Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

33 Reasons I Love My Dad:
(one for each year we've been together)

1. He spent many Saturday afternoons of my childhood filling up little yellow notebooks with his notes for teaching his Sunday School class.
2. He makes children feel happy that they came to church.
3. He loves my mom.
4. He is a gentleman...he still holds the door open and pumps gas for the ladies in his life.
5. He is predictable.
6. He has a mild case of narcolepsy, but pretends like he doesn't.
7. He calls me every now and then just because.
8. When his business travels bring him our way, he tries to arrange a visit.
9. He is something of a wine connoisseur, and knows his way around Spec's.
10. When I was a teenager, he waited up for me when I went out with my friends.
11. He loves the dogs.
12. He has coined some great family terminology, i.e. "Jack!," "huckle," and "boxedy-box-box-box."
13. He walked me down the aisle.
14. He drove me 400+ miles to visit a college, and then never questioned my decision to attend school there.
15. He is my boys' Poppy.
16. We have the same blue eyes.
17. Christmas wouldn't be the same without his steaks.
18. He has a nice singing voice.
19. He has a cool relationship with his brother.
20. He rocks on the golf course.
21. He is technologically savvy.
22. He spent months helping care for his father, and was there when Grandad went to be with Jesus.
23. He showed me what true worship looks like.
24. He set a high standard for my expectations of my husband and our marriage.
25. He climbs up in the attic every year and brings down countless boxes of Christmas decorations.
26. He makes me feel safe.
27. He conducts his business with integrity, and is respected for it.
28. He likes cereal at any time of the day.
29. He is friendly, even to people he doesn't know.
30. He knows where every dry cleaner and post office is in Houston.
31. He lets us make fun of him, and even laughs with us!
32. He is a Fox News junkie.
33. He walks with God.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Camp Momanmee 2009

This weekend Little Middle and I went to Camp Momanmee at our church. "Camp" is especially for Pre-K/Kindergarten boys and their moms. We were both really excited about the pirate theme, and we started getting ready early!

Is it time to go yet?

Even Abby got in the spirit...

I couldn't take the begging anymore, so we left our house 20 minutes earlier than we needed to and took the long, scenic route to church.

Ahoy, mateys!

First Mate Susan and Captain Sherry with Cardboard Captive Brian, just before Little Middle pelted him with cannonballs.

Walking the plank

Arrrggghhh...treasure chest!

Enjoying a pirate story in the Crow's Nest

Bingo, the Pirate Parrot, entertained us with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Little Middle and J-man

Pirate Moms

We had so much fun just being little pirate is growing up SO fast!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Heart Cries

I've been in a funk lately. I could attribute it to a few things: the endless deluge of laundry and other household drudgery, the start of summer (my least favorite of the seasons), the plywood covering the hole in our living room ceiling where part of the air conditioner leaked, the heat. But the funk came to a head a few days ago and it was time to get honest. I recently made my bi-annual visit to my oncologist (it's amazing how quickly those six months go by!). The appointment was routine--nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that raised any extra concerns. He applauded my efforts at fitness and weight loss, said they would call me to schedule CT scans, and sent me on my way. Don't get me wrong--Dr. M is a nice guy. He saved my life. But even that does not endear me to him or get me excited about seeing him in that awful, pastel office where sickness sits on every surface and desperation lingers in the air.
That office visit was followed a few days later by a party! One of my Bible Study besties is having a baby, and we gathered to celebrate. We had so much fun ooohing and aaahing over the gifts, eating cake, and laughing at Amilee's pregnancy craving--french toast. She will be a great mom. But when I got home that afternoon, I felt dejected and sadder than I've felt in a long time. Hubby called me out on it, asking for--and deserving--an explanation. What's wrong with me is that I miss what I can't have. Two years ago, six words turned our world upside down: "I have bad news. It's cancer." That moment is etched in my memory forever. The months that followed were difficult as I underwent treatment, but I was eventually deemed to be cancer-free and encouraged to resume life as normal.
And for the most part, I have learned to live with my new "normal." Normal now includes those doctor visits and trips to a hospital for scans on a regular basis. Normal means that I pay close attention to my body, fighting the urge to worry that a headache could be a brain tumor or abdominal pain is more than cramps. Normal for me is battling fear and having an oncologist's number programmed into my phone. And normal means letting go.
In order to eliminate existing cancer and as a preventative measure for future reoccurrences, we were given the "option" to have a full hysterectomy performed. It wasn't really much of a choice! Kids or cancer. Wow. It was a no-brainer to know that I wanted to be around for a long, long time to raise my boys up to be men. But before cancer tore its way into our lives, I had other plans in mind for raising my children. I wanted more of them!
Standing in my kitchen, sobbing in my husband's arms, I confessed how angry I am that the chance for more children was ripped away from me. I told him that I mourn the baby that will never be. I affirmed my complete love and total devotion to him and our three boys. I asked him why I can't have peace about this. I admitted that I recognize the sin of discontent and ungratefulness and I feel guilty for it. I dismissed his comfort and his invitation to hang out in his man-cave! I swam in self-pity, right there in my own kitchen.
Many people I know--close friends, not-so-close friends, co-workers, moms of the boys' friends--are expecting or have recently welcomed new babies. Again, don't misunderstand me. I am happy for those families and want to celebrate each little baby! How blessed am I that I got to bring three new lives into this world?!? Those three tiny blue bundles have brought tremendous love and joy into our home, only to expand as they grow. My heart longs to add on, and I just can't.
My life was threatened by a disease that grabbed hold of my body and my family without me even knowing it! The events that led to the discovery of the sickness came straight from God's hand, no doubt about it. The treatment and medical care I received were quality, and much less invasive than what so many other cancer patients endure. I know I should feel gratitude. Believe me...I KNOW. And I DO. But my life changed with six words. That change didn't end when the surgery was over. I will always have cancer in my life. And what I had to give up for cancer still hurts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No More School, No More Soccer

In the last few days we have bid farewell to first grade and finished out our first soccer season!

Goliath's class ended their year with a fun classroom party. Goliath received an award for "Best Attitude." He has done really well this year!

Goliath and his teacher, Mrs. C

Best buddies
Goliath and Sydney, his choice for "the prettiest girl in the whole first grade!"

Little Middle has really enjoyed his soccer season. He played Upward soccer, and it's been a terrific experience. Nearly everything about a group of Pre-K boys playing soccer is comical, but the boys never knew they were anything less than winners!

Praying before the game

Action shot...Go Falcons!

Taking a break on the sidelines

Little Middle and his teammate Andrew at the awards ceremony
And now...we can take a deep breath, sleep late, and head for the pool. WELCOME, SUMMER!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009