Archive for ‘Family’

April 13, 2013



This is a tough post to write, a tough post to back over everything that has happened in the last week and put it into writing. But here it is.

My dad was diagnosed last Friday with Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer. He has been getting sick for a few weeks, slowly getting weaker and more tired, but we all thought that he had developed pneumonia as a result of a long winter and his emphysema. He and my mom called the ambulance Thursday morning, and after x-rays, it was determined that yes, he did have pneumonia. But there were also shadows in his lung that were concerning to the doctor.

I had myself convinced that it was scar tissue, nothing more than something to do with his emphysema and the things that come with it. After a multitude of blood tests, scans, and x-rays, I was wrong.

The cancer is very aggressive and has spread to his liver, brain, and lymph nodes. One round of chemo was given on Wednesday, and he will start radiation on Tuesday. After two weeks, we will figure out what the plan is. More chemo or not. I have hope that this is going to work, and while it isn’t going to take the cancer away, it will slow its growth and allow us more time with him. Hope.

He is home with us right now (we brought him home Friday), and he are working to keep his pain medicines on schedules and breathing treatments coming when he feels short of breath.

In two weeks, I will be getting married to the love of my life, and my dad will be at home watching via Facetime. It’s not the ideal situation, one that will probably make me bawl my eyes out more than once on our wedding day, but it is what he wants to do. He wants to see me get married but not worry about people around getting him anxious or upset. It will work.

“Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.”

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March 30, 2013


This little girl. She is a riot. She is stubborn and ridiculously funny, and she is definitely not afraid to tell you exactly what she thinks or how something should be done. She is strong.

And she was not exactly keen on having her picture taken. But hey, Aunt Carrie is strong and stubborn too.



March 13, 2013

12 on 12: march.

mosaic66d2ae1172e4529171be3c5173dc4daabdf1665eI first saw the 12 on 12 on Dear Lizzy’s blog, and of course, what’s a better excuse to snap random photos of my day without any pressure? Such a good idea. Good job, Lizzy girl.

Yesterday was a good day. My new manual wheelchair finally arrived, and it fits like a dream. Much, much, much better than my old manual chair. Probably because it is 4 inches narrower and has wheels that work well with my hands. Anyone who uses a wheelchair for daily living can understand just how important it is to be both comfortable and functional in your chair. While I do have to get used to this chair, I think it is going to work well for me. *fingers crossed*

Work was pretty normal. Nothing new there.

I had dinner with Maria, and we discussed all the things that best friends discuss. Our relationships, work, my wedding, her schooling, just life in general. We both needed a good girl dinner, I think.

I managed to get some Project Life time in after dinner. Another stress-reliever. I am really liking the one-side-of-a-spread-per-week format that I have been using. It takes so much pressure off of me to “fill up” the pockets with things that do not really matter or need to be shown. Plus I can use more inserts, which I love. Especially coin pocket inserts. Who knew 2×2 photos could be so cute?

I am thinking that 12 on 12 will be a monthly thing for me. It was such fun this time, and a good alternative to Day in the Life, which for some odd, unknown reason sort of overwhelms me.

Ah, life.

February 25, 2013


Man, this kid is awesome. Probably one of the easiest babies I’ve ever known…and if you have read this blog for very long, you know I have been thru nieces and nephews left and right for years.


He hardly ever cries (only heard him cry maybe twice) and he laughs at the littlest things.

And he gives kisses! It’s so cute.

February 4, 2013

happy birthday, darcy.

A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite. -Elizabeth Fishel

My sister. My friend. And sometimes she’s a brat.

Happy birthday to one of the most beautiful, crazy, and stubborn people I am blessed to have in my life. She’ll be standing with me on my wedding day and probably keeping me sane until then.

Happy birthday Darcy. I love you.

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January 19, 2013

baby fever.

I don’t know if it’s my hormones or the fact that we are getting married in the near future (down to double digits now!) or that everyone is having babies. But I am having baby fever bad.

I want a little one (boy or girl–it doesn’t matter at all), and even though I need to be patient (I think we should probably be close to done with our house before we plan for a baby) I wish I could be in the pregnancy stage already. The getting-the-nursery-ready stage. The big-belly stage.

I’m not scared to have a baby. I have been an aunt since I was 5, and I know what it takes to be a good mommy. And Greg is going to be a great daddy. Our kids are already lucky, right!?

