Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
While walking by some fountains in the World's Fair park, I mentioned to Josh how much I love running through sprinklers and fountains. He asked if I wanted to... I said yes. We ran through twice.
Completely made my day!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
My friend Josh and I are leaving this morning on a 2 week road trip. We are going all across the southeast: Knoxville, Asheville, Athens, Atlanta, Birmingham, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Memphis. We will be working with different service organizations, touring breweries, and couchsurfing.
It will be a good time.
Today we are heading to Knoxville where we will be volunteering at their Dragon Boat festival. Nothing glamorous... just parking lot attendants. ;) The Nashville Dragon Boat festival is just around the corner though. Anybody want to race?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This is a verse that I have taken out of context, but my own exegesis of this verse brings me comfort.
Last Sunday Amy, Brad, and Justin went with me to a Cancer Survivorship reception at Vanderbilt. We snacked on cupcakes, heard a lady play some ridiculous songs, and the listened to a comedian tell about her cancer (and making us say "rectum" three times out loud... yeah right.) The emotional part though was when everybody went around the room sharing their names and stories. All ages from five years old to eighty plus. Men and women. Strong and frail. Some people had gone through several bouts. Some people had faced more than one kind of cancer. Talk about tremendous amounts of courage. I couldn't share. I felt so insignificant, after all, I have the "none-cancer cancer" my friend Debbie Tumblin calls it. (She has gone through it too.)
The non-cancer cancer sucks.
I will never forget the day I heard that I was going to have my first biopsy/lumpectomy. Nana was with me. I went back by myself and returned to the wait room scared to pieces. We walked out of the door and I crumbled. She helped me make it to a bench and we cried together. A lady walking by brought us tissues and hugged both of us. I think she understood a little.
My first procedure I was awake for. It was a little traumatic. Those of you who know me know I have a weak stomach. That plus feeling like less of a woman (silly, but honest) put me over the edge. I struggled with depression for several weeks afterwards.
My first big surgery was also ridiculous. Dad and Nana went with me. When I was wheeled back to the pre-op area, I didn't realize how long I would be there. People (nurses and doctors) felt sorry for me and kept coming up to apologize. I had no real concept of time, but wanted things to be over with. It turns out my doctor was having morning sickness. It was so nice when I woke up in a good room with my dad.
Nothing has been more humbling than having someone wash my hair and clean my bandages. Having to take off my shirt makes me feel sick even though it is just in front of a doctor. I worry about getting married. Will he still think I am beautiful? I come with baggage.
When I discovered a lump in India, I refused to believe it. I passed it off thinking it was nothing. When I came back to America, I didn't know things would be so different. I was just going to have lumpy and scarred breasts for the rest of my life. That was until they told me I had DCIS. Now, I say I have had breast cancer.
Radiation. A big, fat time inconvenience. Going each day. Sitting for each day. Coming home tired each day. Sleeping through things each day. Waking up each day no longer a morning person. Thankfully, it went by fast. The weeks were over before I knew it. (Shoot, it went by faster than this summer school is!) I met Estelle, a funny and amazing lady who would be perfect for living on the frontier years ago. I found what the meaning of true friends was. (Amy and some other showed me that.) I was tired.
Then, you think it is over...
You just think it.
Last night as I laid sprawled out on our living room floor as close to a vent as possible under a fan with another fan right beside me, it didn't feel as though things were over. (Hot flash from Satan himself!) Each day when I get up, shower, and rub a silver solution under my breast, it doesn't feel as though things are over. When the doctor says that she might have to try something else, it isn't over. Telling people I have yet to meet makes it not over.
As you can tell, I have lots of emotions. It is emotional. It is something I need to talk about, but don't want to. It is something people have questions about, but I don't always have answers. It is something that does define me now.
I have and do need comfort.
That brings me to this verse...
While I am not using it the same way the psalmist would, it is my mediation. God, cancer sucks... but God, you promise me more.
That is how I can get on with my day.
