Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Elf on the shelf recap :)

Here are a few pics of Johnny Elf's antics! He's needed a lot of grace (we're using our Elf to teach our kids about Jesus...see this post) and we even learned about forgiveness as the kids were mad at him for painting their noses! Lol.... Enjoy :)

We think he missed the snow

Jake and Kayden were not happy so we learned about forgiveness!
Our plan is working.....He was reading the bible when we woke up!!!

He's ready for our cruise this morning.  Yep he's coming with!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This is how we roll!

So this is how we de-stress.  We turn up some Taylor Swift and jam out!  Yes I know I'm a dork, but I go from being frustrated and grumpy to what you see here!  NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A DANCE PARTY!

I hope to score tickets for the girls and I when she comes to Dallas in May.  I think we all deserve to meet her after this year.......anyone got any connections ;)?????

Friday, November 30, 2012

10,000 and the Virgin Mary

So my blog hit 10,000 views a few days ago! It seriously blows my mind! I know that's not necessarily 10,000 people but it still has to be a lot! A lot of those views are thanks to Ashley Hacksaw over at Lil blue boo and this post about hair loss. It's really exciting, and I hope in some way my story is blessing you!

Back in December of last year my pastor announced that at the end of the year we would be fasting and seeking God for goals for 2012. I'm going to be honest here.... I love food! So fasting did not sound like my idea of bringing in the new year!  But hey if God could tell me what was up for a new year I figured it was worth it.  I did sun up to sun down fasting for 3 days, which means basically I ate breakfast and dinner and did water during the day.  It was not easy, but when your stomach starts to's an instant reminder to get into prayer!  And I kid you not I heard Him....The first couple of things were easy and clear!  But then it started to get a little fuzzy and I thought I heard the word "Write".  I really didn't understand, but I did what my pastor said and wrote it down.....but I put a question mark by it.  I just didn't understand what in the heck He wanted me to write.......My first thought was music since I play the guitar and have really been wanting to try writing a song.  But that's not what God had planned.  The fist and only time so far I feel like I really heard an audible voice from God was on May 16, 2012 during our normal pre-service prayer time.  I had recieved my cancer diagnosis 2 days earlier and still just felt at peace.  I wasn't up at the alter blubbering asking God why this was happening.....I was asking God to show me how to glorify Him through this journey.  AND CLEAR AS DAY I HEARD HIM SAY THE WORD "WRITE"!  It starteled me to the point that I looked up to see if there was someone in front of me.  My pastor was up on stage praying but was not looking at me and had not said anything.  For some reason, I thought to myself, "I need to remember that this song ( When I speak Your name by Christ for the Nations was playing at the time) is playing right now."  I bowed my head and heard it again "WRITE" and instantly I saw a blog in my head.  And then I heard Him say, "And this is what you are going to call it" as Elizabeth Clark belted out, "I say Your Name, I speak Your name, There's power in the name of Jesus!"  And then like Joey on friends I had that "Oh Ok I get it " moment as my head flashed back to this piece of paper taped in the front of my Bible.

Subject Change......don't worry I'm going to tie this together at the end.....I promise this is not my ADD kicking in!

So I love Christmas time...everything about it.  Since I've become a mom, I've been fascinated by the Virgin Mary (the mother of Jesus).  I remember being 15 and thinking about what I would do if an angel came and told me I was pregnant.....I don't think I would have been as willing as Mary was.  I know she must have struggled, but to be chosen by God must have been humbling.  Some of my favorite Christmas songs are songs coming from Mary's point of view and put to words what she must have been thinking  My current favorite is "Born in Me" by Francisca Battistelli

"I'm just a girl, nothing more.  But I am willing, I am Yours!" 

