Thursday, March 28, 2013

Glimpses of me...

I'm MORE than OK as being "Minnie's Mom" (and pretty soon "Miss B's" when she has friends that can talk :) I'm THRILLED to be "Mr. C's wife" and love that I can go into the local grocery store QUICKLY but that he CAN.NOT. :) I am SO SO SO happy that I stay home with my babies so that I was HOME for EVERYTHING the past few weeks... for driving to doctor appointments, for managing my girls and for greeting guests and visitors when they came... BUT...

TODAY... TODAY I got to just be ME... Husband felt well enough (HOOORRRAAYYY) to stay home with the girls ALONE and this CountryMouse had 2.5 GLORIOUS hours....

It would not have been possible without Husband agreeing to stay with the ladies OR without my special friend who DID MY HAIR.... Tami...thank you. You have no idea how deeply your gift reached into my may just be hair but for this "ABM" (wink wink) it was HUGE. (pun kinda intended)

 Nothing... NOTHING beats being back at home in the sunshine with these two though... NOTHING.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Sweet Minnie ~ I hope that when you look back at this blog when you are older you don't remember the details... but only the parts where you felt loved, protected, adored, and well-taken care of... not only by Mommy and Daddy but by our strong support system of family and friends. What a blessing (and a curse) that you and your sister are so young that you PRAYERFULLY won't remember this time in your lives...
Thank YOU sweet girl for being a TROOPER... for doing the best you could with what you had and for giving me glimmers of life getting back to "normal"... air quotes used with your Dad's "sketchy at best" musical choices :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I didn't mean to leave the blog for a whole week... but the words were just spinning around in my head and nothing was making sense... I'm still not sure it is.

I feel like I'm suffering from post-traumatic stress...
  • frightened
  • sad
  • anxious
  • disconnected
Yep, yep, yep and yep. HOWEVER....things are working their way back to normal.

Last Wednesday (Tuesday Husband got his staples out and the A-OK to pick up Miss B which was a HUGE HUGE HUGE burden lifted) Minnie and I took off BY.OUR.SELVES. to hit the local market and the library.

I went into the market because I knew the lady who typically works during the week had also been hit with tragic news the same week-ish that I had and we hadn't connected... So I went in and listened to her story and she to mine and I thought to myself... Minnie is soaking all of this up... standing ever so patiently at my hip... we trekked on to the library where we bumped into a Mom of some gals that Husband coached... she hadn't heard yet. The librarian asked Minnie "How's Daddy" and the Mom responded "What happened?" I answered "colon cancer" and her eyes immediately welled up with tears and Minnie was witnessing the whole thing.

It was at that moment that I actually said it OUT LOUD and I actually BELIEVED IT... I put my hand on Minnie's winter-hat covered head and said... "He's going to be OK. He's going to be just fine."

In less than 30 days we went from thinking that Husband was not going to make thinking that I was going to be alone, missing my best friend for the rest of my life, raising two babies... girls.... to just now starting to dream again. Thinking that PRAISE JESUS I wouldn't be sending Minnie to kindergarten as a single-mama and daring to dream about my girl's Daddy walking them down the isle someday (when they are 30)....

In going through something as devastating as this my peeps were all right there pointing me to the Lord. (Scripture, devotionals, etc.) All GREAT stuff and the RIGHT place I NEEDED to be pointed but truth be told I wasn't very open. I was just trying to survive. The one thing that I did cling to was something that sweet "Yiz" told me the night that I came home from Husband's surgery. There is a part in One Thousand Gifts where Ann talks about (paraphrasing here) the part where it just feels SO SO dark.. the black, alone, quiet, sad, DARK... what if that is the part where God has His hand COVERING you and protecting you from everything else that COULD BE while you are going through the DARK... That's EXACTLY what it felt like... how protected we were... how GRACIOUS HE was to keep Husband safe, to have this found SO early, to lead us down the road of "why are you making 12 kidney stones?" and "no one can figure it out..." so that it did not go undetected... how protected.

I think we've been through some trauma... I think it's gonna take time but I'm so thankful for the time that we have to mend, repair, heal and BE a family. As Minnie says... "just the four of us Momma? Wanna do it together? Just the four of us?" Heck YAH Minnie... the FOUR of us.

P.S. Mama H ~ this is one calendar that WILL.NOT. stay up for an extra month

Monday, March 25, 2013

Buried under babies...

