Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The breast cake was made by using the Cinderella cake pan. Instead of putting a Barbie doll in the middle, we put a nipple.
As twisted as it seems, the boob balloon was purchased online from a adult sex toy site. Ya, I know it seems a little weird, but the girl who actually purchased them hasn't complained about not being able to get off their mailing list... JK
One of the greatest blessing in my life has been the relationship I have with what I lovingly refer to as "The Girlfriends". We have raised our kids together, went through the loss of parents together, watched our children leave the nest one by one together and celebrated numerous milestones of life together. We are close knit, bound together and very protective of our relationship. Our friendship isn't something that just happened over night, it evolved over time with each and every twist and turn that life has thrown our way. As we've gotten older we have begun to realize that it is a unique bond that is not only shared by us, but also by our husbands and children. We are a family. Three weeks ago, one of the girlfriends receive the dreaded news that she had breast cancer. It actually took about a week for it to really sink in that this was happening to her. She took the news with incredible faith and has the best outlook possible. Tomorrow she faces a total mastectomy. A surgery like that is just... well, words can't really describe but monumental will have to do. We felt that something like that just couldn't happen without some sort of recognition so we decided to throw a "Bye Bye Boobie Party". When I first told my husband, he was like, "hmm, you think that is really appropriate"? Actually next to a prayer meeting (we are in constant prayer concerning this already) I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. We've got one of two ways to look at this, one is with dread and the other is a sense of humor. Out of those two options we all agreed humor would serve her much better than doom and gloom, so let the party begin. Last night we partied with a precious boob cake, she wore a boob crown and we told boob jokes.... It was all things boobs. We wore our cancer awareness pink snuggies and toward the end of the evening we ventured outside with boob balloons in hand to let go and say goodbye to her boob. It was one of the sweetest memories I have, the love, the support and the fun had by all. The next few months will not be fun for her or for us. There will be times when she doesn't feel well or feel positive and we are preparing ourselves for that time. The best we can do is just be there for her and love her through this. As our boob balloons floated away into the night sky we all waved and realized the possibility that if this could happen to her, a woman of tremendous faith, it could happen to any of us. It made us aware that hey, we need to get those annual mammos and do regular exams. It also made us even more aware that our relationship is even more important in times like these. When you have to say goodbye, it's nice to have others standing with you to hold your hand, wipe a tear and maybe even crack a joke.. After all what are friends for.
Monday, September 28, 2009
A friend of my recently found out she has breast cancer. As someone who loves to “fix things”, knowing how to handle this has been challenging. I want to be supportive, but I don’t want to hover. I want to be upbeat, but I don’t want to be dismissive. She has been wonderful! She has a great attitude and a positive outlook, which makes the job of a friend easier. I know that this is going to be a long journey and there are going to be times, I’m sure, when she is going to have a difficult time staying positive. Another friend of mine called me this weekend with a wonderful idea. We each wrote several cards with scriptures on them, broke into her house while she was away and hung them all over the house. I got a text when she arrived home to find we had vandalized her house, she said she felt totally wrapped in love…. And that’s exactly how we wanted her to feel. I can’t fix her problem, and to a large degree I can’t relate to what she is going through, but while she is going through it, I can stand beside her and wrap her in my unconditional love and prayers.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Not long ago I was walking my English Mastiff (Sailor) along the quiet sidewalks of our neighborhood. Sailor weighs approximately 150+ lbs. and stands about hip high. I've gotten used to her size and actually she doesn't seem that big to me, but she attracts a lot of attention on our walks. People are always stopping to ask what kind of dog she is and how much she weights. She is a real sweetie and still thinks she is a lap dog. I kid you not that I have several bruises from her trying to lay in mommas lap. I like taking walks with her because someone hopefully would think twice about messing with a woman walking 150lb dog. She makes me feel a little more safe. So, the other day we are sauntering down the sidewalk past a house that has a little dog that maybe weighed 7lbs soaking wet. It was a yapper. The yapper boldly walked to the edge of the yard and began protesting our presence in his territory. The owners eyes popped open when she looked up and saw the size of dog her dog was scolding. She quickly grabbed it's collar to move it back to a safer distance. What she didn't see was my 150lb dog tuck her tail between her legs and begin to coward away from what she thought was a threat to her safety. I had to laugh out loud that Sailor was afraid of a dog that she could completely hide inside her mouth. Fear in the face of life's threats is something I sometimes lose prospective on. Sometimes my immediate response to a threat is to tuck my tail and run, forgetting that I am not just anyone, I am The King's Kid. My daddy has an army of angels surrounding me. Most of the things that come my way are usually nothing more than a yapper, nipping at my heals, more of an annoyance than a threat. But sometimes my problems seem to loom above me like a dark overpowering cloud making me feel small and insignificant. God never meant for me to feel this way, he wants me to feel the power of his blood and his name pumping through my veins. I'm not just a conqueror, I'm more than a conqueror. My security in the face of danger isn't dependent only on who I am, but whose I am... a fact I need to keep in prospective.
