Friday, November 28, 2008


You should totally come over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're gonna make sugar cookies, and Bekah said she wants to see you! I just asked her, "Bekah, do you want to see Auntie Lissa?" to which she tore her fixed gaze from Boz and said enthusiastically, with a big grin, "YEAH!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Hilarity

Today was an amazing family day. We started out by taking Sadie and Bekah to Avila Beach. The waves were a little bigger than normal, and it was electrifying watching the storm brewing out over the ocean, slowly inching closer as we played on the swings and slides. I loved it!

Bekah, as always, cracked us up with her ever-exciting antics; making new friends, hunting for starfish (little cement ones along the walkway), and putting sand in her mouth. Okay, so that last one was frustrating. Then we went and shared a strawberry ice cream at one of the little shops.
Afterwords, we came back to town and grabbed lunch at Carl's park (Carl's Jr) and watched Bekah climb through the maze of tubes. From this post and the last one, you're going to think we're not health conscious at all, but it's not true!! Tuesdays are treat days.

Anyways, then late this afternoon Bekah and I went for a walk in the rain. It was only slightly sprinkling, so Bekah put on her pink rain boats, bright pink rain jacket, and grabbed her Little Mermaid umbrella and we braved the elements together. I felt weird, as a Dad, teaching my daughter how to splash in the puddles--but it's awesome!! I refuse to be one of those parents that locks their kids inside when it's a little damp outside. And Bekah had a ball. She ran through puddles, threw rocks in puddles, and even jumped in one or two, squealing with delight all the while. So today had a little of everything--some beach time, some tasty treats, and some rainy day fun!! This is what Thanksgiving break is for. I'm overwhelmed by how thankful I am for my girls!

Biggest Loser Night!!

Tuesday night means one thing in our house: Biggest Loser.
The girls are in bed, the fire is crackling, our feet are up, and our show is on. I'm excited because this week's theme is NFL, and two of my all-time favorite players, Jerry Rice and Steve Young, are training the contestants. We do have a bad habit while watching BL, though. Somehow the intense training and calorie crunching makes junk food sound oh-so-scrumptious. So tonight my companion is...Trader Joe Peppermint Joe-Joe cookies!! Mmmmm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Exhausted!

The girls are in bed - Keith is at school - I've had a busy day like most mom's do and as I sat down to write a nice post my mind and body stopped working! I was even planning on sharing a bunch of pictures but it will have to wait until tomorrow morning....I always write better in the morning as I drink my first..second...or sometimes third cup of coffee...Sadie's been waking up around 5am the past few mornings so coffee has been a necessity!

My mom and I had our appointments with Dr. Malone this morning...mine went as I expected - he asked how I was doing, checked my radiation site since it's getting a bit burned and told me I'm doing great. When I asked him what I should do with my hair since some pieces are starting to grow (although a lot of them aren't) and I look like a scrounge he said I have to start letting it grow some time and I'll just need to wear a hat....he laughed at me when I told him I get tired of wearing hats and if I have to deal with looking at my scroungy hair so will everyone else :)! So watch out friends scroungy Cara is coming!

My mom's appointment was after mine and the first thing Dr. Malone told her was that she didn't have cancer (yay) but that one of the tests wasn't back yet and he's waiting on that to make a diagnosis. If it isn't conclusive he wants to run more tests and send them up to stanford for more detailed and specialized tests. It looks like my mom either has a genetic anemia that would be treated with a shot of EPO every few weeks to help with her symptoms or Milodisplasia (MDS....this can get worse with time and could eventually turn into leukemia...not good!). We find out in a few days if she has an official diagnosis or if the more detailed blood work is required. She's feeling very worn out and for good's hard to wait for results especially when your body isn't working properly and is constantly in a state of fatigue! She is a strong woman though and I'm glad we are able to support each other...

God sure is stretching us right now and it makes me wonder what He has in store for the future...only time will tell!

Have a good night to you in the morning with a big cup of coffee and a refreshed body and brain...hopefully :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick Update

The news from yesterday was mixed. I gave my lesson as planned at Arroyo Grande High School and it went better than I expected. The students totally engaged with my lesson theme and I had no real discipline issues. After the lesson, my professor (who is also the teacher of this AGHS class) blew me away by saying that I have great natural teaching instincts and that she would hire me tomorrow. She loved every part of the lesson!! Phew!

