Thankful Thursday: An anniversary

Happy Heart Day. Valentine’s Day. Appropriate for me that it lands on a day to play along with Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home.

But not for the usual reasons. It was two years ago this morning that Entrepreneur was wheeled into an operating room for brain surgery. On Valentine’s Day.

We’ve come a long way in two years, but not without the scars…both physical and emotional. The surgery successfully removed an almost 2 inch tumor. But renal cell cancer is a relentless adversary. Even after a year and half of oral chemo, it’s trying to reclaim territory. Same war, new battle. 

But today we celebrate. Celebrate two years post surgery, thanking God for the tender mercies of the past and for extending his life. We have gratitude for experiencing the good and bad that intertwines itself throughout our story. Our faith has grown deeper despite the uncertainty of the future. Relationships have grown deeper despite past differences. The keen realization of how fleeting this life is on earth has grown painfully sharp.

But today we celebrate love and caring for special people in our lives. Whether you buy into the Hallmark hype of the holiday or not, I’m sure there are special people in your life. Be sure to share with them how much you care….don’t wait for a specially designated day to show your appreciation for them. You may not be offered another chance.

Today we celebrate.

Blog hopping today with Thankful Thursday hosted by Brian’s Home.

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Wordless Wednesday: birthday girl

Hopefully, this sequence of photos need no explanation. But, just in case you didn’t figure it out….she’s FIVE!

Blog hopping with Wordless Wednesday over at Comedy Plus.

Awww Monday: Five year old spitfire

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
~Dr. Seuss

In a few weeks, this little spitfire of a grand girl will celebrate her fifth birthday. It’s really hard to wrap my head around that fact. With a style all her own, she’ll take on kindergarten later this year and, no doubt, dazzle all her teachers. 🙂 No, I’m not the least bit biased.

She began a preschool program last fall and I must admit, it’s very quiet here every day without her. She is so far ahead of the rest of her class and the curriculum that Mama is thinking about pulling her out and giving her back to us for the rest of the school year. I suppose she could “graduate” from Nana and Papa Preschool in May. We’ll see. While we do miss her, Nana and Papa sort of like not being tied down to a preschool schedule!

One thing is for sure….there is definitely  no one else like her!

Linking up a bit late today for Awww Monday over at Comedy Plus.

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Last month, just before Christmas, a dear friend of mine got promoted to Nana. I’ve watched for more than 20 years as her daughters have grown into beautiful young women with lives of their own. The birth of their first grand girl was cause for celebration and, since the family is so dear to me, I simply couldn’t help myself.

The words just sort of tumbled out of my mouth when I offered to take newborn photos. I quickly cautioned her I was not one of those awesome, professional newborn photographers, but I’d do my best to try and capture her new baby daughter’s first days of life. I later found out she was deeply touched by my offer since the hospital photographer didn’t do a very good job. This was my gift to the family and it warms my heart to be able to give them these moments. Moments that are gone in, seemingly, a split second.

I’m sharing them with you for Thankful Thursday to highlight how awesome and precious life is when we stop and think about what it took for each of us to get here. I swoon every time I see newborn photos and bow in awe to those who do this for a living.

I know just enough to be dangerous. It’s a goal of mine this year to become better at reading light, selecting poses and paying attention to small details in my photography. It’s more trial and error at this point. Will it grow into anything other than a hobby and a favor to those closest to me? Who knows.

For now, hope you enjoy pics of a precious baby girl, born a bit before schedule, but a miracle none-the-less.

The heartbeat of a human fetus begins around three weeks after fertilization. Doctors are able to detect it around 6 weeks.

At 9-10 weeks, the baby sucks his thumb and unique fingerprints form.

At 12 weeks, the end of the first trimester, a baby is completely formed and many body functions are already developed and working.

A baby can hear her mother’s voice while in the womb around 24 weeks.

Around 24 weeks, the lungs are forming substances that will allow him to breathe outside of the womb.

Eyes open and close, and produce tears around 27 weeks.

At eight months, taste preferences develop and she will physically react to loud noises from the “outside.”

In the last nine weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s brain doubles in weight.

A firm hand grasp is seen around 8-9 months.

Women are amazing. When a female fetus is born, she has all the eggs in her ovaries that she’ll have in her lifetime. That means, if you are a woman, when your grandmother carried your mother, you were a tiny egg inside both of them!

The development of a human baby, from embryo to fetus to birth is an amazing process. And, the ability for a baby to successfully live outside the womb as early as 25-30 weeks is changing perceptions on viable fetal development and survival.

There is a reason why the birth of a child is called a “blessed event.” The journey this child took to get here is as fascinating as it is complex.

Sweet dreams baby girl. When you wake up, you’ll move mountains.

For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~Psalm 139:13-14

Linking up with Brian’s Home and Thankful Thursday.

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.
~Joseph Addison

I amend this to include granddaughters as well. There is simply nothing this man would not do (or try to do) for his daughters and grand girls.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday and, of course, breaking a few rules.

 

Seas the Day!

Some of you know our family went on vacay to Cancun, Mexico in early December. It was long overdue since the last few years have been a struggle with Entrepreneur’s brain surgery, recovery and chemo schedule. A 90-day reprieve from chemo allowed him to enjoy the holidays and this much-needed getaway with those he loves most.

While I, personally, took gigabytes of photos, we contacted the photographers that took our family photos in 2015. Surprisingly, they remembered us and we spent more than two hours on the beach capturing family memories.

Of course, we had many obligatory, formal poses of everyone and individual family units.

Once those were finished, well…..the “adult children” had a little fun with the photographers. And, judging by the laughter while shooting the photos, I think the photographers had a lot of fun with them. Hope these make you giggle a bit. All of these were spontaneous poses with no pre-planning what so ever.

Who is Daddy’s favorite?

Appropriate or Inappropriate?
These engaged lovebirds can play to the camera better than anyone I know……

…..and this sequence with the newlyweds made everyone laugh. First we have a lovely shot and very “appropriate.”

Then, it goes downhill from there….literally.

As you can tell, there is no shortage of entertainment when we get together. I’m linking up with Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home today because words cannot capture how thankful and grateful I am Entrepreneur was able to eat and drink his way through Cancun for a week. I’m grateful we were able to all be together to relax and decompress from life’s stress. And, I’m thankful we’ve been able to financially make this happen. No one knows the future. We may all be together for another updated photo in a few years….or not. This year could be a banner year for us…or it might hold devastating events.

But, whatever 2019 holds, these memories will live forever in my heart, and a few on the walls of our home!
Entrepreneur and me 2018

 

My One Word for 2019 is……

Yesterday, I recapped my One Word selections since 2015 with a summary of how well it worked for 2018. Now that the gifts are opened, holiday get togethers are finished and we enter into a new year, it’s time for me to focus on another word.

Resolutions, while made with good intentions, inevitably are forgotten by March. I’ve found by choosing one word to focus on for the year gives me a fighting chance to make lasting changes in my life.

It may sound odd, but I spend a lot of time thinking about this one word. It always relates to what’s been going on in my life and what direction I’d like to steer it for the future. Lots of words float through my head, but one eventually rises to the top.

This year, my One Word is:

Mindful = Mind-Full

mind·ful / mīn(d)fəl / adjective
conscious or aware of something; aware, conscious, sensible, alive, alert, acquainted, heedful