(verse is Psalm 119:50)
Monday, June 22, 2009
My dad is the strongest person I know. Hands down. While we might not always see eye to eye, his strength is something I admire. I strive to have the integrity he does. (I got my love of motorcycles from him. Probably my stubbornness too. ;) )
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
One week until a truly legendary road trip.
I am wondering if I go to bed early every night, will time go by faster?!?! Like when you went to bed before sunset on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa. ;)
Amy turned 26!
Amy's actual birthday was on Thursday so we spent the evening eating at South Street, walking around Edgehill Village, and sipping on bubble tea. Erin and Jason were in town so Amy got to spend the evening with most of her closest friends. Good times!
On Saturday evening, we heading south to Arrington Vineyards. Arrington is owned by Kix Brooks and is a fabulous place to spend an evening. We had a picnic, enjoyed a wine tasting, played on swings and hammock, and danced. It was a hot, but very enjoyable night out. Hmm... kind of like Amy... hot and enjoyable. ;)
Happy Birthday Amy! Love you oh-so-much.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The race was held at Percy Warner Park. It was my first trail race. I really enjoyed running with a crowd of all different ages in a very different setting.
Race was complete with African drumming, human rights activists, "Abba" Java, and lots of educational booths about happenings in Kenya.
Another race I plan on doing again...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Creatures were jammin' and everyone was getting down...
It was a weekend filled with free music. No matter what kind of music you like, it could be found here in Nashville.
On Friday night, several of us went to see the Nashville Symphony play at Bicentennial Mall. They played music from Shakespeare and actors from the Nashville Shakespeare Company read some excerpts of the writer's works.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Amy and I spent Sunday evening making Mexican and dancing to Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Amy made her fantastic guacamole. I am addicted! We made lentil tacos. I made Mexican rice. We were pleased with the final product. I just enjoyed being in one of my favorite places (the kitchen) with my dear friend.
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3 green onions
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup pre-cooked corn kernels
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cups cooked rice
salt to taste
In wok, heat oil and all spices. Add onion and green peppers and let saute for a couple of minutes. Add corn and tomatoes. Let tomatoes' juices run. Then, add ketchup and rice. Mix well. Heat thoroughly.
(FYI - recipes can be done easily in China...)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Rain In A Dry Land is the story of two refugee families from Somalia making their home in the United States. It is absolutely heart wrenching to see the things they go through. As an ELL teacher, I interact with refugee students quite often. This film really was eye opening and made me want to do many things differently.
You can watch the first 10 minutes of the film on YouTube.
To get involved in the transitioning process of refugees here in Nashville, contact World Relief or Catholic Charities.
Thankful this morning that my every need is provided for through Him.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I am sort of a concert junkie and have seen lots of great shows, but experience wise this one was the best. Yellow balloons floating around during "Yellow", butterflies falling down, lasers, amazing screen shots, awesome remixes, and just lots of "wow" factor... so great!
Thanks to Molly for making our weekend spectacular, Jordan for being a terrific photographer and button buddy, and Amy, Brad, Brooke, Justin, and Josh for enjoying tickets. :)
(You can see more photos on my Picasa album!)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Good luck Tiffany with your new job! You will always have a place here in the South, Yankee! ;)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Lindsey and I went together. I enjoyed the prayers and choir. The cathedral was gorgeous. I could help but sing praise for such a wonderful morning and such a loving God.
My uncle recommended this dinner theater extravaganza. We literally rolled with laughter. We attended the wedding of Tina and Tony who come from Italian families. We enjoyed dinner at the reception and of course there was dancing. I would highly recommend this for a night out.
Yep, we did it. We fell victim and took a tour on Segways. I would like to say that it was awesome and it was until the last 10 seconds when I had an accident. I ended up with a twisted knee and a huge cut on my foot. It still looks scary. Overall though, it was a good time.
So thankful for another weekend getaway!
This morning I start my June classes. Monday through Friday 9 to 5. Pray that I can really focus, not fall asleep (I still sleep whenever I sit for a period of time), and try not to procrastinate. If I can get a lot done this summer then my fall semester will be much easier. However, I do tend to just live in the moment. So yeah, just pray...
Travel adventures and other good times to be posted soon! :)