 I know at 15 that was not my heart.  I was selfish.  And I know that if I knew that I was giving birth to a baby that I would have to watch be crucified......yeah I don't think I could do it.  Luke 2:19 "But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart."  Since I've had my own son, I cannot watch the passion of the Christ without becoming a blubbering mess.  Especially the scene where Jesus is carrying the cross and falls and she flashes back to him being a little boy and falling.  I can't imagine watching my son go through that.....even if he was saving mankind from hell!  I wonder if she was pondering the future that her son would face.  I wonder if she knew the profound impact He would have on the world. I am in complete awe of her willingness to serve her God despite how hard it must have been. I figured when I looked up the meaning of the name Mary it would mean something like blessed or divine... so I was a little shocked when I found that the name "Mary" means bitter, rebellion, or wished for a child.  Someone was way off on that!  First I don't think Mary was wishing for a child at 15 being unmarried and second I see nothing in Mary's life that suggests bitterness or rebellion.  If she was either God would not have used her.  In Mary I see strength and resolve.  I see complete abandonment of self and a heart that was willing at all costs to serve God.  I see the pure love of a mother for her son, and the indescribable love of a sinner for her Savior!

I want that heart!  We should all want the heart of Mary.  When God says, "Hey I know you're an unwed teen, but I want you to give birth to my son who will break every chain and set captives free, but I promise it will all be ok and you will change the world."  What would you say?  How would you feel?  Or when God says, "Hey I know you are about to go through grueling treatments, but I want you to WRITE!  And while you are writing I want you to keep your faith in Me and smile and encourage others.  I know people say you might die, but I promise it's going to be ok and you will walk in Victory over cancer."  What would you say? How would you feel?  I know what I said:

"I'm just a girl, nothing more.  But I am willing, I am Yours!"

If I hadn't there would have been no blog for these people to view 10,305 (as of the am) times.  I never ever would have thought that many people would care what I had to say......but God did!  Next time He calls on you remember that you may not know what he's doing, but neither did Mary.  And her willingness to serve God changed eternity for mankind.  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping Christ in Christmas... With elf on the shelf

So this is how we are shifting the focus off of Santa and onto Jesus this year.... And teaching our kids to share the gospel....using our Elf on the Shelf, Johnny Elf! Just thought I would share with you guys! :)

Yes Johnny Elf cut up our Elf on the Shelf book!

I will tell you that after the kids read the letter this morning there were a few things that Santa may need to specify.  One would be that your elf can't go to church with you.  We had to emphasize that this is a great way to share Jesus with friends, but no so much for an Elf.  The other thing is when Santa tells the kids to forget EVERYTHING that you read in the Elf on the Shelf book that does not include keeping our elf friend a secret from others.  We had to explain that some kids don't have Elves yet so we don't want to brag or make someone feel bad because they don't have one.   This is going to be fun!!!  I will post more Johnny Elf pics as he gets into trouble!

Here is what the letter says in case you are having a hard time reading it:

Dear Taylor, Kayden, and Jake,
        I’m so glad to know that you are taking such good care of my friend Johnny Elf.  He’s told me how much you love Jesus and how you pray every morning, before every meal, and before bed.  I was so excited to hear this because I love Jesus too!  And so does Johnny Elf!
        I have a secret to tell you.  I know that everyone tells you that I keep a naughty and nice list.  But that is not true.  I do have a list, but it is a list of the kids who believe in me, even though they cannot see me.  I bring these kids gifts whether they are good or bad because I love them.  No one is perfect and sometimes even I mess up (and so does Johnny Elf), but Jesus loves us anyways and shows us grace as long as we believe in Him!  Grace is receiving something even when we don’t deserve it.  And Jesus has given us the greatest gift….salvation!  Because Jesus died on the cross we get to live in Heaven with God even though we are not perfect like God.  Isn’t that AMAZING???
        Now I want you to forget everything that you’ve read in the book about Johnny Elf.  I have an assignment for you guys.  You see, Johnny Elf is still learning about Jesus and his grace.  He messes up a little more often than he should, but he is learning.  It is ok to touch him during the day (but no fighting over him because it will make him sad) because I would like you to help me teach Johnny Elf about grace.  I want you to show him love even if he messes up.  And tell him about how Jesus loves us even though we mess up sometimes.  He may not answer you, but believe me he is listening
        I told Johnny Elf about your cruise and he is so excited to get on a big boat so don’t forget to bring him and take lots of pictures with him.   You are three amazing kids and I love you very much.  Keep shining bright for Jesus and don’t forget that we give each other gifts to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  He was a gift to us from God!  And He is the reason for the season.  I can’t wait to hear what Johnny Elf is learning from the Jasien kids!
Merry Christmas!



