Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Hope Is What We Crave"

(by for KING & COUNTRY) 

I've been listening to a bunch of random music lately...Citizens, Ellie Holcomb, David Ramirez, for KING & COUNTRY, Anchor & Braille, and others that I can't think of right now. It's great to discover new artists, but it stinks when I want to buy a bunch of their stuff! Especially when Gungor has come out with a new album that I'd like to spend money on, too. Goodness. Today's song is one of my favorites right now. I like the whole thing...the lyrics, the harmonies, everything. You should totally listen to it!

And now for my week...

...the guys that I work for spoil me with chocolate, and I love it! One day Lance gave me a couple of Reese's miniatures, and I quite happily told him that he was my favorite for now. Aaron was standing there and raised an eyebrow at Lance saying, "For now..." Lance had barely stepped away from my desk when Neil (having no knowledge of what had just occurred) rounded the corner with a large tin of yummy goodness! I was speechless {I know, shocked?!} and Lance said, "Well that lasted about 20 seconds!"

...I got to play Bunco at my friend Beth's house {I don't think I've played since I used to sub for a group in my old neighborhood, which means it has been over four years!}

...I met two brand new babies, including Kristi's baby Emma ~ my newest adorable little neighbor! little hummingbird friend came for a visit while I was enjoying God and His creation in my garden {which I totally need to do more often!}

...I went to my Disney princess friend's birthday party!! I failed to take a picture {surprised?} but snagged this one from facebook:

...and while driving home from Magaly's party, this happened to poor Silvie:

Not that there's a good time to have a tire situation, but I wouldn't recommend 1:15am! Fortunately I was just outside of my neighborhood, and Christopher heard his phone when I called for help. I was able to make it to the car place and didn't have to wait very long for him to come and get me! What's weird is the fact that I almost drove a different way home, because I thought that my friend might be driving that direction & could rescue me if my car broke down. Weird thought to have, huh? I didn't go that way, but who knew I'd actually be in need of assistance?!

...I got to see my sweet boy run in another cross country meet! He finished in 13:05, which I think it super great! We rode with Wade & Amy again, which is super fun {especially when Wade doesn't beat me 182 to 7 in the airplane spotting game!}

Alrighty, I'm going to bed. I only got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night this morning, so this mama is exhausted! I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! ♥


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"In My Room"

(by The Beach Boys) 

In My Room by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark

My bedroom has undergone quite a transformation over the past month, and I'm so excited to say that it's actually done & can be crossed off my list! Decorating a bedroom may not seem very list-worthy, but it's something I've wanted to do for a loooong time! I even bought different bedding a couple of years ago (as evidenced in the pictures), and had every intention of redoing the room at that point. But it always seemed to be the lowest priority, so it has never been complete. And honestly, it isn't 100% complete because it is lacking some art on the walls. But I'm not real concerned about that, so I'm calling it done.

As with most projects around my house, I did things on the cheap. I had originally planned on buying some used furniture for my friend Elaine to paint for me, but she thought my furniture had good enough bones to be painted. I wasn't sure about that at first, but she said that I could always sell it if I didn't like it when she was done. Within about two minutes of the painting process, I was already in love! And paint is way less expensive than an entire furniture set!

I fell in love with a chaise lounge that we happened upon at World Market one day, and it was on clearance for around $200! Since I was saving money by not purchasing a bedroom set, I snatched it up! I had been wanting to put something different in the bay window, so I was ecstatic to find something that I loved for such a great price! Elaine & I managed to find bedding for less than $50 (on sale and using a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond) and some pillows & other random accessories for pretty cheap, too. I was able to find 1500 thread count sheets for $25 (for King-size!) on Amazon. And after looking at several stores for curtains that were longer than the standard 84",  I finally found some 96" curtains at Hobby Lobby (for half price: two panels for $25). I cut them down the middle & hemmed them to make four thinner curtains (which look better with the small side windows). I made the curtain rod out of PVC pipe (using this tutorial, and it only cost around $10 instead of $80). After spray painting a few items that I already had, I came in under $500.

And now for the pictures...

