Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Compounded Miracle

I named this blog Countin' My Blessings because I truly have been very blessed in my life. I have so much for which to be thankful! Too often we don't take the time to slow down and appreciate the blessings we've been given. We're just too busy to notice. This blog is my reminder to do just that.

Today I want to share one of my many blessings with you. While I believe that every child is a blessing, I also know that some lives are a little more miraculous than others. This is all about a girl who almost wasn't. And this is the Reader's Digest condensed version. ; )

You see, when I married the Hubster, we knew that he would never be a biological father. The urologist said so. Then he met me, Fertile Myrtle, and we proved that doctor wrong.

Except that in the beginning of the pregnancy, I had absolutely no idea I was pregnant.

None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. No reason to think I might be. The fact that I actually was pregnant is the first part of this compounded miracle.

Before I had any reason to even suspect that I might be pregnant, my PAP came back questionable. The doc called me in for a biopsy. He snipped six little pieces of my cervix and sent them off to be studied. It was a painful procedure and caused some spotting and discomfort for the rest of that day. The fact that I didn't miscarry at that point is the second part of this compounded miracle.

Then, while anxiously awaiting the results, the fun began. I was showing all the signs of pregnancy. Basically, I felt icky and bloated and Aunty Flow hadn't shown up for her monthly visit. So I peed on a stick. You can guess the results.

Within minutes of being shocked by the pretty little plus sign, my doc's office called about my PAP and the results were not good. They wanted to schedule surgery.

Then I informed them of my own test results.

The terror began.

My doc told me I'd probably be unable to carry to term; that I'd probably be forced to abort. I told him I would most definitely not abort. I was scared.

Then he said the word 'oncologist' and I was terrified.

I started seeing the oncologist every month when I visited the obstetrician. They kept an eye on cell growth by doing a colposcopy at each visit because the pregnancy would either accelerate the cancer growth or it would halt it.

I'm still here, so I guess you know which way it went. Part three of this compounded miracle, at your service!

On November 10, 1997 I delivered a beautiful and healthy 8# 10 oz. baby girl. (Compounded miracle, part four.)

A few weeks later they did surgery and removed a large piece of my cervix. They wanted to be sure to get all the bad stuff and find clear margins in order to ensure that it had not spread.

I think you know what they found.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

God gave us the miracle of Perri and made me healthy so that I could stick around to enjoy her.

For this I am truly grateful.

And the miracles have only compounded since then.

Perri was an easy baby. She slept well, ate well, was almost never ill. She was reading at the age of 4 and seemed to soak up any and every little bit of knowledge that she possibly could. She started kindergarten and was extremely bored. She was tested and found to be reading above a 5th grade level. After much consideration we opted to bump her up a grade. She adjusted beautifully and seemed much happier. In second grade she was tested for the gifted program and has enjoyed the benefits of the challenges it provides. Now, in middle school, she is already earning credits toward high school graduation by taking advanced placement classes. I often find myself watching her, in awe of all that she is and all that she may become, and very proud of what she has accomplished in her 12 years.

This week brought some more happiness for us all, as we attended a lovely ceremony where Perri was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.

Tucker, Perri and Brie just after the ceremony. :)

I am so very proud of you, Perri, and love you to the moon and back!
Hold onto your dreams and keep up the hard work, sweet girl, and keep reaching for the stars.
You're going to go so very far!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Do you hear that?

It's the Fat Lady singing.

Because it's over...

Last night my favorite television program was brought to a close.

Now I'm feeling kind of LOST myself.

What will I do without my weekly Sawyer fix?

He was the bad boy your momma warned you about.
But my oh my.

And no more Jack?

He was the Prince Charming you always hoped to find. AND he was a doctor!

Then there was Sayid, the bad boy with a good heart.

And Hurley.

Hurley and I could have been buddies. A big ol' teddy bear of a guy with an even bigger heart.

And now they're all gone.

I've spent six years of my life with these people.
Six years hoping they'd survive the polar bears and the Smoke Monster.
Six years wondering if Kate would end up with Sawyer or with Jack.
(And totally understanding why she was torn between the two.)
Six years of never being able to get enough of the fantastical storylines and the
amazing characters who captured my heart.

The one bright spot?

