The doctors have given her approximately 2 months to live.
I am more deeply grieved than I'm sure I seem on the outside. Having been through this exact scenario with my mother (except she had much treatment that made her must more ill than the cancer), I know some of what to expect. However, despite my outside appearance, my heart is breaking inside. Mary has become like a second mother to me (I've not been vague in expressing my love for the Taylor family). And I can only hope that when I grow older, I can leave behind 1/2 the legacy that she has.
Might I be so bold as to ask you to approach the Throne on behalf of the entire Taylor family over the next few days. We know that the Great Physician could perform a miracle, however, we also know that He is probably most anxious to have this precious saint with him too.
Thank you for your prayers.
Santa Steve surprised me with a Canon Rebel xsi. I have been coveting this camera since I saw my friend Carrie's when we went to the beach in July. What a surprise! And I have used it all day. I love my man!
Steve got his GPS and loved it. He used it tonight too while we were traveling to and from his family Christmas.
Jenna got her second American Girl doll from Santa. It was a lesser hit than her first doll Kit, but she loves them both. Right now, there's so much to look at and play with, she's having a hard time deciding what to do next.
Micah, Chase and Gage liked all their gifts. I absolutely love buying for them. It's sometimes a challenge, but I feel like I usually do pretty well.
We went to the Taylor Family Christmas today at 2pm. It was a bit depressing because the matriarch (AKA "Grandmother") was missing as she is still in the hospital. But it was still fun. I can't put into words how much I love this family. At Thanksgiving, the women-folk decided not to exchange gifts this year (except for the children) because the economy had been so bad. I have to admit, I was kinda glad, but I was also pretty bummed. However, tonight, just being with them and watching the kids enjoy themselves was more than enough.
At the end, they handed Steve a bag with several envelopes. All together, the envelopes contained nearly $400...a combination from each family represented, to go toward his Diabetic Service Alert Dog. Now, try and convince me anyone is as blessed as me to be part of this family. I love them. I know several of them read my blog. And to you, I say I LOVE YOU. Each and every one. You have become my surrogate family. And the way you love Steve, makes me love you even more.
After leaving there, we all went to the hospital to see Grandmother. She was pretty sick still, but she was glad to see us. We didn't stay long. But it was good to get to see her, for sure. Hopefully 2009 will be better for all of us.
So...all that to say, this was a fabulous Christmas despite the sadness of ailing parents. As soon as I figure out how to load up the pictures from my new camera, I definitely will!
Christmas is my favorite holiday. As a kid, I loved the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. As an adult and parent, it's much of the same excitement and anticipation except for a different reason. I confess, I don't sleep well on Christmas Eve because I can't wait for Jenna to wake up and open her gifts! However, I try to make sure that Jenna understands the true Reason for the season. So, without further delay...
My favorite Christmas...
Movie: Modern Day-Love Actually (I've watched this about 3 times this season) Classic-It's a Wonderful Life (love watching this with Steve)
Sweet: Lately I'm favorite my Oreo truffles. I also love all the little finger foods we have.
Song: Hands down, O Holy Night
Tradition: All of them. My favorite tradition growing up was Christmas Eve at our house. Mom always had the whole family over. It was my favorite time spending time with my family. When Mom died, everyone kind of went their separate ways. I really missed it. Tonight, I took part in the second annual Christmas Eve tradition spending it with my surrogate family, the Millsaps. More to come on that fun! I also really, REALLY enjoy Christmas Day night with the Taylor family (I think I've mentioned how much I love that family!) I also love dearly the Christmas Eve service at church.
Gift Received: Anything truly unexpected (and expensive!) The year I was pregnant with Jenna, Steve gave me a diamond double heart necklace in front of all the Taylors and it was so sweet and memorable.
Gift Given: Well, probably the year we gave Micah her car. Her reaction still brings tears to my eyes. For Steve...I don't know...I usually go overboard on him and he's always surprised. That's the best thing though. For Jenna-the Butterscotch pony last year was a real hit.
Meal: I always loved having Christmas breakfast, but not sure that will happen tomorrow. :)
What about you? What are some of your favorite Christmas things?
Merry Christmas Eve...
Last Sunday afternoon, we went to have Christmas with my dad and stepmom (Bertie, or affectionately dubbed "Nana" by Jenna!) Daddy isn't well enough to go out anywhere and with the weather being so terribly cold, we can't take the chance of him catching something.
It was a great time. Nana fixed us a yummy lunch and of course, Jenna was chomping at the bit to open gifts. Nana had really outdone herself this year. Given that she's got more than a full time job taking care of Daddy (who needs almost 24/7 care), she went above and beyond.