This was my room when we first moved in:

And here it is now:

I had never been happy with how unbalanced the pieces look, but I never really knew what else to do. Elaine thought we should repurpose the highboy & use it as storage a statement piece in my entryway {I'll show you a picture of it later, but trust me, it's gorgeous!} She found another nightstand that was nearly identical to the one I already had, and she painted it to match. This is how it looked straight on (all asymmetrical and stuff):

And here it is more balanced:

We took the seriously outdated mirror off the dresser & replaced it with a mirror that was leaning up against the wall {just like the clock that has been in the background of pictures--on the floor--for the last four years. Sorry, Amy, I should just get rid of it!} Here is the dresser with the outdated mirror:

And here it is all updated:

I am SO happy with my bedroom transformation!! Plus I was able to spend a lot of time with Elaine and get to know her better, so it was a win-win situation! Speaking of...Elaine posted about this on her blog, too. So if you'd like to see more pictures & get some more technical details, head on over there!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Anchor of Hope"

(by Ellie Holcomb) 

I know that I posted this song recently, but I didn't really talk about it. It is just. so. good. Seriously, y'all, listen to it. Over and over. It's beautiful! I really can't pick one favorite part, but if I had to, I'd pick this:

You are light in the dark
You are healing for the broken heart
You are hope, You are Lord,
You are life, You are love that endures

And now for my week...

...I received a phone call from Elly's AP first thing on Monday morning informing me that she was being moved to the other class!! She has been in there since Tuesday, and it is going much better. Thank you for your prayers!

...I got to spend some time with these cute kids:

...Wade told me that he has often thought that I would make a good sitcom character. I'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult, but I'm choosing to think of it as a compliment! When I told Elly about it, she said that I was sort of like someone [I can't remember who]. Then she said, "You know, she's kind of a nerd, but..." :/

...I finally finished my room transformation!! My friend Elaine (who painted the furniture) wrote a little blog post about it, and I will link to it from here when I get a chance to do a little blog post of my own. If you just can't wait, she posted a link on my facebook wall. Otherwise, you can wait until I do a little before & after post this week (I hope).

...I had a pretty eventful last 24 hours or so! I went to Laurien's to make a Reese's cheesecake for our mid-birthday celebration. {Yes, that's random, but she didn't get a chance to make it for my birthday, so we decided to make one together half-way through our birthdays! We're a couple of weeks late, but that's beside the point...} The plan was to make the cheesecake last night & share it with our families today. While we were busy being chefs at her parents' house last night, there was a torrential downpour that continued for hours...

...I ended up getting flooded in & had a little impromptu sleepover at Laurien's! I had to earn my keep, though, by helping her family put a pump in the pool to keep it from flooding their house {& by helping, I mean that I held a flashlight &/or umbrella!} Here we are in our flood attire:

I thought my adventure was over, but I was wrong...Before I left Laurien's, Chris texted to say that the power was out in half of the house (the kitchen, living room, master bed/bath, and laundry room, as well as the A/C, of course). After doing a little troubleshooting, we realized that we needed an electrician. Fortunately, Lance's step-dad is one, and he was super great to walk us through what we needed to do. After several phone calls to him and the power company, we finally managed to get on the schedule for them to arrive by 8:45 tonight! I was so glad that the storm had brought a cool front, though, because it wasn't too hot in the house without A/C! Nichole was so kind to invite us over for lunch, and as we were walking home from her house we discovered that the power company was already at our house! And to make it even better, it was their issue, not ours! I was prepared to have to shell out quite a bit of money (based on a similar experience at the house we used to rent), so I was pleasantly surprised to not have to pay a single penny! Our power was restored in time for me to make dinner for Laurien's family, and we thoroughly enjoyed our mid-birthday cheesecake celebration! :)

I suppose that's all of the exciting parts of my week! I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! ♥


Friday, September 20, 2013

"Talking in Your Sleep"

(by The Romantics)

Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics on Grooveshark

A friend of mine mentioned that his wife talks in her sleep, and it reminded me of a little story I'd like to share in a:

Mistopher Christopher talks in his sleep every once in awhile. It usually doesn't make sense, but I try to figure out what he's talking about anyways. Sometimes he'll say stuff that has something to do with what's going on in his life, like the time he told me to meet him at 635 & Preston (where he had recently helped a friend with a project). And sometimes he just mumbles, and I can't decipher a single word.

