Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas Eve sibling gift exchange!

Macie picked for Zeke, Zeke picked for Asher, and Asher picked for Macie.

Going to bed on Christmas Eve (date on camera is wrong).


The babies Christmas morning!

So excited!


Macie's fave gift!

Christmas this year was especially relaxing. The kids got up super early to open presents. I love their excitement and joy! We had our traditional biscuits, eggs, and bacon for breakfast. I am not sure if it was my cold or thyroid or a mixture of the two, but I wasn't feeling well and had to lie down for a while. Thankfully, it worked out well as Macie napped with me for the most part, and Perry and the boys were thoroughly enjoying play time on the Wii U. Later we baked cup cakes for Jesus and read Luke 2. Christmas evening we went to Perry's moms house for a couple hours. We came home to a very relaxing evening. It was a nice and simple Christmas. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Jesus Calling
This devotional really spoke to me the other day in light of this situation.

I have been told my thyroid level was either borderline hypo, or normal. I am not sure if the doctors kept getting different numbers, or if different doctors translate the same numbers differently. Regardless, I've been on and off medicine for years - having never felt a difference either way.

But this year, something was off. Something wasn't right. Whenever I discussed it with others, it would get blamed on the fact I was still breastfeeding. But this summer especially, I knew something was wrong.

In July I went to see an endrocrinologist because I figured, hey, they specialize in this stuff and since previous doctors would waiver in diagnosis, I should see somebody who could explain things better. Funny, she never checked for nodules, but did say my thyroid felt enlarged. Results came back borderline again and it was kind of my choice on whether or not to be put on medicine. For personal reasons I opted for the medicine.

Three months went by before I went back for my next appointment. There she tells me I have Hashimoto (by the way, say that in an Asain accent - it sounds like a Japanese restuarant - no joke!). Hashimoto is an auto immune disorder. I kind of was shocked - I've never been told this before, why didn't they tell me this in July when they found out?! We discussed how nothing has changed for me, and my biggest complaint - these hot flashes that put me in such an ill mood, man, they haven't let up. And every so often I would (and still do) feel a tightening, a tingling in my throat. She said she wanted to do an ultrasound.

So across the hall we go with Asher and Macie in tow. She performs an ultrasound and tells me my thyroid is lumpy. She also said I have a nodule (about 2.6cm, I believe) on my right (your left) side of my thyroid, and a cyst. But she's not worried about the cyst. She said any nodule more than 1cm in size and they biopsy. She explained the procedure and that there's a 95% chance everything is fine. Odds were in my favor.

But I cried. I was scared. There I was hoping for a simple, normal appointment and now I have an auto immune disorder AND a nodule! I looked over at my babies...I so wanted to be strong for them. I kept fighting back the tears, but wasn't always successful.

For several reasons the biopsy date was set for a month out. For that month, life was pretty...difficult, in a way. I had to live moment by moment, I couldn't allow myself to think long term, or worse case scenario. Fear is my default, it's a struggle to think anything else.

Finally, biopsy day came and I was a nervous wreck. Emotionally I shut off. I remember in the car ride Perry trying to distract me, telling me he loved me, holding my hand, but I couldn't...go there...I would just cry.

It was 4 needles. Couldn't swallow during it. It seemed like I'd swallow and be ready to go, then she'd take forever and by the time she was coming towards my throat with a needle I'd have to swallow again. Needle one I did well. But by needle two I had a break down. I started crying. I didn't want to cry. I tried so hard to swallow the tears, the burning, the pain, the fear, the "what-ifs". I never thought at 24 years old I'd be laying on a table getting biopsied.

The doctor was kind and encouraging and with her and Perry and the nurse I got thru all the needles and we were done (and of course God, too). She told me not to Google anything and it would be a week before results would be in (the following Tuesday or Wednesday). That fell on the week of Thanksgiving.

I was faithful to God time. To seeking Him. He covered me with such amazing peace that I cannot begin to describe. Such peace that I would say it was borderline JOY, HAPPINESS. I was actually at more peace after the biopsy than I was before.

Tuesday came and went, nothing. Wednesday came. I knew it would be the day. The one moment I leave my phone and I missed the call. I called back frantically to no avail. But thankfully, got ahold of the nurse shortly after. I was in the drive way with my kids, heading out for a walk. She said the results were suspicious, further testing was needed and we would know Monday or Tuesday.