Friday, September 25, 2009
It's Friday... and all the peasants rejoiced!!! It's been a long week for me, not sure why, just not "feelin it" on many fronts. Perhaps that's why I am especially thankful this week that God's love for me isn't dependent on how I feel. It's a comfort to know when I feel unlovable he still loves me. When I feel disconnected his arms are lovingly tucked around me. Life may take me on a roller coaster ride of emotions but his love is constant and it's way more than a feelin.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last night our church joined with several others to sponsor a See You At The Pole Rally. We had over 150 kids attend. It was great seeing so many kids come together for the cause of proclaiming Christ. It may be true that some came for pizza and some for volleyball, but if just one came to know Christ then mission accomplished. Standing in the back of the room I couldn’t help but notice what a tremendous force all of those kids, standing shoulder to shoulder made. If we could just realize that we do not stand alone, nor do we stand in vain, but when we stand united for the cause of Christ, WE STAND OUT!!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Is it possible to look in the face of a bulldog and not know that we serve a whimsical wonderful God? Two years ago my husband surprised me with a new bulldog. My previous bulldog had to be put down several years before due to health problems. My heart was so broken by the loss I didn’t know if I could stand the risk of owning another one. Of course, before I could scoop Riley up in my arms she had me lock, stock and barrel in love with that face!!! I just love bulldogs. Riley may be a bulldog but her personality could not be been more different than my previous one. She is always just itching for trouble and as a puppy I thought “Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into”. She is uncharacteristically hyper for that particular breed and when she was a puppy you couldn’t just grab that face and take advantage of those beloved bully kisses or you’d come up missing a nose. She loves to wrestle but can get all caught up in the moment and cross over to the dark side like Darth Vader on steroids. At a few months old I decided I needed to lay down the boundaries and show her who was boss before she out weighed me in muscle and attitude. I had to become a no-nonsense Mom that stuck to my guns when she pushed the limit. Very quickly she figured out that I had her number and she began to calm down and settle into a routine. Having a crate is such a great tool for training. When she gets tired she’ll waddle to her crate and tuck herself in for the night. Occasionally she still gets a “wild hair” and acts like a child hyped up on sugar. When she does, her whole body wiggles seemingly uncontrollably because she’s trying to wag a tail she doesn’t have. During one of her moods she’ll get up in someone’s business, knowing that’s not where she belongs. A stern word form me will send her running as fast as her little short legs will carry her into her crate. Unfortunately because of her body mass, if she’s picked up enough speed, she can’t come to a complete stop once she enters the crate. That’s when the crate wall comes in handy. With a big bang she’ll go into time out (sometimes on her own accord) and plop down as she tries to gain her composure. Something about that crate gives her what she needs to gather herself together so others can stand to be around her and so she can stand to be around herself. Before the holidays last year I moved her crate into the dining room to give me more room in the kitchen. After several weeks of the crate being in the dining room she had “one of her spells”. I told her to go to time out at which time she ran full speed ahead into the breakfast nook (where the crate no long was) and crashed right into the wall. I laughed until I thought I was going to cry! She was just so used to running in there that she totally forgot in her moment, the location had changed. Today I was thinking…. That’s how I am with God. He is my hiding place, the place I go when the storms of life get too much for me. He is where I go when I can’t stand to be around myself. Instead of being my last resort, he is my resort. And unlike Riley’s crate, God’s location never changes. At the first sign of trouble I turn to him and run as fast as my little short legs will carry me into his protective arms…. Yes, there is nothing better than being a creature of habit.
