Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Smile

Hm, now I have to pick.

Is my Friday Smile:
(a) Going to see Sex and the City with Emily?
(b) Officially being on vacation?

I pick BOTH.

It was a no-good-very-bad day at work, but it's over - and in twelve hours or so, Geoff and I will be on our way to the airport and spending 10 days in BC with family and friends.

And the movie was grrreat :)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things No One Warned Me About: Living Without Zippers

One of the oddest things I've needed to get used to in this pregnancy? The rather disturbing lack of zippers on my stretchy maternity pants. It seriously weirds me out to be pulling my pants on and off so freely, like I'm constantly wearing sweats out in public. Shudder.

And I have these regular (like ten times a day) panic attacks because I don't remember doing up my zipper that last time I was in the washroom... Stop laughing, you jerks. This is serious stuff!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting Smart (and one small blonde moment)

I had another brave day today. I started my morning at the Breast Cancer Centre of Hope, where I had a 9 am meeting with an oncology nurse.

She spent almost an hour with me, and answered all of my questions. She went through my mom's pathology report notes and translated and explained what all of the big fancy words meant. She walked me through the chemotherapy and radiation processes - how the appointments work, what the treatments are, and how people can expect to feel before, during, and after. And she also touched on risk factors - things I need to know because my mom has breast cancer. She approached it so well, because it wasn't about worrying at all... It was about being aware and being responsible and making healthy choices - which actually released the little bit of worry I had been feeling about it.

I'm really glad I went. It was just nice to have someone explain it all, and she didn't make me feel like any of my questions were stupid at all (though I'm sure at least a few of them were). She was really encouraging. And she gave me her card so I can call, email, request information and resources, or book more appointments if I have more questions in the future.

The very best part of the appointment is that I walked in, and just about literally ran into an old friend who used to work at The Arthritis Society and moved over to CancerCare a few years ago. She shrieked and ran around the desk to give me a *big* hug and we chatted for almost 10 minutes before I met with the nurse. It made the Centre feel just that much more comfortable and safe for me.

I just feel so much better now that I understand more of how this will all work, which helps me to see what I might be able to do to help and support my mom and my family during the next couple of months. I hate that our family is learning all of this. But I'm so happy that there are so many resources available to us.

The funniest part of my morning? I don't know if it was the stress I felt leading up to the appointment, being stupid and pregnant, being not-quite-awake-yet, or what - but I seriously lost my ability to parallel park this morning. It was SO embarrassing, especially because I'm usually an awesome parallel parker (ask anyone)... A lady actually pointed and laughed at me. Ugh.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baby's First Concert

Geoff and I took Baby to its first concert yesterday - Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D., Rihanna, and Kanye West at the MTS Centre. It was an absolutely amazing show, probably the best I've ever been to. It ran almost five hours long, so today's been a little sleepy. But it was totally worth today's fatigue to experience that level of musicianship and talent all in one place like that, with such an amped-up crowd. Very cool. I don't think I can pick a favourite performer of the night... If you held a gun to my head (which you couldn't have anyway, thanks to a ridiculous amount of security at the MTS Centre last night), I'd be tempted to say that - as cool and elaborate as Kanye's set was, that honour probably belongs to Lupe Fiasco.

And now Baby has an appreciation for rap... hehe.

Something cool... Janet Jackson flew into Winnipeg yesterday night and was there for Kanye's set.

Something less cool... Rumour has it, Chris Brown was there too.

And a noteworthy side note... The Free Press reviewer reported that N.E.R.D. and Rihanna were there, with no mention of Lupe Fiasco (apparently, an entire amazing 35 minute set PLUS joining Kanye for his encore doesn't count?). She also noted that SOS was Rihanna's breakout first single (not true). Sigh. You just can't trust the media these days.

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Vote or Die!

So my band - Jasper Walls - is participating in the 'Quest for the Best' contest, sponsored by Quest Musique, Avante Records, and CHVN 95.1 (our local Christian radio station). The contest is to pick the best worship band in the province, and the winner will perform at the Red River Ex in June, record a song for an upcoming worship compilation CD, and some other stuff that I don't remember right now.

The winner is determined by online votes based on a demo each band recorded... So guess what I want you to do :)

Go visit Join the Halo Advantage Club (yeah, I know, but I had to too - and it's free). And then click on 'Quest for the Best' and go vote. For us! You can vote once a day until the contest closes in two weeks.

