As I put on these adorable leggings from my best friend, to rock to the hospital, I couldn’t help but remember this quote a friend shared with me once.  “Why wish upon a star, when you can pray to the THE ONE that made it?”  And then I couldn’t stop singing the verse from “Do you hear what I hear?”- “a star, a star, dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite.” So praying to THE ONE and belting out this tune was exactly what I did while getting ready for this adventure yesterday morning.  

This holiday break from school came a little early as I scheduled my hysterectomy for December 20.  This surgery had been in the works for a long while as my doctors suggested to definitely have my ovaries removed, as I had an increased risk of  ovarian cancer.  And after taking so much time off last year with chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation...this holiday break seemed like the perfect time, without having to use many sick days.  
Yesterday morning began with tons of snuggles from my little guy as I didn’t have to be at the hospital until 10.  Jett is growing so fast but he still loves to curl up in my lap, twirl my hair, and let me love on him.  I’ll cherish every second of this time as I know it won’t last forever.  So a little Doc McStuffins and reading Christmas books was just what we spent our early morning doing.  After dropping him off at school and then heading to the hospital, one of my favorite songs happened to come on the radio.  Music speaks to me so and so when “Tremble” came on, I about lost it. 

Just last week out of the blue, Jett started singing this song in the midst of singing a Christmas carole and it was so precious.  I wonder where he gets his love of music from!?  J dropped me off at the door,  I registered, and then back we went to start the Preop process with the sweetest nurses.  I seriously cannot even count how many wonderful ones we have had, as they  all have made us feel so at peace during very scary times.  They say teaching takes a special person and nursing absolutely does too.  To all the nurses who have been by my side throughout this process...thank you for a job well done!  Blood pressure was good, IV went in easy (thank goodness), chaplain came to visit, our pastor and a dear friend came to pray with us as well, and then came the wait for the ride to the operating room.  This time was spent with my parents, J, and my best friend, as they do the best job, making fun small talk.  

My precious doctor, who has been with us the whole time and delivered Jett, performed the surgery.  She stopped by to chat before we went back and seriously just knowing that I was in her care, under the knife, made many of the anxious feelings go completely away.  God truly gave her the warmest heart, tons of knowledge, and a tender, loving spirit that so many love.  She rubbed my arm as the anesthesiologist started the “sleepy” medicine as another nurse rubbed my face while I drifted off to sleep.  That just goes above and beyond, y’all!  How could I not know that God placed these angels in my path to make this part of the process a little less scary.  So the procedure was done, and I woke up to find that I was in recovery and all went well.  Two hours later, I was headed home to be loved on by a handsome nurse who hasn’t left my side through this whole journey.  From writing down the time I take my medicine, to helping me up to shift positions, to laying beside me just to talk, and so much more, he truly is my one true love.  God knew exactly what he was doing all those years ago, putting us back together after a million silly break-ups.  At 15 and 19, we sure didn’t know what our lives would look like down the road, but I can honestly say that growing older with this man has been a joy.  Goodness, I want to be a better person like him everyday! Jett came for a visit to give us his Christmas present that he made at school.  Oh how this made my night.  He very gently kissed me on my legs and hugged my neck with such love.  

So now to heal...3 weeks is the projected time, which will be close to when we head back to school.  I’ll go back for a couple of half days just to ease myself back into the routine.  

Christmas is truly around the corner and we’ve got an excited little dude that Santa will visit with lots of goodies, I know.  I’ve had a checklist during the last few weeks and I hope that all is done and ready.  

Last year on December 22, I had my last chemo treatment and this year a hysterectomy.   I’ve tried to remember every single day just how bad I felt during the chemo, so that I could cherish the good feeling days, especially during this holiday season. 

I’m just so thankful for another year of life that God has blessed me with.   Another year to be a wife and a mommy.   Another year to spend time with my family and friends.  Another year to share my story.  God is not done with me yet and I pray that I’ll be able to walk this Earth for many more years, sharing His love, His grace, His mercy, and His truth.  Much love to you all and Merry Christmas.  May you never forget the reason for the season.  



Do something you’ve never done before!!

What is one thing that you’ve never done before?  Think about that for a minute.  

For some it’s very easy to come up with something and for others, they may have had lots of life experiences. For me, I’ve done a lot of things in life.  But over the course of the past year,  I’ve experienced more scary events than I thought I’d have in my lifetime and wouldn’t wish them on anyone.  My morning devotion today was about “Doing Something You’ve Never Done Before” and by doing this you’ll find new things to praise God for.  And I guess I can say that this Thursday, I’ll do just that.  Chemo, radiation, a bilateral mastectomy, and more oral chemo were all things I’d never before experienced, and since ovarian and breast cancer go hand in hand, and my grandmother had ovarian cancer, a hysterectomy was another piece of this puzzle that we’ve been putting together since July 12, 2017.  And I’m hoping that it’s the final piece to place.  The one that completes it.  A hysterectomy certainly isn’t a fun event or one that is super easy but I know that it will help to hopefully keep cancer away from my body.   So with this new adventure, I also will praise Him once again for giving me a peace as I prepare for this day and afterwards, as I know he’ll be with me all the way.

So if you’ll pray for all of us this Thursday at 1, we’d appreciate it.  

