Monday, September 28, 2009

Jakson's First Birthday

This weekend we celebrated my nephew's first birthday. It was so good to have Emily and Jakson in town! I wish Dallas was not so far away.

Jakson enjoyed a yummy birthday cake of his own. He racked up in gifts. Fun "Cars" house shoes, a wind up clock, clothes, dump truck, Titans shirt, and the priceless "Where The Wild Things Are" book.

In the tradition of writing him letters, here is the one for his first birthday...

Dearest Jakson,
It is amazing how fast time has gone by. You have developed a personality and have learned to use those legs. Yesterday you climbed stairs while we sat in the living room. Your mom was quite surprised! Time will continue flying by and soon you will be climbing mountains in the Alps.
You are a mama's boy. Don't let anybody tell you that is a bad thing. Your mom is quite terrific! I love watched you hold onto your mother. You play with her hair. You snuggle right into her arm. You are a perfect fit. You will always be a perfect fit, no matter how big you get. I hope you always hold tight to your mom and your family. We all love you.
You have started talking. While at the moment, the words just sound like noises, I know you are trying to say important things. I can't wait for the day where the noises become understandable and we can talk together about important things. I want to hear about all the things that are important to you.
Oh Jakson, you are loved so very much. You have added so much joy to the Quarles/Valenta families' lives. I cannot wait to see you again soon.
With All My Love,
Aunt Beth

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Race for the Cure

Nashvills's Race for the Cure is coming up on October 10th!

One of the girls at work organized a team called "Beth's Buddies". We set a goal to sign up 10 people and so far we have 22. We have already raised over $1,400. Wow! I am honored that so many people are going to walk with me.

You are invited too! Click on this link (Beth's Buddies) to sign up to walk or give a little something something.

There is another group walking on October 24th in the American Cancer Society Walk if you want to come out that weekend instead.

The fabulous LTG is helped me create a team t-shirt which I will post about once everything is finalized. :)

It's almost the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month so you are guaranteed to see a lot more pink these days!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Coming

I just realized something good is coming...

Next Thursday.

October 1st.

Need to start planning. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Extreme Measures

Sometimes one will take extreme measures to have her back popped... (thanks didi!)

On a side note... Brad has discovered how he will make millions in the physical therapy business. Celebs will eat this up!

Gripey at 5am

I am sitting in my pjs, a hoodie with hood up, two blankets wrapped around me, in my comfy mocs and drinking a cup of hot peppermint tea. As much as I adore my comfy mocs, it should not be cold enough yet for me to bust those out.
I woke up at 4 this morning with a serious case of the chills. Around 4:30, I decide I have had enough and slip into the shower. I let the hot water hit my skin until it runs out. (Looks like I will be paying a little more to the next water bill.) I get out and assemble layers of warmth, but it is still not enough. I boil tea, praying I will get it off before the loud whistle wakes a sleeping house. Now I sit, still cold, but feeling ridiculous.
The "aftershocks" of this treatment have been a little different. Thankful (and I do mean thankfully!!!!!) I have not had a case of the spaghetti legs. I am walking, a little slow, but I am getting around. My stomach has been tormented. My bald spot is growing alongside a little one that has developed. I have a sore in my mouth which stings a little each time I sip this tea. My face is looking rough, like a teen going through puberty again. My arm stings, like when your foot falls asleep and you have to wake it up with the feeling of thousands of pins in it. My whole body aches. The WHOLE thing.
I am a little gripey today.
I have been reading some books written by others who have gone through this. I feel a bit more normal. Personally, I still feel like a psychopath. Apparently though all of this is normal. Some stories make me even look good. I feel like I have done a decent job swallowing undeserved anger towards some things. In all of these things I am reading though, there are common themes of which I can identify -the process of letting go and letting others do, not feeling beautiful (for real!), feeling like your womenhood is at stake, worrying about future (having children, meeting somebody, etc.), trying to stay afloat in your job/school, and just overcoming the fact that your life is different now. Reading these things is sometimes refreshing, sometimes encouraging, and sometimes depressing. Breast cancer truly has affected so many lives.
It is times like this when all a girl wants to do is crawl up on the couch with a container of Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip put in some sappy movie and cry. It is kind of like going through a break-up... emotional and just pretty crappy. There is no ice cream for me. Instead, I grab a blanket, a cup of tea, and start to type.
It is important to me to document this time of my life. I share my writing openly with the chance that somebody else might feel a little more normal because that see somebody else who is struggling. I share my writing so that people will know what to pray about for me. I share my writing to save some poor soul who I would go off on a tangent on otherwise. I write this though for me. One day I am going to look at this and say "See big girl, you got through this." One day...

Friday, September 18, 2009


It is the morning of my second treatment, so a little update...

Physically: I will say I have felt much better physically this week. I drove to school a couple of days. Last night I volunteered at TPAC for Wicked. My muscles are not what they used to be. I pulled the Vespa out of the driveway the other night and swore it was the workout of the year. I cannot pour a gallon container without shaking. I am getting daily naps. Strong.

Emotionally: A doozy of a week. I have cried, gotten angry, been completely joyful, and happy. Bless this mess. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself... like when I see other girls playing with their hair or when I have to miss something at night because I am just too tired. Sometimes I am thankful for the lessons I am learning... to just say "no" sometimes. I feel loved though. Ridiculously loved.

