Sunday, October 24, 2010

I have no idea where this post is going to go....

How's that for a title? ;) 

Consider it a warning if you will.

There's something I've just been wanting to get off my chest. 

Has there ever been a catch phrase that's just driven you so crazy and every time you hear it you think, "The next time someone says that, I may just scream?"  But then the next time you hear it, you just smile and nod because, well, because your mama taught you right and that would just be rude. 

And then tonight I had the thought, "Hey I can BLOG about this!!"...

So here goes...

The catch phrase that gets my blood a boilin' every time.......

God never gives you more than you can handle.

Hold please while I check my blood pressure.  Just typing that out has sent my heart racing....

*cue elevator music* 

Seriously?  God never gives you more than you can handle?  How does anyone find that to be a comforting statement to anyone going through a trial?  I mean, the way I see it, it can only be taken one of three ways....

1).  God must think that I am some sort of superwoman and just hasn't clued me in yet.  Hopefully He'll let me in on my secret super power before it's too late! 

2).  God is this puppet master that sits on His throne and enjoys watching people try to get through all these crazy little detours in life that He throws at us.

3).  God's just plain mean.

I don't see any of these options as helpful.  Or real, quite frankly. 

Did God want my daughter to have cancer?  I don't think so.  I never have, even in the early stages of her diagnosis when I had a few choice words for Him.  If God loves Megan even more than I ever could; then I'm willing to bet that He was just as heart broken as I was the day we found out. 

Does God REALLY  want to see me try and deal with all that is going on right now?  Does he REALLY want to test me by giving me all that I can handle until I just about reach my breaking point?  No, I don't believe He does.

Here's what I've come to realize....

Maybe God doesn't give us more than we can handle because maybe He doesn't GIVE us those hard trials at all.   The trials will come not matter what, because we are human and living in a fallen world. Maybe, just maybe He uses them as a way to draw us closer to Him.  Maybe He wants us to see that its not US handling these situations and trials but HIM through us.  Maybe we can only see it by going through these difficult times.

If there is one thing I know for sure, since my daughter's illness, it is this....

God has not left my side this entire time.  And on the days when I was pretty sure that I couldn't get out of bed and "do cancer" for one more day, He did.  He made it happen.  He showed me the blessings.  It just wasn't about me anymore. 

So here's my point....

Maybe instead of saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" we should be saying, "This trial you're going through seems rough.  Maybe this is your chance to see what He can really do."

If you read the title of this blog, then you'd know I ramble.  Thanks for obliging me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do you love a good blog giveaway like I do?

Then please check out my friend Linda's blog...

She has some beautiful pieces of jewelry, as well as book marks. 

I can personally say that her pieces are beautiful, well made, and affordable.  My favorite piece is a blue beaded necklace that I purchased last spring.  I wear it all the time and always get compliments. 

So check her out! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I've been reading....

So, you wouldn't think so, but it turns out that having a child with a serious illness gives you lots of time to read. 

Spending hours on end sitting in a waiting room while your child is have a procedure or treatment lends for lots of time to crack open a book..which is something I have always loved. 

I've decided to dedicate at least one post a month to reviewing the books I've read.

Let's get started.....

The first book I read in the month of September was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  This book came highly recommend by more than one of the nurses at the Children's Hospital where my daughter has been spending lots of time.  I have to say, this book did not disappoint! 

This is the story of three women, who used the written word, to forever change their small town in Mississippi in 1962.  

It is beautifully written and I really enjoyed how Kathryn developed the characters.  I found that by the end of the book I was crying, laughing and cheering on the three heroines in their challenges and their triumphs. 

I hesitate too say too much about this book, as I would hate to give anything away.  But I will say it is one of the best written that I have read in a while. 

If you enjoy  well written, historical fiction novels, this book is a wonderful read.  I couldn't put it down and it will be a book that will remain on my shelf to share with others. 

My next book was.....

The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

This is number sixteen in the Quilter's Apprentice Series.  In this chapter of the series, Bonnie, one of the Elm Creek Quilters, heads to Hawaii to visit a friend and help her set up a new quilters camp at a resort that she and her husband have renovated.   While there, Bonnie takes a good look at her life, which has had a few bumps as of late with a failed business and marriage.  With two life changing options to choose from, which way will she go?

