Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Special Award

In the past two weeks I have been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award, as well as been "tagged"!  I am honored to receive such special honors.

Thank you Kelly Hashway, Rick Starkey, and Sara (A.K.A. The Muse)!

The rules are to thank those who nominated me (see above), and to answer a set of questions/tell a few things about myself.  I'm also supposed to pass the award/tag along.  So, I decided I would bend the rules a little.  First of all, I'm making up and answering my own questions, to account for telling you a few things about myself.  Stay tuned for the other changes! 

1. If you could go anywhere in the whole world, where would it be?

It's a toss up between London and Paris :)

2. What is your favorite book?

This one is tough, but I finally decided it has  to be the Bible.

3. What is your favorite food?

Ice cream, hands down.

4. If you could live in any fictional world, which one would it be?

No one throw rotten fruit, please, but Forks.  Who wouldn't want to live in a world where mythical creatures live, the good guys ALWAYS win, the bad guys ALWAYS fail, and no one ever dies besides the people who deserve it?

5. If you could make one major change in the world, what would it be?

My initial instinct was to say "cure cancer", but if I only had ONE change I could make, I don't think that would be it.  I would make sure every person on earth had a chance to hear about Jesus, and salvation, because what happens after this life is so much more important that what happens during it.

6. If someone heaped a few million $$$ on you, what would you do with it?

First I would give 25% to St. Jude, and I would give 25% to my church.  With the remaining 50% I would pay off my house, buy all new clothes for like a year (for my entire family), go to London AND Paris, and put in a pool : D

7. Have you ever met anyone famous?


8. What's your favorite hobby?


9. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer (always).

10. Any parting words of wisdom?

Appreciate what you have, because you never know when it will be taken away.

And now for my new set of rules.  Instead of passing along the awards I received, I have created my own.  This is the "Super Cancer Kicker" award!  I have awarded it to a few brave souls who I have come across, and who have fought so hard for their lives.  I wish I could list every child I have ever met, and all the ones I haven't.  Feel free to add your own Super Cancer Kickers in the comments :)

Image Detail
Super Cancer
Kicker Award

This is for you...




















Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Peach's Neet Feet


A few weeks ago at clinic, while talking to another mom, I learned about a super duper "neeto" project, called Peach's Neet Feet.  This niftly little organization looks to brighten the days of children with cancer everywhere by sending them a pair of shoes decorated with the child's favorite things.  Emma picked shoes with horses and unicorns :)  Be sure to visit their website, where Emma's story is currently featured!

So, without further ado, here is the info on Peach's Neet Feet!

Who We Are: Peach's Neet Feet

What We Do: Peach's Neet Feet (PNF) is a grassroots custom shoe donation project. I hand paint and donate canvas shoes for children battling various forms of childhood cancer and other long term/life threatening illnesses and also lifelong disabilities.

How To Request Shoes: Shoes can be requested by emailing madisonsteiner@gmail.com You can tell her that you would like to apply for shoes for your child who has cancer.

How To Donate: You can donate money, or shoes (how cool is that?)!  Go to www.peachsneetfeet.blogspot.com to learn more.  Peach's Neet Feet is looking to catch national attention, so that they might be able to get a deal going with a retail shoe chain.  Help them out by liking their Facebook Page, and passing the info along!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Journey in photos...

Nine years ago today I married the most wonder husband in the whole wide world!  And what a ride it has been...
We've had lots of good days...


And a few not so good ones...


But we pushed on through...


And have celebrated many more happy days...

And we've learned to live again...


Here's to ninety and nine more years together!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do You Coupon?

Have you seen that show, Extreme Couponing? This week I made my first attempt at couponing.   In the past 6 months our grocery bill has doubled.  Our children have become human garbage disposals!  Now, I'm not complaining about the garbage disposal thing.  I have a 2 year old who weighs 21 pounds, and a 5 year old on chemo.  Them shoving their faces makes me happy!  However, it does not make my checkbook happy.

Hence the couponing.  I went to the store equipped with my shopping list, sales paper, and coupons...and I failed miserably.  My mistakes?

1. I didn't look closely at my coupons, and many of the items I grabbed weren't what was specifically listed on the coupon.

2. I took my kids with me (BIG MISTAKE IF YOU'RE TRYING TO SAVE MONEY).

3. I didn't look closely at the sale ads in the sale paper.  For instance, I got two 2 liters of Sprite, because they were listed under a heading of "Assorted Coke Products Buy 1 Get 1 Free".  However, the Sprite itself wasn't one of those "assorted" items.

Okay, so I haven't totally given up, and I intend to do better next time.  What about you?  Do you have any tips to save money at the grocery store?  Share them, please!

And on an aside, here is a lovely little commercial that played during the Super Bowl.  It made me both happy and sad, and yes I cried.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm So Mad!

Have you ever said those words? 

About three weeks after Emma was diagnosed, we were pent up in the hospital and I was going a little crazy, I admit.  Emma had lost all ability to walk/sit/stand.  She was like a very large infant.  She couldn't use the bathroom herself, and this was a HUGE source of frustration for her.  Because of this, it was a huge source of frustration for us as her parents.

We were in a bit of a unique situation, and because of that no one was telling us what was going on.  Typically when a new family arrives at St. Jude, they are given a run-down of how things go.  They are shown to their clinics, told how to "check in" at each appointment location, and educated (to some extent) on what to expect in the coming weeks.  With us, though, we were brought in under dire circumstances and put in the ICU.  Everyone's biggest concern was keeping her alive, and we were always given wonderful information regarding this aspect.  However, when she was  moved from the ICU to the regular inpatient floor, the focus changed.  Now the main focus was not keeping Emma alive, but getting her cancer into remission (which is the typical goal of everyone at St. Jude).  But we weren't new patients anymore, we had been there for nearly 3 weeks.  Everyone on the regular inpatient floor assumed we had already had the run-down--except we hadn't.  I had no answers, and I was mad about it. 

People would call, or text, and I would put on a happy face.  Inside I was boiling.  I was angry at the doctors for not letting us get out of the hospital.  I was angry at God for putting us in this situation in the first place.  And truthfully, I was angry at everyone I knew because they were going on with their lives.

Micheal was not angry.  I would ask him why, and he would shrug and tell me (in his beautifully patient way) "I've been through hard things before."  He was my rock, truly.

Five weeks into the diagnosis, Emma was finally released from the hospital and we went to "live" at the Ronald McDonald House.  My agner continued for several weeks (maybe months?).

Image DetailSo what's the point of this long-winded story?  How did I overcome it?  I WANTED to get over it.  Even at my own expense.  That didn't mean my problems got "fixed".  Emma still had cancer.  My life was still in upheaval.  But I didn't want to be angry, so I worked on it.  I forced myself to think about good things.  Emma's smile.  Micheal's support.  Ashlyn's sweet baby gurggles.  A hospital that was saving my daughter's life, and providing for us in the mean-time.  A support group.

If you are not (or have never faced being) angry, I want you to know that someday that will come.  We all have battles to fight.  Your "good" things will be different than mine, but trust me, they're there somewhere.  Look for them, and focus on them.  Don't have any good things?  You do, you're just not looking close enough.

It will be hard, and it will not make your problems go away--but at least you will be in a better state of mind to deal with the problems.  I wish you all well, and I hope that at least some of you will be less "angry" because of this.