December is the most wonderful time of the year and right now, in this moment of this very day, I feel great.

Looking back at where I was last year at this time, finishing up my last chemo treatment, I can’t help but thank God over and over and over for bringing me so far through the hardest days of my life.  This month has been crazy busy as we’ve prepared for the holidays with our little guy-visits with Santa, Christmas programs, decorating cookies, riding the Polar Express, wrapping presents, and more.

But then throw in an amazing trip to Vegas in the midst of it for mommy and daddy!  WOW!  Jeremy and I went three years ago when Jett was 2 and had a ball so after all we’ve been through these last 18 months, we decided to make the trip again to attend the National Finals Rodeo. Many have asked if Jeremy participated and sadly, no he didn’t.  This is like the Super Bowl for rodeo like they have for football. We started making our plans in January, planning to stay one extra day so that we could go see our favorite musician, George Strait, while there.  Little did we know that we’d have bad winter weather in the south that would allow us to extend our stay.  When making the original vacation reservations, I saw that “TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK” night was for round 5 and that we would miss it, as we would be coming home on Monday.  But when our flight was changed and another night was reserved at our hotel, we were able to purchase tickets to this round.  I was so excited that we could attend and rock our pink with 14,000 other rodeo fans.  The tickets for this round were pricy due to our last minute purchase but we both knew that it was something we wanted to do.  J immediately put them in his vest pocket and we continued our shopping adventure for the day.  About 2 hours later, he realized that they were missing and must have fallen out of his vest.  We both panicked and didn’t know what to do.  I called the ticket office and they recommended for us call the MGM hotel lost and found.  I did just that and guess what?  They were there!  A precious lady from California found them and turned them in on her way to the airport.  I seriously cried like a baby and thanked the Lord for this miracle.  

I mean think about it!  Vegas…the MGM GRAND HOTEL casino…TONS OF PEOPLE…and an honest soul found them and turned them in!  Unbelievable!  
So our trip was absolutely wonderful.  Our trip to the cactus garden on our first morning there was a sweet time.  Each cactus that I looked at reminded me of the one that pricked me, but also looking at the thousands of cacti in that garden, reminded me of y’all…my tribe that prayed me through this time like no other.  The next time we go, we’ll go at night to see the beauty of them lit during the Christmas season. 

 The rodeo itself each night was perfection in my guy’s eyes…strolling through the gorgeous hotels filled with beautiful Christmas decorations made me giddy, shopping literally until we dropped, singing at the top of our lungs to George Strait, meals that left us wanting to lick our plates clean, worshipping our Lord and Savior on Sunday morning with many cowboys, and just being together after my cancer journey. 

 J has been by my side for now over 23 years but he’s truly outdone himself over these last 18 months, being my number one caretaker and the best daddy to Jett.  He’s done just what he said he would as we vowed to each other our love.  For better, for worse, in sickness, and in health…I thank Jesus for him many times a day, as He blessed me with a wonderful man.  And this trip as Vegas turned into “COWBOY TOWN” was one he deserved, more than anything.  

I can’t help but think about the love I have for Jeremy and how much bigger God’s love is for us all.  He’s been so good throughout this ongoing journey and my faith has grown so much.  I’ve also seen Jett’s love for Jesus blossom like crazy lately.  He is constantly talking about God and his awesomeness.  Questions about the crucifixion are always being asked and he told us just this week that he wanted Jesus to live in his heart.  Talk about crumbling to our knees with happiness!  He’s almost 5 and we’re having many conversations with him about what that means but I’m so thankful for all those who have poured the knowledge of God’s word into our little boy, teaching him about our Savior.  What a wonderful foundation for him to grow on at such a young age.
I’m constantly in awe of how God’s timing is absolutely perfect.  After a rough morning of our “getting ready for school” routine, I got the most precious text from a friend who also battled breast cancer.  Jesus Calling is one of my all time favorite devotional books and she sent me today’s devotion that said “Your difficulty can be seen as a slight temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!” And what a difficult time we had this morning and what a difficult year it’s been.  Whew!  So focus on the blessings and not what difficult things can take away, is just what I’ll do.  
I thank Him daily for healing my body and for using me to share hope with others.  Trusting in Him is what we HAVE to do during big storms in our life, as He will calm them, bring healing, transformation, freedom, and hope to all.  Place all your worries into His hands.  He has a way beyond what you and I can see.   

So as the new year is approaching, do something that you’ve never done before!  Going back to my devotion from this morning, French nuns were asked their secret to longevity and they had two responses:  
1.  read and learn continually to keep your mind active 
2.  do something you’ve never done each month

I plan on doing lots of new things in the new year when I am feeling better.  

Here’s a few things on my 2019 LIFE list:
-read more of God’s word and continue to grow closer to Him
-start a cancer support group for those in our community
-teach Jett to read
-join the church choir
-travel with J more to ropings/rodeos 
-go on my first cruise
-take my parents to Vegas in December
-go to the Dallas Market in March for Swanky Steer
-and many more!

I can’t wait to hear of your new adventures, as I know they’ll enlarge you, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, helping you to praise God. 

“How precious is Your loving kindness O God!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.  They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  For with You is the fountain of life;  In Your light we see light.”  Psalm 36:  7-9

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the Earth.”  Isaiah 42:10

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