Posts tagged ‘Family’

April 20, 2013

life around here.

IMG_5813aLife around here has been non-stop stress for the past two weeks. Between finding out about Dad’s cancer and work, I’m finishing up the little things for the wedding that is happening in ONE WEEK. I cannot believe it is here already. The jars have been tied with lace ribbon, and I finally picked out a pretty pale pink nail polish. The little details.

Dad is doing a little better. He started radiation on Thursday and is handling it well. No nausea (knock on wood) and no headaches. He has a better appetite, and we are pretty sure we have his pain under control. It’s still up in the air as to how things will go when he gets further into the radiation and then chemo, but we are hopeful that things will stay calm and there will be no setbacks.

If things get quiet around here for a while, don’t be alarmed. Greg will probably be going to Indianapolis sometime after our wedding for work (hail!) so I am going to soak up as many minutes with him as I can. I will be back eventually.


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.



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.

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 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.

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 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 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!

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.

August 18, 2012

welcome, little one.

Kaden Matthew was born Friday morning at 3:24am, weighing in at 8lbs 6ozs. He’s got a crazy amount of thick, soft hair, and he smells like a new baby should. He is a tiny Matt with cute Morgan cheeks. Adorable.

Matt and Morgan are both new parents, and they are a little bit timid and scared of him. I think they are afraid to hurt him, but everyone has assured them that he is far tougher than they are giving him credit for.

August 15, 2012

looking forward.

It’s been a whole year since I’ve seen my older brother, Donnie, and next weekend will be the first time I go to see him with the feeling that finally he has seen some sort of light and understands that life can be good.

It’s a long story about why he is where he is and how he managed to land himself there. I won’t go into details for his privacy, but even at his lowest low, he is (and was) still a good person. I think anyone here knows him can tell you how easily he can make you laugh.

I used to just deal with the worry and fear about what he was doing, but lately he’s been better. He’s had to work out his own issues. And he is clean, has a job, and he is paying back restitution and fines and plans on staying west instead of coming home. This place, these people are bad news for him and the habits that he could so easily fall back into. He needs to stay west, and we all agree.

I am almost nervous to see him. A prison, no matter how minimal and lackluster the security is, is still a prison in my mind. An uncomfortable place where criminals live. Not the ideal place to visit family.

Hopefully we can get pictures (I don’t know the rules on that yet) and everyone can get to actually see the progress he is made, the fat he has put on. Even last year he look like a happier, healthier Donnie. We can only hope that it continues.

August 13, 2012


We had Morgan and baby Kaden’s baby shower yesterday, and even though it was small (it was just our family because she’s had a few other showers too), she got some cute stuff. Really cute stuff actually.

Kaden should be here in the next few weeks (due on September 11), but we are all pretty sure he will be early. We hope anyway, and I know Morgan is praying he comes early.

Can’t wait to meet the little guy.

August 11, 2012

sweetheart serenity.

Isn’t she just the cutest thing, even when she feels like crap?

She had her tonsils and adenoids out on Thursday, and from then on went on a throwing-up spree all afternoon and night. Then she spiked a fever, but it broke pretty quickly so the hospital let her go home.

Makinna and Raelyn missed her. They drew pictures for me to take to the hospital, and I’m sure they did enough talking for her while she’s healing.

Here’s to hoping she is back at it and ready for school!

July 8, 2012

photo dump: 4th of july.

June 20, 2012

Dayton & Layla.

Lindsay wanted to get some shots of the kids for Todd for his Father’s Day so we took them to Ward-Meade Park one evening last week for a small shoot. I always have fun shooting these sweeties. Dayton was bored right away, but we managed to get some good ones before a total meltdown. And Layla, well, she is just Layla, sweet and smiley. The colors were great. The sun was in about just the right place.

And they turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself.

June 19, 2012

look who is THREE.

Happy Birthday, Dayton! You crazy little man. You make us all smile with your silly antics and your goofy faces. Love you buddy!

June 9, 2012

happy birthday serenity,

You are funny and smart and growing up too fast. Let’s slow down a lil bit, okay?

June 6, 2012

see that smile?

It’s because she is talking to Uncle Greg.

They all love him, but Makinna has claimed him as her own. She tells me all the time that she loves him, and she gets shy when he is around.

So cute.

May 30, 2012

canon 60d testing.

I love my new camera. I’m still learning some of the new tricks that weren’t available on my old Rebel, and although it’s a little bigger and heavier than the Rebel, it was a great choice for me.

The girls had on pretty dresses the other day, and I took the opportunity to get a few shots of them.

May 21, 2012

class of 2012.

Lots of graduations this year for our families. Makinna from preschool, Ashley from Washburn Tech, and Brady and Kelsey both from high school. It sure did make the weekend hectic, but it is so good to see them all doing something with themselves.

Congratulations guys!

April 4, 2012

project life: week 13

This week was so much fun. Between being super busy (again), it was full of laughs and smiles and teeny tiny squeals.

Greg and I took Caleb and Kendall to Legends to the T-Rex restaurant, and it was awesome. I had never been there, and it is really a beautiful place. Good food. A LOT of food. Greg and I couldn’t finish all of ours. We’ll go back someday, I’m sure.

KU won in the Final Four against Ohio State (but lost in the Championship (sad face!)). I am still proud and still have red and blue on today though.

Mark took Tink and Makinna fishing at the ponds. They caught a few and were a little unsure of them.

This week was one of my favorites. It was easy. It was fun. It took me about an hour to put these pages together, which makes it fantastic.