Spinal cord injury doesn’t stop me from having children–but, of course, there are more risks. For me, the joy and excitement of being a mommy will far outweigh any risk to myself. As long as we have a healthy, happy baby. I have recently reconnected with a girl (woman, now) whose injury level and function are very similar to my own….and her baby is just a few months old. I basically squealed when I learned she was a new mom. I am going to have a million questions for her later on, and I am comforted that she won’t mind.

So, I give it a year. We’ll check back in on this topic then and see what’s happening. Maybe there will already be a nursery and baby ready to come. Maybe we’ll just be starting the plan. But there is definitely a plan for a plan.

January 13, 2013

thelma turns 90!

Such a sweet woman, who I am proud to call my family.





January 12, 2013

kendall turns 6.

This pretty little thing turned 6 last Saturday, and she was loving it.
She had a very pretty pink party on Sunday, and it was fun. Sandra made the huge tissue paper flowers (attached to sticks from the yard), and Payden made the pink strawberry double-layer Hello Kitty cake. She even made her own fondant.

Here’s to turning 6!





December 25, 2012

merry christmas.

Christmas is here!
Today: I’ll be at Grant and Shannon’s house to celebrate with Greg’s family. Looking forward to many, many laughs. I hope you all have somewhere safe and warm to spend your holiday with family.

December 23, 2012


How adorable is this kid?

Love him.

December 8, 2012

Raelyn’s birthday party

Raelyn’s birthday is next week, but her party was Thursday at Going Bonkers. That place is a kid heaven. Arcade games and a big jungle gym type set up to play. Plus pizza and ice cream and bright colors everywhere.

Fun. I was surprised that it wasn’t busier even though it was a school night. Surprised and relieved. I don’t like feeling like I might accidentally run over little toes.















December 6, 2012

life in squares: on the farm

mosaic3d5f9b2eda51c38225048bd6aadba6e525e9d6bcWe spent our Sunday afternoon at Tim’s house for Caleb and Payden’s birthday party, and then for some gun-shooting down by the pond (or mud puddle as it should be called lately). We always have such fun times when we’re shooting. Laughing and cutting up with each other. I love it. And I’m getting pretty good at shooting too.

Since winter is coming, there won’t be many more shooting sessions this year, unless the weather stays crazy weird and warm like it has been. I mean, 70s in December? I don’t get it.

December 4, 2012

This little girl is smart and sweet and funny. She has the personality the size of the Milky Way. And a prissy attitude to match. Her imagination never ceases to amaze me, and her smile can melt my heart. She loves Chapstick and to have her nails painted, but she’s the cutest thing in her tiny Carhartt bibs too. She’s much like a Sour Patch kid. Tough and salty when she needs to be, but sweet and soft on the inside.

She turns 3 in a few days, and I can’t life without her. She’s a challenge, but she’s worth it. I can’t wait to see where life takes her or how she wrangles it.

November 22, 2012

happy day.

Thankful lists seem to be the same every year and very similar across so many people’s blogs too. And really, we should show we are thankful more than one day a year, but of course, some people always need a reminder. This year I can add to my list because I gained a lot over the past 12 months. A whole nother family in fact.

So here’s to spending the day with some of my favorite people. I am hoping for laughs and stories and full bellies by the end of the day.

+ My friends-even when I don’t see them, they are there.
+ My family. We may not always get along, but when it’s needed, we are there. And Greg’s family because they’re so accepting.
+ Another year to be thankful. It hasn’t been the easiest few weeks, but we are getting through making the best of the days that we have.
+ Greg. Duh.
+ My job-even when it is overwhelming and I hate it.

November 12, 2012

weekend recap.

+ Riding with a helmet feels good and safe, making the whole thing more fun.
+ Many laughs and many gasps. So fun to watch these guys get into this.
+ A full day (think about 10 hours) is completely exhausting and takes about three days to recover from.
+ I am getting better at judging hills and lines we should take. I know which way Greg will probably go before we get there.
+ I feel like a little bit of a tough ass every time we ride.
+ Being dirty and dusty feels good sometimes, but the wind blowing dust straight in the face sucks.
+ Kelly took first place in his buggy. Congrats K!
+ First time doing the sushi thing – not as bad as I thought it would be!
After such an emotional and stressful week, I think we all needed a bit of a stress reliever and a recharge this weekend, and riding all day definitely did that. It’s good to get some adrenaline going sometimes to let you vent in a different way.

November 5, 2012

halloween filler.

So I know Halloween was almost a week ago, and everyone is probably Halloweened out, but I am posting late as a “filler” for the day.

Jesse’s service will be this evening, and this is all the effort I can muster for the day. Everything else will be saved for being strong for Greg and his family.

Enjoy the pics of the little kiddies…in all their Halloween glory.

