Sunday, December 22, 2013


What a year we have had. Last year for Christmas, my parents gave my family a gift certificate for family pictures. I decided that I would wait until Spring so that we can have the pictures taken outside.

The week of January 14, 2013, my mom had a biopsy due to an irregularity on her annual mammogram. On January 17, my mom called and said that she had breast cancer. On January 18, I had the worst birthday ever.

On January 31, my mom had surgery, she had the lump removed, they removed the lymph node sack and a few of the nodes were positive for cancer. My mother suffered through 6 months of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation. This was SO hard on my mother. My father was so great to take care of my mom. I saw so much support from my parents' church, from family, from friends of my parents, friends of my sister and my own friends, church family, and co-workers. My mom was so strong and I am so proud of her.

In April, we took our family pictures with the gift certificate from my parents. I was very OCD, as usual, with the photographer. She probably won't take our pictures again even if we pay double :) We have two very different styles and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. The kids were playing in the trees and Olivia kept picking up weeds and grass. I just wanted to smile and pose and she wanted us to be real. She is a great photographer and did a great job and I should have just trusted her.

This pic was my favorite and I almost ruined it by telling her to quit picking up the dandelions.

Here are a couple more good ones

When I gave my mom the pictures, she loved them and hung them in her house! A couple months later she was at my house, looking at some of the pictures and told me this story:

In February when my mom was meeting with her oncologist and surgeon, they were explaining to her why Chemotherapy was necessary. They explained that when you have a dandelion that has the white cotton stuff on it and you blow it into your yard, you don't think too much about it, but give it a few months and dandelions are growing all over your yard. They were not sure where all of the cancer was hiding in her body, just like the dandelion seeds in your yard. So they do chemotherapy to make sure that all of the dandelions don't live, or all of the cancer is gone.

My mom said that the picture of Olivia holding the dandelions helped her get through her treatment and know that she was going through it all for a reason. She was getting rid of all of the dandelion seeds.

My mom completed all of her treatment on October 21, 2013 and is still working to gain her strength and energy, but she is cancer free, she is here with us, we just celebrated Thanksgiving with her and we are about to celebrate Christmas with her.

It has been quite a year, I am so thankful for my mother, my family, and even the dandelions!

Little Free Library

In November my parents introduced us to The Little Free Library! I had never heard of this before. Apparently there are Little Free Libraries all over the United States and they are so neat! It is a box of some sort that someone puts in their yard and allows people to give and take books for FREE! The idea is for people in rural areas (or sometimes not rural areas) who do not have convenient access to a public library, to still be able to have new books. You don't have to take the books back, you can have them. You can bring books to put in the library too.

There is a Little Free Library between Russellville, Missouri and Corticelli, Missouri. My dad is the pastor at Corticelli Baptist Church and this library is on the way to the church.  My mom took me and Olivia to it when were visiting in early November and Olivia was so excited (and a little confused)!

When we went back to my parents for Thanksgiving, my mom took my sister Sarah, my niece Saedee and Olivia back to the Little Free Library! They had a blast! Olivia brought books from home and took a few books too!

I think this is such a cool idea!
Visit for more information!