Friday, October 30, 2009

Zoo Fieldtrip

On Wednesday, the fourth graders were off to the zoo. The Nashville Zoo is one of my favorite fieldtrips. This year was especially fantastic when I hear the laughter of my kiddos when they heard the monkeys screeching. So cute!

"Mr.Justin" was a chaperone and I decided to have a little friendly competition. The boys took off with Mr. J and the girls went off with me. The challenge was to read the signs and remember as many facts as possible. The girls loved looking at the maps to see where the animals were from. It is always exciting for them to see animals from the kids' native countries. When we made our fact sheets the next day, it was quite obvious the girls won. The boys came up with one fact and the girls came up with seventeen. ;) There were pictures from the boys camera that were proof that learning was encouraged. ;)

Before we went to play on the massive "jungle gym", we stopped at the parakeet landing. Let me just say, having no hair makes for a much more uncomfortable pecking.

It really was a great day at the zoo, but I was oh-so-glad to make it to the couch when I got home.

No Treatment

No chemo today because my blood count was too low yesterday.

Gave these babies a little pep talk while getting ready at bathroom mirror this morning.

As soon as they are back up then I can have my next treatment.

Pray that it is soon because I am sooo ready to be done with all of this mess.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Judge Me...

My iTunes account is looking a little uncharacteristic of my amazing taste in music.

Here is what I downloaded today...

I and Love and You album by the Avett Brothers (what took me so long?!!?)
Thriller by Michael Jackson (classic... one day I will learn the dance)
Life Let Go album by SafetySuit (really, really love song "Find A Way"... It is on repeat for hours!)
"Peanut Butter Jelly Time" by Chip-Man (this really is a song)
"Single Ladies" by Beyonce (oh, it gets worse my friends...)
"Boom Boom Pow" by Black Eyed Peas (you will find me doing Zumba moves in my classroom now...sigh)
"Cupid Shuffle" (haven't listened to this yet, but judging my 4th graders love for it, I will probably hate it)
"The Boys Are Back" from High School Musical soundtrack (cringing!!!!)
"Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus (there are no words. truly.)

I own a Miley Cyrus song. Endtimes must be near. ;)

In my defense, the last songs are for my 4th graders dance party we are having this afternoon. I was to make a "clean" dance mix of songs they like. Talk about a difficult job.

Yesterday, I took up a piece of paper from one of my students that had the lyrics to "Kiss Me Through The Phone." ELL students cannot say "thank you" but "sexy" is one of their favorites. Sigh.

This mix cd task made me feel old for a second. Who is this Soulja Boy guy? What is P.Diddy's name now or is he even still around?

Thankfully, I snapped back to the reality that it is not a bad thing that I don't know these songs and artists. It means I have good taste. I find comfort in the fact that my radio only knows Lighting 100 and NPR. My iTunes is chock full of great tunes from Springsteen to Journey to Ryan Adams to Coldplay. Dave Matthews Band and The Features will always be my favorite bands. And Justin Timberlake is my guilty pleasure. ;)

Don't judge me...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Game Face

Sometimes it is just hard to put on your game face and pretend everything is okay.

This applies to life as well as Titans football.

Hoping to get my game face on today...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daytrip to Lynchburg

Last Thursday, Katie, Beth N. and I headed out of the city to Lynchburg, Tennessee.

At the last minute, we were able to snag a reservation at Miss Mary Bobo's for lunch. Miss Bobo's is quite the place! Each person is assigned a room where they will eat family style with other strangers. We table has a hostess that explains the meal and gives a short history of the house and town. We feasted on country ham, fried chicken, fried okra, squash casserole, apples in Jack, pinto beans, and all kinds of fantastic Southern yummies. We chatted with some Southern belles from Georgia, a family who was making their semi-annual trip, and other Nashvillians. By the time we managed to choke dessert down, we had to be practically rolled from the room. Some super good eats!!!

After lunch, we opted for walking to the Jack Daniels distillery for a tour. Our guide had an amazing Southern accent that had us in giggles. Because the distillery is in a dry county we were not able to partake in any whiskey drinking, but did enjoy a nice glass of lemonade after our tour. I now feel a little more knowledgeable about whiskey and enjoyed hearing stories of the famous Southern gentleman Jack who died by kicking his safe!

We enjoyed our scenic ride home listening to some country tunes and soaking up the good weather. Lynchburg, Miss Bobo's, Jack's, and good girlfriends really did make for the perfect daytrip!

Summary of Fall Break

Fall break was great!

Katie was here for the week.

(more later...)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Why does the dentist use the word "pressure"? Why does he not call it what it really is - pain?

At least he looks a little like Anderson Cooper.

I threw up twice. Thankfully not on him. Embarrassing nevertheless. Metallic taste was just too much.

Stopped after cleaning just the bottom teeth. He is going to order instruments made out of a material other than metal so we can finish. Strong.

"Dentist" can finally be marked off my list of things to do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009


On the way to school in another downpour I was relieved.

This time last year, I taught in a portable. On a day like today it would have had hundreds of little muddy footprints all over the place, students (and myself) would be slipping from the gathered water puddles on the floor, and the constant wet/dry clothes from tromping to the school building for activities.

Now I sit snugly in my big classroom. We can watch the rain from our tiny window and proceed with our day nice and dry. Sometimes we don't even realize it is raining. Strong.