Daddy was looking good and so I took the opportunity to get several shots of us together. I'm more conscious of doing this now. Bertie even said that with his breathing getting worse, literally by the day, this could very well be his last Christmas with us. It was a depressing thought, but I am so glad that we had this time together. It really made me appreciate it.
Jenna got 9 gifts from Nana and Poppop! And they were all numbered so she knew which ones to open first (I told you Nana outdid herself). The first was a little reindeer craft. The second was a pair of super cute and warm pajamas. But the third gift was the gift of all gifts. Most of you remember in this post, I told you that Jenna asked Santa for an American Girl doll for Christmas. Well, she got her first American Girl doll from Nana. Her name is "Kit". Jenna was smiling from ear to ear. Every gift after that was clothes that Nana made for Kit. Can you tell how excited she was?
Saturday morning, we met the Millsaps at ICE! It's the last year that the Grinch will be there and so we wanted to go again. Here are the girls all bundled up and ready for the bitter cold.
On Friday, Jenna had her Christmas party at school. They did so many cute things like flower pot reindeer and reindeer food. Here's Jenna and her masterpiece. And then the other picture is Jenna and her best friend Annabelle.
In case you can't read it, her letter to Santa says, "Dear Santa, I have been very, very good this year. I would like an American Girl doll and all I whant to konw (know) is whant is your secrett? How do you get all the gifts for the kids? Love Jenna Grace Taylor" The rest is a partial phone number and address. How cute is that?
Some of the events you have to look forward to?
*Jenna's Christmas Program
*School Christmas Party
*ICE! with the Millsaps
*Christmas with Nana and Poppop (and Jenna's first American Girl doll!!!)
Trust me, you won't want to miss it. So, check back soon and hopefully I'll have some fun stuff for you to read!
Thursday night when I finally got home!
Our standard pose in the snow.
Friday, I worked late. Not long, but long enough. When I got home, Steve had chili waiting on me. YUM. I sat around on the couch until about 9:30pm and then decided I wanted to start my weekend activites early.
To back up a little, we recently celebrated 3 years in our current home. As it is with most everyone, when we moved, we did some serious purging. Plus, we doubled our home space, so for the longest, I wondered if/how we would ever fill this house up (right, I hear all of you out there laughing who has been through this before). But anyway, I guess it's taken us about 3 years to not only fill up, but cross the threshold into clutter. Not alot of clutter like at the old house but enough nonetheless. And one of the things I swore to myself is that I would not let it get to that point here. So, an "intervention", if you will, was needed.
The worst offender was Jenna's room and closet. It is a small room and we knew this when we moved in. However, with the bonus room, we figured most of her stuff would land there. Of course, I was wrong. So, at 9:30 on Friday, I started in Jenna's room. After a certain period of time, Jenna went to the bedroom with Steve. I finally fell into bed at 1am, but the room was clean! Sunday I hit the scrapbook room (Jenna's side) and organized all her craft items. We went to TPAC to see Tuna Does Vegas on Saturday afternoon and after we returned, I organized and cleaned out the bonus room. So, I now live in a lot less cluttered home and I'm totally FREE!
On Saturday, we went to get our pictures made with Santa here in the Hill. $10 got us 2 poses one with all of us, one with just Jenna. It was a professional photographer who will email us the pictures and allow us to reproduce them any way we desire. As soon as I have those back, I'll share. However, I do have these to share now....
After that, we went to Target and Kohl's to get Jenna a new winter jacket and myself some gloves and a hat. Saturday night was the first annual Christmas parade in the Hill. We were so excited to be part of it! It was cold to be sure, but the wind wasn't blowing, so that made it pretty tolerable.
Here are a few of my favorite shots...
Anyway, the main reason that I'm posting is to let all of you know what's going on with the job situation. My company made the local newspaper (maybe the TV news too, I'm not sure) because Corporate Headquarters laid off about 200+ people this week. I've gotten several "You OK?" emails, so I thought I'd post here just to let everyone know that yes, I'm OK.
My department did experience several layoffs, but I was not one of those. The layoffs are of course, due to budget cutbacks and a couple of my close co-workers were affected. It's been a tough week emotionally for all of us. And when I say ALL, I mean, everyone in the corporate office. We all knew people that lost their jobs this week and some took it better than others. At any rate, I was able to keep my job, but the cuts will mean lots more work with fewer people, so we are in for a wild ride in 2009.
OK, I'm starting to wind down, so I better get to bed before I catch my second wind.
