So close

Much to my surprise and delight, I lost a nice amount of weight this past week.
1.6 pounds to be exact- bringing my total loss to 33.6 pounds in 24 weeks.
Not so bad! I have been a little impatient and discouraged at times, but every time I put on a smaller sized piece of clothing my motivation quickly returns.
I have just loved being a healthier size! And let's face it, they make much cuter clothes in smaller sizes.
Speaking of which, I am going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe! For the last few months, I have walked around sporting a few items bought out of desperation and several items that are just too big.
But I can't anymore- I'm starting a new job next week and the sloppy, barely put together, flip flop and jeans wearing Lori will have to retire. Brooks Brothers and Anne Taylor here I come!
Part of that excites me- the thought of new clothes. Part of it frightens me- mostly the cost of new clothes and the idea that I have to get up and make myself look decent every day.
But I'm really looking forward to what the future has in store.


Just call me Grace please

On Sunday, I took a little tumble. This is my calf on my right leg.
Please disregard the lack of tan and the chubbiness.
Pay more attention to the full leg bruise that is starting to make an appearance.
The result of landing on a large rock as I fell down a hill.
Actually I can't believe I didn't break a bone. Just broke my pride.
But luckily there was only one witness and she is not ruthless like most of my friends.


Like Spiderman

According to Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility".
According to Luke 12:48 in the Bible, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
I quote both of these to say that I have been given much.
And with much I am commanded to do much.
This week I was offered an incredible opportunity.
An opportunity that will allow me to grow as a person, but will also allow me to do great things.
Both in the business world and in the lives of others.
I accept the responsibility that lies ahead and I savor the idea that I will be entrusted to be a good steward.
I know there will be times when I will be taxed and tired.
And I know others will have to sacrifice to watch me live out this opportunity.
But I feel certain that in the end it will be all for the glory of God.


To Serve is to Love

Today my family had an opportunity to help some friends with a little yard work.
They had a year's worth of leaves to rake and we had 6 able adults to make the job easier.
About half way through the raking, I said out loud that I wish we had taken a before picture of the yard so that we could compare it to when we got done.
But the reason why I didn't take the before picture was because I was convinced we wouldn't be able to make that big of a difference. I figured we would not be able to conquer the task we had on front of us.
But I was wrong!
In less than 2.5 hours, 6 adults raked and bagged a pretty large yard that was completely covered with leaves. And the greater part of the story is that we had a blast doing it. We laughed and talked and enjoyed each others company. All the while making a difference for our friends by making the burden of a leaf covered yard disappear. And even greater was that our children went and played with their children and watched as the adults completed a big task all out of love.
Can I just say that my heart was completely filled up today? I loved and was able to love with simple service. Simply giving of a little time and a little energy.
And in return I strengthened friendships and was able to help make a small difference.
I am so thankful that I have been given the physical ability to not only take care of my families needs, but I can also have plenty left over to help my other family- my friends.
Thank you God for bestowing in my heart a need to serve.
And may I always have my eyes wide open to the many ways I can help others.



I have had so much going on this week that blogging has managed to take a back seat.
But I do have a few minutes to update the blogging world on a few goings on.

My dad had angioplasty as planned and his doctor said he just has to take better care of himself. I just hope he decides to follow his doctor's orders.

I weighed in on Thursday night and lost another 1.2 lbs, putting my total loss at 32 lbs. Only 8 more pounds to go! And I was able to wear a size 8 dress the other day and felt so good doing it!
Evan made lifetime with Weight Watchers after maintaining for 6 weeks. Basically, he's all done.
Super proud of him.

Evan got the results from his MRI about his back and he has a ruptured disc. It actually blew itself completely out. He will be given a few epidurals in hopes that he can get some pain relief and his back will heal itself. If not, it's off to surgery. He is slowly regaining feeling in his foot which is a good sign that his back is adjusting off of the nerve. Let's hope it keeps improving!

And we have had some unexpected stuff going on this week that I can't go into, but know that our life is always full of adventure. The awesome part is that no matter how adventurous, we can always count on God to get us through.


Umm Surprise!

I'm not going to say I hate surprises, because some of them can be really great.
Like the awesome Valentine's Day present I was totally surprised with last night.
Beautiful earrings that I'm not worthy of wearing. Such a thoughtful and sweet gift.
The kind of surprise I love.

But then there was the surprise elementary progress report at 7:00 this morning where our overachieving perfect student daughter decided to take the plunge into B and C territory.
Surprise MOM and DAD- I'm not sure I get this whole 5th grade thing!
The part of her super smart brain that thought withholding her progress report until the morning made a bad decision. Because oops, mom is not a morning person.
So won't life be fun around our house the rest of the school year?? Absolutely.
There's a new sheriff in town. You can call me Mrs. Bryant- 5th grade teacher.

And then of course there is that really great phone call I received from my brother explaining that my dad was having a "procedure" on Friday and he didn't want me to know because he didn't want to worry me. Turns out that procedure involves his heart. Just his heart. The part of his body that keeps him alive. Oh no big deal right? Surprise!

And I've had approximately 10 other surprises thrown my way in the past 2-3 weeks. So much so that I actually called Evan to see if there is anything he needs to tell me. You know- Do you have a girlfriend? Are you really a woman? The usual questions. You'll be glad to know he has nothing to report. To use his words, he said at this point he is pretty "vanilla". Thank God.
Because I'm fairly certain I would believe anything I was told at this point.
I'm not surprised by anything as the idea of surprising me got a little muddled when everyone decided to do it all at once.

So if you have something to tell me- go ahead I guess. But if my head explodes in front of you, don't be surprised.


