Sunday, June 28, 2009

My eight year old boy is in a car on his way to church camp. This is the first time he's been away from home other than a local sleepover, and they will be gone for five nights. He was SO excited that he woke up at 6am this morning. He ran in and asked if we could start getting ready for church. When we told him it was too early, he actually giggled and said he was so excited about leaving for camp.

So, after church this morning, we went out into the parking lot and got his stuff loaded up into the trailer. All the kids going to camp were so excited -- they were HYPER as all get out. (Made me very grateful that I can't physically take eight hours in the car so that I didn't have to volunteer to pick them up! LOL!!) I admit, I will miss Jacob A LOT this week. But honestly, I'm not all weepy or sad or anything. I thought I'd cry when he left, but I am SO grateful that we could get him to camp. I hope he makes it all week (he IS a little young for this, after all.) But even if he doesn't make it and has to get picked up, I'm so proud of him for wanting to go and having the courage to try it. I hope he allows himself to have a WONDERFUL time, because I remember how fun camp always was.

Jacob and Clarissa while the kids were getting their bags loaded. She misses him already!

Pastor Cave came out and prayed for the youth and adults on the trip.

This is Jacob and his little buddy from Sunday school.

When the youth director came out and said it was time to leave, the kids posed for one more picture. Then...they were off to Lake Michigan.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have to admit, the anticipation of my upcoming surgery is killing me. While I've got the normal anxious feeling that always goes along with having surgery, I am SO excited for the date to get here. Not because I want them operating on my spine again or because I want to go through that horrid recovery again, but because I'm hopeful of the outcome. I'm starting to worry myself that I've become TOO optimistic about it. If something doesn't go as planned, I'm not sure I'll be ready to cope with it. But I feel so certain that things will go perfectly and a year from now I won't remember the pain I've been suffering for three long years.

You know what changed?? I gave it all to God. I realized that I made the leap to go to the Mayo Clinic, even when people were doubting my decision. I was criticized for spending so much money (that I don't really have), and I was told that I was being ridiculous, selfish and even that I was exaggerating my pain. I wish some of the people saying those awful things could have been in that room with me when the Mayo doctors validated my uneasy feelings about my doctors here, validating my pain and confirmed (and explained WHY) radiation made me worse, and insisted on surgery at their facility with their world-rated surgeons. Enough about the naysayers, though, and back to my point. I prayed A LOT before going to Mayo. I prayed for God to tell me if this was the right thing. And I KNEW before going that it was what I had to do. I resolved myself to the fact that the doctors there may have told me that my doctors here are doing everything right. But I was O.K. with that because I HAD to know. I trusted that God was leading me there, and I'm SO glad He did.

Then, once my surgery was scheduled, I started to become a doubting Thomas again -- wondering if I was doing the right thing. People around me were again asking if I was sure I was doing the right thing and asking if I should really take the risk of another spinal surgery. I let all those fears consume me, and I wasn't listening to God or my heart. Well, now I AM listening to God. I pray about this surgery, and I know it's the right thing to do. I believe whole-heartedly that it's my best chance for a pain-free future. And I do know deep down that it's possible that won't happen, but I also know God led me to Mayo for a reason. I am putting my faith and trust in God to get me through this, and I know I will be just fine thanks to His grace. I am ready for surgery and just wish it would get here.

Of course, God knows I'm not completely ready -- I DO still have to set-up care for my recovery. LOL! If only I could give THAT to God, I'd be stress free about the entire situation.

I'll send with the refrain from one of my favorites songs.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom pow'r and love
our God is an awesome God

Monday, June 15, 2009

EIGHT?! How did that happen?!

Jacob turned eight years old yesterday. I seriously don't know HOW that happened. It seems like he was just born a few months ago. We had a party for him on Saturday, and he was SO excited that his "favorite" cousin was coming. The rain held off for us, and we had a great time. They party was a huge success. Happy birthday, Jacob!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

M. I. A.

I will be MIA the next few days. I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow and will be computer-free until I return Wednesday night. DH and I are meeting at the airport and spending the weekend kid-free, so we're pretty excited about that. We haven't been away together overnight since 2004!!!!

Monday is my appointment at the Mayo Clinic. Please pray that all goes well. Some of you know how anxious I've been about this, so I appreciate any prayers you can send my way. I'm hoping to leave with a much better picture of my future treatment plan, and I HOPE they can give me a better prognosis than "we'll try to manage your pain." I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but at the same time, I'm really excited as to what they may be able to do for me. The Mayo Clinic is one of the world leaders in spinal cord tumors. I am VERY thankful for this opportunity.

Have a wonderful weekend, ladies. I'll "see" you on the flip side.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Photo Shoot

I decided to take a few pictures of the kids yesterday in an effort to get something I could use for a Father's Day project. I don't really have a project in mind, but hey, I can always use good photos. LOL!

So, we went outside in the backyard first and then took a couple inside. I'm embarrassed to say that we really don't have that many great places to take pictures (with a nice background), so we used the fence. Pretty boring, I know, but better than nothing.

Here are some of the shots I got. Let me know what you think of them.