of my favorite girls ~ but don't tell anyone! I don't think I was supposed to have favorites). Tara has been a very dear friend & mentor from the beginning. {In fact, she's one of the ladies I talked about in this post}. She was our kitchen mama at the LightHouse (the coffee shop/concert venue we had at our church), & she made the BEST brownies!

Pete would come out to the LightHouse when he wasn't at the fire station. I didn't even have to think about my kids if he was there. He would play with them all night. And if he brought his motorcycle, he would take the kids for a ride. He even talked about that when we saw him on his birthday. He recalled being the first person to give them a motorcycle ride! He seemed quite proud of that!

Pete was my kids' favorite firefighter, and he was always willing to give the kids a tour of the fire station. They absolutely LOVED going there! I've lost count of the number of times we went. Not only did they get a tour, but he let them sit inside the fire engine, spray the big water hose, put on Mr. Pete's gear & "slide" down the pole! Such fun!

He will be greatly missed.

{Tara, I hope this song puts a smile on your face & brings back fond memories of silly boys shouting, "SOMETHING WOKE ME UP...!" I love you, & I pray that He lifts you up.}



Amy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Like Whoa"

(by Aly & AJ) Aly & A.J. - Insomniatic - Like Whoa



For a long time now, Cody has wanted the almost-as-big-as-he-is Star Wars Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon. It's not the incredibly expensive LEGO version, but it's still quite a substantial chunk of change. He had been saving his allowance since Summer & finally had enough money shortly before Christmas. Seeing as I had already been able to get a super fantastic deal on it for Christmas, I advised him to wait until after Christmas & his birthday just in case. I'm sure he knew he was getting it, especially since he only wrote three items on his Christmas list! But that still didn't keep him from looking on ebay every other day to see if he could find a good deal on it!

Since he got what he wanted for Christmas, my boy was left with a wad of cash that he was itching to spend! Plus, Elly had some Christmas money, too. So, we finally went to Toys"R"Us the other night. After spending way more time there than I cared to, he finally found what he wanted: an electric scooter! He loves that it's red, like his dad's! We had to charge it over night, and I must say that he was MORE than anxious to ride it when he got home from school the next day! I didn't even make him do his homework first, because I was sorta wanting to test it out, too! {I'm just under the weight limit ~ yay!} When Elly & I were describing how it felt to ride it, we both said that you push the little thing on the handle are are like, "Whoa!" & then we laughed, because that's the title of an Aly & AJ song!

So, there you go ~ I had to write a blog post about it!

& just 'cuz I know y'all like pictures, we took a few...









Amy

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Forever Young"

(by Bob Dylan) Bob Dylan - The Essential Bob Dylan - Forever Young



"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the Truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young"

Today, my baby boy turned NINE! We keep telling him that he's not allowed to grow up, but he keeps defying us! I guess if he's going to disobey something that we say, it's better that than something else! Happy birthday, buddy. I love you!

Check out the difference between August:

& NOW!





Amy

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Hey Jude"

(by Joe Anderson) Joe Anderson - Across the Universe (Music from the Motion Picture) [Deluxe Edition] - Hey Jude





I sorta forgot about my Across the Universe soundtrack for awhile, but I've been listening to it some this week. This song is my favorite on the movie soundtrack, and also my favorite Beatles song ever. I don't know why for sure. I just love it. My absolute favorite part of the movie occurs during this song when Max says, "JUDE! HEY JUDE! HEY JUDE HEY JUDE HEY JUDE HEY JUDE HEY JUDE HEY!" If you haven't seen the movie, I don't want to ruin it for you. But that scene made me tear up a little, & it sometimes chokes me up just to hear that part of the song. I guess I'm a little weird.

This week ended on a very sad note. The world has lost a hero. Our dear friend Pete (that we saw on our Christmas break) is now in heaven with his Savior. He lost his battle with stupid cancer. I started a post about him yesterday, but I need more time to scan some pictures & stuff. We'll be attending his memorial service next Saturday, so I plan to post it then. He truly was an awesome person, and he is greatly missed already. Please pray for his family.

On a brighter note, Elly finally had her BizTown field trip on Thursday.


I talked about it here & posted a little video. I'd have to say it was the neatest field trip I've been on. The "town" consisted of about 14 shops that were completely run by the kids (with a little help from the parents). I really can't do it justice, so here's another video tour!



I hope you have a great weekend!