But I didn't cry as anticipated. I felt peace. The peace of God that transcends all understanding was mine, I was totally and completely experiencing just that. Thankful.

Next Monday came and went, nothing. Tuesday came and secretly, I didn't want the kids around when the call came because I wasn't sure how I would handle it if the results weren't in my favor. But I don't think I ever prayed for that. I just inwardly wanted that. I took Zeke to school and it was a weird morning where Perry was home and awake, able to stay with the youngest two (God thing). As I'm pulling away from the side walk at Zeke's school, my phone rings. I knew. It wasn't the nurse this time but the doctor. I just knew. She told me that once again the results came back suspicious to cancer (40-50%). She explained I would need to see a surgeon. She explained everything. I pulled over on the side of the road and took notes, maintained a very matter-of-fact composer. I didn't feel surprised; I felt peace.

Six days later I was sitting in the surgeon's office with my husband and small group leader, Chantell. Never at 24 years old did I think I would be in surgeon's office for a medically needed procedure. The doctor was nice and thorough and explained everything in great detail. He even performed another ultrasound which interestingly enough did not show a cyst present (God?).

As of today, I am waiting for surgery. It's scheduled for two weeks out. We won't know the extent or lack thereof until the surgery and pathology reports and all that. I've never had surgery before. I may have to have a draining tube for the first week. Recovery is expected to be two weeks. This is truly the unknown for me.

But lets talk about some good. About some God stuff. Man, I truly appreciate God's timing. If this were to have happened a year ago, I would have been so alone. Today I am surrounded by friends and church family, I am surrounded by people who allow themselves to be His hand and feet! Another thing, I was breastfeeding Macie and wasn't intending on weening her anytime soon. But suddenly at 19 months old, in September, she refused to nurse. And for a week I would try, and she would refuse. Just a couple weeks later the nodule was discovered and all this unfolded...I dare you to tell me that wasn't a God thing! I am by no means a patient person. I completely dislike waiting. Ugh! But I am so thankful for all this wait time! For the month from discovering nodule to biopsy, to ultimately the two week wait for final results, and the one month wait from surgeon to surgery. Because of this wait, I have been able to meditate on His word and find peace! I feel like He is preparing me. Really, I do. He is helping me envision life after surgery. Preparing my home and family. It may sound silly, but it is what it is.

There's an incredibly famous verse in Philippians that has been my everything through this. I value this verse and the hope it has given me. It says,

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Ahh, but there's more!

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things."

Philippians 4:6-8 (emphasis mine)

There's another verse that has been a saving grace to me.

James 2, titled "Faith and Deeds"...WOW! Verses 14-26. WOA! Let's look at a few verses.

v.17 says,

"faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead"


"But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."


"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

I honestly love James 2 and would love to quote it all! I encourage all to go read it! It's good stuff. But anyways, this is how I interrepted that. It's more than saying I believe in Jesus...I need to live it! By my actions, by everything! So how can I say I believe or trust in Jesus, yet walk around in fear mode - especially in light of my current situation? That's counter productive. Especially since we're told worrying does not add a single hour to our lives (Matthew 6:27).

BECAUSE I believe in Jesus, and my hope and my trust is in Him, I will NOT allow myself to worry, or my thoughts to wonder. I will take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corin. 10:5). I want my ACTIONS, my DEEDS to reflect what I say when I say I believe and trust in Him!!! Does that make sense? I would love for my deeds/actions alone to say who I put my faith in without me verbally saying it!

For the most part, I have been blessed by being covered in a sea of peace. I mean, I am DROWNING in peace over here! There has only been one time when I totally let my flesh-y-ness or the enemy get to me. And right away I broke out Philippians 4:6-8 and read it and prayed it and cried to my Heavenly Father and guess what happened? A wave of peace came over me!

I don't know what the future holds for me and my family. And I know I have a lot of growing and learning to do in my relationship with God. But one thing that remains through all this is my love for Him. My heart is overflowing with love for Him. With peace, too. It's the weirdest and most amazing thing I've experienced and I can't really explain it. Bottom line is I trust Him! I cannot take credit for the peace or the calm, I can't take credit for the timing. This is all God. And I want for people to look at me and see Him! See His doing! See His glory! So, I hope when you and others hear my story, you see the finger prints of God. I want to be a reflection of Him.

