Miss Julia turned four yesterday, it is so bittersweet.
As a baby, Julia was pretty laid back. I remember thinking she must take after her daddy, where as Anna Grace was more like me - very busy. Julia was always happy to sit back and watch what was going on, didn’t cry that much and was a good little sleeper. The day she turned one, everything changed. Literally at her 1st birthday party she started chasing her cousins around the house, she seemed quite hyped up. I thought it was the sugar from all the cake, but since that day - she hasn’t slowed down a bit. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is my snuggly, sweet and oh-so-precious little angel. I can’t wait to watch this cutie pie grow up.
Happy 4th Birthday Julia...from a mommy that loves you more than you will ever know.
I read an interview with Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) a while back, I have saved it in a notebook and from time to time go back to re-read it. Over the past week, during Christmas and New Year’s, I have thought a lot about this year. What all has taken place, the lessons I have learned and the blessings that have come out of this cancer journey that I'm on. I can’t say that I’m happy that I got cancer, but I can say that it has forever changed my life. It has put things in perspective and reprioritized what’s really important in life.
Here is some of his interview...“We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life,there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.”
There is so much that I want to say... so much gratitude in my heart for the prayers and support you all have shown me. But somehow I am unable to find the right words to truly express how I feel... so I am borrowing the beautiful writings of Adrienne from With a Grateful Heart...
“On this last day of the year my thoughts always turn to the past. I think of experiences I’ve had through the years, friends and family who have touched my life along the way, good times, not-so-good times, laughter, tears, blessings beyond my ability to count! When I look back I see the same thing every year - God has been faithful through the years. Every year!.... No matter what! He hasn’t changed! He has held my hand and walked with me through the sunshine and the storm, leading me every step of the way....
We have come this far by faith. Yes, we have – and we will continue on. As we have lived in the past we will live in the future. By faith!
To each of you, my dear friends: I wish you the best New Year ever – filled with the most amazing blessings from God’s hand to yours – and faith. Faith beyond measure. Faith to keep moving forward through the coming year. Faith in Him Who is Faithful!” - Adrienne
Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
Our week in New York... was WONDERFUL!!! We made so many memories with the girls.
We ate at Carnegie Deli, Shake Shack, Ellen's Stardust Diner, Josie's, Mickey Mantle's, American Girl Cafe, Rays Pizza (there are a million of them) & Prime Burger.
What we did? FAO Schwartz (the girls loved the big piano), Dylan's Candy Shop, Macy's, Toys"R"Us, American Museum of Natural History, Carriage ride through Central Park, The Rockettes Christmas Show at Radio City, American Girl Store, Ice Skating at Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park Zoo, Carousel & Playground.
The highlight of Toys R Us - a 3 story ferris wheel
Ellen's Stardust Diner
long day for little JuJu
American Museum of Natural History
Origami Christmas Tree
Carriage ride in the Park
The Rockettes - so very FUN! Love the Art Deco design
The American Girl Store - they both got to pick out a doll for Christmas
two happy campers
Anna Grace got a lesson at Rockefeller Plaza with Mrs. Ricky
Top of the Rock
Prime Burger is this really neat old diner, the girls loved the swing trays
We had our appointement with Dr. Gonzalez yesterday morning and all is well! My numbers improved and the cancer is dying off. My Cancer Mass Index went from a 25 to a 22-, which is a great. This is the big number that I am watching, once it is below 10 I will be considered cancer free. You can see why the program takes approximately 2 years, your numbers move a few digits every 6 months. This has certainly taught me a lot about patience :o) But we are absolutely thrilled with the results and so is Dr. Gonzalez. Luckily, I was not as nervous about this visit due to the fact that I feel so incredibly good on his program. No coughing, no problem breathing, no pain. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but he said as long as I continue to do the program my numbers will continue to improve. Dr. Gonzalez is such a blessing, I only wish more people knew about him. He saves lives everyday and does it in a way that restores the body instead of breaking it down. Giving thanks on this beautiful day for my health and for Dr. Gonzalez.
The test is a two page report, tracking how every organ and gland in your body is functioning. Here are a few of my other numbers that we are watching closely. Toxins went from a 16 to 12 and my DNA Damage went from a 17 to 15 (10 and below is normal). My lungs went from an 85 to 86+ and my total body function went from an 82 to 85 (these numbers need to get above 89).
Also, New York with the girls has been wonderful. Yes, it is cold and Yes, there is complaining (these Florida girls are not used to the cold)... but we really are having a great time together. I will be sure to post pictures when we get home.
What a weekend! Friday, I finished my liver flush. Luckily, I didn't get sick but boy was it tough getting down the epsons salt water and olive oil. Saturday was a great day... it started with a wonderful "Breakfast With Santa" at Julia's preschool, then we walked up to Park Avenue and watched the Winter Park Christmas Parade. I have to say we are really blessed to live in such a neat little town. The girls loved every minute of it.
The girls with their cousins, Delaney & Abigail.
Chris' brother, Andy and his wife Shannon with us at the parade. (Shannon is one of my best friends, actually more like a sister. She has taken care of me and my girls during some of the roughest times)
Also, I have to say..... WAR EAGLE!!!! I could not be more proud of my Auburn Tigers. Can't wait for January 10th. To quote the last line of our Auburn Creed "I believe in Auburn and love it". (George Petrie)
"Auburn is so much more than a city or a school or a team or a degree. It is something that, once you have experienced it, will live inside of you forever and become a part of what makes up who you are..." (Robert L. Gillette)
It's been a long week... Anna Grace had bronchitis and then over the weekend I came down with a little something. Other than that, all is well. As for an update... I continue to feel really good. My appointment with Dr. Gonzalez in New York is coming up, December 8th (we will be reviewing my test results). Chris and I have decided to take the girls and make it a family trip - they are beyond excited (and so am I :o). Our plans for the week include: The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, American Girl Store, American Museum of Natural History, The Rock, Santa at Macy's, FAO Schwarz and much more. I promise to post lots of pictures when we return.
Will try to write again soon, but for now that's all I can muster up.
Here are some pictures from our mother-daughter day at Sea World a few weeks ago. The girls were both out of school so I surprised them with a fun little day trip.