It is well

I am totally and completely overwhelmed.
We are rejoicing with good news. Good health. Restored health.
I can not contain my emotion. I can not hide my feelings.
Tears are but a moment away. For we have peace. And certainty.
And although there are things in our lives that remain unanswered or unknown, we will move forward and live again.
We will give glory to God. We will give of ourselves. We will share our story.
We will love.
It is well with my soul. It is well with Evan's soul.
And with that we move on.
We will use every ounce of our beings to glorify God.


Eat (Nope), Pray (Yes), Love (Absolutely)

As the wife of a man who has had cancer, I try and keep my emotions in check so that I don't get too excited too quickly.
But Evan got a little gold star today at Emory. A little glimpse of what it might be like if this cancer stuff has gone away.
Today he met with his Endocrinologist who just so happened to have lab results from blood tests yesterday. And Evan's cancer marker was at zero. For those of you who haven't spent hours reading about cancer, a cancer marker at zero is incredible. The interpretation of this test is that thyroid cancer is not present in Evan's body.
Umm yeah, that thrills me beyond measure. I am elated!
But that one blood test is the first test in a series of four tests that will determine the true state of his health. So the part of us that should be dancing on the tables tonight will remain calm and still until all 4 tests are done.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the biggest day. The PET scan. Pretty much if there is a tiny little cell of anything bad in Evan's body, Emory should be able to see it tomorrow. And the hope is that the results will be prepared by Friday when we are going back to Emory for Evan's radioactive iodine scan.
And Thursday is an MRI that actually has nothing to do with cancer and everything to do with Evan's back, nerve and numbness issues.
So you have your work cut out for you in the prayer department:
Clean PET scan on Wednesday (please, please, please)
Zero cancer markers on stimulated blood tests (also Wednesday)
MRI on Thursday with clear answers to back and nerve issues
Clean radioctive thyroid scan on Friday

And then we will eat cake.



I weighed in this morning and I am so excited to final have reached the 30 lb. mark!

Somehow I managed to pull of losing 2.2 lbs. this week, bringing my total loss to 30.8 lbs.
That really made my day.

And 30.8 lost means I have 9.2 lbs left- less than 10 lbs! It sounds so nice to say finally.

And I know that many people say that the last 10 lbs are so the hardest, but I am ready.

And the outfit I am wearing in the picture above was my birthday gift from my sweet kids. They thought I might like some gym clothes that fit my new size. It was such a sweet gift. Mainly because they have let me know that they are proud of me.

Major Pain

Since January 2nd or so, Evan has been in terrible pain.
It's not fun for him and it's not fun to watch.
He has something in his back and nerves that have caused him to be immobile at times and now he has the added bonus of a numb foot and major leg pain.
Physical therapy does not help. Medication does little.
All of that on top of a week full of cancer scans and appointments coming up this next week.
And his back can't be dealt with until he is cleared by his oncologist.
Our hope is that after his PET scan and thyroid scan this week, the doctor will clear him for an MRI to find the exact cause of his back issues.
If we have ever needed prayers, we need them now.
We need to get this all over with. Especially the pain for Evan.


A Feeding of Frenzy

Three generations serving the kids at GTCCF (Me, Haley and Mom)
For my birthday this year, all I wanted to do was something rewarding.
And at the top of my rewarding list is Georgia Tech Christian Campus Fellowship.
For years they rewarded me with love, free food and even a husband.
So it was my turn to give back.
Evan and I decided to sponsor and cook a Feeding Frenzy for GTCCF.
And I wanted to make Taco Salad in honor of my favorite kind of food- Mexican.
Yikes! That's a lot of food to prepare!
But Evan's mom, my mom and Haley spent all day yesterday in our church's kitchen helping me cook. We prepared 35 pounds of taco beef and 10 pounds of chicken. And 6 gigantic cans of nacho cheese. We of course had all of the side items as well- chips, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos and such.
Evan's dad came over from work to help us serve and I'm thankful he was there!
We served tons of kids and many of them had seconds!
It seems as though taco salad was a good choice- they seemed to love it.
And we loved being there.
It's hard to believe I have been out 10 years and Evan 12. And what's even harder to believe is that Haley could be there in 8 years!
So Happy Birthday to me- a day of spending time with family and sharing food and love with some great college kids.
It was perfect.


Re: Enough Already

Every morning I listen to mindless morning radio on my way to work.
I don't listen to the Jesus station. I listen to a station that has a morning show where they spend the entire time talking about what amounts to nothing.
I like that because I don't really want to think about anything in the morning. I am not and will never be a morning person.
But the other morning a lady called in about a host of bad things that had happened to her family over the last few years and I was struck by something she said.
I can't quote her exactly but basically she said that you always hear that God will never give you more than you can handle and she was wondering if maybe she should send a memo to God reminding him of all they had been through as family. She wanted to maybe convince him that they had had enough to handle.
And while I share a lot of stuff on my blog, I also keep a lot of stuff private just because it is the right thing to do. But I will tell you that yesterday, my 33rd birthday, I was at the point where I have had enough. It will never make sense to anyone else as most of my struggles have built up for months and years. But yep, I was done. I am tired. I broke down.
And there are 364 days a year when it is not my birthday and somehow my point of being done had to fall on the one day when I should be able to celebrate me being me.
And I'm not telling you all of this for pity or so you will feel my pain.
I'm telling you this so that I can now tell you that I got through and I get through every day because I have people in my life that care about me no matter what.
My mother in law and my children spent hours yesterday baking a cookie cake for me from scratch. The kids decorated the house with streamers and signs celebrating me. The gifts from Evan, the kids and my in-laws were thoughtful and meaningful. Everything was done out of love for me. Which is what I needed most, to feel loved.
So I will not argue with the Bible or with God about when I feel like enough is enough. I only hope that one day I will have the faith to stop questioning the life I've been given.
For the life I've been given includes a support staff of people who will always help me through.