I told Husband before all of the "crazy" went down that I was feeling a little "buried under babies"... now... that is NOT complaining... there IS no where I'd RATHER be... but add on colon cancer and single mommin' it... it's just NICE to have a break once in a while... so thankful for visits from friends (and family) that will jump in and help "un" bury me :)

KSchnides gettin' her baby fix

Tricky helping out so I could get Minnie to bed

"Jeffrey" enjoying every second of being squished between the little ladies...
Missed a picture of him feeding Miss B her dinner... fun times

and of course Grampa who will take the nice happy clean no dirty diaper baby...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fluff for the Atlanta Crowd

Hats courtesy of the CountryRents from their travels south...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One Year Ago TODAY...

Crazy how time flies... and how people can STILL believe there is no God... is a baby not evidence enough?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Husband at home: Day 7 ~ The Oncologist

He's doing SO much better than just a week ago... eating small frequent meals, snacking a bit and drinking his Gatorade. He even had one cup of COFFEE this AM.

We met with his PCP on Wednesday and he was really pleased with how quickly things had gone, he did B/W and Husband's CBC? (Glory? Complete Blood Count?) was continuing to go up, and he told me specifically, "we are going for a CURE here"

..and today... we met with the oncologist...

The highlights? (is that the right word when dealing with CANCER? I dunno.)

  • Husband HAD Stage 2 T4 N0 Colon Cancer. aka Stage 2 because it had broken through the side of the colon and T4 because of the size and it was into the abdomen wall and N0 because out of 37 lymph nodes not ONE showed ANY cancer cells.  
  • He is NOT a candidate for chemo because it had NOT effected the nodes and because Husband has something called microsatillite instability which is both good and bad. The chemo would/could only raise his % of being free and clear by 1% and at the expense of how nasty chemo is... just not worth it
  • Stats of NOT coming back 5 Years 94% 10 Years 92% ~ he's just about the best you can get. Doc said he doesn't EVER see % past 80% so he was trying to reassure ME... this is VERY good news
  • Husband could have something called "Lynch Syndrome" which would indicate that this was something he was genetically predisposed to get but we won't know that until meeting with a geneticist~ It wouldn't change any of the follow-up, would only help to explain why this happened and to set up a plan for SIL L, Bets and of course all the kiddies. If he DOES have it... looks like our own little ladies could have to start with colonoscopies at the ripe old age of "in their 20's" 
  • If he DOESN'T have "Lynch Syndrome" there is no rhyme or reason as to WHY and again, it won't matter RE his follow-up care anyway
  • The tumor (5.5cm x 3.5cm x 1cm aka a little bit wider than a chicken nugget) was a "slow growing" and not "aggressive" as we had originally heard it could be
He was very encouraging that the % and stats were in our favor. That we caught it very early and he wants to do a lot of after care, follow-up and catching it at the very VERY first sign IF it should rear its UGLY head again. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

School Support

14 days ago I had NO idea that the blue ribbon was in honor of colon cancer... 14 days ago I had no idea how much love and support would be lavished on us... 14 days ago...feels like FOREVER ago. Today at Husband's school (and some in the high school where he coaches) kids and staff all wore blue in honor of Husband and to show their love and support. Overwhelmed doesn't even START to describe how we feel....

and of course his 3 BIGGEST fans had to do it too! :) 
Husband is well-loved... that is for sure.

Filled UP

evidence of time well spent...
Thank you Glory... for filling ME up... of course for loving on my family, for letting your boys play with my girls and for checking out Husband's soon to be scar :) But mostly... for caring about ME...
and now I've got some reserve to "push up my sleeves" and keep going :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Husband at home: Day 4

He ACTUALLY ate a piece of HIS SISTER'S HOMEMADE PIZZA FOR LUNCH!!!! You all have NO idea what kind of improvement this is over the past few days!!!

I think my coffee partner, meat loving, potato adoring, carnivore MAY still be in there SOMEwhere!
Yesterday AM they were ready for him to go back to the "big building" for IV's of fluids but boyfriend managed to turn it around... the CountryRents brought him some Gatorade and he is getting those into him and feeling better "belly" wise. Pain is not too bad and we are staying on top of the "anti-puke" drugs. Appointment with the oncologist on Friday ~ will be interesting to hear "stage" level, what other treatment we are looking at and his thoughts on how quickly "we" caught it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back Dated Post: Miss B's 7 Month B-day

finished Miss B's Birthday Post... Click HERE... or scroll down

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Husband at home... Day 2

Quick update before I hit the sack... pray Miss B sleeps tonight... 2AM-4:45 just isn't cutting it for this CountryMouse....I DO require more sleep than that...

Husband WAS able to come home on Friday and things were well... and then... it seems they are not QUITE as well... I've made a couple of calls to the Doc... he's on anti-puke meds that on Saturday night didn't help... (he was only sick once....) but he's losing weight at a RAPID rate. Trying to get liquids and/or ANY sort of food into him is an act of congress and he's just not feeling quite as well as he was at the "big building"...

