Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Year Anniversary

Last Thursday was the five year anniversary of the doctor telling Jared that the tumor he felt was most likely testicular cancer. It seems like it was forever ago and just yesterday all at the same time. Jared was amazing through the entire process of the surgery, a summer of chemotherapy, and yet another surgery. He did a ton of research, read countless articles, talked to multiple doctors, but ultimately trusted the Lord through it all. At one point when his tumor markers were not where the doctor wanted them to be, the doctor casually mentioned something to the effect of, "You may have a particular type of cancer that doesn't respond to treatment." Jared pondered that for all of about ten minutes before he fell asleep during his chemo session. When he awoke and the doctor had some more test results, he was told that everything was looking good. What would have been a terrible time of waiting for most people, even Christians, Jared resolved that if it was untreatable, he knew where he would be headed and was secure in that. So he took a nap.

I am so thankful that the Lord's plan for him did not end there. Even though the survival rate is very high if it is caught and treated early, something like 98%, there are those who don't make it through. Many who do are not able to have children. Jared made it through and is the father to two beautiful girls. Our God is so good.

At one of his many chemo treatments

After his RPLND (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: a removal of the lymph nodes in the lower abdomen)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Atlanta Weekend

Last weekend when it was so extremely cold, we went up to Atlanta to visit with Dusty & Arin and to meet the newest addition to their family, sweet little Asa! It snowed on us on the way up there and by Saturday morning, the kids had some beautiful snow to play in. Here are some pictures from our weekend...

Anson, Charlotte, and Ella, cuddled up watching some Saturday morning cartoons

Charlotte called the snow "snow ma'am"... Like "snow man", but a lady??

Sweet Ella playing in the snow

Dusty and Ella working on a snow man... this is about as big as he got. We grew tired and cold very quickly out there!

We went to eat at our favorite restaraunt, the Penang. Penang is the name of the island in Malaysia where Jared's family lived as missionaries and where he proposed to me. We always get the same thing when we eat there. Roti canai, a crispy Indian style pancake served with a curry chicken potato sauce...

...and chicken satay, skewered grilled chicken served with a peanut sauce.

Other than going out for dinner on Saturday night, we mostly just stayed in and relaxed. We were all quite tired!

Here is sweet little Asa! He has the cutest wrinkly forehead you've ever seen! He was born at 6 pounds 14 ounces, so Arin has had the smallest and largest babies in the family (Anson was a whopping 10 pounds 3 ounces)!

Arin opening up some Play-Doh for the kids. She amazed me with how much energy she had only three weeks after having a baby!

Asa and Naomi, 3 weeks and 2 months, respectively. Just a little bit of a size difference between the two!

The Lakewood house, a.k.a. The Money Pit. We're thrilled to not own this anymore but still like to drive by whenever we're up there to celebrate!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grammy!

The girls and I were planning to go to Gainesville today but I have some stupid sore throat, sinusy, painful eustachian tube sort of germ that I don't want to spread. The main reason for our trip to Gainesville was to see my mom, the girls' Grammy, and to take her out to lunch on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! Since she can't see the girls in person, I figured this video would be the next best thing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photo Recap

I cleaned out the girls' closets... Naomi has already outgrown all of these clothes!

The hangers from Charlotte's outgrown outfits. She still had lots of 12 month size clothes hanging up. I might need to clear it out more often. :/

Is there anything cuter than this?!

Charlotte likes to put Mickey and his gang with Dora and her crew in the same plastic zip-up tote that she refers to as their "house". Apparently, the tough economy has affected the cartoon characters as well and they're now teaming up and sharing homes.

Love this smile!

Charlotte in her "tig tails"... Nope, not a typo. She calls them "tig tails" :)

Snoozing in Daddy's arms

Saturdays are perfect for building forts

Reading inside the fort

Sweet sisters

Singing about Zacchaeus, with the mandatory hand motions. "Zacchaeus, you come down..."

"My Daddy is hilarious!"

They're both smitten

And we'll close it with a Charlotte story... She is at the stage where she's repeating everything she hears. Yesterday as I was changing her Pull-Up, she told me, "Oh my goodness! I pee-pee!" Oh my goodness... she must have picked that one up from her father :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Fast Life

I really hate that I get around to blogging so infrequently because I feel like so much happens between posts that when I do update there's just so much to tell you and it would need to be a novel's length to cover everything. So here are some highlights...