Saying little prayer of thanksgiving this morning...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tiggered Thoughts

So I have been reading this book called "I'm Too Young To Have Breast Cancer" by Beth Leibson-Hawkins. It makes me feel normal.

Recently, I have let my schedule get really busy. I think it has helped my spirits somewhat, but after having an evening at home tonight I am realizing how tired I am. It is a real struggle to balance my busyness that I am accustomed to and getting real rest. The book I am reading is full of stories about women going through the same battle. Some women have come to realize that being still is nice and they take drastic actions to slow down. Others keep doing what they have always done. This is my tendency. It makes me (and the women) feel more alive and more like the person I was pre-cancer.

My life feels turned upside down. I find myself needing to sit down more. There is a noticeable change in my arm strength. I almost cried when I could not hold my nephew Jakson for more than just a few minutes. My face is breaking out again. I find myself getting more impatient. After walking on Saturday, I could not move the rest of the day. This is not me. It is not who I want to be.

I know things will change. I know they will get better. Pep talks are huge and needed. I have not gone to my support group lately. I haven't felt like it. I am thankful the girls still come to my treatments though. I just don't want to be in a group setting talking about cancer right now. I am starting counseling next week. Hopefully, one on one will be more beneficial. I find encouragement in the books, blogs, and articles I read. There is hope for good things after all there is a lot of good surrounding me now. I just need to keep in mind the physical stuff will change again.

Change... I think that sums up my life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cake Decorating

Tried my hand at cake decorating to celebrate some big events for my friends. Let's just say I'm no Martha Stewart when it comes to making cakes. It's the thought that counts!
Our friend, Daniel loves corn. In honor of his birthday...

Our friend, Josh will be receiving a saucer for his achievement. From us, he gets...

(Yes, that says "200" not "zoo" ;) )

Love you both.

Fall Is In The Air...

Sunday afternoon at Owen Brothers Farm in Chapmansboro, Tennessee...



Cool Weather and Good Friends,

Fall is in the air.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Race for the Cure

This morning we got up early and headed to Maryland Farms for the the Race for the Cure. It was amazing to see so many people turn out for the cause. I heard there were over 12,000 people who came!

After parking what seemed forever away, we met up with the rest of "Beth's Buddies" team. We definitely were the best-looking team with our great shirts! I did not truly plan on completing the race, but I did cross the finish arm with arms linked with my friend Robyn. The teammates who had got much further ahead than slowpoke Beth were there cheering loudly. While it was a good feeling, it was a tad sad thinking that this time last year I was running in races. Nothing to be ashamed of through after a chemo treatment yesterday.

Along the way, I met and talked with two other survivors. One woman, Robin (not my Robyn) came up and put her arm around me. She is finishing her treatments on Monday. :) She was super sweet. Another survivor raved about our shirts. She has been a survivor for 12 years and was walking strong. She reminded me that better days are ahead. Personally, I thought today was a good day.

I really can never complain about being supported, when I have so many who encourage me daily. Thanks to all of those who came out to the race, donated, or just showed support in whatever way you could. Overwhelmed with love.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Busy Weekend

Three days of fun events!

Last Friday night, we headed to the Ryman for two great bands. The Plain White T's were opening for Snow Patrol. I was so excited to see the Plain White T's because "Hey There Delilah" is one of my top ten songs. Great memories of singing this song at the top of my lungs in the car with Caitlin and then of course "Hey There Beth Quarles". Snow Patrol was pretty good too. We had seen them open for Coldplay a few months ago. They are surprising because you just don't realize how many songs they have that you already know. They did play some of their new songs from their album coming out in November and I wasn't as impressed. Overall, fun show and good tunes.

On Saturday, I had to go to a training for Metro for hours. Ugh. But the day quickly got better because I got to go to the Auburn/UT game! Justin and I headed to Knoxville to be one of the few screaming "War Eagle." After watching UT play, there might be some more Auburn fans. With the score of 26 to 20, Auburn winning, I was a happy girl. We couchsurfed which was an entirely different experience than my past surfings. The quick trip ended well with a stop in Cookeville to have lunch with Caitlin. We also made the first Christmas ornament purchase of the season. :)

When we got back to Nashville, I had time for a quick shower and then it was off to the circus with Brad. I am always amazed at how the circus has become such a big part of my life. (Mostly thanks to Brad.) Honestly, even though this was a cheap production of a circus, it was one of the best. We got to see elephants, tigers, motorcycles, trapeze artists, and a 67 year old human cannonball. Amazing.

It really was a fun weekend, but required some recovery. I truly am a blessed girl to be able to get to do such fun things and be surrounded by such good people.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

International Milk Day 2009

It's here again...

Happy International Milk Day!

This is the fourth annual day of celebration.

We did it up big in Miss Quarles' class. Our "Mystery Word of the Day" was calcium. We drank milk and enjoyed Sideways Stories From Wayside School. At the end of the day, we filmed a short video. (The Spanish and Arabic can be translated as "We love milk.")

Tonight Amy, Brad, and I will be getting milk-faced.

This is dedicated to all of those who have lived/live in the Middle Kingdom and know what it means to really appreciate milk.

To my fellow Yichangren... Wish we could all be together to celebrate over a glass of milk. Thinking of you all today with much love.