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Friday, November 16, 2012

I did not survive cancer!

So my head is spinning right now.  I know I have not updated my blog in a while and I can't tell you how many blog posts I have started and not finished...... But today is different.  I am sitting in my office at work right now with so much work to do, but I have to share this.

Just to catch everyone up, in case you don't follow me on Facebook, twitter, or instagram, I had my last chemo treatment on October 23, 2012.

It was really emotional for me.  I was both relieved and worried.....more relieved though.  My main worry was more about change......I'm a creature of habit......and yes I will admit, some those are bad habits.  But I hate change.  So of course cancer rocked my world but I quickly got into a comfort of chemo cycles.  The last 4 treatments were really rough.  I was so sick for the first week or two afterwards and would mostly just sleep....after throwing up here and there.  I would have memory lapses and even got to where I was unable to drive (especially after I hit 3 parked cars in my apartment complex.....totaling 2 of them and doing about $10,000 damage to my own car).  I would get these horrible thrush infections in my mouth that were almost unbearable.  It made my mouth raw.  But through all these awful side effects it never changed my determination.  With the odds being against me.....I never once considered that I would not beat this....and while I laying in bed.....I wasn't just laying there thinking, "Lord, why me?  I can't do this!"  It was more a righteous anger......"Cancer you suck and you will not stay in my body in Jesus name!  LEAVE NOW!"

I went to my follow up appointment with my oncologist today and she told me after looking at my scan they did to map my radiation.....she told me that she sees NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE IN MY BODY!  I couldn't believe it...... I didn't expect to hear that today. I thought it would be at least a few more months before we got this news.  But boy was it amazing to hear.  I already knew that the cancer was gone.....the same way I knew the lump I found was cancer, but it's always nice to have a doctor confirm what you know in your heart.  There is no other explanation as to why I am beating the odds other than Jesus heals!  He heals everyday.  Never through this process have I been mad at God.  He has been my Rock.  When I get scared, I trust in Him.  When I'm overcome by my circumstances I trust in Him.  He is my comfort.  He brings me that peace that makes no sense to the world.

So now I am officially a cancer survivor.....but I hate that term.  To survive means to remain alive or in existence   I am not just existing....I am LIVING.  I did not survive cancer.....I thrived through cancer.  I have come out the other end forever changed and there is nothing in me that remains the same.  God has shown me things through this that I'd never even thought about.  And ignited the desire to show these things to others.  I had a pastor speak a word over me a few weeks ago and he told me that THIS IS MY SEASON!  THAT THE THINGS I HAVE PRAYED FOR AND SOWN FOR ARE HERE.  So I am looking up now asking the Father to USE ME!  Let my light shine for You, Jesus, brighter than it ever has!  And let the enemy know that his attacks are pointless..... I will only shine BRIGHTER!  And I WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE LIFE!

So I did not survive cancer.....I demolished cancer, I beat the snot out of cancer, I have overcome cancer, I stood in FAITH through cancer, and by the grace of God, I THRIVED THROUGH CANCER!

My new friend Jeanine Phelps took these pictures for us and they will forever be precious to me.
Bella Jewel Photography  and the girls outfits were made by one of my very best friends Noelle can order them from her here: Glam R Baby.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How about some humble pie?

