Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Sweet Surprise

Woah baby.  

Our completely shocking, straight out of left field, absolutely wonderful surprise! :D 

Little Christmas #2 is due at the end of June 2013! :) 
God, your timing never ceases to amaze us! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering Jen

Today I stumbled upon a story that absolutely wrecked my soul. It's about a beautiful 36 year old named Jen. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2011 and sadly, she passed away on 10/12/12. 

This beautiful woman left countless loved ones behind, including two sons who are only 6 and 9. While this story is undeniably sad, it isn't one that I haven't heard before. My dear aunt, Carleen, passed away six years ago from pancreatic cancer, leaving behind her 3 year old son. :'(

As a new mom, my biggest fear is that something will happen to my son, my husband, or me. I have faith that my God holds all of us in His hands, so no matter what happens everything will be okay. But I'm also human and I have this fear. Cancer is an ugly, despicable illness that has no prejudice. It can happen to anyone. Through Jen's story, I learned that a yearly Pap smear will not detect ovarian cancer. It can detect cervical cancer, but there is no regular check-up that can give women warning. This is really shocking to me, as I have always thought that an annual check-up could detect any type of female reproductive cancer.

What most disturbs me about this newly learned fact is that because there is no way to detect through regular exams and often has common symptoms, ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed at stage 3 or 4. Here are a few facts about this type of cancer regarding survival expectations.
  • About 3 out of 4 women with ovarian cancer survive 1 year after diagnosis.
  • Nearly half of women live longer than 5 years after diagnosis.
  • If diagnosis is made early in the disease and treatment is received before the cancer spreads outside the ovary, the 5-year survival rate is very high
These statistics are completely heartbreaking. Additionally, there is not a standard screening. There is a test that can be performed for women who are high risk to detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These particular genes are linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. If a person has these genes, they can have a hysterectomy to attempt to reduce  their risk of these types of cancer. 

So, what are we, the women, to do? For starters, we need to listen to our bodies. There have been a few dominate symptoms linked to ovarian cancer. They are:

1. Severe and frequent bloating/ Increased abdominal size
2. Severe and spastic cramping–similar to menstrual pains but more intense
3. Lower abdominal and back pain
4. Loss of appetite/Feeling full quickly
5. Weight loss
6. Extreme fatigue/Lack of energy
7. Night sweats

I did not know Jen, and I do not know anyone with ovarian cancer. I just feel a really strong conviction to write this post. Maybe someone needs to read it, maybe it'll pop up on a Google search years from now. if you or someone you know are experiencing the symptoms above, do not ignore them. You may have nothing, but you may also have reproductive cancer. For ovarian cancer, the sooner it is caught, the higher the survival rate. Do not ignore it. Do not succumb to it.

Jen, you beautiful soul. Your story has touched my heart and I will keep your sweet family in my prayers. May you dance with the angels at the throne of our King. 

***If you would like to donate to Jen's family, please click here***

Monday, October 15, 2012

Relaxing on this Miscellany Monday

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Good morning, sweet readers. How are y'all doing today? I'm feeling great! Keith and I just finished the last of our assignments and are officially on Fall Break for one week. YAY! Anyway, Happy Monday y'all! I'm full of miscellaneous, so that's what I'll be writing about today. 

* I know it's only Monday, but I am beyond pumped for Friday because....Keith and I are finally going on a date! :) It's been months since our last one and this quality time is much over due. Plus, I'm totally pumped to get dolled up and explore Charleston with my man. :D

 Our first Charleston date, January 2009

* So, my Yanks are in the playoffs, but it is so hard to be happy when Jeter is out with a broken bone in his ankle. He is without a doubt my favorite ballplayer and it just doesn't feel right seeing someone else play shortstop. The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday called Without Jeter, These Playoffs Feel Like a Funeral and boy are they right. I'm praying this injury doesn't end his career. I'm praying that he is back next year and playing like himself again.

It may sound silly, but if this is it for him...if he doesn't come back, I will truly be heartbroken. Besides the fact that he's The Captain and is just a damn good player, I am hoping he's okay, selfishly, so that I can see him play in person. I've yet to do that, but it hasn't been without trying. (Remember my honeymoon?) My logic is this -- it's like living in the era of DiMaggio and never making time to get to NYC and watch the greatness in action. Especially now that Gav is here, I just really want to share the experience with him. *sigh* Sorry to ramble, but this is important to me.