A trip to the city afforded us the opportunity to stop in on the City Rescue Mission to see the place where our Son works and lives. Probably everyone has some preconceived notions about a mission designed to help the homeless and the addicted. We were plesantly surprised to find it a well organized, cheerful place. Our Son proudly showed us around and introduced us to the staff. They have an area for children, a medical facility, pretty much anything a person would need to begin the process of putting their lives back together. It was amazing to see how comfortable he was in this environment. When he was in High School, he went on his first mission trip to Mexico. I'll never forget his words when he came home.... "Mom, when I grow up I want to move there and live with those people". God placed a desire in his heart on that mission trip that hasn't been watered down by materialism, education, or youthful desires. The desire to pour his life out so that others can know Christ still burns as passionately in his heart today as it did they day he returned from Mexico.... in fact it burns a little hotter. Seeing how fulfilled he is by pouring his talents and time into others, makes me a little ashamed that I don't spend more time doing the same. Never in my life have I seen someone get by so well with so little. The more he pours his life out, the more blessings God pours into his life. He is truly someone I'd like to model my life after. A Mother's heart cannot help but swell with pride and a lump never ceases to form in my throat when I ponder the blessings he's bringing to others. My prayer over my children has always been "Lord help them to become everything you created them to be in you".... the truth is he created each one of us to live a poured out life so that we can be fully filled with him.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Last night our family went to see a friend of ours play college football. Boy, was that a good game. The weather was perfect for football. The game rocked along with our team in the lead until 24 seconds left in the game. Against all odds the opposing team scored a touchdown putting them ahead of us by 2 points!!! With just seconds left in the game our team took the ball and quickly marched it down the field to about the 40. With ONE SECOND left of the clock we kicked a field goal and won by an amazing one point!!!! Geeze, that is hard on the blood pressure. After the game, the coach praised the team for never giving up. Made me think of how many times I've come so close to a personal goal only to quit when all seem hopeless. How many last minute victories have I failed to see because I had packed up and gone home with seconds left in my game? Next time I feel like giving up I'll remember the game with one second left and a team that didn't give up.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I had an invitation last night to visit a friend who just found out she has breast cancer. It was the end of a long week and typically I might have turned down the invite just because I was tired. But in light of the new diagnosis I thought twice about missing the opportunity to cuddle up on her couch and do some heart to heart "girl talk", especially after she threw in the phrase (jokingly) "No pressure if you don't want to come.... even though I do have cancer".
It was a wonderful evening. We chatted about everything and nothing at all. We laughed and talked about what she is facing in the coming weeks and months. I do not believe she is going to die from this cancer, but it does make me think about the choices I make. What if I had missed the opportunity to bask in her wisdom, laugh at her jokes and just relax with her like you do a good book on a rainy day? What would I have gained had I chosen to be too tired?
Friendship is one of the most precious treasures we are allowed on earth. Friendships are not a dime a dozen, they are not easy to maintain and if for some reason you lose one it will leave an undeniable whole in your soul. Few things in life will add more texture, color and joy than the comfort of a friend. Every second you spend maintaining a friendship that can last a lifetime is worth every ounce of love you put into it, and the rewards will be like golden nuggets of pure sunshine in what can be a very dark and lonely world. How about your friendship? Have they been buried? You might want to dig them up, dust them off and put them back in the place they belong..... your heart.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I got a phone call this morning (3 a.m.) from my daughter who is on deployment in enemy waters. When she joined the military she quickly found out that she was basically raised in a bubble. As I used to tell her when she would call home home "they call this area the bible belt for a reason". After catching up on the family and friend chit chat, she briefly began to describe where they are. "Mom, I don't know how to describe it, but when you go up on deck it's like there is this..... ominous feeling.... it feels like evil here". Then she mentioned that a couple of the ships in their fleet had actually been fired upon in the last couple of days. As I hung up from talking to her I turned to her Dad and told him what she had said. As he said, "She is where it all began and she is where it all will end". At that very moment fear threatened to grip my heart like never before, but it didn't. At just a couple of months old my husband and I stood before the alter where we both took our vows and gently cradled our first born in our arms as the ministered prayed his dedication prayer over her and our family. At that moment I gave God what I had always wanted.... my child. Since I was old enough to want to be something, I wanted to be a Mother. Giving birth was the greatest joy in my life next to watching those precious children grow into balanced, God-loving adults. That day standing at the alter I gave God my child, to have and to hold, to love and to protect all the days of her life. Do I trust him enough to know he protects her in the middle of the ocean? Do I trust him enough to know his hand will shelter her from all danger? Do I trust him with every breath she takes? I can shout a resounding YES, my God is able! There is a peace in knowing I am not the one in control. Am I concerned? Yes. But I will not fear. I will rest in the knowledge that God has everything in his perfect control and all I have to do is sit back and believe. Yes, my God is able, I trust him that much!