I have but one wish for this New Year- good health for my love.

2010 brought us cancer, surgery, treatments and scans.

This coming year I just pray for medical peace and comfort.


An Old Soul

I have many people in my life that I admire, but my Mama is right up at the top of my list.

At times she drives me crazy, but most of the time I am in awe over her natural talents and abilities.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to be more like her. I wanted to learn how to sew- something she is very good at.

I convinced her to come over ever Thursday night for about 8 weeks and teach me and BFF Bethany how to sew. We loved it!
My mom is a hoot- an older Southern woman who is quirky as heck. But she taught us how to sew on a machine.
The problem was, she wanted us to do everything perfectly and both Bethany and I have no patience and we like to cut up too much. So it was a riot.
And honestly after our lessons were over, I wasn't sure I would sew that much. Not because I didn't like it, but because I thought I would never have the time or be good enough.
But now I'm sewing like a mad woman. Mostly I'm making hospital gowns for Giggle Gowns, our friend's non-profit.

And I mentioned to my Mama how much I was loving to sew and how much I wanted to get better at it. I told her for Christmas I would like a pair of "good" scissors, a pair like hers. I also mentioned that one day I would love to have a finishing machine, maybe a serger. But I'd have to save up for that. She laughed and said those were expensive but maybe one day I could get one.

Well I found out how proud my mom really is of me for learning to sew when on Christmas Eve night she gave me my gift and I opened it and it was a new serger!
My heart just stopped. I cried real tears. And my Mama cried too.
She said she was proud of me for trying and learning and she wanted me to have the best.
It was an expensive gift, but it is really priceless.
Because it was bought with love and it will carry on a legacy.

I hope to continue to make my Mama proud with my sewing.
I will never be as good as she is, but I will sure try.


Christmas in a flash

At about 7:40 on Christmas morning we woke up to this-
The sound of ukulele music.
Yes, the boy asked for and received a ukulele from Santa.
Jingle Bells has never sounded so sweet!

And Haley got her wish too- a NOOK color.
Our little bookworm can now read her books electronically and in color.
As much as Santa had to pay for this thing, I'm thrilled that she wants to read all of the time.
Money well spent!
And then there were the frogs. We now have 2 aquatic frogs- Kermit and Kudzu.
Santa had to reserve these crazy frogs since everyone else's kids also requested them.
This is what I did while the kids looked at all of their new toys.
I built a Trio Bat Cave.
It's made for kids ages 4-8 and I had a fairly difficult time getting all of the pieces to go together.
I wasn't feeling so good about myself, but I finally got it together. It's actually a pretty neat toy.

And then we ventured over to the Bryants and spent the day eating, opening presents and watching the 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" as shown above.
I got these really awesome splippers as a surprise funny gift from my father in law.
I felt it necessary to get this really awesome picture of me with them on.
Hot right?

And by the end of the day, the kids collapsed in front of the TV and we enjoyed watching it snow as we ate steak and red velvet cheesecake. This Christmas Day was perfect.


Christmas Joy

I am looking forward to spending time with my babies and with Evan.
I am going to a Christmas Eve Eve Open House to see a friend I haven't seen since elementary school!
Several members of my family are going to church on Christams Eve together. That is a big deal.
I can't wait to be crammed in my mom and dad's small little house with all of the family.
I can't wait to eat my mom's prime rib- yum.
We will drive down the road from my parent's house to see the lights display at the Gaddy's on Christmas Eve night. Beautiful and so meaningful.
The kids will be so excited for Santa Claus to come.
We will be up way too early on Christmas Day and we will wake to excited little voices.
I can't wait to see the glow on their little faces as they see their gifts.
Brunch with Evan's parents. Quaint and perfect. Yummy food and fun.
More surprises for the kids.
An afternoon of playing with new toys.
And rest.
Thank you Jesus for being born so that we can live and love and have eternal life.
Merry Christmas!


Ballerina Girl

She told me last night she can't wait to get her toe shoes.
I hope she will always aim to be the best and I hope she will always dance.


It hit me like a brick

I sat at my desk this morning doing the usual stuff I do on a Monday morning.
Nothing was really unusual about today.
And my phone rang. It was Evan.
The conversation was not an unusual occurrence.
But the topic was one we have managed to avoid for some time now.

This January 19th will mark 1 year since the surgery.
The surgery where Evan's thyroid went away.
The surgery that ended up being the removal of a cancerous tumor.
The surgery that came out of nowhere and left us all stunned.

With the one year mark comes a whole new battery of tests.
For the first time ever, Evan will have a PET scan.
Something I have been wanting him to have and finally he has a doctor that thinks it's a necessity.
He also has tons of bloodwork, a series of Thyrogen shots, a dose of radioactive iodine and a full body scan.
All in one week at the beginning of February.

