Saturday, February 27, 2010

Really lucky

I received some bad news yesterday afternoon that pretty much knocked the breath out of me. One of my dear sweet friends from college shared with me that her cancer is back with a vengeance. She's only 33. thirty three. And she has been battling this for the past 5 years. five years. Let me give you some background on sweet Jennifer. We met at UNT, and it was an instant friendship. Funny thing is, we both went to MSU the previous year, and saw each other, but never introduced ourselves. God made sure we did at UNT and I am so humbly grateful for that. She is super smart, loves math & numbers, was very responsible in college, she always made time for me and her other friends, and she remained steadfast in her faith. I on the other hand, have some smarts to me but didn't utilize them as much as I should have in college, I loved having a good time and hanging out with people, I wasn't very responsible, but I was steadfast in my faith. She was born and raised Baptist, and I am a cradle Catholic. Neither one of us had any desire to learn more about each other's religion, but we did share the desire to learn more about the bible and to strengthen our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. SO - we found an amazing non-denominational church called Denton Bible Church that had an incredible College ministry to go to learn together and to grow in together. We would attend services at our own churches, but we would never miss going to DBC together. We went our separate ways after college (she eventually went back and earned her Masters & a teaching certificate), but we still kept in touch. Jennifer is also a runner, and I can not begin to tell you how many 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons she has under her belt. She is the one who encouraged and inspired me to pick up running in 2002/2003, and over the next few years I would travel to DFW a couple of times a summer to run in races with her. My last race with her was January 2005 and we went to the Houston Half-Marathon. She was concerned about beating her previous time from her last half, and all I wanted was to get one of those plastic FINISHER medals. We both succeeded.

I got married, had a baby, and pretty much gave up on running. She kept plugging away and got her dad to start running with her. She also stayed strong in her faith knowing that God had a special plan for her, and he would send her someone special for her to spend the rest of her life with when He was ready to. God brought Jen and Eric together, and she knew from the beginning he was the one. It wasn't long after they met that Jennifer found out she had lymphoma, and had to have surgery to have some lymph nodes removed. She also went through some radiation, and had to give herself shots every week as part of her cancer treatment. Guess who offered to give her shots to her. yup - Eric. When she finished her treatments he proposed, & they got married on a beautiful summer afternoon in June, but when they got back from their honeymoon Eric got laid off from his job so they had to move to the Houston area. Jennifer almost had clearance from the doctor to start to trying to conceive, when they found a spot on her lung. Her lung??!?!?!?!! She has never smoked a cigarette in her life! She runs MARATHONS! But alas, that is where it was so after surgery and radiation, she was good. She remained in remission, until this past December when during a routine checkup, they found another spot on her lung. She had some treatments, and I guess the doctors wanted to monitor it these past few months to see if the treatments worked. It didn't. Not only did the tumor on one of her lungs double in size, the cancer spread to her other lung (multiple spots), her liver (multiple spots) and her lymph nodes. She starts chemo next week & if that doesn't work then she has to be admitted to the hospital a week at a time to have biochemo. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds absolutely dreadful.

You know, when I first heard the news my initial reaction was to go crawl in a closet at work and cry. Then I wanted to ask God "Why? Haven't you put her and her family through enough?" (I forgot to mention that Jennifer's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January). I realized that is not what I am supposed to do either. I realized that God loves Jennifer so much that He knows she is worthy of this. He knows her strengths, He knows her limits, He knows her better than anyone, and He chose her to go through this. Someone has to right? God chose her to endure this pain, this suffering, these grueling treatments not out of spite, but because she is so special to Him, and He knows that she is so strong in her faith that she can handle this. If that doesn't say a lot about Jen then I don't know what else to say.

I ended my day with a night out with two of my favorite girlfriends. We celebrated a new house for Lauren, and weight loss for all of us despite the "broken" scales at Weight Watchers yesterday. We talked and laughed and talked and laughed and it was just what I needed to end my work week. Knowing Jennifer's story, & listening to their stories of some challenges they are facing in their personal lives reconfirmed my belief that the really lucky people in life don't necessarily have the best of everything. They are the ones that make the most of whatever God throws at them. I am so humbly grateful to have some really lucky people as my friends. Thank you for continually inspiring me to be a better friend, a better mother, a better sister, a better daughter, a better person and most importantly a better child of God.

Remember: The will of God will never take you where the grace of God does not protect you.

Please keep my sweet friend Jennifer in your prayers.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Tim and Marc were both out of town Valentine's Day weekend, so Carlye and the girls came over for some pizza and play time. Aunt Carlye brought over the dessert and whipped up some yummy chocolate covered strawberries. Needless to say the girls loved them! Above is Kate with her chocolate 'stache, and Mary Clare is showing off her messy fingers and messier t-shirt (that was actually Kate's and now it is ruined!) Georgia is showing off her chocolate fingers as well, but all of the chocolate was on the inside of her she actually looks clean! The girls had a blast. Thanks Aunt Carlye! come back over soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Best buddies

Here are my girls with two of their best buddies. The top picture is Kate with one of her BF's Kateri. Kateri lives right next door to us and she is basically considered part of our family. This picture was actually taken last night after they had a bath. K & K also are in the same class at SLP, and take dance. It won't be long now before Kate starts playing soccer with Kateri!

