Sunday, July 20, 2014

Going Nowhere: Italy

For this month's themed date night, we had an Italy night. I tried to think outside of the spaghetti and pizza box, so for dinner we had Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup and gnocchi (which we've never had), and listened to Italian music. The soup was AMAZING. So very, very good. I pretty much followed the directions, except that I used ground hot Italian sausage & frozen spinach  and let everything but the tortellini simmer for an hour or two. This will definitely be a soup staple in our house! (It was a little spicy, so if that's not your thing you might not want to use hot sausage or go half & half).
After dinner, I had us do a painting together. I figure Italy is full of amazing art, so we'd create our own. Hah!! What it really did was take Joel and I back to why we hated art class in high school. :D We tried following a youtube video of how to paint poppies. Part of the problem-along with neither of us having any real painting talent-was that we didn't let stuff dry so everything was kind of a mess. Oh well, it was definitely different from our normal routine, and we got some good laughs from the night if not some good art.
I'll let you guess which one belongs to whom.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

baby girl

My sweet little Annaleigh turned five on Monday. I've been telling her the past few months that we weren't going to let her have a birthday so she would have to stay four forever, but we caved.
For her birthday, we took her to a place full of bounce houses and huge inflatable slides. After that we went home, watched a Barbie movie and had a Pegasus party. The kids always get to pick anything they want for their birthday dinner, so we ate like royalty that night-corndogs and Cheetos. 
 For the Pegasus, I used Wilton's Party Pony Pan, added a wing from part of the cake I shaved off, and added a horn using an ice cream cone rubbed with icing then covered in glitter sprinkles. It's amazing how simple icing covered cakes seem after working with fondant!

We started a new birthday tradition this year where Joel takes the kids to dinner and a movie. I used to do this with my dad each year, and that one-on-one time was always special. This year Joel took Annaleigh to the new How To Train Your Dragon movie.  (*Spoiler Alert*) At one point in the movie, the father dies and everyone is crying. Apparently, Annaleigh told Joel she didn't understand why everyone was crying. So, he asked her if she would be sad if she didn't have a mommy and daddy and she told him, that it would be awesome because then she could watch tv and eat candy all day long. Then a few minutes later, she changed her mind, and decided parents were useful for making her dinner. :P In an ironic twist, she ended up with a tummy ache that night, which she blamed on Joel for giving her too much candy at the movies. :D
In the end, she said it was the best day in her entire life, and what more can a mom really ask for? :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

going nowhere

So...this is a little cheesy, but I'm still sharing it. Sometimes cheesy is fun. For part of Joel's birthday present, I decided to give him a years worth of fun date nights where I do all the planning. This would have made a better anniversary gift, but that's still pretty far off & I knew I'd probably forget about it by then.  Cheesy and forgettable...I'm setting this up as an awesome gift, aren't I?;) Anyways, first, I printed off a passport and airline tickets...
Our first "trip" was to the Caribbean, so I fancied up the garage with string lights (which is really hard to get a picture of)...I didn't get a picture, but the white sheet on the wall is for the projector, so I YouTubed a video of ocean views onto there.
 then I tacked some old sheets to the ceiling to hide all the garage stuff.
see? hidden!
next, I set up our little station, complete with tubs of sand to bury our toes in.
Next was dinner, which wasn't really authentic, but I tried. Fruit salad, guac & chips, Jerk chicken (thanks to Grill Mates) and fried cinnamon tortilla chips. I also tried fried plantains, but those came out awful. I got a few different sodas from the Hispanic aisle at Walmart for us to try.
also Pina Coladas in lovely Dollar Tree glasses
We had a fun evening of playing poker (which was made more fun by the fact that I crushed Joel) and then watched Dr. No from the hammock (his real birthday gift). Overall, it was a fun evening. It was good to get out of our rut of just doing dinner and a movie from the couch. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

All Clear

I never wrote about this, but it's actually a pretty big deal. I started writing this a while ago, and just got super busy. Around mid-May, I got my first "all clear" from the doctors.  All of my tests and lab works came back normal. The first thing I had done was a blood test that can help identify ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, it's not very reliable or accurate (it only identifies cancer % of the time) but my levels came back in the normal range. Because of that, I had an ultrasound done on my ovaries. The scary thing about ovarian cancer (which it's guessed have a 20% chance of developing) is there really isn't any way to detect it until in most cases it's too late. The ultrasound wasn't looking for cancer so much, but rather cysts, which can be a precursor to o.c. Anyways, it took the tech 45minutes to find them which made me a very grumpy woman to say the least. ;)

Next up, I had to have an MRI done. It's much more sensitive than a mammogram, and I'm supposed to have one done yearly. It was an interesting experience. Pretty uncomfortable (laying facedown on a table with special cut-outs) for an hour. The MRI tech. actually said it's probably the worst MRI to have done because of the awkward positioning. Three days later, I got a call from the doctor that there was an abnormality on the results. He thought it was a benign tumor, but said I had to have it biopsied to be certain. At this point, I really wasn't too worried, but when I went for the biopsy the doctor there said she thought it might be DCIS (milk duct cancer). She ended up not being able to find it through ultrasound, so I had to wait two weeks to have an MRI guided biopsy done. (That was a long, hard wait, but in a way I am super grateful for the experience. I know with certainty that I don't want to spend the rest of my life waiting for cancer to appear or hearing back that my biopsy results are cancerous.)The mri guided biopsy was a crazy experience. It's not done often, so I had a group of resident doctors watching the "show." That was awesome. :P I'm really interested in medicine, so the whole process was fascinating to me. I basically was put into the MRI, brought out, stuck with the needle, then put back into the MRI so the dr. could decide where to move the needle next. We did that five times until she found the right spot and was able to take the biopsy (which, by the way, she had to do on her knees thanks to the fact that I was laying face down). It was craziness. In the end, my results came back benign. Fibrocystic tissue- so nothing at all to worry about. Praise God! I do have to go back for another MRI in 6 months so the doctors can make sure it's not growing or changing in any way.

This whole experience has been such a strange one. It's just strange knowing (well, at least thinking) I'm perfectly healthy, while at the same time being referred out to a cancer specialist. I felt like such a fraud when I called to set up that appointment, haha! That being said, I've been blessed with great doctors. I'm the first brca patient my dr. has had, which is why he's sending me to a specialist. I'm so very blessed to have the ability to be proactive!
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