They will live forever on DVD!

So if the Hubster asks you what he should get me for my birthday/Christmas/Labor Day/the Fourth of July.....

Well, you know, you could drop a hint.
Or two.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One thing leads to another...

So far this morning I've done this:

And as soon as the fog lifts I need to do this:

I've also done this:

And now I need to do this:

I've done this ( X three!):

Because, you know, when one bathroom is sparkling you simply MUST make the others sparkle as well.

Right now I'm afraid to do anything else.

I shudder to think that I may be unable to break this vicious cycle. I could quite possibly end up cleaning/scrubbing/polishing until I drop!

Perish the thought!

I simply can't be stuck here cleaning all day.

What I really want to do is this:

Well, not in a dress.

And not with a push mower.

I much prefer my Johnny Baby.

Yes, some good quality time with Johnny would do my heart good today, especially after being rained in for so many days in a row.

But alas, my yard is entirely too wet.

Oh well.

Guess I'll just finish what I've started and then maybe I'll bake a cake.

Or perhaps a pan of brownies.

You're welcome to come join me for some!
And then you may:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Kindred Connection

Windy Poplars

Once again I am joining Kristin over at Windy Poplars
for The Kindred Connection.
Hope you'll stop by her place and join the fun! : )

1. What is the most recent vacation you've been on?

We don't do full-fledged vacations often, but we do enjoy several 'mini trips' each year. This way we can take breaks more often, fitting little getaways into our schedule very easily, and this suits our family well.

We visit Ohio's Amish Country most often, typically two or three times a year. Also, as a baseball loving family, we have traveled to Cleveland, Cincy and Pittsburgh to watch my Yankees play ball.

2. What is the destination of the vacation of your dreams?

Prince Edward Island, for sure. We didn't get a 'real' honeymoon when we married and our dream is to one day drive north through the New England States and I want to continue northward and visit PEI. One of these days....

When I hit the Powerball ;) we will be traveling to every Major League ballpark to take in a ballgame. How cool would that be?!?!

3. Do you have a favorite place you vacation to regularly?

Ohio Amish Country. Peaceful, quiet and a much slower pace. Love to go there, relax, eat well, and just soak in the beauty.

4. Vacation preference: beach, city, or mountains?

I used to enjoy a trip to the beach every year but I find that lately I'm not craving it the way I once did. (Perhaps the fact that my 'bathing suit body' disappeared quite some time ago?)

I did enjoy our trip to NYC and we'll definitely go back again someday. I just don't think I could take more than a few days of it. Too rushed, too hectic, and I missed my cow pasture too much.

It seems that lately I'm daydreaming of a cabin or cottage, tucked away neatly among a stand of pines, with a lake or stream just outside the door. No traffic sounds, no rushing here and there....just birdsong, a comfy swing and a stack of terrific reading material.

About a week there ought to be just right.

5. Have you ever vacationed with a group of people (other than your family)? If so: How did you coordinate it, and would you do it again?

Can't say that I have and not certain that it's in the near future. We typically vacation to escape the realities of our day to day lives and to enjoy quality time with each other, strengthening those bonds and making memories to last a lifetime. I want my kids to look back upon their childhoods with fond memories of the things that we did as a family.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Hero at 8

Sometimes you hear a story that makes chills travel up and down your spine. The tale of Nathan Kuhns, an eight year old from Pennsylvania, will do just that.

Nathan and his family were on vacation in Myrtle Beach. While Dad was enjoying a little extra sleep, Mom took Nathan, his six year old brother and four year old sister out of the hotel room for a while. When the six year old began to throw a tantrum, four year old Josie ran ahead to see if the ice cream truck was nearby. Mom told Nathan to run after her and when he turned the corner, he saw a man attempting to pull Josie into his car. Nathan sprang into action, grabbing Josie with one hand while fighting tooth and nail to against the stranger as he continued to try to get her into his vehicle. Nathan kicked, screamed, and more importantly he scratched the man, getting some of his skin and blood under his fingernails.

"It's called DNA", he said. "I saw it on NCIS."

Mom said that as she rounded the corner, a dark car sped past her and she saw Nathan hugging Josie on the ground, refusing to let her go. Police were contacted and nail clippings were taken, so the authorities now have the DNA of the would-be kidnapper.