That's what we talked about.
We talked about something that is in the future, but is not anticipated.
As much as I can't wait to hear the results of a clean PET and body scan (because I know they will be clean!), there is a big part of me that wishes this was not a part of our normal.

We have been told by countless doctors that Evan will be monitored forever. Every 6 months and maybe at some point every year. That's the new normal.
And it's not that I mind making sure he is watched and is healthy. I don't mind at all.
There is just part of me that is very angry about having our lives stop for cancer.

And it is in these times that I have to remind myself of all that God has shown us because of Evan having cancer. I have to remember the people we have met, the lives that have been changed and the love that has grown because of cancer.

So we will be busy again in February at Emory. Making sure the love of my life is healthy.
Meeting with doctors and planning the future.
And in advance I ask for your prayers leading up to this time.
It is with our friends and family and of course our God that we have gotten through this past year. And we will need that same support going forward.
This journey will never be over.
But with this journey, the opportunities for growth and love are endless.


A little off

I'm guessing the couple that gains weight together stays together!
We both had small little weight gains last night at the ole weekly weigh in.
No big deal at all.
Just a result of Evan's steriod shot for his crud and my being a little on the lazy side.
But we always have next week right.
Right. The week of Christmas.
The week of a family party and a company party at Fogo de Chao.
I'm sure next week's weigh in won't be pretty.
But like our leader said last night, getting through Christmas is rough food wise, so we should just aim at not gaining obscene amounts and know that the New Year is just around the corner.
So that's what I plan to do.
I just want to maintain for a few weeks and get through the food holiday.
Oh yeah, and then we go to Disney.
Maybe I'll lose again in February!


Eat More Chicken

I know I have talked about it before, but in case you are new here I will let you in on the secret.

I'm not a fan of Chick-fil-A.

I know that gets me a "go-straight-to-hell" pass, but I just really don't have to have that famous chicken.

In fact, I really don't eat much chicken at all. So most chicken restaurants are high on my favorites list.

But Chick-fil-A has found another way to get my money. In the form of liquid goodness.

A LARGE half sweet, half unsweet tea with a side of lemon.

It's become a dream of mine. An obsession.

I find myself thinking about this tea way too often.

And I can't tell you how many charges I have on my debit card for $1.81!

But it's worth every penny.

So Mr.Cathy, you can keep your chicken. I'll just have a tea please!



It was just a matter of time before I got sick.
Everyone around me has had the snots and sniffles for weeks now and I had avoided it.
I made homemade chicken noodle soup.
I drank orange juice. I got plenty of rest.
And now I feel like I got hit by a truck.

Did I mention I make a really bad patient?


Wife beater

I haven't had any good blogging material lately, so I thought I would share with you this funny picture of our son in his new attire.
For months he begged us for a "tank top". As it turns out, he really meant he wanted an undershirt, a "wife beater" shirt.
So now that's all he wants to wear.
Hopefully one day he'll own the matching trailer and deer head.


Learning Something New

Weight Watchers came up with a new program that launched last week.
It is called "Points Plus".
In a nutshell, it's pretty similar to the old program, but it takes more science into account when calculating points.
What does that mean?
It means carbs and fat are no longer as easy to eat on the plan and protein and fiber are your friends. Common sense right?
Yes. But I wasn't ready to have them fix what I felt wasn't broken.
I have been doing fine on the old program. I know it well.
And now it's different.
But after one week, I've decided it's not all that bad.
In fact, I managed to lose 1.8 pounds this week!
My total is 24.2. A mere 0.8 pounds from 25!
That number makes me HAPPY.
Not as happy as I'll be when I get to the number 40 (40 pounds- my goal).
But as for now, I'm just thrilled with my progress.
Oh and my now skinny husband is now down 45 pounds.
Hard to believe we were carrying around 70 more pounds 3 months ago.
Yikes and yay from progress!


Something freaky I think

I was reading this post on my favorite blog Dooce.
In a nutshell, it's about pulling your kids teeth.
And then I felt it necessary to share something strange with you.
I think it's strange at least.