I have to say, as someone who has read this entire series, that I was not impressed as much as I have been by this book.  It was very very slow moving and I was more than half way through the book before I got to a point where I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.  I was very surprised by this as so many of the books in this series kept my attention and are very quick reads.  I'm wondering if maybe Mrs. Chiaverini is running out of material or is just trying to steer the series in a new direction and took the opportunity to do that in this book. 

Most of the books start out at the present day and then go back in time to give history of the quilts that they find.  This is one of the things that I love most about this series.  The author has a real talent for bringing the past and present together to make a great read. 

In this book, she uses the history of Hawaii as a point of reference.  I thought it would be interesting as I know very little about the islands, and as a history buff, I am always looking to learn more.  However, I felt that this just seemed to dwell on the same short time span in history and repeat itself a few times.  Although parts of the story was interesting, I just didn't feel it flowed well with the rest of the story like Mrs. Chiaverini usually does. 

Either way, I will continue on when the next book comes out.  The characters in this series are fun and I always look forward to seeing where she takes them in each book. 

My third, and final book is.....

The Immortal Life of Henretta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot

The cover of this book describes it so well:

Doctors took her cells without asking.  Those cells never died.  They launched a medical revolutionized a multimillion dollar industry.  More than twenty years later, her children found out.  Their lives would never be the same. 

This book came recommended to me by a friend on Twitter.  When she said that she was hooked from page 7, I decided I had to find the book and see what all the fuss was about.  I didn't regret it. 

The interesting thing about this book is that it is non-fiction, but the entire thing reads as a novel. 

Ms. Skloot basically stumbled on the mystery of the HeLa cells while studying biology in college.  After deciding that she was going to do what no one had done in almost forty years, figure out who this woman was, she found Henrietta's family and began to find the answers they have been searching for for years.

I will admit that I was a bit intimidated by the thought of reading a book with so much science and medical information in it; but it was written so well and so clearly, that it wasn't even an issue.  Ms Skloot describes the very detailed medical facts in a clear and easy way to understand them.  I learned a lot from this book. 

It was an emotional read for me.  On the one hand, I was so sad for her family and all the hardship they dealt with trying to find out what happened with their mother.  On the other hand, having a child with cancer, means we have benefited from Henrietta and her cells.  Because of her cells, doctors have made huge advances in treatments for many illnesses that were not treatable when she was alive in the 1950's.  Without those cells, those treatments could have taken much longer to find. 

This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to read a true story that has effected all of us in some way or another.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm gettin' back on the wagon!

It's been too long my friends, and just yesterday I realized how much I miss my blog!

So I'm back, with a new name, a new attittude and a new agenda! Let's see how this works out for me! ;)

You may be asking, "why the new name"? Well, I realized recently that striving to be a "Supermom" is really not all its cracked up to be. Let's face it, the only super powers I'm going to get my hands on is the power of prayer....I realize that NOTHING good that comes from me has anything to do with me, but with Him, and I'm ok with that!

Thus the new name...

Now I know, I know....Finding Joy in the Journey, it's cliche, right? I think so too. But honestly, it's where I am right now. As some of you know, my five year old daughter was diagnose with ALL (a form of leukemia) in May of this year. Our journey has been tough and down right terrifying at times. However, I have found that the more I fight this journey, the harder it is. So I've decided to spend the rest of this time finding the joy. Somedays it's the little things and I actually have to scan my brain at the end of the day to find the one good thing that I can. On other days, they are right there for the world to see and I can't wait to share them all with you!

I will say, I've made a decision that this blog with NOT be about the medical dealings of my child's illness. I do have a blog that records her journey on If you are interested in following us there, then please send me your email address and I will make sure you get an invite.

At the risk of sounding selfish, this blog is for me. So much of our time right now is spent on taking care of my daughter and the rest of our family I've lost myself. I need to remember who I am, where I come from, what I stand for and where I am headed. What better way to do that then to type it out for the world to see?!

So, I hope that you enjoy coming here and seeing me for all my faults and follies, all my crazy thoughts and ramblings, and all of my excessive use at punctuation! I know I will!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Today was a good day"

That's was the first thing I heard when I went to pick my daughter up at preschool.

Her ed tech said her first day back was smooth sailing and she jumped right back into the schedule. I couldn't have asked for more than that!