But I'm here now. :) Yesterday was a pretty good Thanksgiving day. I woke up about 7am and started cooking. Partially for our mini-lunch at home and partially for the big dinner we'd have at Steve's family's house. I look forward to the time we spend with his family. I love, love, LOVE them! Even though they have their own dysfunctions (what family doesn't), you'd never know it when they are all together. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times because I get to spend time with them. I just LOVE them! Every single last solitary one (yes, ALL of you!!!) Anyway, it was a great time. I didn't even miss reading while I was there and that's saying alot! Plus, I got to see Chase (my stepson) which doesn't happen as often as I'd like. If I didn't think it would scare the beejeezus out of him, I'd probably have run up and hugged him. Micah and Gage didn't make it this year and that made me sad...to feel our little family wasn't complete, but we'll see her soon enough.
Last week, we happened by the mall after dropping off Jenna's friend and decided to check out the line to see Santa. Well, unbelievably, it wasn't all that bad. We were there about 30 minutes and I thought the picture turned out great!
Also arriving at our house were her 1st grade pictures. I thought these were equally as cute if she hadn't pushed the headband so far up on her head. At least this year I remembered it was picture day and left her hair down. Last year, it was up in a ponytail and made her look like a boy. I won't make that mistake again!
Today, we went to Murfreesboro to visit my out-of-town high school friend, Stacey and some other friends from life "back when". By the time I found the stupid place (a bounce-house), we only had about an hour to socialize! Good grief! Maybe Santa needs to bring ME a GPS this year! It was nice to see her and my other friends though. It's about the one time a year we can do it. Stace-thanks for making the effort. It's worth the trek from SH to see you!
We had leftovers for lunch when we got home and in an hour or so, I'm off to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. I'm hoping my friend Rachel will go and keep me company. Honestly, I'm not sure I'll have the get-up-and-go if she doesn't go with me.
That's about it for now. I hope you all are enjoying your long weekend. I know I am!
But just for a moment, today, I wanted to stop and thank God for all the many blessings He has given to me. My family, friends, church. There's way too many to list here...but I'm thankful.
Take time to be thankful too.
While we caught this infection before it got too bad, it still had turned into an abscess which had to be drained again. In case you don't remember, we've just been though this a few weeks ago. And it was just as awful then as it was today.
She was a trooper until we got back to the room and then she started being a bit clingy. They did the usual, listened to her heart, looked at her ears, nose, mouth etc. And then they confirmed that it would have to be drained. And she started whimpering. When it came time to lay down on her belly, we literally (all 4 of us) had to force her down. If you think it's hard when it's your infant or baby gets shots, you "ain't seen nothing yet". This is awful. And to make matters worse, she knew what was coming and she wasn't going easily.
But because this one was not as bad, it didn't take as long and they used a freezing solution to numb it up a little (little being the operative word). Nevertheless, I really REALLY don't want to go through this again with her. It has got to one of the hardest things to do to hold down the child you love desperately while she is being intentionally hurt (though to her benefit) and looking into her weeping eyes as she screams, "Please make them stop! I'm begging you...please stop!" There is nothing like it and I hope NONE of you ever have to do it.
However, she's a tough cookie and she bounced back. We have several meds now and she's resting.
I couldn't help but think how today was so close to how the Father deals with His children. I'm certain that He has to hold us down, kicking and screaming, "PLEASE STOP!" while we are hurting. But as the Father, He knows that even though it hurts, we must go through the pain in order to avoid "infection" and more importantly death. We look to the heavens and scream, "I'm begging you...please stop!" and just like me, He could stop the pain. I could have told the Doctor to stop...no more...I didn't want to see my precious girl in pain. However, had we stopped with the job halfway done, she would have ended up in more pain and way sicker than was ever necessary. And somewhere in her little heart, she has to trust that her Mommy would not put her through this unless it was absolutely necessary.
Just like the Father asks me to trust Him.
Anyway, I just think the current bump looks suspiciously like the other and am afraid we are headed down the same road as the last time except now, we knows what to expect which makes it worse.
So, Steve's on his way to pick her up now and I'm sure she's going to be a basket case when she gets here. Just remember us all in the next little while. I hate to see her go through this again, but I know it's for the best.
Today marks 16 years since my mother left this earth. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. I have almost lived as long without her as I did with her (she passed when I was 18). I never got the chance to know her as an adult. I see other adult women with their moms and now their families and I get so jealous. There's not a day that goes by that something doesn't remind me of my mom. Although, I will admit after 16 years, the memories start to get fuzzy and my memories now are through pictures such as this and not actual memories.
My mother made me so much of what I am today. And for that, I am thankful.
May we not allow Satan to use this election to drive a wedge between us.