Pain wise he's doing really well.. .just doing Tylenol now (thinking maybe the Advil was messing up his belly) but trying to keep him hydrated so we don't have to go back for IVs of fluids.

Did mange to have him grab a shower today ~ phew :) and getting him into our bed tonight so he can hopefully be more comfortable. I'll crash on the floor to make sure I don't "accidentally try to snuggle" in the night and I'll be making calls all around in the AM to see if we can make him more comfortable and if this is "normal".

Pray my big tough stud has a restful night and feels more like himself in the AM....

Happy 7 Months Miss B!!!!

Miss B, 
I can't believe we are here so soon... and yet it feels like FOREVER ago that you were in my belly and we were headed to the "Big Buiwlding" to entice you to come out... Obviously most recently we have been just trying to survive after finding out about Daddy's boo-boo in his belly but I am praying with everything that I have that the ONLY reason you even KNOW about this time in your life is when you go back to read about it... 
You did so well sitting and waiting for Daddy to come out of surgery. Everyone said so. I was looking at your sister's 7 Month Post  and it seems you BOTH spent 5 days away from your Daddy... even though you were able to SEE him, it wasn't quite the same as having him home with you. You also had your first "professional" photo shoot and you did GREAT my smiley girl! 

At 7 months Miss B, you love to sit on the floor and play with your toys ~ you are still a bit tippy but you are getting stronger everyday. You enjoy scooting around the kitchen in your walker and spending time standing in the excesaucer. You can roll to your belly like nobodies business and once there you can spin around. You have most recently started TRYING to get up on your knees and pushing way up on your arms. You'll be crawling in NO time at all. Your favorite toy has to be a triangle thing that has all kinds of beads, colors and things that make noise on it that you got from "Aunnie" for Christmas. BUT BY FAR you love it if someone will sit in the same room with you and entertain you. Thank goodness for big sisters ;)

JUST like your big sister you LOVE bath time and all things water. H.O. and I got a giggle at Minnie's swimming lesson because it looked like YOU wanted to jump in too!

You are wearing mostly size 9 months across the board but bottoms are a little short and too big in the waist  :) My girls are long and lean :) I have NO idea what size shoe you are in... we NEVER wear them :) You are in size 2 dipes and we have had SUCCESS with YOU in cloth! Your big sister was WAY too sensitive for them but you seem a bit "tougher" :) and when we are home we try to have you in them. 

So far you have had avocado, sweet potato, all KINDS of fruits ~ pears, blueberries, apples, raspberries, prunes, mango  apricots and all kinds of different combos! You LOVE eating "puffs" all by yourself in your high chair and you do REALLY well getting them to your mouth. I think you'll be right handed by how well you do with that hand. The pictures at the top are the first time you had a whole (cooked) blueberry, straight from one of Mommy's homemade muffins. You LOVED it! Nana (CountryMum) made one of her "famous" fruit salads to help Daddy feel better and I cut up fresh raspberry and blueberry into teenie tiny pieces (on bath night :) and you thought you were SUCH a big girl! Now... if ONLY we can get you to sleep. You don't fight it quite like your sister but you ARE up A LOT in the night and OFTEN days in a row. You typically have 2-3 naps during the day with the afternoon one being your longest. You are the HAPPIEST baby Miss B but trust me... sleep would make BOTH of us even THAT.MUCH.HAPPIER :) You are still most definitely a Mama's girl and as "Yiz" said my "new accessory" :)
You are SUCH a perfect addition to our little family Miss B! A few short weeks and we'll be outside, you'll be enjoying all the "Big" track girls, GiGi (GA) will be coming home to play with you and it will be SUMMER!!!! Take your time getting big my love... we sure don't mind having a baby around ;)

We love you sweet girl! Daddy, Mommy and Big Sister

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Here's Hopin'

Thank you everyone for your prayers, emails, FB messages and phone calls. Husband LOOKS to be coming home at SOME point tomorrow (Friday). He has met all the "checklist" things they want him doing and we are hoping to get the "walking papers" from the surgical team in the morning.

We will take the weekend to just get settled in and let the girls have some time with their Daddy (and let Daddy nap when they do :) but he is definitely up for visitors the start of next week.

Again, thank you all for your encouragement, prayers and support. We have AMAZING family and friends.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Me... not Husband yet... but a quick update:

The doctor felt really good about the surgery. She did an U/S on his liver while she was in there and saw no signs of cancer so she did not have to "take" any part of his liver. HIP HIP HOOORRAAYYY!

We'll know about the lymph nodes when the complete pathology report comes back on Friday/Monday-ish.