We *should* be Song #9 - but double-check before you vote. Our song starts with some piano and then a single female voice singing 'any crown I've ever worn...'

I can brag about how good it sounds because I had to miss the recording session that happened earlier this month... So let me say that the girls - and everyone - sound grrreat!

I am an absolute fan of every one of the incredible people I make music with. It's a little bittersweet for me, because I'll be leaving the band this summer to better concentrate on everything else going on in my world this year - and they are my amazing sisters and friends. I've been singing with some of them for a full decade, since I was in high school. It's the end of an era, and I still get emotional when I think about it - even though I know it's the right decision.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Secret

Dear Slow-Walking Man:
I fantasize about hitting you with my car.
Sincerely, Lindsay


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Road Trip!

Kari-Ann will be the first person to argue that a weekend afternoon drive to Elm Creek does NOT constitute a road trip, but Anja and I call it that anyway. Elm Creek is seriously in the middle of nowhere. And it feels like you're driving past farmland forever. In any case, we were there in less than an hour - and we spent a lovely afternoon visiting with new parents Kari-Ann and Kris. And of course, the person of the hour, the fabulous Miss Scarlett herself.

Okay. That is a seriously cute baby. She's so tiny and snuggly and makes the most adorable and hilarious monkey faces... We loved Scarlett on sight. Good work, kids.

Here. See for yourself.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spa Day

Today, Emily and I booked ALLLL afternoon with Darcie at Tiber River on Academy. From 1 til 6, we enjoyed pedicures and french manicures and Cornelia Bean tea and massage chairs and lots of talking and just general girly goodness. It was *exactly* what I needed this weekend. It's amazing how much a good mani/pedi - and time with friends - can fix.

It's been kind of a tough week. I'm feeling really overwhelmed with all the details of life: hearing Baby's heartbeat for the first time, getting the results from my mom's latest surgery, starting to transition my clients to other people, and other less bloggable struggles. It's been emotional. But it's good. I can feel that I'm moving toward goodness, that I'm going to end up in a very good place. It just sucks that sometimes we need to wade through all of THIS STUFF to get there.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary to ME

Awww... Look at those kids!

So this week marks exactly one year since Geoff popped the question, at Grouse Mountain just outside of Vancouver. After, we drove into the city and sat on the beach just kind of absorbing the moment (and calling my parents!). Best decision I've ever made. I just can't believe that it's been one year... And that year has been SO eventful.

This incredible man surprised me with an 'engagement anniversary' present last night - a gorgeous Coach bag that I have coveted but would never buy for myself. I love that he indulges this love of mine that he so completely does not understand. The whole shoe thing, we're still working on.

I *heart* this bag. And the guy who gave it to me isn't half bad either :)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Absence of Winning

I've been celebrating a healthy pregnancy. Silly me. I have apparently forgotten that I'm not allowed to be happy.

If one more person - friend, foe, or otherwise - makes a comment to the effect that I *should* be the one who's sick (with cancer, with a complicated pregnancy, or whatever), I'll scream. I *should* be healthy. After 16 years of chronic illness, I DESERVE THIS - and I'm just starting to realize that. I deserve every moment of enjoyment I can squeeze out of this pregnancy, and I deserve every doctor's appointment where I leave smiling after hearing good news. This is brand new for me, this whole 'not dreading medical appointments' thing. It's amazing and incredible.

I understand that nothing is guaranteed, but I'm living in the moment right now. This moment is good. And no one can take that away from me - they'll have to pry it from my dying hands, because I'm holding on to it and not letting go.

It doesn't feel anything like winning, though, because my mom and my sister are sick. I've been fighting my whole life to find a way to be healthy so that I could enjoy this phase of my future, whenever it happened. But this very personal health-related victory that's been 16 years in the making is completely empty and hollow.

Truth be told, it's breaking my heart. Because I don't know how to play this role, the healthy one. It feels like I'm dying inside to know that these two women who are so close to me are living in fear and uncertainty that I understand straight through to my bone marrow. I deserve to be healthy, but so do they. And I'd take it all on myself if that were an option at all. I honestly and truly would.

But there's nothing I can do. And everything I say is all wrong. So I continue to shed tears, hoping that - in some small way - those tears will be able to heal something much, much deeper.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feeling Like a Mama...