So I'm not going to lie, Round 2 has been hard.  I've been sick and cranky and tired, and in all honestly due to a lack of hormones in my body, I have been down right crazy!  And with those mood swings has come a sense of entitlement.  And when you let the devil "in" just a little it's amazing how fast he goes to work.  The saying, "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile," is a ridiculous understatement when we are referring to the enemy.  He doesn't come to mess with you a little, people; HE COME TO KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY.  And boy he has been working hard these last three weeks at killing my joy, stealing my strength, and trying to destroy my testimony.  But I am so thankful for my pastor, who is led by the Holy Spirit to give me the TRUTH that is found in The Word of God.  Do you think it was a coincidence that our verse for the month of August is Romans 8:37 

Yeah it's not!  God knew I needed that so He gave it to my shepherd to give to me.  And He keeps giving it to me.....over and over.  He texts it out to me .... He comments on my fb posts.  When I am trying my hardest to tune out the Holy Spirit and throw myself a pitty party, my Shepherd is there watching out for my soul and I couldn't be more grateful for him and his amazing wife. 

#ADD of topic thought for this post--- I just encourage you to make sure that when you are sitting in a church that you are listening for the voice of your shepherd.  We don't need a church, we need a shepherd! Get into John 10:1-10.,   You don't need a church you need a Shepherd aka pastor!  Ok back to what I was talking about now....sorry I "squirreld" as I call it (watch Disney Pixar's movie "Up" and you will get it!)

So I've had my pastor building me up, but while he broke in and my attitude kinda started to change.....I was still holding on a little bit.  Then God said, "Ok time to come down to her to bring her back up to me."  I was contacted by a man that I knew when was little bitty......he was asking for help buying a home.  My aunt had told me that he had been battling cancer for a while, but was doing better.  As I started talking to him and he told me about a mass he had that was removed in July.  The good news is he is now cancer free.  The bad news is that the mass was removed from an area that allows him to not be able to sit down.  And the area where his mass was removed has to remain open to heal, and then they will do skin graphs to close it up.  So he literally has to lay down on his stomach ALL the time.  Yeah so what was I complaining about again?  He went on to tell me that I was very inspiring and I was taken back by his comments.

So Today I came into the infusion room for round 3 ready to rock it!  I was still a little grumpy, but was armed with a list of questions for my PA.  I was ready to stage a sit in in her office until she restored my sanity and my husband was all for it lol.  But of course she couldn't do that.  She answered my questions to the best of her ability and more or less said, "That's just how it is."  We had a little bit of a plan with some changes in medications which made me feel a little better, but I was still a little grumpy.

I sat down hoping to have someone next to me to chat with this time.  (The last 2 times the people next to me were much older and napped the whole time.)  A friendly guy sat down and was told his port wasn't working  so he would have to wait for chemo so he left.  Then a woman sat down next to me.  I'd seen her at least 3 times before in the waiting room and I knew she had breast cancer too since she wore a pink ribbon hat.  I automatically felt drawn to her the first time I saw her, but she always had friends with her.  I wondered if she was divorced since I never saw her husband with her.  But this time she was alone, so of course I seized the opportunity (those who know me, know I never turn down the chance to make a new friend!  Or at least have a conversation!)  Her name was Robbie-Sue and as she told me her story I was truly humbled.  She is stage 4 and has been battling this disease for a while now.  In the midst of her battle, she lost the love of her life, her husband, to liver cancer (could be wrong on that as my memory is horrible right now), but one thing I know......she loved that man with all her heart.  She has no family here, but a great support system in her neighborhood, but it's not the same as the man you love taking care of you.  Not to mention that when she was in the midst of her battle, she had to take care of him.  And still she has will to fight.  I looked over at my husband and he was choking back tears as was I.  I have it so easy compared to others!  One of my favorite sayings is, "It's impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time!"  I walked out of there truly blessed by her!  It's amazing how God can use anyone or anything to get our attention as long as we are open to receive it.  And sometimes he has to knock me over the head with it! :)  But thank God that his grace is sufficient! This is a great quote too, and so true no matter what you are facing!

She was a smart woman.  So what is your disposition today?  Are you choosing to be grateful for what you have?  Or unhappy because of what you don't?   It goes back to Choosing Life!  Round 3 or chemo all done and I left with a smile on my face, grateful for what I have!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Once upon a time there was a lump.......