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'm feeling much better today... guess I'm getting caught up on my sleep. I went to bed at 7:00 last night and I haven't been upset today at all. Got another email from my daughter and she sounded great. She received a couple of care packages. One of them had the letters my friend's 5th grade class wrote to her. She absolutely loved them. Another friend sent her several old movies and my cousin sent her a Navy bible. She was excited to get her presents. My husband is doing amazing!!! He is getting around so much quicker than the last time he had surgery. I'm excited for him and hope he feels like a new man soon.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Yesterday was an absolutely horrible day. For one it's been a few days since I got an email from my daughter and the last one I got said they were taking her to the carrier to be checked out and they found out she had kidney stones (for 4 weeks). Then in addition to being worried sick about her I fought with the insurance company all day long about medication the hospital said my husband absolutely had to have to prevent blood clotting. They wanted me to just go ahead and pay for it out of pocket while they determined if they would pay for it and till they could get it mailed to us. That particular medicine cost over $5000.00. The doctors office told me to come to the office and they would give me a 10 day supply and I found that out with just enough time to make the drive (1.5 hr) before they closed. The stress, lack of sleep and everything came together to create the perfect total meltdown that resulted in me crying myself to sleep only to wake up this morning with puffy eyes and my sinuses feeling like they have every intention of exploding. The good news is, I got an email from my daughter and she passed the stone/stones. Her kidneys were very sore and stressed so the doctor gave her something to calm them down. She already feels better and may get to do some sightseeing in the beautiful place they have pulled into.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Got an email from my daughter early this morning. She said the dr. on her ship told her he was taking her to see the surgeon on the carrier as soon as they reached port. He told her he would be really mad at her if the surgeon couldn't find anything wrong. She isn't worried about that because a person dosen't throw up, run a fever and have severe abdominal pain for 4 weeks for no reason. Since a carrier has a full hospital onboard, I'm guessing if it is her gallbladder they will do surgery. I'm wondering if they will notify me if they do surgery. Email is my only communication with her and since she will be on another ship, I'm not sure she will be able to notify me. Oh well, time will tell. My other medical concern is my husband. Got him home today from his hip surgery. Of course this is day 2 post op so it was the most painful day for him. The 1.5 hr drive home was difficult for him but he did pretty well. Getting him in the house, unpacked and then to the bathroom for a bath, dressed and back to bed was EXHAUSTING!!! When he went down for a nap I ran to the pharmacy, had to get dog food and was ready for a complete meltdown by the time I got home. He has slept since I put him to bed this afternoon and I've been checking on him to make sure he's breathing cause he hasn't slept this well since we left for the hospital. It's about time for me to wake him up to give him his shot in the belly which I really dread. Luckily for me I talked the nurse into giving us a shot (blood thinner) to bring home with us. I took our prescribtion to the pharmacy and they couldn't fill it without authorization from the dr. Okay insurance company person (not a rocket scientist), a person has total hip replacement, has to have blood thinner to prevent bloodclotting, it's not only a weekend, but a holiday weekend, dr won't be in office until Tuesday and you can't authorize enough blood thinner to get us through a couple of days until he can fill out the paperwork he didn't know you would need to fill a vital prescribtion????? Really? This is the kind of thing that makes people want to go postal on insurance companies. Anyway, I'm exhaused, stressed, and pretty sure I see an early bedtime in my near future.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
My bump took on a life of it's own this morning and I totally love it. Started reading the book "Staging Your Comeback A Complete Beauty Revival For Women Over 45". I'm just going to put this out there... they will have to pry my frosted eyeshadow out of my cold dead hands. Nothing I've read in any of these books has convinced me that you have to shun the sparkle when your sparkle begins to fade.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
My daughter left several weeks ago for her first deployment. She has been sick for 4 weeks. First they said she had a kidney infection with fever and they gave her IV antibiotics. She continued to run fever and they said she had the flu, the next week they said she had bronchitis gave her an inhaler. She has continues to throw up, lose weight, not been able to eat and last night she woke up with severe abdominal pain, tender to the touch, medical thinks it may be gallbladder. I'm not understanding why they don't just fly her to the carrier to do some testing to see what the heck is going on. This Navy Mom is ready to row a boat out to the middle of the ocean take charge of a certain DDG!!