Mary Clare is with her future husband Bryant. I know that is crazy to say, but Bryant, or "Bear" has been crazy about Mary Clare since she was a baby in the infant room at SLP. He would (and maybe still does) call her "my baby". Mary Clare also sings about him at home. If she is upset at SLP, they go get Bear and he calms her down. Good thing I think his parents are pretty fantastic because they may be our future in-laws in about 20+ years! haha :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hello strangers

Sorry to say that it has been a super duper long time since I last blogged. December 19th! DO you know how much has happened since December 19th? Some of you may, but alot of you probably don't since I haven't been on here in ages.......

Christmas was exceptional. The only thing that would have made it better is if my daddy could have been here to share it with us. Of course I am selfishly saying that because I want him here with me, but he is where we all want to be one day, and what could be better than that. WF received almost a foot of snow on Christmas Eve, and it kept us confined to our houses. All church services were cancelled, and I know God was ok with that. I truly feel He gave us that snow for a reason. For everyone to just stop....stop running from here to there, stop shopping, stop everything and just Be Still. To pause and remember why we celebrate Christmas. Psalm 46:10 states, "Be still and know that I am God." That is exactly what we did, and it was truly amazing. Thank you God for that beautiful Christmas day and most of all, thank you for Your Son.

January started off with a bang and it's already gone. Crazy how time flies when you are having fun. Kate is growing taller by the second - she is already in size 6 clothing. It's hard to find sweet little girls clothes in a 6. It's like some of the clothes for little girls are preparing them to be tweens, and I don't want my four year old to be subjected to that quite yet. She is still in dance class, and she is wrapping up her last year at School for Little People. It makes me really sad to say that because we absolutely love the program at SLP. I truly feel that there is not a better preschool in WF than SLP. We are so happy with everything they have done for our daughters there. It will be bittersweet when Kate leaves in the summer, but she will be starting a new chapter in her life when she goes to a new 4K class in the Fall at Notre Dame. We are going to try to get her into Boehm Ballet in the Fall as well, and I don't know if we are going to attempt soccer, piano, or just wait another year until she is 5.

Mary Clare was released from her therapy with ECI at North Texas Rehab Center in December. I am truly grateful for Lacy and Barbara with ECI. Christmas 2008 Mary Clare was 9 months old and could only roll in one direction. It was hard for her to sit up without falling over. My precious child went from that to running, climbing, singing and talking in a matter of 11 months. I know Mary Clare had a lot of people praying for her, and I know God's hand was not only guiding Mary Clare every step of the way, but her therapists and her teachers at SLP as well. She turns two at the end of March, and I am already thinking of birthday party ideas for her. Mary Clare will be starting the 2K program at SLP in the Fall, and we are so excited. It's going to make for long mornings and evenings driving to drop off and pick up both girls every day at different schools, but it will be absolutely worth it.

As for Tim and I, things are going well for us. We couldn't be more grateful for all of the abundant blessings God continues to grace us with every day. Tim will be busy going back and forth from here to Phoenix (yes - ARIZONA!) for a big project, and who knows what else they have in the works over there. I am will be getting busy with Junior League commitments here pretty soon, and well as helping out at SLP and church. Probably one of the biggest changes Tim and I have made together is our commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You would have thought that with the unexpected passing of my dad in 2007, we would have jump-started our weight-loss goal earlier, but I guess it took me longer to accept the fact that my dad was gone. I needed to come to terms with myself that no one was going to be able to change my life for me but myself and my trust God. So, since mid September, Tim has lost over 50 pounds just by changing his eating habits. Can you believe that? He has 20 more pounds to go to get to his goal, and he is going to start working out with our neighbor. Our neighbor is a coach at Rider so Tim is going to meet him at Rider twice a week (when his schedule allows him to) to work out.

I on the other hand have lost 20 pounds since September with 9 of them coming off this past month. Two of my incredible girlfriends and I signed up with Weight Watchers. We have a "date" every Wednesday and go to a meeting together. I have also been waking up at 4:30 in the morning to go get an hour workout in at the gym. Now some of you know that I have been going to the gym at the crack of dawn for a while now, but I wasn't consistent. AND, I would sabotage myself by eating whatever I wanted - especially on the weekends. SO, here I go! God satisfies me more than the richest of foods (Psalm 63:5) so when you see me at the gym, you can pretty much bet that I am working out while listening to Christian music, and I am studying more scripture. Nothing is healthier for my soul than studying His word. I know that I am very excited about the weight-loss I have seen on myself this past month, and I can't wait to see what the rest of this month will bring! (or take off! :) )

Tim and I are heading to NYC and Washington DC next month, so I hope to lose another 9 pounds before we take off. We are also planning on taking a trip to the Virgin Islands with some friends in June, so that in itself is a huge motivator. I think the main motivator for me is that I want to be in excellent health for my daughters and I want to set a good example for them. Also, by God's grace, I would love to have another child, and I need to get this weight off to help my chances of having a healthier pregnancy.

That is it for now. Tim brought home a laptop for me so I need to figure out how to download pictures on here. Once I do I'll post some of my precious pretties. They are super and make me laugh everyday! Wow....I didn't realize how long this is. It's amazing how much time I had this morning with just Mary Clare home. Kate spent the night with her cousins at Grammy's house so I bet Grammy is tired! I need to go to get Kate so thanks for stopping by to read this and I'll post pics soon!

I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3