When she got home, my daughter told me about her day (in her very special way of course). She signed to me that she colored, played kitchen and washed her hands. Being someone with germaphobia, that last bit of news was my favorite of course! ;)

Today was also a good day for me! I finally took the time to work on decluttering my homeschool room. It really wasn't that bad. Ok, I'm lying, the closet was bad. Really in, things fell out at me and I'm pretty sure there was a little baby Ewok (is that how you spell that?) that came running out at me and told me to leave his nest alone.

But after a few hours, I prevailed and here are the pictures to prove it:

Declutter Challenge Number Three:

Let's move to the bathroom today!

Your challenge today is to clean up your bathroom vanity, cupboards or drawers.

Let's face it, those spaces are a catch all for lots of stuff! You know you've got makeup in there from 1998...don't try to deny it!

Not to mention the expired medications and Qtips that have run amock!

To tackle this challenge, set your timer for 15 minutes and get to it. Its that simple! When the timer goes off, see how far you've come and how many bags of things to throw away you've got.

As always, let me hear from you! Who had the oldest meds in their vanity? Who's up for admitting to it?

You can do it!!!

*If you are disposing of medications, please make sure you do so correctly. You can read more on how to do it here:

A little clarification....

I'd like to add one thing to my post on anxiety...

I don't want anyone to feel as though I believe using medicine to deal with anxiety is wrong. Its not. In fact, I have seen and heard of many cases where it was the best thing that the person could do for themselves.

As of YET, I have not used medication to treat my symptoms. Does that mean I never will? No. But for now, both my doctor and myself have decided to try and see if this is something I can work through on my own. I am however, completely open to finding an alternative if I need to in the future.

If I hurt or offended with my comments yesterday, I apologize. Please know that was never my intentions.

Thank you for reading my thoughts!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Do you ever get that feeling?

For years I didn't know what to call it.

It has manifested itself in so many different ways. Stomach aches, dizziness, a sense of dread or panic...sometimes for no reason.

Anyone guessed what I'm talking about yet?

Yup, anxiety.

If you had asked me four years ago if I had a problem with anxiety, I would have told you no....I was just a worry wart.

I thought it was normal to fixate on all the bad things that could happen when my mom let me go look at the toys on my own in a store, or I was home alone for an hour after school before my mom got home, or someone I loved was going on a trip and I was sure to never see them again, or my daughter may not make it through her heart surgery, or this current bought of pnuemonia...or.....or.....or.....

You get my point.

For me, it became much more pronounced after my daughter was born. Along with a brand new baby on my hands; I had a one month old that came out of the NICU and home to us with one simple instruction: "Do not let her cry".

This is a true statement. I had a child, whose entire job was to cry to let me know when she needed something (food, a diaper change, a blanket, a nap) but she couldn't, because that could have killed her.

Now I can go into all the details of why, but I won't. Trust me, you would fall asleep with all the medical speak. Suffice it to say it would stop all blood flow in her body and she could/would die.

My job became being proactive enough to supply her every need BEFORE she knew she needed it. And I did.

It was work. Lots of work. I was exhausted. Very exhausted. When I look back now, I have no idea how I did it. I had two other children, a 5 year old and a three year old; and a husband who worked at least 60 hours a week. But by the grace of God I did it....for two very long months.

If that doesn't give someone anxiety, I don't know what would.

I thought for sure that after her surgery; when the doctor came out of the OR nine hours later and gave me the glorious news that my daughter was now allowed to cry (the nurses all thought I was crazy after that because I would ask them to let her cry before picking her up just so I could hear her!), that the fear, the anxiousness would be gone.

But it wasn't.

It was four days after we had come home from the hospital, just over a month after the surgery, that I had my first real attack. I remember it so clearly. I was walking out of the bathroom. Nothing was wrong, nothing was causing me to fear, but my heart began to race and I couldn't catch my breath. I thought for sure I was going to drop right there on the floor and that began to scare me... Which of course, led to my heart pounding even harder and my breath becoming even shorter.

I sat down and prayed for it to go away. And it did...for the time being.

But it was always there, right behind a thin veil. That thing that made me want to jump out of my skin at the most inopportune times.

Sometimes I feel it coming, sometimes I can pinpoint exactly why I feel the way I do, and sometimes it has no rhyme or reason...and that's what I hate the most.