November 4, 2012

happy first birthday, layla.

At this time last year, we were ooh-ing and ash-ing over new baby Layla. This year, we are chasing her around and keeping stuff out of her mouth.

She is sweet and ornery, and yesterday was her birthday. She laughed and played and cuddled her new baby dolls while the other kids waited for her to move on to the next present.

November 2, 2012


Horrible week.

Greg’s nephew, Jesse, was killed in a car accident, and it has left a huge hole in the heart of their family. I look around, and even though I have only been in this family for a short time, I love them, and it makes me so heavy-hearted and sad that they are going through this. Seeing the pain in Greg’s eyes makes me tear up as I type this. Watching someone I love hurt in such a way while knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do to make it better for him is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Seriously. All the things I thought were so bad don’t seem so bad anymore. His pain is my pain.

Jesse was kind and funny and never showed disrespect to anyone. He was one of those people who is genuinely nice to everyone, and I just can’t wrap my head around why such good people are taken so young. It isn’t fair. He wouldn’t want us to be sad. I read a quote today that reminded me of him. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” THAT is Jesse. People are not going to have anything negative to remember about him because he was just good. Genuine and good. THAT is what people are going to remember about him.

RIP Jesse. So much love is being sent up to you. We will look for you in the sunshine.

October 25, 2012

happy birthday, little brother.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday little brother,
happy birthday to you!

October 21, 2012

life in squares.

1. This kid is crazy. Tattoos on her face, arms, belly. She had a good time at Aunt Arlene’s birthday party, that’s for sure.

2. Fall is here. Beautiful trees, the smell of dry, dusty leaves, and orange pumpkins everywhere. I love it.

3. I am finishing Blog, Inc by Joy Cho. Such a good informative book.

4. Christmas cards are designed, and I am impatient to start printing and assembling them. Just a tad early, I know.

October 16, 2012


My mom and dad are celebrating 41 years of marriage today. 41 years!

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

October 9, 2012

just a little note.

I tend to keep things inside. I tend to over think and stew and just let things bother me that shouldn’t, things that aren’t my problem.

My heart is too soft to feel any other way.

September 30, 2012


My niece Lindsay is one of the best moms I know. She lives for her 2 kids, and she never takes time for herself. Definitely not as much as she should anyway. She recently got engaged to Todd (Dayton and Layla’s daddy) and today is is birthday. For Father’s Day, you might remember that she asked me to shoot some pictures of the kiddos for his present. He loved the shots, but he also asked why there were none of her.

So this week, she picked out her favorite outfits, did her hair, and put on makeup. And we went out shooting.

They turned out better than expected, and I can’t wait to hear what Todd thinks.

September 26, 2012

happy birthday myles.

Greg’s nephew, Myles, is a cute kid. One of the cutest. He celebrated his 5th birthday this weekend, and we all went to Grant and Shannon’s house for a party. His friends were there, and there were plenty of smiles and laughs to go around.

We tried to get his name cut out in vinyl for his little RZR atv, but it didn’t work out in time and settled on money. Maybe for Christmas we’ll be able to do the vinyl idea.

He did however get a bunch of stuff. Lots of dollars for their trip to Disney next week, which he was so excited about.

It’s so fun for me to watch a kid’s face at their own birthday party. Like there is absolutely nothing better in the world than that day which is totally theirs. I love it.

September 17, 2012


Don’t let that picture fool you. It’s been a rather stressful week around here.

First, we signed out contract with the photographer for the wedding. That was actually a load off, I guess. He is awesome, both as a photographer and a person. I am excited that he is a part of our big day!

Then, Sons of Anarchy started their new season on Tuesday, and I drove to Kansas City to watch it with Greg and Brandy and Mike. Then Thursday Greg texted me early that Grant and him were going to the hospital because Mike had been taken to the ER. I wasn’t sure on details and neither was Greg for a a while. It turns out that Mike has an infection somewhere that they can’t find yet, but it caused his autonomic dysreflexia to flare up and his blood pressure to spike which then caused a bleed in his brain. Scary, scary shit.

Something similar happened to Jake and he died just a few hours later. I was scared and didn’t really know how to react to think that the same thing could happen to Mike. Paralysis is a funny and weird condition, and it comes out of nowhere.

GOOD NEWS: It appears that Mike probably doesn’t have any permanent damage to his brain. He is talking good now and his blood pressure is down, although they are still trying to locate and diagnose the infection. I am hoping by tomorrow they have more news. Better news.

So just give me a little favor and pray that nothing else happens for Mike. He doesn’t need it right now!