Something pretty cool happened a week ago. Some ladies from my church including my ENTIRE small group all came together before service and prayed for me. Elaine, the lady who organized this and who works at the church, read Pslam 139. She asked what I would like for them to pray about specifically, then I sat in a chair  and they all gathered around and put their hands on me and took turns praying. Never have I been to anything like that before, let alone be the recipient to something like that. It was amazing! I was crying. It was incredible! And especially for my entire small group to be there - ya gotta understand, my church has 3 different service times and all 6 of us are scattered amongst those time and yet every. single. one. of. them. came. They all came! Wow! I felt so incredibly loved. It was awesome!

I will probably be updating on this after surgery is done. We will know more then. Another God thing is surgery was supposed to be on the 17th originally - but thankfully it wasn't. I've got some sorta cold or something about 3 weeks ago and still haven't fully recovered. He's awesome the way He works. Though we don't see the big picture now and though we may not understand everything now, I believe this will all make sense one day, and that it will be for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), AND for His Glory!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

All About Macie!

Sitting in her baby dolls tub!


Yeah, I sleep with my leg around a pillow or Perry. She like her mama!

One morning I caught her reading to herself.

She loves her jewelry!

Doing school work with bubba.

She's a lady!

Princess with daddy.

She's too cool for school!

Rocking her baby!

These pictures range from Macie at just 12 months up until now; 22 months. As you can see, my princess has grown so much! She melts my heart - and not just mine and her daddys, but everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her. She is a little lady and has incredible manners already AND a servant heart! I love how she says, "I love you mommy". I'll ask her, "Whose a princess?" She replies, "Me!" I just want her to know how special she is! I'll sing, "She's a lady" and Macie goes, "Woa woa woa". LOL! She cracks me up! She loves for me to hold her, she absolutely is my mini me and follows me around, always wanting to be nearby. I treasure this time because it won't always be this way and one day I'm gonna miss this - I'm gonna want this back (Trace Adkins, anyone?). 

All About Asher!

Asher's first day of pre-k.

Asher man.


Ash and Zeke chillaxing right before Asher's first baseball practice.

First day of practice!

My left handed man.

Day of first game!

Go Asher!

The night Asher won the game ball!

Baseball end of season party - Asher got to put the figures on the cake!

Asher and his friend, Cole, the day of the Cubmobile race.

Asher doing his school work (home school).

Being silly with lil' sis!

Asher is turning into a little man. Still kind of stuck between two stages - he is growing more and more into a little dude. He started pre-k this year. It was crazy how he actually got in last minute which is pretty unheard of. He did great in school  - obeyed and respected his teachers, ate all his food, napped, listened to instructions, played nicely, etc. But I didn't agree with how the kids were being treated or how things were being done there; and I believe it was hurting his spirit. Perry and I discussed it and especially since pre-k isn't mandatory, we pulled him out. I've been doing some schooling with him at home. It's nice having him home. Macie enjoys it, she adores "Ashie". Asher also started baseball this fall. Another "big boy" thing. He excelled at it - he is a natural! There were times where he would get bored like any other normal 4 year old waiting in the outfield, but man, when he shined, HE SHINED. Love my Asher man who is always sure to tell me how much he loves me and is still not too big to cuddle with his mommy!

All About Zeke!

Zeke, Asher, and Macie the morning of the parade.

The float!

Zeke on his first day of school (3rd grade!)

This is all three kids on Asher's first of eleven days of school.

Macie brushing bubba's hair.

Zeke and his Cub Scout buddies!

Pumpkin farm! Macie would not stay still.

Heading to the fair!

The boys love going on rides with daddy,

Zeke and Asher doing a craft while we were camping with Cub Scouts.

Zeke doing an obstacle coarse.

Zeke playing with his buddies.

Rain Gutter Ragatta! (hope I spelled that right!)

Halloween! Zeke was a ninja, Asher batman, and Macie a queen bee!

Zeke and his friend, Dax, at the Cubmobile race.

Go Zeke!

A surprise visit from the uncles!
Zeke is growing up so fast. I cannot believe he is two months shy of being 9! WOW! He is doing great in school - it blows my mind how smart he is! He has been busy with Cub Scouts. He is an incredible big brother to his little brother and sister. Zeke is such a helpful kid, and very obedient. He loves his daddy and always wants to hang out with him. He is protective of his siblings. He's really funny! He has really been learning and growing into an incredible young man. I am very proud of him! I know I can always count on Zeke. He loves with all his heart. He's a great kid!!