You are probably asking why I haven't done anything, medically, about this. Well, I have tried actually. I spoke with my doctor a few times about it, sure that I needed some sort of tranquilizer or something to "make me right". He was very kind and explained to me that given my circumstances, he was not surprised to hear my symptoms. After lots of discussion we both decided that I would try to treat it on my own, using a few different methods before we would treat with a medication.

Mostly, I just try to physically calm myself down by slowing my breathing. I do something soothing or something quiet that I enjoy. I also find that when I exercise this happens much less, and also when I increase my water intake it happens less.

Sometimes I recline and read a favorite book or listen to some soothing songs on my MP3 player. Sometimes talking it out helps too; often I find myself praying during an episode.

If you struggle with anxiety, and can relate to anything I've said here, I encourage you to give some of these things a try sometime.

So today I've been anxious...

My daughter is going back to school tomorrow for the first time in two months and I'm worried. I'm worried about her health mostly. And yes, I realize that to most people that is silly, but the majority of my fears and anxiety stems from germs at the present time, so these fears are "real" to me.

I knew this would happen, so today I've been proactive. Here's what I did for myself today:

...I drank LOTS of water today. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'm over my 64 oz. daily goal so that was good!

...I took some quiet time to read a book that I'm really enjoying right now.

...I spoke with my daughter's teacher this afternoon about ways that we can all help her to stay healthy in the class room. (Sometimes being "proactive" for me is a help, thankfully, her teacher understands that).

....I worked out, using my Wii Fit for an hour tonight. It felt great and I finished it off with a nice hot shower after.

Anxiety is something I will probably live with for the rest of my life. I'm beginning to see it as a part of who I am. My hope, is that this year I will learn better how to manage it just as I manage a schedule or anything else that comes along.

If anyone reading this also deals with anxiety, I would love to hear your comments. How do you cope when it pops up in your life. Do you have triggers? Do you try to avoid them or do you just take it as it comes?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts!


Declutter Challenge Number Two:

Just wanted to give you a challenge for today and I will be back later with my thoughts for the day.

Clean out your silverware drawer!

It sounds simple, right? The good news is....IT IS! It only takes a few minutes and you would be shocked at all the things in there you DON'T need! So get rid of all those old plastic sporks from KFC or the 10,000 medicine cups that I'm pretty sure are able to breed. All that should be left are the things you use to eat on a daily basis and some serving utensils!

Let me know how it goes, how long it takes, and how you feel about it afterwards!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting yourself back requires figuring out where you went in the first place...

I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately.

Mostly, I've been trying to figure out exactly why I became so unhappy over this past year and why I began to feel like I'd lost so much of myself.

Sure, a lot of the reasons had to do with things that seem to be plauging everyone right now; financial difficulties, overloaded schedules, illnesses, etc. But there was something more.


I just got lazy. And in doing so, I forgot to find the small enjoyments in my life.

Being the type A person I am, I feel like in order to find myself again I need to get rid of the clutter around me as well as the unhealthy things I've been putting in me.

Thanks to a friend of mine on a forum that I frequent, I've begun tackling small decluttering projects around my home! So far its been wonderful! Even if the project takes only ten minutes a day, I'm always amazed at my results and I feel like I accomplished something! I find that it leaves me feeling lighter and more free (or is it freer? No that doesn't look right either LOL).

I thought that maybe I could challenge those of you reading my blog to give this a try, so each day I will begin sharing a challenge with you! I'd love to hear from you on how the decluttering has gone and how it makes you feel!

Also, while you declutter, think about yourself as you work. Where have you gone wrong? What are some of the aspects of your life that need a "decluttering"? What are some of the changes and goals you would like to achieve during 2010 (which I now called "twenty-ten" btw!)?

So, without further ado...I give you Declutter Challenge Number 1:

What's on top of your fridge!? Is it cluttered with stuff? A catch all for things that you just can't find a place for? Is there enough dust up there to form a small Yeti? Whatever it is GET RID OF IT! If you have a cupboard above your fridge, go for that too!

Let me hear from you when you're finished! How long did it take you? How do you feel now that its done? Are you ready to tackle more?

PS: Update on getting back to health. Frankly this weekend was tough. I didn't eat very healthy for the New Year, but I'm sticking with the increased water intake. I'm up to about 64oz. a day! It feels great and I'm noticing how much more energy I have throughout the day. My hope is to increase that number by another 32 oz by the end of the week!

Thanks for reading!