In our house, Evan plays the role of "Tooth Fairy".
Think Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) in that one movie.
He creeps around in the dark and finds the tiny little teeth and leaves money in exchange.
That's all well and good until this-
For at least 2-3 years it never occurred to me what happened after the tooth retrieval from under the pillow. I never even thought about what might have happened to the teeth.
Until one night I caught Evan putting a newly extracted tooth of Haley's into his man jewelry box in his closet. With the rest of them.
He has all of Haley's baby teeth. In a drawer. In his closet.
That's weird I think.
And what's even more disturbing is that it's genetic.
His mom confessed to keeping all of Evan's teeth too.
I can't remember if she still has them.
If she does, I don't want to know. Because I love them both and some strange habits are just better left to one's self.
And now I will also put some more icing on this cake-
Evan saved both of our children's umbilical cord stumps when they fell off.
You read that correctly.
We have pieces of dried up umbilical cord in Ziploc bags in our children's baby books.
They look kinda like raisins. Precisely why I don't eat raisins.
Is that gross or what?
P.S. i thought about taking pictures and posting them, but I'll save you from that.

Eatin' like a pig

I fully expect to have gained weight this week.
I have eaten all kinds of yummy goodness over the last 4 days.
I'm calling it a "little breather".
I'm not throwing in the towel by any means.
And I'm still counting points and following the rules.
I've just used alot of points!
No big deal. I forgive myself.
I've been kickin' butt and I have been rewarded.
So now, back to salad.


Chili for the Chilly Weather

I have the recipe for the perfect chili. I found it 12 years ago in a cookbook made up of recipes from Evan's great aunt Jewel.
This recipe is so easy and so tasty that I thought I would share.
If you do make it, let me know what you think.
P.S. if you are a no beans chili kind of person, this is not for you- just sayin'

The Perfect Chili
1 pound ground beef
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes (get the ones that say diced)
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 can light red kidney beans (not "lite", but "light red") DO NOT DRAIN

Saute the onions and bell pepper in a saute pan and add the beef. Cook until the meat is browned and drain off any oil.
Transfer the meat mixture into a pot big enough to cook soup or chili.
Add all of the other ingredients and maybe a 1/4 c. of water if it seems too thick.
Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally.
Enjoy with cheese, sour cream and saltine crackers!
Makes 6 servings of roughly 1 and 1/3 cups.
Weight Watchers Points- 5


The Deepest Love

To me there is no greater love than that of a mother.
I truly love my children with every ounce of life in my body.
And I know that I have the ability to love like that because I have two great examples of the unconditional love of a mother.
My mom, "Mama", is the hardest working, no frills woman I know. She will do anything for anybody and will give up countless hours to make sure everything is perfect for you. She taught me to have fun and enjoy life but work hard when duty calls. I got my temper from her, but I also got my passion from her. She is the perfect example of strength and everything that is good about a Southern woman. My mom makes up a big part of my soul.

And my other mom, "Mom", did not give birth to me but loves me as much as the son she did give life to. She gave me the greatest gift I ever have received when I married her son, whom she and Roger raised to be a perfect man.
I can talk to her like a best friend. And I have learned a sense of true joy from her by seeing how she loves others. She is an example of warmth, grace and hospitality that is top notch. Beautiful, sweet and caring. She never fails to tell me she loves me. And she always knows what I need to hear. Not to mention, she is fun to shop with and even more fun to hang out with. I'm not sure how I got so lucky with a mother in law like her. I think you are supposed to always butt heads with your husband's mom right? Not me. I have a mother in law like no other.

So I am blessed woman. I have two women to follow. And more love than I know what to do with. I only hope that 22 years from now, Haley will feel the same way I do. Because I love that little girl more than I ever thought imaginable. And of course the same goes for her brother.

Still Rockin' It- Week 13

We had our weekly weigh in last night and all 3 of us lost weight the week of Thanksgiving!
I have to say that to me, that is a MAJOR accomplishment.
Me, Evan and my awesome MIL all participated in multiple Thanksgiving feast and were still able to make progress. Mission accomplished! I'm so proud of my little team.

Evan continues to baffle or group leader at Weight Watchers with his amazing weight loss.
She is convinced he is going to fall out in the floor and be sent to the hospital or something.
He's lost 43 pounds or something crazy like that! But I can attest that he is eating, he's just burning tons of calories. And did I mention he's hot! :)
He only has a pound maybe before he is at his goal weight and then it's on to maintenance.
I am over-the-moon proud of him.

And I haven't talked much about my mother in law because I don't want to share too much info that she might not want me to. But she is doing awesome and really starting to look like a star.
Everyone knows I adore her and I'm glad we are getting to go through this journey back to health together. (Interesting fact- we actually did Weight Watchers together back after Haley was born and did awesome then too. So she is my official WW partner and the best MIL ever!)

I am down 22.4 pounds total. Loving it! I wore a size 10 pair of jeans to work on Tuesday. They were a little snug, but not uncomfortable. I feel certain in a few weeks they will be my new normal size- yay!
I have 16.6 pounds left to go. I know this will be the hard part, but I am so ready. I'm feeling awesome, looking much better, and my BMI is just about to normal.
What more could I ask for?