I went home and took care of Bekah and Sadie while Cara took her Mom to her bone marrow biopsy. The procedure did turn out to be very painful as Dr. Mallone had a tough time getting the stir-straw-size needle to go into her hip bone. On the third try, he finally got it. She came home limping and in quite a bit of pain. We now have to wait until next Wednesday for results, so I'll keep you all posted. In the meantime, pray for Jan as she recovers from the procedure and awaits hopefully positive results.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back to 9th Grade

Tomorrow is a big day. At 9 am tomorrow morning, I'll be standing in front of a 9th grade class at Arroyo Grande High School, lesson plan in hand and hopefully nerves in check. It's a huge part of my grade for a class this quarter, and every minute will be critiqued by my professor. It'll be good though. I tried out my lesson today on Cara and got some pointers from Josh, so I'm not dreading it too badly. Just in case you're curious, I'll be having them read the poem "O Captain my Captain" by Walt Whitman and then listen to a song by the band Anberlin, and having them think critically about the themes of both. So pray!!

Even more pressing is the procedure that Jan is going to undergo tomorrow at 11:30a. Her doctor is alarmed because her Red Blood Cell count is super low, and the ones she does have are not working properly. This is usually a sign of a serious medical condition. So tomorrow she must have a bone marrow biopsy, a procedure involving a large needle being shoved into Jan's hip bone. OUCH!! After that, we will get results in one to two weeks and hopefully it will not be as serious as the doctor seems to be hinting at. Pray for positive results and for a quick and painless procedure.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Drum Therapy

Let me begin by stating the obvious: my wife is ridiculously amazing. For my birthday, she pulled together so many resources (people, $, and materials) to transform a beat up old wood shed into a top-notch drum room!! Many thanks to all who helped--and a special thanks to my parents and Scott and Annette--now I can go practice to my heart's content. And Bekah even plays from time to time. Oh, and I apologize to the neighbors, Ken and Judi, who now get to live their life to a beat.

It's been a while

Hey Everyone. It has been too long since my last post. Between school and hanging out with my girls and getting stuff around the house done (cleaned out the nasty rain gutters this morning!), life has been so exhausting. I have been, however, so overjoyed and energized by the dawning reality that Cara is cancer free, a realization that has been hitting me in stages. I thought the word "remission" would cause me to immediately jump up and down and be lost in the moment, but the joy is steady and subtle, mixed in with the other realities--this cancer has taken a heavy toll, Cara (and all of us) are weary, and now Jan is looking like she may have serious health issues related to her alarmingly low red blood cell count and kidney damage. To be perfectly blunt, it's hard to say how I feel moment by moment. The battle inside rages on.

But that is how life is, isn't it? Riddled with sin and doubt and questions, but more loved by God that we can every imagine.

I read Lamentations 3:31-32 the other day, while sitting on the rocks in Morro Bay, and it struck me as beautiful and so what I needed to hear: "For the Lord will not cast off forever, but though He cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love."

Sure we face challenges right now, but we're going to be fine. When I'm overwhelmed, I need only to look at the huge grins on my girls' faces and see the strength in Cara's eyes. May joy be the undercurrent of our life, and Christ it's endless spring.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Radiation Treatments

I got a call from Dr. Gilroy's office today and found out I will have my first treatment this Thursday at noon....and continue five days a week for 17 treatments last one landing on December 1st! It sounds like the treatments won't be to severe and my body may even be able to heal from chemo. during the radiation....yay!

On another note my mom has to get a bone marrow biopsy next Wednesday. She's been having her own medical issues involving extreme fatigue, anemia and shortness of breath and is now seeing my chemo dr....Dr. Malone so keep her in your prayers....I may get to start taking care of my mom just like she's been takeing care of me....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Bekah!

I can't believe my little girl turned 2 today! It has been so much fun to see her grow and change these past two years. She has been my joy and my challenge and I'm so thankful for her. I love my little Bekah Boo and I'm excited to see what this next year brings for her!