Then there was the time that I heard him clear as a bell, and he was saying something about a connection with Michelle...!

I wasn't sure with Michelle, so I asked if it was Michelle A (a friend) or Michelle B (a co-worker). I'm not sure why it mattered, but I wanted to know! He said that he was talking about Michelle B. I really couldn't see him feeling "a connection" with her, but I was curious about what was going on in his dream! I wasn't bothered by it, because I've had dreams about random people who don't mean anything to me. And I've had even crazier dreams about people who do mean something to me, but they were doing evil things like trying to kill me!

Anyways, I asked a few more questions so I could figure out what was going on. It's not always easy to get an answer from someone who's sleeping, so I got a lot of mumbling. But I eventually discovered that his dream was taking place at work, and he was talking about a computer connection! ü

Do any of your friends or family members talk in their sleep? Have you ever managed to have a conversation with them while they've been talking? Did you find out any secrets?! ;) I'd love to hear your story!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

"I Like to Be With Me When I'm With You"

(by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors) 

This week has been mostly good! Other than me being incredibly tired from early mornings & not early enough bedtimes, the mostly bad part has to do with not being able to get my baby girl into a better math class. I have filled out the proper forms, exchanged multiple emails with the counselor, and I even went up to the school to meet with the teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Please agree with me in prayer that the administration will do the right thing {Thank you!} On the bright side, though, as I left the meeting, I got reprimanded for being in the hallway during class! That hasn't happened in at least 20 years! ü

Our midweek services started up again on Wednesday! For the next year, I won't be with my students on Wednesday nights because I'm leading a Growth Group. Growth Groups are small groups designed to make disciples who in turn go out and make disciples. I'm excited to see what God does in my group this year!

Cody ran his first cross country race yesterday!!

He did a great job, but I don't have his official results yet. I'm pretty sure he finished in the top 1/5, which is pretty legit for his first race.

Alex's school ran at the same meet. I love that they get to have this experience together, even though they don't go to school together!

And one last picture that Amy was so kind to take for us...

Alrighty, I'm off to our first Community Group gathering of the season! Please forgive any typos & such ~ I didn't have a chance to go over it but wanted to post before it gets too late. I hope y'all have a wonderful week! ♥


Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Live Forever"

(by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors) 

I won't even try to explain why I didn't post yesterday, because it's the same ol' same ol'...Instead, I'll just do one of my "oops, I haven't posted in a while here are some pictures" catch up blogs! {Right, Brooke?!}

My week wasn't too exciting, but I've had a weekend full of domestic things! Aside from doing laundry & cleaning out the refrigerator {pretty exciting, huh?} I worked on a couple of things for my bedroom transformation. I am so very close to finishing it up!! Once I get a little help from Brian, I'll be ready to show you everything. In preparation for the curtain rods that he's helping me with, I performed one of my least favorite jobs in the whole wide world: hanging curtain rod brackets :/

{Don't ask!}

I altered some curtains for the aforementioned curtain rods:

And while I had the sewing machine out, I altered some stuff for my baby girl. She bought a shirt that she really liked, except she wasn't a fan of how low the v-neck was cut. So she asked me to sew a piece of fabric into it. When baby girl asks me to make her shirt more modest, I'll sew, rip seams, and re-sew as many times as necessary to make it work {not that I went through all that or anything...}

While I was holding down the fort, Chris was in NOLA with Erick (his BFF) for a beard competition!

He didn't expect to win, but he thought it would be a fun experience. Erick texted me this picture during the contest:

& Chris texted me this picture of the winner of his category (Full Beard Natural, in case you wondered):

And because I don't want to leave you with that image, here's a fluffy ball of cuteness:

{Don't let those puppy dog eyes fool you...she's crazy. But I love her!}

Alrighty! I'm sure I'm leaving things out, but I've got to get to bed!! Cody started cross country last week, and I've been getting up at 5:15 every morning to get him to school for practice. I don't like getting up (& out) before the sun, but it's just one of those sacrifices that you make for your babies. If only I could make myself get to bed earlier, though, because this mama is T.I.R.E.D.