This post is overdue, but life has been...well, life...and I just haven't gotten around to it.
If you are wondering about the title, it's in reference to donations for our Diabetic Alert Dog from Heaven Scent Paws. Here is another reason for you to help us out, if you haven't already...
Last Wednesday, my stepmother (Bertie) received a call that her sister in law was near death (she had alzheimers and a variety of other health problems) and she needed to come quick. Lucky for her, they live just across the street. But because Daddy was home and couldn't stay alone, she was desperate for someone to come sit with Daddy so she could join her family.
I was unable to be reached because I was at work, so she called Steve, who headed right over. I was just about 90 minutes from leaving for work and had my friend Rachel with me (we commute together 2 days a week) and so he opted to go to Daddy and I would take Rachel to pick up Jenna from school and then head on to church.
About 6pm, Steve called me at church and said that his blood sugar level was kinda high, so he took extra units of insulin from his pump (which delivers a basal rate of insulin to simulate the action of the pancreas) and unfortunately, it was out and he didn't have any more with him. Not knowing how long he'd be at Daddy's, he was concerned that his levels would skyrocket without him getting that basal rate. He called a couple pharmacies and his endocrinologist to try and get an emergency supply rather than having me drive across the city to bring it to him.
After about 30 minutes, he decided he thought he'd be fine until he could leave, so I went off to class at church and he left to go get Daddy and him some dinner. And then it happened...
He was in line waiting for their food at Captain D's no more than 1/2 mile from the house. He started feeling like his blood sugar was dropping, so he began taking some of his sugar tablets to bring it up. He got the food, and pulled out on the main road.
Meanwhile, about 6:55, I texted Steve from my class at church with the words "U OK?". Don't ask me why I did that...just wanted to be sure they were OK. I didn't get an immediate response, but I didn't worry because many times he doesn't notice that he has a text and doesn't hear the phone beep. About 5 minutes later, I called him and it rang, but he didn't answer and while I thought that was a bit unusual, I didn't worry figuring he was helping Daddy get into bed or whatever.
A few seconds later, my phone rang with his "special" ring. I could tell he was driving from the background noise, but could not hear him. When I called "hello?" again, he started yelling that he'd wrecked the truck and did not know where he was. I could tell from the tone of his voice that he was having a diabetic seizure (or better yet, on the verge of coming out of it). Because he was still terribly low, he could not tell me where he was and would not pull over. Think about if you were riding with a friend in an unfamiliar part of town, fell asleep and woke up 15 minutes later and tried to figure out where you were. It was awful. And I couldn't do ANYTHING to help because I had no idea where in the world he was.
Long story short (too late!), he made it back to Daddy's without further incident. However, when he "came to", he was about 12 miles away from Daddy's with no recollection of how he got there. He did hit the retaining wall on the highway at the sharpest curve and he did it twice.
Now, the miracle of the whole story is after driving 12 miles unaware and hitting a retaining wall TWICE, he managed to keep the truck on the road and the only damage was the driver's side mirror, a small scratch on the running board (most likely can be buffed out) and the white letters on the driver's side tire were scraped off (like when you sideswipe a curb). Do NOT ask me how to explain the lack of damage (vehicular or otherwise) other than an angel was watching over him.
I know that not all my readers have the same belief in God, but I'm telling you...I'm sitting here, looking at a miracle. That's the only explanation in my mind.
Anyway, all this to say this is just another reason for us to get this dog. We are almost at our goal. If you are waiting to give, don't. Give now. Please...this could have turned out so much worse. This dog could literally save Steve's life and give him back to me and Jenna.
OK, that's enough about that. Daddy is back in the hospital with 2 "very aggressive infections". His bladder is still not working so that's become a challenge. I don't know much yet about the course of action other than antibiotics. I'll let you know when I do.
I hope you voted. I early voted a few weeks ago. And no matter whether you vote red or blue, please remember to be in prayer for the candidates and our nation...
Now, all me to brag a bit...Jenna got her report card last week and I was super excited. Most of you know that I am a big reader and I feel that her reading well is the key to a successful education. At her school, you are expected to be at reading level "J" when you leave first grade. Jenna is at reading level "H" right now which is the expectation after the 3rd grading period. This is just the first! I am so proud and excited for her. She was proud of herself too. She got "E"s in Bible, outside reading, phonics, english/writing, spelling, science and social studies. "E" is considered as excelling in the subject. "S" is satisfactory and she got and S in reading, handwriting, math, and conduct. She also got straight "S"s in all the subjects she does outside the classroom like Art, Spanish, music and library. The lowest grade she got was an "S-". Can you guess what that was in? I'll give you a hint, it was under conduct. :) Yep..."controls talking". Geez...wonder where she got that? :) I'm proud of my smart girl!
