Friday, April 29, 2011


We all have heard this word so much in just the past 2 days... it is probably the only word that can even begin to describe the scene here in Alabama. April 27, 2011 a date not many southerners will soon forget. The day of devastation across Alabama and most of the south. The death toll has climbed to over 200... a number that seems almost unbelievable. So many prayers going up for all the families and friends of tornado victims across the state.

Here in Calhoun County we had 6 deaths. Many local communities were hit very hard, homes wiped out, schools damaged, property destroyed. It's a sad time. I heard a tornado victim whose house wiped out say this morning, "I've cried enough tears, I can't do anything about my house... it's gone. That's in God's hands and I'm ok with that." What faith, what courage, what spirit she has. Just hoping we can all have that spirit.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

What a beautiful weekend!  Our weekend started with some much needed attention to our yard. After two truck loads of mulch and new plants we still are not completely finished but we are close.  The result feels and looks great.... more pics when we are finished.

Then, of course it was time to color the eggs...

Easter basket time... Payton's is filled with Dora stuff

 RJ's is filled with dinosaur stuff...
Easter morning... what a lovely surprise... the kids slept till 8:15!  This never happens at our house. I'm hoping it's a sign of things to come.  Wake up, breakfast then off to church.

Family Easter picture 2011

We enjoy hosting friends and family and I guess you could say the Easter weekend helped us kick off our party hosting season! The house was filled with friends, family and lots of kids... so wonderful to have a full house on a special weekend.

Easter Crew 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Good Friday!

We have big plans for the Easter weekend!  We are looking forward to getting our yard 'up to snuff'... which means a fresh cut, new plants, and new mulch!! (yay, for an aching back on Sunday!!) We will also be hosting an Easter gathering complete with egg hunt and cookout.  So excited about the upcoming weekend.
Happy Easter!!

Payton is super excited about dying eggs and having a Easter egg hunt at her school today!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How fast things can change...

Warning: Long post ahead

This past week the stress level has been a little high around our house.  Our son was able to enjoy his Spring Break for the most part.  It all started on Monday night when he smashed his finger between the car door and the rail on our golf cart.  His finger immediately looked so funny and abnormal that we took him to the ER, afraid he had broken it.  We were in the process of running out to grab a quick dinner for all of us.  So by the time we reached the ER and I went to get our 3 yr old daughter out of the car I realized she didn't have any shoes on.  Fun times.  This is about 8:30 which normally means bedtime for our kids.  We ended up only having to stay a couple of hours, had an x-ray and a temporary cast put on for precaution and referred to an orthopedic doctor.  No real answers yet.

Tuesday we were able to schedule an appointment with the best orthopedic in our area.  Thank goodness we have friends who are trainers, nurses and otherwise have 'connections.'  We saw the orthopedic Tuesday afternoon.  We are still thinking possibly a broken finger or something.  My mind is already thinking about how this is going to affect him in school, left hand... so wouldn't affect writing.... my first thoughts.  Then we heard something that had not even factored into our minds.... words like cancer, tumor, benign, bone deformity, deformed tissues, enchondroma, MRI, bone scan.  It was all like a tornado hit us.  The doctor thought this was not something that was the result of the door accident, but something that had been there all along.  Smashing it in the door just helped us notice it more.  The doctor told us not to worry (yeah, right!) he didn't think it was cancerous.  But we were scheduled to have a bone scan and MRI done in 3 days to rule out the possibility of any type of growing tissue or 'activity' going on in his hand or anywhere else. 

Notice the middle finger and the 'bump' right past the knuckle towards the hand... 

Honestly, those days were a blur.  Roby and RJ spent everyday together from the time he woke up to the moment he went to sleep. They played golf, baseball, went to movies, had lunches and breakfasts together at RJ's favorite spots... it was like our head was in the clouds. I didn't want to believe the doctor and thought he must be just sending us on a wild goose chase. 

Lunch at Fuji's eating hammerhead sharks (shrimp cut by the chef)

Golf with Daddy

Friday morning, we took off we were there early and ready to face whatever it was together.  First up was the injection of the radioactive chemical for the bone scan.  Now, our son, has a deathly fear of needles and or blood. The nurses were great with him, especially Joan, who took very good care of him and was very patient and kind to him. We will remember her caring spririt. We finally got the injection done after two sticks and three nurses having to hold RJ still.  Joan made him a bunny bandaid...