Geoff and I just got home from my latest prenatal appointment, where we got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Ohhhhh my god. It made me feel so melty and cheesy, I had to try really hard not to cry. There's a baby in there! OUR baby.

Even Geoff said that it felt like a shot of adrenaline when he heard the tiny thumping of a heartbeat. I cried when we got back to the car. It just makes this so undeniably real.

That, and the fact that I gained weight this month... :)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Secret


Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Is My Life Now...

No one warned me that my constant need to pee would rob me of sleep like this... I thought I'd have to kiss sleep-in Saturday morning goodbye this fall. I haven't had one in MONTHS. By the time I'm up and trekking to the bathroom (well, about two steps across the hall) for the gazillionth time around 7 or 8 am, there is just no getting back to sleep. Oh well. This is my life now, I suppose.

This whole not-sleeping-in-anymore thing paid off big time this morning. Thanks to a tip from Val, Geoff and I were in Wildwood by 8 am this morning and bought a bunch of practically-new, really nice baby stuff from some friends of Steve & Val's who were having a garage sale. For just over $100, we walked away with a baby swing, exersaucer, bathtub/bath seat, bottle warmer, and some baby toys - and they're all so nice. Yay.

We ran a few more errands before heading home, and every time we returned to the car - FULL of baby paraphernalia - we burst out laughing. It just looked so strange and foreign. I know it's time to start thinking about (and collecting) all of that stuff, it's just so new still. It's like pieces of someone else's life.

Out of curiosity, I also price-shopped diapers at a couple of different places today. Holy $$$$. In the space of about an hour, I have become Costco's biggest fan.

You can all stop laughing at me now. This is probably stuff that you think about (or research!) before you get pregnant, if you were the type to plan and dream about motherhood. I wasn't *quite* there yet. So this is all a little funny to me still.

It will be funny to you too in a moment...

See, here is a sneak peek at the current contents of our basement - compliments of this morning's garage sale.

And here is a sneak peek at Geoff's current mancave (*soon* to be our baby's room) - which should pretty much explain why (a) I've been reluctant to collect too much baby stuff, and (b) the stuff we do have is all in the basement.

It might explain some other stuff too :)

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Smile

In honour of last night's AMAZING season finale of The Office, arguably the greatest show of all time :)

Happy May Long Weekend, all! I'm set to do nothing much tonight and tomorrow, then I'm heading out to the lake for Sunday & Monday for some lake chillaxing (not to be confused with city chillaxing, though both are very, very enjoyable).


Thursday, May 15, 2008


Awww... Kris & Kari-Ann's little 7 lb 1 oz Scarlett Gail *finally* made her dramatic appearance early this morning - more than a little behind schedule, but every true lady is born knowing how to make an entrance. The next 18 years or so should be LOTS of fun :)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Step By Step

How many points for pulling out an old school NKOTB reference? And then how many for saying 'NKOTB' instead of spelling it out like an English major? What's that? You want me to earn bonus points for blathering on about bad (read: AWESOME) 80s music in a post that's really all about my mom's cancer?

Okay. If you insist :)

It's helped me a lot to break down the whole cancer thing into steps, and to think about it in those compartments complete with neat little milestones. What can I say, it's the project manager in me. Phase One was Finding Out. Phase Two was Surgeries.

And as of today, Phase Two of this crazy cancer journey with my mom is officially complete. There will be no more surgeries, and she's handling her recovery from this last one really well. She might not think so, but I do. There's still a long way to go in order for her incision to heal, her shoulder to start working again, and her energy to come back. But it's OVER. And the results came back today.

I think she'll be okay with me sharing that the eleven lymph nodes they removed last week were not all cancer-free. One had cancerous cells, and one had a tiny little tumour growing inside of it. THANK GOD her surgeon had the wisdom to remove them all, instead of calling it quits after the last surgery and counting on chemo and radiation to take care of the rest. The results don't really mean much, they just confirm that the cancer is at the stage they thought it was at, and now they can finalize a treatment plan - Phase Three and Phase Four.

She'll meet with her oncologist on June 5 to find out The Plan. And then we'll begin Phase Three: four to six rounds of chemo, spaced two weeks apart, beginning as soon as possible. After that comes Phase Four: a to-be-determined schedule of radiation (that typically lasts four to six weeks).

If you're doing the math the way I'm doing the math, that means that there's still a *chance* my mom will be cancer-free and finished treatments by the time she becomes a grandma. Wouldn't that be amazing? She'll be tired and still suffering from the effects of the treatments, but she'll be there and she'll be in Phase Five (my favourite step!): The Cancer-Free Rest Of Her Life.

