Friday, March 29, 2013

an update, and before/after pics

My tiny friend, Allistaire, is still not doing well. She's on a clinical trial now, and my prayer is that this treatment would prove extremely effective against her cancer, paving the way and giving hope for future patients diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia). I'm in the process of signing up to be a marrow donor, because, as I told Jai, A's mother, I want to break off a piece of their burden and bear it myself, but I can't. All I do is pray and cry, and while prayer has power, it does not always feel that way. Bone marrow donation can, in a very real, tangible way, save lives and help others. I love tangibles.


I'm in Billings, editing photos after catching up with my folks before B's vision therapy tomorrow. V is full-on crying in the room she's sharing with B, and I've already nursed her, so I'm not sure what comfort she's hoping for. Thought I'd share some of the photos that have accumulated over the past months.

Vesper's room, before I got my act together:

Vesper's room, after Christmas money and a solid dose of self-loathing for putting her in that mess finally whipped me into shape:

Changing table: free (a friend potty-trained her youngest)
Noah's Ark cross-stitch kit: $39.99 (I made it for Blake back in the day - think I finished around the time he turned two)
Other needlecrafts: $1.98 (Black Friday find at the CdA Goodwill)
Ladder: free (a boyfriend made it for me back in college)
Boxes & baskets: free (scrounged from around the house)
Curtains: $67.50/pair (Overstock for the win - they are nice, drapey, blackout panels)

Rocker: $700 (JC Penney, and it's tall enough to be comfy with my long legs)
Prints: $20/each (zulily, and they are delightful - I really should have gotten a close-up!)
Garland: freeish (I made it from fabric scraps - I think the binding tape was $2.50)

Crib, mobile: I can't remember - got both for little Blake
Bedding: $35 (eBay, and I wish I would have just made my own)
Pooh & Christopher Robin print: a gift from Aunt Ernie to Blake
Violet (the puppy in the corner): a gift from Aunt Lane & Uncle Bing to V
Apple-cheeked baby: priceless (though I can put a dollar amount on our medical care, which we're still paying off!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

a season of no

My friend told me a story. A young man she knows called his parents and thanked them for setting boundaries for him. Now that he was at college, he understood better and appreciated all the times they told him "No." When that same young man was stricken with cancer and died very shortly after his diagnosis, his mother simply recounted that God said "No" to their desperate prayers for a miracle to save him.

I'm sorry for the radio silence. When a friend's daughter turned three in the hospital because her leukemia relapsed (how horrifying is that? a relapse before the age of three, which means she's already HAD IT), I find it hard to say anything frivolous online. It just seems disrespectful and profane. A little girl I have rocked and comforted in the church nursery is slipping away, because God is saying no to repeated prayers for healing. For options. For chemo and radiation to work. For leukemia to go away and never come back. For protection from other illness when her immune system is down.




I know that God is good and can be trusted, but these are the moments that batter my faith, hurt my soul, and leave me with yet another pair of ruined contacts because I cannot stop weeping and praying for my tiny friend and her family. And in the season of "No," I'm encouraged and challenged and wrestling with yet another friend's word from the Lord in the midst of her suffering: "Trust Me. If you knew the ending, you would choose this too."

We don't know the ending. It's been nearly a decade since I was abruptly left a pregnant widow, and I still don't know the ending. I can honestly say that I would never have chosen the path I am on, despite the delights and blessings I am surrounded by today. If given the option, I would have gone another way... but I still don't know the ending. And in the meantime, the "meantime" can be excruciating. Please pray for healing and strength and grace for the Anderson family. Learn more about Allistaire (pronounced al-iss-STAIR, not AL-iss-ster) here.

All this is also colored by the fact that my last surviving grandparent, my mom's mom, died rather suddenly this last Wednesday. She was surrounded by her children, she leaves behind a legacy of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who love Jesus, and I'm grateful for the time I had with her. But now my mom doesn't have her mom, and death is hard no matter which way you look at it, and she would have been 77 in a few weeks and my card would have been late anyhow. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm tired of grief and I'm ready for Jesus now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

identify the movie from which the quote comes and win all the internets

I hate the word "bossy." People almost never call a man "bossy." Men are "leaders," "assertive," or "forceful." Bossy is used almost exclusively to describe women, and it's been used on me a LOT. I can be rather forcefully assertive as a leader, whether someone has asked me to be or not, but I have decided to use my mother's take on the scorned word: "I'm not bossy. I just have great ideas." Because she's been called bossy too.

By me.

B: (at 4:45 am) Mom, I had a nightmare about zombies and now I'm scared to be in my room.
A: What?
B: Will you please bring blankets into your room so I can sleep on the floor next to your bed?
A: (slowly waking up) What?
B: (very close to my face) Can I sleep in here?
(this back and forth proceeds for long enough that I finally snapped, because irrational fears are impossible to reason with at FIVE IN THE MORNING)
A: LISTEN, instead of being afraid of PRETEND zombies that are in your head, you should be REALLY SCARED of the one real zombie in front of you, because THAT IS HOW I FEEL WHEN I DON'T GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
B: I don't like it when you pretend to be a zombie.
A: (muttered grimly as I closed his door) I'm not pretending.

I am confident that I am an excellent dancer. I dance and dance like no one is watching, my heart full of joy and my body filled with grace.


My children ARE watching, and the looks on their faces indicate that they are not yet convinced of my excellence or grace (the joy is undeniable).

They can't get me down.


Monday, March 4, 2013

"classy addie" >>> page not found

My friend Liz sent this to me recently. It's about eight years old, from when I was living in Billings. Clearly, I still have my firstborn in utero. I think she mostly wanted to show off her flat tummy, because two kids later (each), and neither of us looks the way we used to!

Blake, with his kindergarten buddy. He is ostensibly the more responsible of the two, having more years in school under his belt. I find this claim suspicious, but hey! I'll go with it!

We did mini-league basket ball again this year, and it's a funny combination of basketball and football, where the kids almost want to tuck the ball under their arm to run down the court. His skills are WAY better than last year, and it was fun to see the progression. Only six weeks long, it's perfect for me, but he was sad when it was over: "I wish we had basketball forever."

Grammie and Papaw came up for one of his games (we walked in and Mom immediately said, "Ugh, smell all those little sweaty bodies," to which Rob replied: "No, thank you."), and this is take one. Mom's apparently trying to tickle Rob so he'll smile for the camera. Dad's not sure about that, and Rob's not having any of it.

M: Don't you feel that? I'm trying to get you to smile!
R: All I feel is awkward.

I pretty much just sit back and laugh at the two of them together.

Vesper and Grammie, singing to one another. I think the odd acoustics had V engaged - she's usually pretty quiet.

Well, hello there, toothless!