Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas...and our wish to you all this year is that you can feel the joy of the Savior's birth, feel his peace and comfort in your lives, and remember his example throughout the year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reason for the Season


I have LOVED watching my little Addie enjoy HER little nativity.  She is so tender with the baby Jesus...and re-enacts the Christmas story several times a day.  I have been so grateful for our tender conversations about Jesus that we have had this month.  This is what I wanted for Christmas!  It makes me so happy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enjoying the holidays...

The shopping and wrapping are done...and now it is time for us to enjoy the holidays.  Larry his feeling better and WE ARE ALL TOGETHER (and healthy)!  That is what I wanted for Christmas... and it seems as though I have gotten it!  I am so grateful! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More hospitals...but for my husband this time!

Poor Larry had a surgery to remove his kidney stones two weeks ago in hopes that he could avoid more trips to the ER and hospital.  It didn't work at all...but instead caused more and made them start dropping.  We were going to go Christmas shopping in friday and dropped our kids off to a friend...a block later he is in severe pain and we end up in the ER.  Last night he was admitted to the hospital and this afternoon her had another surgery. I hope this one worked.  He has 10 stones currently on his kidneys...and he's NOT excited about that!
Lesson learned...make prayers more specific.  We have been praying that I would be home and away from the hospital for the holidays.  Maybe we should have asked for the whole family to be home feeling well.  Just kidding!  :)  I feel bad for Larry...but am grateful he is healthy other than that.  Good health is truly a WONDERFUL blessing!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


"This Christmas, mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy.
Apologize. Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again."
-Howard W. Hunter
I LOVE this quote...and have tried for the last several years to do these things throughout the month of December.  This year I decided to print them and put them in a jar.  I pull one out each day and try to focus on that.  It has helped me to feel more of the spirit of the holiday...despite the chaos of shopping, wrapping, etc.  
Try a few of these things today...and let me know how it goes.  I guarantee it will brighten your day! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back in the game...and remembering rainbows!

I went shopping I have resumed my "old" life as much as possible...and I forgot how hectic it was.  I am a taxi, chef, receptionist, maid, accountant, personal shopper, babysitter...and you get my drift.  Factor in the holiday chaos, my forever long list of to do's to make up for the last year...and my overall lack of energy...and hopefully you understand my limited blog posts. 

It is great!  ALL of it!  I love being needed again by my family and being able contribute.  I am overwhelmed by all that I need to do, but am SO grateful that I can do all of those things!   I saw this (double) rainbow when I came home yesterday from a marathon errand running day...and I was reminded of the beauties in this life.  Life is GOOD...not always easy, but SO worth it!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big and BALD? No...

I never imagined I would spend a year on a public forum talking about my bowels, but I never imagined I would admit this either:

I have gained over 30 pounds in the last 4 weeks.  Aaah~  My doctors are thrilled... but wow...I hope this slows down.  They think it is my body trying to adapt as it has been in starvation mode for so long.  I'm not sure what to say about that.  I dropped down to to the point where all of my ribs were showing, but not any more! :)  Several people have commented when they have seen me, so just wanted to address it on the blog.  Yes...  I have gained some weight.  (Can you blame me?  Food tastes WAY better than IV nutrition.  And I cook a lot better than the hospital cafeteria... but then again, who doesn't?)

On a different note...I am losing my hair again.  And quickly!  I never went bald with chemo, but thinned quite a bit.  Luckily my hair was very thick to start with.  We aren't sure what is causing it now...but it is coming out in handfulls and I hope it stops.  They ran several tests at the cancer center today.  I hope they find an answer...I don't want to be BIG and BALD for Christmas. (I say this jokingly) 

I still have some other strange, lingering symptoms, but compared to what I am used to...they are nothing! I have  pain all over my body underneath my skin. It is hard to explain, but hurts when putting on lotion, getting hugs, and things like that. My legs from my knees down are completely numb...and feel very strange as well as my fingers. They move correctly but feel detached in strange way. My feet cause the most problems...they feel like strange weights that I carry around. I have to consciously think about them when I walk or I stumble...It is a hard sensation to get used to. And my stomach is still swollen and sore, but I think I will have that for quite a while. 

Please know I don't tell you these things to complain, but I have tried to be very open through this whole process and this is a part of it I haven't mentioned in quite a while.  Other than that...I am feeling great.  Every day gets will hardly catch me not smiling!

Friday, December 3, 2010


This morning we are headed to the hospital for a quick surgery for Larry (NOT FOR ME!!!)  He is getting several kidney stones blasted in hopes that he can avoid problems in the future.  He has had 3 now and has at least 4 more hanging on his kidney.  We hope it goes well and that he will be back to normal quickly. 

We are returning to normal...though it is a slow progression.  I have short bursts of energy, but they seem to increase almost daily.  I even got to scrub my own house this week.  (yes..I was grateful to scrub bathrooms!)  I have to be REALLY careful because bending hurts, but it was nice to feel a bit more self sufficient.  I have been taking care of my girls each day on my own for a few weeks...which is AMAZING!  My youngest is glued to my hip and just keeps telling me how much she missed me and loves me.  My oldest is just making up for lost time with me.  She has a mile long list of things she wants us "to do" together.  We are going to have so much fun this month...I am so excited!

I was thinking yesterday about how much my life has changed over recent months and just was completely overwhelmed by how much better it has gotten.  I almost forgot about the side effects of my chemo...there were some miserable ones, but another was how I wasn't able to drink or touch anything cold.  That was hard over the cold water, smoothies, ice cream, etc. BUT.. With all of the freezing weather and snow I am feeling SO grateful that I did that during the summer, or I would have been in trouble. (cold things caused so much pain in my throat, hands, feet, or wherever it touched.)  Small blessings...but there are SO many.  That is just one of a million...but I am grateful I did my chemo in the summer.

I can't even explain how wonderful it is to be at home versus a hospital.  If you have never been there for more than a few days than it is hard to even fathom what I am talking about.  I hope you NEVER have to experience long stays there.  I am SO excited that I no longer have IV nutrition, a wound vac pump to carry around, or a chemo fanny pack.  I am so excited to NOT be connected to a constant IV pole.  I am thrilled to have been able to STOP taking all medicines except a vitamin.  I felt like I was in a medicine induced coma this past year and it is nice to be clear headed again.    I am so grateful that my vision has returned...because it kept me from reading for many months this year.  (Your whole body responds to extreme trauma...and my eyes were NOT working!) 

I am so grateful that I have been able to serve others a little bit lately.  It is amazing being able to be on the giving end again.  I am reminded that there are truly times and seasons for everything.  I hope that I can share some of the comfort and help that SO MANY amazing people shared with me.  I will never forget all of the kindness that was shown to my family this last year.  It is something that has changed me...and will be with me FOREVER!!!

And...I have to remind you that You are AWESOME...and I am grateful for YOU!  This blog has given me an outlet through all of this and has been an amazing source of support and strength.  Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, my sorrows, and for seeing me through this.