Amy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Back to Life"

(by Soul II Soul) Soul II Soul - Volume I - Keep on Movin' - Back to Life



Well, Christmas break is over, & it's back to life for me! We had a wonderful time for the two+ weeks that my kids were out of school. We did a lot of sleeping in & a lot of visiting with friends & family. Our trip to see my mister's family in the Dallas area ended up being somewhat of a reunion tour! Though we weren't able to make it to see my grandmother & Kendra's family (because of the road conditions), we had the opportunity to see a few friends & family members that we haven't seen in quite awhile. It has been several years since we saw Christopher's Grandma, sister, nephew, uncle & a couple of cousins ~ so it was super great to see all of them again! We also had a wonderful visit with friends we hadn't seen in awhile (the family of the man I mentioned in Cody's segment of my 2009 Recap post).

Here we are with some of Christopher's mom's side of the family:


& here are the kids with their Uncle Alex & cousin Gabriel:


We had the last of our Christmas celebrations with my family this past weekend. Between my mom's Saturday night & our house with Dad on Sunday, this was the best picture I was able to get of the kids with their cousins (my silly, camera-shy brother's kids ~ like father, like children):


As for my goals this year, I'm making progress! I realized last night that if I put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning, my odds of actually working out were better. And it worked! After taking the kids to school in the freezing cold & snuggling under a blanket with my puppy for a little while, I determined that the only way to really warm up was to work out. So, I did about 20 minutes of Wii Fit. I know it's not a lot, but I'm really just trying to re-establish the habit at first. I also don't need to lose weight, so I'm not trying to go all out with a crazy routine! I just want to be healthy! I would go walk my dog, but I'm not crazy! I'm a true Texan, and 28 degrees is just too cold for me (& my little dog, too)!

I also started a load of laundry before sitting down to coffee & the Bible. {I'm telling you, I'm trying real hard to start the year off right! I'm quite proud of myself for remembering to start the laundry!} I have decided to read through the Bible this year. I haven't done that since Bible school, so I felt like this was a good time to do it again. On my phone, I have a Bible app with a daily Bible reading plan, so it's kinda handy! It has readings in both the Old & New Testaments, along with a Psalm or two. I'm enjoying it so far, though I'm confused about the order of things. For some reason, we're reading through Genesis & Matthew (which makes sense), but have skipped a few Psalms...not real sure why, but I'm cool with sticking to the plan! I'm sure we'll read them later!

I hear the dryer buzzing at me for the second time. Back to life, back to...





Amy

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Chin Up"

(by Amy Stroup) Amy Stroup - Chin Up - Chin Up





Wow! Three posts in three days! Can you believe it?! & I didn't even make a resolution to blog more! Today's song is yet another one of Amy Stroup's! I don't have much time today, because we've got more Christmas celebrations! Next week, I'll post some pictures from our visits with extended family.

I'll close with another 3D Building Projection from TVP (the company my mister works for). This time, it was for the City of Sugar Land's New Year's Eve/50th Anniversary celebration.



I hope y'all have a super great weekend! :)




Amy

Friday, January 1, 2010

"The New Year"

(by Death Cab for Cutie) Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism - The New Year



"So this is the new year
And i don't feel any different
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance (in the distance)

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogues bleed into one

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then i could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that could hold us back...

So this is the new year..."

A new year & a new blog look! My mister has been working on this for the past week or so. Isn't he awesome?! If you have dropped by this lovely New Year's afternoon, it probably isn't completely finished! But, we're about to go see my mister's football friend. So he'll have to finish it later! But, please come back & see the awesome job he has done!

Anyways, I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions, but I figured it would be nice to have some goals. So, here are my 10 goals for 2010:

  1. Spend time with God daily
  2. Go on more dates with my mister
  3. Actually have Game Night with the kids & not just talk about doing it!
  4. Stay in better touch with my extended family
  5. Be a better friend (ie. listen more/talk less)
  6. Get caught up in the kids' scrapbooks
  7. Get caught up {& stay caught up} in the family scrapbook
  8. Be a better pet owner (by training Pepper better & walking her more)
  9. Stay on top of my housework & stop making excuses for not doing stuff
  10. Exercise 3x a week
I'm trying to be realistic, but I have to be honest. I have become very lazy lately. Some of these goals require a bit of effort. OK, ya, mainly the housework one.

And the exercise one.


I hope to be more disciplined & motivated this year. If you have any tips to help me be more disciplined & motived, please share! And, yes, you have the right to hold me accountable. So, you have my goals for 2010. What are yours?


Amy