Naomi has been sleeping really well. I feed her right before we go to bed, around 10 or 11:00, and though she gives me trouble sometimes in getting to sleep, once she does fall asleep, she has been sleeping till 5:45 or 6:00. On Saturday, she even slept till 7:00! I know some people say a child as young as her should be getting fed more often, but she's getting plenty of food - she weighs 15 pounds at 2 months old! Jared continues to be the Master Swaddler and has also added Master Sleep-Inducer to his list of titles. Quite often Naomi will be asleep in my arms but the minute I put her down she wakes up. Jared has the magic touch with the butt-patting though because she almost always goes right to sleep and stays asleep when he puts her down. I will be sending his boss notification this week that Jared will be working from home from now on so that he can swaddle and put Naomi down for all of her naps.

I have started a Bible study with some ladies in our church and am really enjoying it. We're reading With the Master in the School of Tested Faith by Susan Heck on the book of James. It is fantastic! I actually started it several months ago with another group of ladies, but the pregnancy made me lazy and after we got into the second chapter (of James, not just the study book:), I sort of phased out. But most of the ladies in this group are in our Home Bible Study so I see them on Sunday evenings and I think the accountability will help me.

Jared and I have officially taken over as nursery coordinators at church! We were informed shortly after Charlotte was born and we volunteered to work in the nursery that we were being "groomed" to take over as coordinators. Well, there wasn't much grooming that went on and we were able to dodge the bullet when they were looking for the next replacements, but they suckered us into it assured us of the blessing it was to the families and what a blessing it would be to us as well. :) I kid, I kid. We're really excited about it and are doing our best to learn the ropes as quickly as possible. In addition to the usual difficulties of workers not showing up and finding replacements, we have the added challenge of a very fertile membership that has recently grown with the addition of several new families with multiple children themselves and not enough space to fit everyone in. Oh, and throw in the fact that Jared and I don't know all of the workers so when someone suggests finding So-and-So to fill in, we have no idea who So-and-So is. We've only been going to the church for two and a half years, you can't expect us to know people yet! There are several challenges, but I believe that Jared will be a wonderful head of this ministry. He is very organized and has an eye for recognizing how things can be done more efficiently so that will be a huge asset. And me, well I'm the trusty side-kick who will change the bulletin boards once a quarter and wash and fold the sheets for the infants each week :)

I have started Jillian Michael's The Shred workout! It's a 30-day workout that only takes 20 minutes each day. Yesterday was Day 1 and tomorrow will be Day 2. Haha, did you catch that? Yeah, I'm skipping a day already. We hosted our Home Bible Study tonight so we spent our time after church making sure the house was presentable for guests. Am I the only whose house is only spic-and-span when they have company coming? It drives Jared nuts. "Why don't we keep it clean for us?" Yes, I often leave dishes in the sink, have an unmopped floor, and a ring around the toilet bowls, but I don't want other people to know that! Anyway, I was running around cleaning and tidying (Jared was helping too, what a sweet, patient and very wonderful husband I have!) and because of the Super Bowl, we had people here later than usual and I don't like to work out or exercise to0 late in the evenings because it makes me wired and then I can't sleep runonfragmentsentence. There will always be an excuse, I know, but I really do want to stick to it. I am sick of this post-baby body of mine. I might tape two pictures to the TV while I'm working out: one of me before babies and one of me now. That way, when Jillian is kicking my butt and making me hate her, I can look at the picture and remember that I hate my stomach and thighs even more.

Charlotte has been almost two weeks without her beloved Mickey Mouse! I haven't even turned the TV on during the day since her tantrum over him. That's huge for me, folks! I have a tendency to turn the TV on and leave it on, even if it's not being watched. You'd think with less time spent with my rear in front of the TV that I would get more things done around the house. Nah, I just find other ways to waste my time, like cutting up an old shirt of mine into a dress for Charlotte. And I say "waste" because that project was exactly that. A waste. It ended up being a total flop. Oh well.

Alright, well that's all I can think to share now... See, even doing the highlights, it still turns into a novel. I'm chatty even in blogland. Sheesh! I'll try to post pictures of the girls tomorrow but I'm too tired to mess with all that mess tonight. Naomi, not wanting us to get too comfortable with a good night's sleep, changed things up by waking at 3:00 a.m. to eat and then again at 5:00, at which time she felt it would be fun to party till 6:30. After that and a busy day today, I am really hoping for some uninterrupted sleep! Night, ya'll!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Perfect Couple Contest - Vote Now!

We need your help! Go vote for Jared and I for the "Perfect Couple" contest over on Taryn Lewis's blog!

Taryn Lewis Photography

If we win, we'll get a photo session with Taryn and some free prints. Taryn is a photographer from our hometown and does some amazing work. While you're voting for us, check out some of her other work as well! She also has a great deal going on for high school juniors and seniors if anyone needs some senior portraits done.