So I've had a few people ask how this all started for me.... How did you know? Did you find a lump? What did it feel like? So I figured instead of telling the story over and over again I would just blog about it.....duh.

One day in early March I got out of the shower like every other day ready to take on the world, and I went through my normal routine, which includes slathering my body in as much lotion as possible ( I was blessed with dry skin).  I just happened to take my hands and wipe from under my arms across both breasts horizontally.  "Wait a minute, what was that?" I thought.  And brought my hand back over my right breast and pressed down from the front.....and nothing.  So I went at it the same way as before and there is was again.  It felt hard.....hard as a rock.  It was very close to my chest wall.  Words like Lumpectomy, BRAC testing, Mastectomy, CANCER......started flooding my mind.  I was familiar with all these as my Mom was just finishing up her reconstruction (she took her time).  She was diagnosed in April of 2010.  I shook all of that information right out of my head as fast as I could.  There's no way that's right......I mean come on.....I'm 28 years old for pete's sake(whoever Pete is......I've always wondered that...sorry ADD moment).  Then I remembered my mom saying things like she had really dense breasts.  That had to be what it was.  I called my husband in just to make sure he felt the same thing.......I put his hand on the right spot and he yanked his hand back like something bit him (he has a bit of a flare for the dramatic, but don't tell him I said that ;).  His response was, "Whoa that's so weird.  What do you think it is?"  I could see the worry all over his face.  I told him I wasn't sure, but I should probably go have it looked at.

In a perfect world I would have been in the doctor's office the next day, but when I took a new job in November of 2011, the company had decided to not offer health benefits (I'm a commissioned employee), but I took the job because I was paying so much money in gas driving to Dallas before that driving to this job would save me enough money to buy an individual policy.  Which yes the thought process made sense, but one of my weaknesses is that I'm more of a thinker than a doer.  But God was working and a new manager had started in February.  She demanded that our owners offer heath insurance and low and behold they agreed!  But the insurance wasn't supposed to be effective until April 1, 2012.  So we decided the best plan of action was to wait, just in case, on the off chance, it was something big.  At the end of March m manager told me that the insurance wouldn't be effective until May 1, 2012.  I don't really remember the reason why, but it didn't really matter.  God used that time to strengthen me to handle what was coming.

I remember on Easter Sunday we were at my Aunt's house.  All of a sudden I had a pain in the breast with the lump.  It was a dull the kind I used to get when I was in those lovely adolescent years when things were "blooming." I remember mentioning it to my Aunt and she said something to the effect of, "It's usually never as bad as we are thinking it is."  I knew she was referring to cancer for some reason.....maybe she wasn't I don't really know, but that's what I was thinking.  I remember thinking, "Yeah I'm thinking I'm not going to mention this lump."  I didn't want to worry anyone when it was probably just something silly.

So May 1st rolls around and I was in my doctor's office on May 2nd just to have her take a to speak.  Her face said it all.  I love my doctor.....she is seriously one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She said exactly what I thought she would say, "Let's not worry until there's something to worry about."  But she sent me off to get a diagnostic mammogram and sonogram, "just in case."  But I knew she was worried.