He's healing well and is a "star" patient ~ but he's super tired and sore. Prayers would definitely be for continued healing, pain management and doing all the things on his "checklist" so that plugs and wires can be removed all the while TRYING to get some rest (IMPOSSIBLE in the hospital right?)

The diabetic nursing mom of a 6 month and mother of a 3 year old Daddy's having a tough go.

Minnie had a breakdown today which "forced" me to leave Husband's side with Miss B and come home to just BE with my girls. Husband was on board but it is still breaking my heart.
1) because I'm not right there supporting him and 2) because Minnie KNOWS that things are not "normal" and I think she's 'bout done with getting shuffled all over the place ~ Her Daddy is not at home with her and her Mama keeps coming in and out....We're goin' on a week now of something different everyday

And lest you think that Miss B is always a walk in the park... she had her OWN version of a freak out session and STARVING girl Pretty sure the entire floor heard her screaming like her mother was trying to FORCE something on her... oh...I dunno... like FOOD.

Quiet time at home was good for them tonight... I guess as the "adult" I'm the one that has to pull it together and adapt. Tomorrow is a new day with a different plan.

Husband IS doing well. My girls WILL never remember this. I THINK I'll make it.

Though it's a little touch and go there sometimes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This is the day... and what Minnie knows....

The day the LORD has MADE and the day Husband will have 1/2 his colon removed and prayerfully ALL the evil cancer that has invaded his body....

HE will sustain us... HE has already had HIS hand in everything from FINDING the cancer through Husband's kidney stone journey, to having SURGERY 2 days before he was even supposed to have a CONSULT, to the part where the "Best of the Best" surgeon is actually headed out of town just two days after she does the surgery. We got in God's time.

Specific prayer requests would be:
  • obviously that the Dr. would GET.IT.ALL. That she would be successful in taking whatever she needs to in order to have Husband heal cancer free.
  • recovery would go smooth and well and quick ~ no infections, no complications
  • he would have no adverse effects to any medications in the hospital
For those that may be around my girl... Minnie knows that Daddy has a boo-boo in his belly (she's known this since July with all the kidney stone appts :) and that a Dr. is going to take OUT the boo-boo at the "big building". She knows that Daddy is going to have to stay up there like Mommy did when baby sister came out of my belly and she knows she will be spending the day with "Yiz". Other than that... she doesn't need to know anything. We try to protect her as much as possible from tears, saddness and the unknown. What she needs is truth. (Don't we all?) Daddy has a boo-boo. Yiz is taking care of her. Mommy will be home with her at night. She gets to see Daddy on Tuesday in the "big building".

Specific prayer requests for Minnie:
  • that she feels peace and is comfortable no matter where she is
  • that she sleeps well at night and any time I can get her to have a nap during the day over the next week
  • that she eats well (she tends to not eat when there is "other stuff" fun or otherwise going on)
  • that she stays healthy... Momma S ~ you wanna take over praying a hedge of protection over my family and their health? :)
  • that she sees the hand of God in this situation through us and those that we have surrounded ourselves with
And a LITTLE bit into my heart... :) As much as I share on the blog we are still a pretty private family....

Specific prayer requests from me...
  • I will keep a clear head in talking with the doctors
  • I can figure out when I need to be right next to Husband and when I need to be with my girls
  • That Miss B will adjust to being out and about and to others holding her if I'm not right available (she is a Momma's girl)
Scripture we are clinging to: Isaiah 43:1b-2  Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Thanks in advance for the prayers today and over the past week and for the next few days. We couldn't have done it without them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What Minnie has been up to....

I am MORE than blessed when it comes to women in my life... wiser women, great MOMS and faithful wives. I barely have to MENTION that I need help and they are all dropping everything, or making room in their minivans for a car seat, or popping me emails to see if they can take my "big" girl. What peace I had on Wednesday knowing that they were all gathered in one place and my girl was getting some serious love poured on her. :) 

There was a "winter carnival" at sweet "Yiz"'s house that Sweet MIL and Sky brought Minnie to and let's see... friends+snow+swings = practically Disneyland for my girl :) 

Throw in a Little Einsteins movie and she is in her version of HEAVEN on earth! 

On Friday when I had 60 minutes to get in touch with Husband to have him leave school (no easy feat for a teacher) figure out childcare, pack up babies, and lunches all the while have my mind swirling with what we were going to hear at the surgeon's office, I had sweet Fletch who didn't give it a thought to have a toddler interrupt their school day....looks like HER baby girl didn't mind :) 
Thank you for EVERYTHING this week girls... we are well loved. And these pictures are priceless to me.

*snow carnival pics courtesy of "Yiz"
*last sliding pic courtesy of Fletch