We're going to throw one heck of a party. I'll bring the music... ;)

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Case of the Missing Groove

Argh. I cannot seem to find my groove today. My zone. My sweet spot. My happy place where I can plow through a massive to-do list like Godzilla in a trailer park.

Instead, I am sitting here and compiling a list of excuses:
- It's eight degrees and raining outside
- I feel like I'd be doing more good for society at home with my mom
- I have no looming deadlines, so I'm missing my usual adrenaline
- The weather is making me achy and tired
- Geoff's off today, and I'd rather be hanging out with him
- It's Monday
- We have less than three weeks to go until our vacation
- My hair is curly and frizzy and nasty today (see 'rain,' above)
- I'm wondering if Kari-Ann's currently in labour (hehe)
- I'm worrying that, if she is, I'll be forced to hear the details later (ugh)

Oh yeah, and I tried on about seventeen different outfits this morning, and every last one of them made me feel pregnant and disgusting. The pieces that covered my tummy and made me feel slightly less fat in the front are all maternity-length (to cover the ugly elastic at the top of my pants), and hit that magical place in the back that makes my ass resemble a Mac truck. And tailored blazers stop being the solution to all the world's wardrobe-related problems when it becomes painfully obvious that there is not amount of acrobatics in the world that can join those buttons with their matching button holes...

I finally settled on a combination that made me feel only quasi-disgusting, and put on a pair of my Sexy Heels. Hey, some days that's all a girl can do :)

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thinking About Mother's Day

Nothing really felt adequate this Mother's Day.

What I really wanted to do for my mom was to take her cancer away. She used to tell me that she'd give anything to have my arthritis, so that I could live my life free of the disease. I understand that now, because I'd choose to take her cancer in a heartbeat. And it kind of breaks my heart that there is nothing I can do to make it better. She wouldn't give me her cancer anyway, even if she could. Which is fair, because I love her too much to have ever given her my arthritis.

I'm so angry at cancer for borrowing my mom, but I'm so happy that it's not taking and keeping her. I think she knows how much I need her. And it's making her fight.

And that's really the heart of it all. On Mother's Day this year, I just want to say thank you to my mom for loving us enough to fight the way she's fighting. I know that you will get tired sometimes, and you don't always have to be brave. Just know that I'm so proud of you for taking those baby steps forward - and those small things make you a hero to me.

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Mom (and a mouse... shudder)

I took Friday off to spend the day with my mom. Good decision, Lindsay! We had a really good day - didn't do much, just sat around, watched TV and read a while, ate a little, and she napped while I got some editing done. I returned home to Winnipeg with Geoff in the evening (and watched Speed Racer... seriously, I deserve the Wife of the Month award for seeing Speed Racer AND Iron Man within a week of each other [though I'll openly admit to loving Iron Man]).

On Saturday, I headed back out to The Niv and had brunch with Emily (thank you again!) and then spent the rest of the weekend at my parents' place. Again, it was good. I picked up some groceries for them and made dinner (with lots of leftovers), then watched a hilarious John Oliver with my mom and my brother and made her giggle until she was screaming that her incision was going to burst open. Today, I got up and got a big batch of banana chocolate chip muffins in the oven, then spent time with my parents until I packed up and headed for home in the late afternoon.

It really didn't feel like I did much, but I know it made a difference to my mom. There wasn't much else we could do when she's busy recovering from surgery... It was a strange Mother's Day. Made even stranger by the fact that I received a Happy Mother's Day email from my mother-in-law, and a Mother's Day gift - a book on parenting - from my parents. So sweet :)

So after a busy weekend, I came home wanting to relax and instead - BLECH! - there is a mouse in a glue trap. Alive. Kind of wiggling and screaming. I had almost three hours to go until Geoff is home from work to deal with this - now less than an hour... Not that I'm counting. I'm reluctantly keeping an eye on our prisoner, but it seriously makes me want to puke. I'm not touching this with a ten foot pole. This is precisely why I got married.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Smile

Best. Invention. Ever.
The Eat Me Crunchy cereal bowl.

How did mankind survive so long without this? :)


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Knew It Was Coming...

Ugh. This was inevitable, I'm sure.