We had to wait 2 hours for the chemical to take effect throughout his body so we knocked out the MRI during that time and even got to go get some breakfast at the Waffle House, another RJ favorite. I have never had an MRI so I wasn't sure what to expect either.  The loud noises, the tunnel, the not knowing when it's going to end... all very stressful and I'm an adult, much less for a 6 yr old boy with lots of energy that has to keep his hand still for 30 mins with his body half way in this tunnel.  We made it through, with a few tears, but he did it.

We got to take a break and head out for breakfast while still waiting for the time for the bone scan.  The bone scan was somewhat easier than the MRI but it was still hard trying to get a very active 6 yr old boy to be still.  He first went through the open tunnel for the bone scan for his entire body then we had to concentrate on his hands. He had to keep both hands still for what seemed like an hour.  It may have only been 30 or 40 mins but it took forever.

DONE! Friday afternoon we let him go swim with a friend and just have fun! Secretly, I would have loved to have him all to myself, snuggle up and watch a movie (Jurassic Park is our new fave) but he deserved to be a kid and have fun after all that craziness this morning.   We were still super stressed all weekend.  I just kind of put it out of my mind.  I couldn't even fathom the possibilities of bad news. I couldn't let myself go there

Roby had a doctor friend of his at the hospital read the radiologist report on Sunday for us and we finally had some relief - no cancer.  Diagnosed as fibrous dysplasia - a bone deformity.  It can be severe and painful, but it seems as though the problem RJ has is isolated and painfree.  It is something we will have to watch and keep an eye on, but no action needed for now.  He can do anything and everything he was doing before all this craziness started. We met with the orthopedic on Tuesday to confirm the test results.

RJ was very concerned as you can tell.

We are so thankful and so blessed to have two healthy children.  I realize there are children and families with so much more severe problems than we have experienced.  My heart goes out to those families. But it is like you always hear, you never really can understand these feelings until they happen to you and your loved ones.  We merely peaked in the door at a much bigger issue than we had ever dreamed of. We are more aware of our blessings and have been shaken to the core and back again.   

Monday, April 18, 2011

Things to remember (about the weekend):

Got this idea from Ali Edwards blog today...

Things I want to remember about this weekend:

  • family game time on Saturday morning of Dinosaur Strike
  • watching the kids dance to entertain us in the living room
  • listening to Payton sing along with the 'Cat in the Hat' movie
  • the drawing RJ made of our family or (femele as he spells it - he's doing great sounding out words)
  • a fun chat with a best friend about fun preggo happenings
  • playing outside t.o.g.e.t.h.e.r
  • a run on Saturday (6 miles)
  • the new "whiny" rule we put in place for the kids
  • a birthday party for a very special 2 yr old friend
  • kids excited about going back to children's church
  • had some sad news that reminds me to enjoy every little second of our time together
  • watching 'Rio' together (which means our 3 yr old made it through the whole movie)
  • having all the laundry finished before Sunday night at 10pm! Yay!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring is here

At least our front door now sends the message "Spring is here!" The wreath was pretty easy to put together once I made myself sit down and work on it from start to finish.  Making the flowers was a fun part also. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The race

The big day finally came and went! It was exciting, challenging, hard, fun and nerve-wracking all at the same time. The morning started out pretty early.  I was up at 5 am and out the door by 5:30 am. Official race started at 7:30am but the officials asked everyone running to be parked by 6:30am. We got to park on the infield of the track! Pretty cool. These pictures are heading into the actual track area and the tunnel taking you down to the track and infield area (we also ran down this tunnel around mile 8).

Once inside and parked it was all butterflies from there on... did I train enough? Will I be able to even finish? Can I make my goal time (2 hr)?What if my back gives out half-way through? All kinds of stuff goes through your mind before the actual race begins.

Once the race started I felt good... it was fun to be in this swarm of people, just running. The course was great. This is my first half-marathon, but I think it will also definitely be my favorite race. We got to run all around the speedway... we started on the race track, then ventured out through the campgrounds, up into the grandstands, then around the top of the race track (what a view!), then finally back down through the tunnel into the track again to finish on the racetrack.

My official time was 2 hr and 5 mins. Just missed my goal by 5 mins... but I'm still pleased with my first ever race of this distance. I'm hoping to get faster and faster. I've learned some "do's" and "dont's" along the way. I guess you could say, I'm hooked.  Official results here.

I'm so thankful that my family came to support me.
It was so fun to see my kids and husband waiting for me at the finish line!
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