I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


P.S. I [accidentally] killed a raccoon while taking Cody to xc practice last week. I feel bad about that. And I wish it had been a possum, because they are ugly. There. I feel better now that I've confessed that.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Anchor of Hope"

(by Ellie Holcomb) 

We've reached a milestone of sorts in our cancer marks five years since Christopher's ocular melanoma diagnosis. As I've said before, this doesn't hold the significance that five years means to most other types of cancer. But today marks another year that Chris has survived, and we are grateful.

Y'all may remember my concerns about Christopher's medical oncologist. Things that he said after the latest scan proved that he doesn't know as much about OM as he should if he is going to treat &/or advise OM patients, which caused me not to trust his recommendation to lengthen the time between scans. I said before that I would be nervous about that even if a knowledgeable doctor made the recommendation, but it would definitely be easier to accept accept if I felt confident that the doctor knew more than I did about OM.

Well, I was right in not feeling comfortable about waiting a year for his next scans. But this is one of those times when I wouldn't have minded being wrong.

Chris saw his ocular oncologist the other day, and Dr B definitely knows more than I do about OM. And more specifically, he knows more about Christopher's OM. Based on Christopher's age, tumor size, and the amount of time in which the tumor shrank*, Dr B suggested that Chris continue to get PET scans every six months for at least another three years. It is what he would do if it was him, and it is what he would tell his family to do if it were them.

So there you go. I had sorta hoped that I was being overly cautious and was actually wrong this time. And if I can be completely honest with y'all, I had a brief little meltdown after learning of Dr B's recommendation. Though I have researched a lot and know the facts, there's something different about a doctor saying that there are actual reasons that necessitate more frequent scans. In other words, he has a higher risk of it spreading.

So here we are at the five-year mark with a fresh sting. I feel like I've come so far, but I still have a long way to go. I still occasionally find myself looking at stats as if I can trust in them. But they're just numbers, and I have no way of knowing which side of the stats we fall. There's nothing I can do but trust the One who knows. I've said this before, and I'll probably go to my grave saying it...I have no idea how people make it through this sort of thing without having hope in the Lord. Without hope of a better, glorious future with Him, I could easily give in to fear, doubt, and depression. But He is the anchor of hope that keeps me from drifting. And one day He will make everything right.


*I thought I'd explain this bit of information because if it came as a surprise to me, then it probably did to you, too. Throughout the years, Dr B has always said that he was pleased with the progress of the tumor shrinkage and has explained that shrinking too much too soon indicates a fast growing, aggressive tumor. At the most recent visit, he revealed that Christopher's tumor shrunk on the fast side of slow, if that makes sense. So he was pleased, but barely. And it shrunk fast enough that Dr B cited it as another reason he would put Chris in a higher risk category. As I've said before, Dr B only tells us what he thinks we need to know at the time. While I appreciate the fact that he doesn't want to concern us, I prefer to know the whole truth as we go along and not be surprised by the it years later. But it is what it is...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"White Dress"

(by Ben Rector) 

I'm late once again, I know. I've had a long week & a super long day yesterday, so I went to bed early. Considering the fact that these posts rarely occur on a Saturday & may or may not actually be the song that was listened to the most (aka scrobbled), I should probably just change the name of my Saturday post, huh?

As y'all probably already know, my babies started school on Monday! Their week has been good overall, but their mom is super tired. Most of my evenings this week have been spent in search of school supplies. The problem with the kids no longer being in elementary school is the fact that they don't get their list of supplies until the stores are nearly cleaned out of supplies! We're almost there, though!

The inevitable has occurred over the past week or so...

My sweet baby boy is officially taller than I am!

And for the most exciting part of my week...Aaron & Toey got married yesterday!! It was a beautiful, God-glorifying ceremony. And I am SO happy for them! I had responsibilities, so I didn't manage to get any pictures except for this one:

But Lance took this picture of Mel and me when we showed up to the rehearsal dinner in coordinating outfits:

I know it's nowhere near as exciting as a picture of a beautiful bride in her wedding dress, but it's all I've got! :)

Well, I'm off to bed and looking forward to a day with nothing planned tomorrow! {Maybe I can sleep past seven?!} I hope y'all are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend! ♥