I feel seriously lousy today. Yesterday too, actually. My fibro symptoms are nastier than they've been in months. And now is NOT a good time to be dealing with a flare-up. It's far from 'out of control' - but I'm feeling it in all my muscles and joints, and I have that absolutely ridiculous, lethargic exhaustion back - a crippling kind of tired that I can't describe to you unless you've lived with fibromyalgia. I am so frustrated and discouraged.

I made a decision to take tomorrow off work to go and spend time at home with my mom - which means that I only have half a day of work left this week. I think I can do it... Go Lindsay Go!

I'm reminding myself today of my decision to choose peace and light. Even when everything else feels like it's spinning out of control, my emotions and how I feel are things that are totally up to me. And so, I choose to trust that I have an amazing God who is in control of things that aren't up to me. I trust him with my mom, with my work, with my health, with my relationships, with this baby.

I've posted this quote before, but I love it, and it's been helping me get through this no good very bad week:
"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."
- Barbara J. Winter

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Success

As my sister so eloquently stated yesterday, it's time to either (a) switch to stretchy pants, or (b) boycott the wearing of pants entirely.

Now, she is on sick leave. And I work five days a week. So boycotting pants *might* work for her, but not for me. And so, after work today, I headed over to the Gap to check out their maternity clearance sale.

I think that I should win a prize or something. Because for around $150, I walked away with:
- Jeans
- White Wrap Dress Shirt
- Black T-Shirt
- Black Tank Top
- Two Sweaters
- Dress

Seriously. And I followed the rules about sticking to basics and not trying to buy enough stuff to wear from now til October. I was pretty proud of myself! I never get deals on anything. So I may be bragging about this for a while... :)


Why I'm Smiling Today

My mom is home, fed, drugged, and sleeping. And my dad is taking amazing care of her - which kind of gives me permission to relax a little and be at work and doing normal things today without feeling like a terrible person / daughter. I don't think he has any idea of the impact his dedication to my mom has on my life - now more than ever.

I've been secretly plotting a late afternoon trip to Starbucks ALL DAY, where I fully intend to cheat on my diet and indulge in a Caramel Machiato.

Gap Maternity is shutting down their Canadian locations. Which sucks, except for the tiny little detail that they have currently marked down EVERYTHING and plan to clear it out this month. Three cheers for cheap fat pants!

Headphones. I've been working in my own little world for hours, and hit some old school goodies on my playlist: Lisa Loeb, Oasis, and The Cranberries. It's making me pretty happy. How could it not?!

Also on my playlist today: Songbird by Eva Cassidy. It made me all teary and sentimental, because I can still hear Mel singing it when I walked down (up?) the aisle in September to marry Geoff. It was such a perfect song for such a perfect moment. And it made me think for the nineteen thousandth time that I married an incredible man with infinite patience for me.

Christine (my co-worker) found me an organic spinach-and-feta frozen pizza that I can eat AND tastes delicious. Sweet.

I am cruising through today's to do list, which makes me hopeful that Friday might actually be a day OFF - not just a day of working from Niverville via laptop and cell phone.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Surgery News

I'll add to this post as the day progresses, but I thought I'd let you all know that I spoke with my dad around 08.00 this morning and everything is going absolutely according to plan. My mom went in for surgery at 07.45 and they were expecting it to take until 10.00. From there, she'll head into recovery and my dad should be able to see her by lunchtime.

UPDATE 13.22: I heard from my dad while I was out for lunch with Kari-Ann - still no baby, so this was a very good distraction for both of us. My mom's surgery went very well this morning. The only complication was that her blood pressure dipped a little post-op, so they had to wait before they were able to start giving her painkillers (wouldn't you have loved to be the nurse to tell her that?!). But the drugs are working now, and she was sleeping when Dad called.

UPDATE 22.14: An email from my dad...
Thank you for your prayers and support. From the way surgery went today I know most of you were praying. The surgery went well, started at 7:45 done by 10:00.

There were a few complications:
- The I.V. did not cooperate, so her hand is pretty bruised up.
- Her blood pressure was very low after, it was an hour and a half before they could start her on some morphine... Sherri was extremely grumpy by then.

She was back in her room by noonish, slept, rested, ate a bit around 7 pm - and rejoicing and trusting there will be no more surgeries. I hope to have Sherri home tomorrow morning. Please pray for rest, God's peace, and good results from this last surgery.