Work: I do love my school! My kiddos have been super good this week. The smell of crabs and frogs has overtaken the 4th grade hallway. It is not for the faint of heart. Maggie and Beth have been so kind to take the kiddos when I have had to leave early this week to get some shots/meds. Today, "Mr.Bateman" will be subbing. The little monsters love him and I am thankful he is around. I am currently at school trying to wrap up some things for the week and get some things together for next week.

Anxiety has taken over to some degree. There are no plans for the weekend and nothing pressing to take care of, but I still feel anxious. Hopefully that will disappear after my treatment. A song came to mind this morning as I tried giving myself a little pep talk. It is one of my favorites and we used to sing it often in China. (Brad also shares a deep love for this song.) It comes from Isaiah 43...

When you pass through the water I will be with you,
And the waves they will not overtake you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
You are mine.
For I am the Lord Your God.
For I am the Holy One of Israel,
your Savior.
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord.
When you pass through the fire I will be with you,
And the flames they will not overcome you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.I
have called you by name.
You are mine.
I am His.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little Things

Some little things I am thankful for today...

Sonic Route 44 Cherry Limeades
Not having to drive to work (spoiled.)
My rocking chair and Auburn pillow (Planning nap time was great!)
Coldplay's Parachutes
Projector in classroom
The nap I will be taking in the car this afternoon :)
Watching the Office (season 5 dvd) tonight with Bethie and Mags
The couch I will be crashing on after school
Scholastic's 50% off sale! (teacher's paradise!!!)
The rain which makes sleeping oh-so-much better

Yes, it is a lazy feeling day of which I plan to partake in as much as I can.

So thankful...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Constant Battle

This weekend was a complete roller coaster emotionally.

Friday and Saturday were quite enjoyable. More on that later...

Sunday and today have been messy. Yesterday I felt on the verge of tears all day. They never really came. I really longed to sit on the porch with God, sit in his lap, be rocked, and just feel strength consume me. Maybe a little childish sounding, but that is what I wanted. Today, I lost it on the ride to school. We hit about a 10 second cry. I really just want to cry because I think I will feel better. I feel like everything is just building up. These quick couple of second cries are becoming normal. When I walked to my classroom, I found these beauties outside of my room along with a note...

"To brighten your day, Beth! May you always see beauty around you. It is everywhere. Love, The K-Team"

Another couple of seconds cry.

Part of the reason why I have been so emotional is because of the outpouring of love I have received. It is truly overwhelming. Truly. To go home and have a mailbox filled with cards, to walk into school and everybody is wearing pink ribbons, to receive emails of encouragement from people I have never met, to be hugged on, to hold hands with... all of these things... it is overwhelming.

I get so frustrated because I am not reaching out the way I normally would. I am tired of not being able to do all the things I want to do. I am tired of being tired, of body aches, of second tears, of being dependent on others for so much, etc.

At the same time, I realize how blessed I am. I do. I am so grateful to be where I am.

This is just a constant battle.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



I have finally figured out the word for what I am.

On Friday, Beth N. and I went to see Julie and Julia right after school. A little over 2 hours later, I left the theater all smiles and wanting to see it again. On Saturday, I purchased My Life in France by Julia Child and Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. On Monday, Amy and I went to see the movie again. I am currently sucked into reading My Life in France. On Saturday, Tiffany and I will be going to see the movie. I cannot get enough!!!

I have always been a sucker for quirky people, blogging, pearls, and cooking. Could a movie be more fitting?!?!! Julia's frankness and enjoyment of life is so endearing. She wears pearls. Had me then. Guess I have my Halloween costume... Julie's personality traits and life events pretty much sum up my life too. Loved her.


How can Hollywood affect me so?

If you want to go see the movie, let me know... I see a movie inspired dinner party in the near future. That would be worth saving up some energy for.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President's Education Speech

This morning, our class listened to President Obama speak directly to students.

President Obama is quite popular among students. Last year during election time, all of my students voted for him. There was a lot of excitement when he won the election. This morning there was the same air of excitement among the kiddos. Several of my students stood and clapped when they first showed the President at the podium.

I was quite thankful that the President's speech was simple enough for my students to understand. He spoke on the importance of student ownership in education. While my students do not understand the ins and outs of a political system, they do see a president who they can identify with (just based on background alone). He does offer them hope.

Now back to crabs and frogs... ugh.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Whoever is happy will make others happy too."
-Anne Frank

Thursday, September 3, 2009


So this morning on the way to school we made a little pit stop at Sonic. (Those Route 44s are a blessing for dry mouth!) The girl who brought my Cherry Limeade was ridiculously chipper. She asked if we were having a good morning and I think I might have glared at her. (Thankfully she could not see my face.) Could not help but stare at her as bound off to do her work.

When I got to school, I walked into my classroom, letting out a huge sigh. "Do I have to be here today?" I am tired. After piddling around, I got to thinking, "what could make me as exuberant as the Sonic carhop?" I pulled out my Good Book for my morning refresher and this was my passage today.

Psalm 117
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.
I am no Sonic chick, but I have good reason to have a little more bounce in my step. Talk about a reason to be happy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009