Nathan is one heroic little boy. And there are only two things I can say for Josie:

1. She should be very glad her brother likes her!


2. She should also be glad he watches too much television! ; )

Friday, May 14, 2010

And the book goes to....

I apologize that there are no cute pictures of Tucker doing the drawing this time and also for not getting the results up sooner, but we have had some TREMENDOUSLY bad weather this evening. Tornado watches, heavy rain, quickly rising water, 40+ mph winds, name it! It was a little scary for a while. But no damage and everyone is fine, so all is well.

As it happens, I already have Knitty's snail mail address so I'll be putting the book in the mail ASAP. Hope you enjoy it! : )

Thanks to those of you who participated in the giveaway! Through B2B (see that little box to the right?) I hope to be able to offer even more giveaways in the near future, so be on the lookout!


This is the final call for entries in my GIVEAWAY! The drawing will be held this evening and I'll post the winner later tonight.

Busy day facing me, so I must jump into it! Hope everyone has a great day!

I'll just leave you with this thought for the day:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Come Visit My Garden

We've had so much rain these last few days that my garden is really beginning to spring to life! We should be able to enjoy some sunshine over the weekend and that will really kick it into high gear. Thought I'd share a few pics .

Those two windows are in my garage and that walk runs to my front door.

This is Gary. Gary Gargoyle. Ain't he purty? ; ) He's one of my faves. He sits on the end of the front porch, guarding the flowerbed in front of the garage.

This little girl loves peeking over the fence at my daylily. Like me, she can't wait until this one blooms! It sports a beautiful deep red and yellow flower.
He's ready to throw...
And he's ready to catch it!
Love these guys. : )

A little clump of my Snow-On-The-Mountain. It is the old fashioned kind that grows to about 3' tall and is just beautiful late in the summer.

This is one of my hanging baskets that I have on each side of the front steps. Pink Supertunias dominate, but there is also a purple spike flower growing up in the center, as well as the white trailing flowers beneath. I thought these baskets were beautiful!

And this is how they look on the front of the house.
Please ignore the empty chair by the front door. Soon it will have either a dishpan of flowers growing on it or possibly an old wooden soda bottle crate. I've used both in the past and just haven't decided which I prefer.
I have identified this plant in the past but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. Later on it will be positively POLLUTED with the tiniest of yellow blooms! It is a prolific grower, spreading like crazy and doesn't get any taller than what you see here. It 'mounds' and looks almost like a cushion of flowers when it is blooming. I do remember that the variety is 'Goldilocks', but I can't remember the plant name.

This is my Jackmanii. We visit the Ohio Amish Country quite often, where these are found at almost every home. They are by far my favorite variety of clematis. We just bought the new trellis for it, the largest we could find locally, and it STILL isn't large enough. I think we're going to have to improvise. : )

This is the one lone bloom on my clematis at the moment. Won't be long until it is a riot of purple petals.

Oh how I love this basket! It was one of my faves at the greenhouses last weekend. It needs lots of sun, so it doesn't live on the porch. It prefers the direct sunshine of the front garden.

Some of my irises. See that one lone salmon-colored iris in the front left of that clump? She'll be moved later. That wasn't intended to happen, but it does keep it interesting. ; )
We have pulled up this lamb's ear three times. The third time was not a charm, so we decided to leave it alone this year. It just keeps getting larger and larger! The Hubster isn't crazy about it and I think he would have been happy for it to disappear altogether!
My tipsy pots. : )
They are probably my favorite flower display ever. I absolutely adore these things and I get so many compliments on them! When I had my yard sale a couple of weeks ago I could have sold them no less than a dozen times!
The violas in them handle a little frost pretty well, but the vine I typically put in the pitcher on top does not. We had heavy frost just the other morning so I haven't planted the vine yet, but there will eventually be a vine trailing down out of the pitcher on top.

And a not-so-close-up shot of the front bed.

*Only one day left to enter my GIVEAWAY! Just click on the word GIVEAWAY and leave your comment, become a follower, let me know you're already a follower, post about it on your own blog and tell me, etc. The usual stuff! :) You have until 6:00 p.m. tomorrow evening to get your name in the hat!