It was a full week before they could get me into the radiologist office.  It was a long week.  During that week I found a 2nd lump in the same breast.  My doctor did a thorough exam and didn't feel it just days ago.  My husband was out of town when I went.  I knew they weren't going to do a biopsy right then ( since I'd walked this road before with my mom) so I told him he was fine.  I remember going in there and the ladies being so nice and commenting on how young I was (which is now a constant comment I get all the time) and how they get young girls in here all the time and it's just a fibroid and nothing to worry about.  But the mammogram tech's face changed as she started to look at the scans.  I heard God telling me,"I've prepared you for this.  Remember you are not what's on that scan, you are Mine."  She was quiet and led me over to the sonogram room where the tech was also very chatty and sweet, until she started taking pictures.....then it got very quiet.    I remember thinking, "Yeah that's not good."  Again God reminded me that I was ready for this.  She told me to hold on a second and brought the Radiologist in, who was finally straight with me, which I really appreciated.  She told me with me being so young and there being a history of breast cancer she wanted to get me into the Fort Worth office for a biopsy the very next morning. My thought was, "Yeah that's really not good, but I know I'm prepared for this God."  I turned to her and point blank asked her, "Do you think this is cancer?"  Her response was, "To be brutally honest with you, I'd be shocked if it was not cancer."  I told her if it was I just wanted to do the double mastectomy and be done with it.  (I watched my mom go through 2 lumpectomies before she just had the mastectomy done.  I didn't want to go through that. The radiologist told me with that attitude I would be just fine.  I went out to the car and tried to call my husband.  He was on a plane and didn't pick up.  I left a message and sat there not really sure who to call next.  No tears were shed and I didn't feel upset.  God was right.....I was prepared for this.  He made me to overcome.  My sweet husband was not prepared.  He was very quiet when I told him what she had said and had to sit on a plane and think about it, as he called me back from his layover.  

We went in for the biopsy which ended up taking less time that I thought it would, but was very painful.  The radiologist sat down with us and repeated everything she had told me to my husband and his tears begin to flow which of course made me a little teary eyed.  I think the only other times I'd ever seen him so frantic was when something that would require an ER visit would happen to the kids.  But this was a different kind a frantic.  After we left he backed my car into a telephone pole. After I checked to make sure there was no damage it was pretty funny.  We had to wait over the weekend for the results.  We did a lot of praying that weekend.  And God answered those prayers..... just not in the way we wanted Him to...... and the rest is an unfolding story....

You are never too young to start giving yourself breast exams.  I should have been.  Now reading should be too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So honored!

Just wanted to say I am super honored to be on Ashley's blog today!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.....working on a new post tonight :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Choices, choices......

So my favorite (and only) sister-in law posted on my fb the other of her and my favorite sayings is "Choose Life!"  It's always been kinda cutesie and yes somewhat inspirational, but when actually faced with a disease that can lead to death.....the saying takes on a whole new meaning.

But if I'm being honest, the thought that I might die has never even made it into my thought library.  Not only do I choose to not entertain it, but I know what the Book of Life says in Psalm 91:15-16 "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation."   I've heard many stories of people in my same situation that did not make it past the 5 year mark.  In Jesus name that is not me; it's seriously not even an option.

So now we look at this, "Choose Life" from a different perspective.  It's not just choosing to live or die for me.  For some people it is though, whether it's cancer, depression, drugs, alcohol, you name it.  My life has been touched by all of the above either directly or indirectly.  And I have been at that spot before where it was a choice between life and death, but that's a whole different post.  But if you are at that point you need to understand something that took me a long time really grasp onto....let's look at John 10:10 (in the Amplified version) The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).  See Jesus came that we may have LIFE!  Not depression, addiction, sickness or disease.  And not only did he come so that we could have LIFE, but have it IN ABUNDANCE.  Abundance here means lacking nothing, to the full, till it overflows. 

So now, I have life, but how do I have it more abundantly?  I'll tell you how...... YOU CHOOSE IT BY FAITH!  Every morning I wake up and my flesh tries to tell me that I am tired, that I don't feel well, that I am sick.  And the enemy gets into my mind telling me that I have every reason to lay in bed for the next 3.5 months.  And to not to worry about missing church, not making it to work, missing random late night swimming trips with my kids.  But the second I let the Holy Spirit take over and I activate my faith and get up I realize how true the statement "THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!" really is!  You see, FAITH not only BELIEVES and SPEAKS, FAITH ACTS!  I can believe that my body is healed since that is what my Life Manual says, "But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received." Isaiah 53:5 GNT.  I can even say that I am healed and that the side effects of these treatments will not touch me (or in this case write about it)  BUT UNTIL I GET OFF MY BUTT AND ACT ON THAT BELIEF AND CONFESSION, MY FAITH IS DEAD!  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 (NKJV)  

I choose to not listen my body.  I choose a more abundant life. I choose to get up and praise God and get fed with the Word at church.  I choose to get up and go help people achieve their goals of home ownership at work.  I choose to get out of bed and go swimming with my family at 9:30p.m. just for fun.  To listen to my kids laughter and live in the Joy of the Lord.  I choose a life that is lacking nothing, a life of fullness, I choose life overflowing! Cancer or no cancer, I not only choose life, I choose life more abundantly!