News on the Dad front...he did NOT go home on Thursday. As a precaution, they checked his urine for infection before releasing him and it came back positive with a "super bug", so they kept him over the weekend to administer antibiotics through injection. Bertie was hoping to have him released late in the weekend, but last night, they called her and said they did another culture and after all this time, the infection was still there. Bertie was pretty upset because they kept him all weekend giving him antibiotics that weren't even effective for the infection he had. So she talked to his doctor first thing this morning and he felt he was fine to go on and be released. By the time she got to the nursing home, the order had already been sent and Bertie was ready to take him home this afternoon. However, at the last minute, she received a call that the doctor from the nursing home had come around and said he thought Daddy needed to go to the hospital. Again, we were pretty upset and disappointed. But then this afternoon, she called and said they were home. Apparently, once the hospital did a quick culture, they identified the bug right away and gave the appopriate antibiotics which could be given by mouth. She said Dadd was so glad to be home and I could tell Bertie was relieved. Hopefully he'll just continue to improve. I'll keep you posted.
Finally, Jenna is out of school on Friday (October 31) and Monday (November 3) and we are looking for someone to keep her on Halloween from about 7am until noon. Steve's taking off in the afternoon. Steve's sister is keeping her on the 3rd (thanks Deanne!) but we want someone more local for the 31st. If you aren't already homeschooling and want to help out, let me know. If we can't find someone, then I'll most likely take her to work with me until Steve can take off.
That's about it for now.
Now there were only 4 to go into the drawing. I hope you all noticed the 1st comment was from the author himself, Matthew Paul Turner! How cool is that! I had no idea that would happen, but I thought it was really cool. Anyway, here's the deal...I have the extra copy and then I have my copy. So, I'll draw two names and for those that do not get drawn, you'll have to just borrow the book from the ones who did win it when they get done. Everyone is local except my friend Christy and if she doesn't win, then I'll just get the other copy from one of you when you are done and ship it out there, that is unless she just can't wait and buys it herself.
Anyway, I have written your names on slips of paper and am now putting them behing my back (seriously, I'm doing this right now as I type!)...and I'm mixing them up...and drawing...ALLISON! YAY! You'll have to have lunch with me now! OK, seriously, if you'll email me your home address, I will drop this in the mail next week when I'm back in the office.
Now, for the second book...same deal...behind my back...mixing them up...drawing...CHRISTY! YAY CHRISTY! I think I have your address...just shoot me a quick email to confirm and I'll also drop yours in the mail.
Rachel and Meredith...boo, hiss! I'm sorry you didn't win. Rachel-I know you have a LIST of books to read, so it will be a while before you get down to this one. :) Besides, you're going to be too busy this weekend to read! Meredith-sorry for you too...I know you would have enjoyed this :( :(
Thanks to you all for playing and reading my blog. My head is hurting as my allergies are acting up again (awful timing), so I'm going to read a few pages in my current book, Flashbang, and then get on to bed before it gets too late. I'm hoping the morning finds Steve feeling much better...and me too!
After the meeting at the nursing facility about Daddy (which went well. He's going home this Thursday!), we went to the mall to do Build A Bear.
Unfortunately, we got there shortly after nine and the stores in the mall doesn't open until 10am. Jenna wanted to wait...so, we did.
We walked around the mall and literally window shopped. Then we found one of those picture booths and did that. Here's Jenna showing off her model-pose and the crazy pictures I paid a whopping $3 for!
Finally, it was time and Jenna selected an elephant from BABW. I have to admit, it was one of her cuter selections.
After that, I decided to show Jenna what a REAL cupcake was like. For those who aren't local and aren't familiar with Gigi's cupcakes, you are truly missing out. These cupcakes are to die for! There's like a billion calories in one cupcake. Jenna readily agreed that she hadn't tasted a cupcake until she tasted Gigi's.
After a stomache and a ride home, Jenna's next request was to play Barbies. Here she is pointing to her Barbie. Just so you know, the other two were mine and they were on their way to watch Jenna's Barbie go bowling. :)
After playing, I took some time to finish up my Bible Study and then we went for a really late lunch. Her choice (quite appropriately)...
Then it was off to do some errands before this coming scrapbook weekend (did you wonder how long it would take me to work THAT in?! :) ) And of course, we went to my favorite store in the world! Can you recognize it?
(yes, I know it's missing a tail...that's the one thing I still have left to do!)
And THAT'S how we spent our last day of Fall Break!