* I don't know what the weather has been like everywhere else, but here in South Carolina it has been bliss. Anywhere from the 60's to 70's and sunny. We've also had hotter days and rainy days, but man have those sunny fall days been wonderful. Gav and I have been going on walks and I am really just thankful for these days.

* After one month of avoiding fast food, I decided to splurge yesterday on a Whopper combo from Burger King to celebrate Fall Break. Let's just say I deeply regret this decision. I was so nauseated and felt terrible. Almost like I had food poisoning. Blah. I guess we really are what we eat! I don't want to say too much yet (don't wanna jinx myself) but over the past 5 weeks I've lost a considerable amount of weight (we're talking double digits!) and I am 1 pound from reaching my pre-baby weight. Thank God! (I'm going to write about my results once I reach my goal.) Eating that awful BK meal yesterday was definitely poor judgment, but I'd like to note this experience for the next time I am tempted to eat fried, processed, food...DON'T DO IT LADY!!! (Also, is anyone on My Fitness Pal? If you are, send me your username! I'd love to have more accountability and offer up some encouragement.)

Well, that's all the rambling I have for now. I'll be spending today with Gav and relaxing without feeling guilty. I've been wanting to have an Audrey Hepburn marathon, and I think that's exactly what I'll do. On the lineup? Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. :)

Happy Monday, readers! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Skip September, Welcome October!

Hello, sweet readers of mine. How are y'all doing? :) I apologize for my month and a half hiatus, but it was much needed.  I have missed blogging so much, and I'm finally ready to begin writing again on a consistent basis.There were a few times last week where I could have written, but it's been difficult finding the right words to say. Where do I even begin? 

Well, for starters, life is slowing down considerably. Still busy, but slowing down. My family and I moved back into our house and we are beyond thankful to be back home. So much has happened since my last post, and the easiest way to catch-up will be to do a here we go!

* For Labor Day weekend, Keith, Gavin, and I took a trip to Gatlinburg, TN with my bro/sis-in-law, Stephen and Ivey. If I had to rate this trip, I'd give it a 4. Our cabin was crawling with bugs, Gav's ears were hurting from the altitude, we got stranded in Ober Gatlinburg thanks to some bad weather, and we kept comparing everything to our much more pleasant 2010 cabin trip. We weren't completely  miserable, but  I don't think we'll be heading back to the mountains anytime soon.

Gav hanging out in Tennessee

* I slightly mentioned that we had trouble with the tenants that were living in our house, but I've never really explained. To sum it up, last July Keith and I moved to Atlanta for Keith's job. We rented our home to what we thought was a nice family. Well, we were wrong. They rarely paid on time, and come July of this year they stopped paying all together. We filed for eviction, and one month later we regained possession of our house. We discovered a trashed, abandoned house. They turned off the electricity and left meat in the freezer...and the smell that came from our house was worse than anything I've ever smelled. Keith and I, along with many family members and friends worked very hard over the last month and a half to make our house a home again. We succeeded, and here is the finished product.

This was definitely a learning experience for us and I don't think we'll ever be renting property out again. If we can find them (apparently they've moved out of state), we'll be taking the tenants to small claims court. We know that we'll never recoup the money that we've spent fixing everything, but at least they'll have consequences. There has to be consequences for behavior like this.

* On a much happier note, baby boy is CRAWLING! On September 19th I placed him on a blanket and said "Spread your wings little buddy! Crawl!" And he totally did! It was such an amazing moment and I am very proud of Gavin. He is getting so big and I am just cherishing every season with him.

After he crawled the first time, I grabbed the camera and filmed this video. :)

* I am two weeks away from finishing two of the last three classes of my undergraduate career. My final class begins at the end of October and wraps up right before Christmas. And then that's it! Undergrad will be DONE. Praise. The. Lord!!!

* Last week, Gav and I took a walk with my mother-in-law, Pam on what is a Charleston landmark, The Ravenel Bridge. This was his first time experiencing the bridge, and while he didn't enjoy the walk, he did enjoy hanging out at the park afterward with his Grandma. :)

The top of the bridge :)

Gav and Grandma Pam

I think I covered everything! I'm really excited for October, as it is one of my favorite months. Mellowcreme pumpkins, MLB playoffs, pumpkin spice candles....OH I just love it! I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, but there's just something about the month that ushers in Thanksgiving and Christmas that makes me happy. Plus, you can't beat the cool weather. I'm off to spend some sweet time with my son. What are your plans for the day?
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