So what do you choose??

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chemo- Round 1 goes to Me!

So you hear the word chemo and you cringe.  I always go back to the scene in the movie, Stepmom, with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, where the mom (Susan Sarandon) is carrying the laundry basket and has to drop it to run and puke.  Then she has to call and have the "step-mom" (Julia Roberts) to pick up her kids.  Then out of frustration she throws the phone and then the laundry.  It is literally poison running through your body attempting to kill everything it possibly can.

So the day we anticipated for months comes.....Kevin and I are driving to the clinic and this song makes us both burst into tears.  The lyric, "Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight it's already been won"  I am redeemed, You set me free!" just rang so true for me. 

I had to remind myself to stop preparing for a fight.  It's funny to me that chemo schedules are referred to as rounds.  You say "round one" think boxing, fighting, gloves, big sweaty men.....eww kinda gross lol.  Or I get these pictures in my head that are specific to breast cancer that say "Fight like a girl" with the pink boxing gloves (not so gross).  There is a fight going on, but it's not what we think......this is what my Life Manual says:

So there are battles going on but if we can just remember that Jesus ALREADY WON!  I mean seriously how amazing is that.

Ok more about that in a minute with my ADD self.  We made it to the clinic, joined together in prayer, and headed on in.  So on July 2, 2012 I was administered round one of TAC (which stands for the 3 drugs that I am given: taxotere, adriamycin and cyclophosphamide).  It was nice and peaceful and quiet in the infusion all the old people around me were napping lol.

And they give you warm blankets.....ohhhh how I love a toasty blanket!  So I just relaxed and listened to some praise music and caught up on some tv.....the internet is a wonderful thing when used to defeat boredom!  I even got a foot rub out of the whole deal.....notice the look on Kevin's face! hehe!

He's so funny, and I just love his heart!  The nurse came over as we were finishing up and told me that I would be very nauseated and would have some vomiting going on the next couple of days, so to make sure and take the anti-nausea medicine they gave me.  And my precious husband looked her square in the face and said, "Nope she won't won't have that, in Jesus name!"  The nurse looked a little confused and said, "Um ok well if she does...."  Kevin again interjected, "She won't!"  The nurse looked at me, and I smiled politely at her. "Ok, well you are ready to go." she said in defeat I guess.  1 Cor. 1:18 says, "The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God."  And that has never been more evident to me!  We went and ate a huge lunch at P.F. Changs (oh so yummy) and I went home and now over 2 weeks later, I have not vomited one time!  I haven't even felt like throwing up! Praise Jesus!  See that's what God does! 

Now I'm not going to pretend like it has been all bunny rabbits and sunshine....not sure why I say bunny rabbits b/c we've had them before and while they are super sweet and cute they are really messy and poop A LOT, but you get where I am going.  I have been tired and achy which = grumpy for me.  I had a fever one week after my treatment and ended up back at the doctor.  But again my husband kept telling me I was healed.  And I'm not going to lie.....I felt like throwing something really hard at him!  But that's why God put us together, because when my faith is weak his is strong and vice versa!  I went in expecting my white blood cell count to be super low and end up in the hospital, but the nurse came back in and was confused since my counts were still in the normal range, which is not at all "normal" for a chemo patient.  She chalked it up to me being so young, but I know that is my God!  I love being the patient that confuses medical professionals.  Modern day miracles are still going on all around us and our heads try to explain them away, but God is they only explanation!  Come on people open your eyes and hearts and stop trying to reason God's miracles away! 