UPDATE 22.15: At my mom's request, I stopped by the hospital last night after work to bring her Tim Horton's coffee... I took that as a good sign! I sat with her so that my dad could go and find some food, then we watched American Idol while we waited for my mom's new round of painkillers to start working again. By 8 pm, the last Idol contestant was done for the evening and my mom finally looked ready to sleep. She's doing okay... As well as you'd expect, I suppose. It's frustrating to watch her start all over again with surgery recovery. But it's so amazing to know that this was her final surgery, and that there is NO cancer left in her body. She smiles every time we say that.

Now, it's back to the game we're getting very used to already: trudge through recovery and wait for results. These results will determine how aggressive they'll need to be with chemo and radiation, setting the stage for the next six to twelve months of our lives. We hope and pray that the results will be good and that she'll be able to wrap up those treatments and be on the road to full health by the time the babies come this fall... While we know that's maybe not very likely, we also trust that our God is a God of miracles, and he loves to surprise us with the very things we've called impossible.

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In Praise of Stretchy Pants

Sometime last week, I developed a little tummy... I knew it was coming, but I'm still traumatized / fascinated / enthralled / weirded out by it. I think it looks hilarious. It's this completely bizarre little lump tacked on to the bottom of my stomach. I can't stop poking at it.

On Saturday, I got totally fed up with being uncomfortable - and in all fairness, I think that Geoff was probably pushed to the point of exasperation over my near-constant bitchiness. I gave in and ventured into (insert dramatic music here)... a maternity store.

I was nervous to step inside, but it wasn't that bad. It was a great experience, actually. I chose 9 Boutique on Academy, and the girls working there were incredibly helpful and friendly and positive. They encouraged me to conquer my fear and try some stuff on... I hadn't really planned on it, because I didn't feel pregnant enough - but the other women who were shopping in the store were pretty much as knocked up as I am. And so, I got brave and I did it. I tried on (insert more dramatic music here)... stretchy fat maternity jeans.

At the insistence of the shop girls, I came out... And as I stood there and peeked into the mirror, I *may* have teared up. I just felt so COMFORTABLE. The girls laughed and said that first-time pregnant women either rush in when they're two seconds pregnant and buy up the whole store, or they wait until they're so uncomfortable in their old clothes that they're miserable - and then have a moment of absolute enlightenment when they come in and try on their first maternity clothes.

They were too expensive (I also went to a little maternity boutique versus some random mommy store at the mall, which may not have been the most cost-effective solution to my problems), but I did not care. Best money I have ever spent. Ever.

Stretchy pants are *seriously* under-rated :)


Monday, May 05, 2008

Wisdom From My Starbucks Cup

Why are we so inspired by another person's courage? Maybe because it gives us the sweet and genuine surprise of discovering some trace, at least, of the same courage in ourselves.
- Laurence Shames, Author



Tomorrow is Surgery Day #2 (#3 if you count the biopsy) for my mom - her axillary node dissection (look at all the fancy new words we're learning!). If you're curious about what that involves, you can read about it here. Basically, they're removing 10 to 12 lymph nodes from under her arm and putting in a drain for a week or so. She'll be staying in the hospital this time, and they're expecting that she'll require physio to get her arm moving again once things are healed up.

It's good and it's bad. It seriously sucks that she requires a second surgery, though we understand why they opted for the less complicated surgery first. And we know that this surgery is just a precaution to make absolutely sure that they got all the cancer - which is awesome. But it's so hard. I'm so beyond pretending to be tough about this. It sucks, and I've shed tears over it in all kinds of awkward places already :)

I'll add more once there's more to add. In the meantime, please remember her - and all of us - in your prayers. This is tough stuff.

I read this verse this morning, and it really got me thinking...
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8.6

Isn't that so true? We spend so much energy worrying about ourselves, our health, our lives, our STUFF - and it's toxic. But when we're focused on the big picture and a greater meaning and purpose, it brings us life and energy and joy and freedom and PEACE - that profound and absolute God-peace that you can only understand if you've experienced it.

This week, I choose life and peace - for myself and for my family.

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Monday Secret

This one made me feel sad. My friends and I have grown up SO much in the last couple of years... Graduating from university, growing careers, settling down - it's all crazy stuff. We're not in our early 20s anymore, that's for sure. But I'm happy to say that we're all happy - and we still giggle until our stomachs hurt when we get together (which is not nearly often enough).


Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Mouse In My House

Oh. My. God. Remember my passing comment a few weeks ago about spotting a mouse in our house? Yeah. We set up snap traps, and nothing... Until a full ten days later, when I saw it AGAIN. Then we set up snap traps AND glue traps, and nothing... Seriously, we find a sign of a mouse - something chewed, usually - every ten days with no sign at all in between. Until tonight. We got home from our family gathering and found mice in two of the traps. (Both in glue traps, in case you're taking notes.)

Of course, being an independent modern woman, I jumped up on top of the kitchen counter, covered my face, and starting shrieking orders while shaking uncontrollably.

I have no words for how frightened and disgusted I feel. Does anyone have any wisdom to share? SERIOUSLY. Because I am about 24 hours away from paying big, big money to an exterminator who can come and PACK our ducts and walls with every variety of supersonic poison they carry. Because the two mice that Geoff so gallantly disposed of this evening are NOT the mouse I saw twice last month. And I don't know how breathing in that stuff and living with it in my house works with my all-organic plan and this pregnancy, but I'm caring less and less...


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Friday, May 02, 2008

Not an 'Auntie' Yet...

Okay, I had to send a shout-out to Kari-Ann, who has officially completed her nine-month pregnancy sentence as of today - but has yet to meet Junior. Hang in there, hon. He's obviously just as stubborn as you are, and he'll come out when he's good and ready to come out.

I'm a little sad about that, because I've officially lost the baby pool - assuming that she doesn't give birth in the next 92 minutes. I know that most first-time moms are late, but I thought that Kari-Ann (Queen of the Type A's) was capable of scheduling everything - birth dates included. I must admit. My faith is wavering. Although, if she goes *really* late, then maybe statistically the universe will let me be early? :)

And seriously. How ridiculously adorable is this mama-to-be?! Can't wait to meet her gorgeous child...

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Lindsay Wright, Communications & Account Manager

Jeremy, my kinda cousin-in-law (he married my mom's cousin), recently posted a blog that described what he did for a living. Sounds like nothing, but I realized as I read it that I really have no idea what lots of my friends actually do all day - and lots of you probably feel the same way about me.

So here you go. Here's what my world looks like from 9ish to 5ish, Monday to Fridayish.

I spend my days - and sometimes nights, and sometimes weekends - at Cocoon, a Winnipeg-based branding agency. Our clients are all over the map (geography, industry, size, how long they've been in business, etc) but - in a nutshell - they are all wanting to understand who they are, what makes them different, and how they want to be perceived. Once we've guided them through that process, we have a team of writers, identity designers, print designers, interactive designers, product designers, web developers, and other assorted consultants to help them carry their brand through every experience their target audience could ever have with them (that's the part that functions more like a traditional ad agency).

Because we're a small company - and because my background before I came here was kind of diverse - I wear two hats: Account Manager and Communications Manager.

As an Account Manager, I have a portfolio of clients who I am responsible for. I'm their primary contact at Cocoon, and I spend a lot of my time talking with our creative team, talking with our clients, and translating between them. I develop new project estimates, sit in client meetings, sit in internal meetings, organize photo shoots, and generally make sure that our designers have everything they need in order to produce quality deliverables on time and on budget. I'm paid to keep everyone else happy, whiny designers included. I say that it's awesome training to be a mom... hehe.

As Communications Manager, I play an active role in developing our clients' big picture brand strategies - researching their competitors, interviewing their employees and executives, defining their target audiences, and the list goes on. I get to play around with the written style and voice of their company and establish what they should sound like to their audiences - and then do the required writing or editing work to make that happen on everything from their website to their brochure to what their receptionist says when she answers the phone. Hmmm... What else? I create media plans and decide where ads will run (which billboards or transit shelters, which television or radio stations), when, and how often. I write and distribute news releases to journalists. I train our clients' executives to give good media interviews. I write strategy and planning documents. I give the final okay on every single thing that Cocoon produces, to ensure it's all spelled and punctuated perfectly. And about a thousand other random things that come up...

I swear, motherhood sounds kind of relaxing. (I expect to be eating those words sometime in early November.)

So there ya go. To my fellow bloggers and commenters who work outside of the home... How 'bout you? What do you do all day? :)


Friday Smile


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Non-Sleeping Beauty


I am sooo tired. Like SOOO tired. Like I need to meet my mom, Jess, and Cait in an hour to have dinner and head over to MTC - and I am seriously considering napping in my car between now and then.