Around the end of week 2 my hair started to fall out......first just a little, which honestly made my hair more manageable since I have so much of it.  I had already decided that I wanted to shave it when it started getting out of control.  This to me was not at all an emotional thing.  I am not defined by what I look like, whether or not I have breasts or hair, or legs or arms, or anything else for that matter.  I know who I am in Christ.

And secretly I am one of those weird girls who looked at Demi Moore and Natalie Portman and said, "Man I wish I could do that!"  So once the shedding began I was ready!

So off came the ponytail!

And Here was the final result and I love it!

And with that I challenged my brother with the task of coming up with the best bald jokes he had and here is what I got:

Here you go Nicole Jasien. I love you.


#10: Blond jokes no longer apply to you.
#9: Increased aerodynamics. (important for runners, sky divers, swimmers human projectiles)
#8: You can finally drive your convertible to work. (no more 'wind-tunnel' hair-dos)
#7: You've got a blank canvas for new tattoos.
#6: You're now ready to audition for the Blue Man Group.
#5: Time to get a new driver's license...Hair Color: Invisible. (see how that one goes over with the cop the next time you're pulled over)
#4: Think of the money you'll more barber/hairdresser, shampoo, hairspray, dandruff medication, hair dye, etc.
#3: Everyone knows that bald people make better lovers. (and if they don't, perhaps it's time that you showed them)
(That one was for Big Kev)
#2: It distracts attention from your face. (alright, that was completely uncalled for and I'm sorry)

And the #1 reason that chemo-induced baldness is awesome-

BALD=SEXY (just look at Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Natalie Portman and Britney Spears...ok, she's hot in a bald and crazy kind of way)

Monday, July 16, 2012



SO we had the most amazing time on our vacation! We drove to Dauphin Island, AL and spent an amazing week there.  We drove to Covington, LA and spent the night.  And Praise Jesus we made it there without killing any of the kids!

Surprisingly they were really good.....I think it helped that they were all arms length from each other.  So while in Covington we went to see some gators at the Insta-gator ranch!  We watch way to much animal planet so this was a really cool experience for the whole family and a bucket list item of my own.  I know I'm wierd lol!

Then we headed on to the beach.  Kevin's Brother Josh joined us for a few days.  He drove down from Nashville and it was great to be able to spend some time with him.
Yay we're at the beach!

Of course the kids were ready to hit the water and we did.  Taylor discovered the boogie board and she was hooked....the other 2 were a little more cautious with the waves but still enjoyed it.  Jacob preferred playing in the sand so we made a sea turtle.

Then we  decided to go grab some groceries and we learned a very valuable lesson.....if you ever rent a beach house right on the beach: make sure you back directly out of the driveway....don't try to be creative lol
My husband's beach driving skills

A guy came the next morning and pulled us out......we just made the best of it and this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
Pure Joy!

The next morning we woke up and Satan was busy trying to ruin our vacation.....Tropical storm Debbie started to roll in and flood everything.  The real estate company advised us to evacuate and offered to refund our vacation.  I was confused.....and was determined not to leave, but once it started to flood we decided to take it to Mobile for the night.
That water should all be sand!

We still found some fun stuff to do!

USS Alabama in Mobile Bay

Watching Movies at the hotel

We drove back first thing in the morning and resumed our vacation!  A bunch of people actually left the island.  But We knew the storm would turn....."How did you know?" you ask......Faith that's how we knew.  Kevin raised his hands and prayed over that storm and sent it to Florida. :-)  And at that point we pretty much had a private beach :-)
Boogie Boarding

We spent the rest of the day n the beach and oops I for got to put sunscreen on for a few hours.  And I paid for it, but it didn't slow me down.

We were so excited that one of our favorite families from church was able to join us for half the trip.  Kayden decided she liked them better than us.  I'm pretty sure if we said it was ok she's let Meagan and Derrick adopt her :p  Although her face isn't saying so here :)

We had so much fun fishing, laying on the beach and crab hunting...see video below!


I have not laughed that hard in years!  Here are a few more pictures from our trip.....let's just say it was a trip of a lifetime that we will be making again! :-)