Lately, i've been in the mist of thinking of a lot of things. I think that it's due to the fact it's January and i've always felt that January is a great time for self reflection and the deep thinking stuff. Leave it to me to kick off the year with this deep thinking stuff. This January, for many reasons, i seem to be consumed with thoughts of mainly one subject:
It has consumed me lately, thoughts of this disease. I hate that it's such a big part of my life, my thoughts and to the life and thoughts of those around me. I hate that i know more about cancer than i ever wanted to know. I hate that i know about the Sara Cannon Center, about MD Anderson, about Vanderbilt's program and about experimental "options". I hate how it not only touches the lives that it invades, but how it changes lives forever. I hate how we all have the 'cancer cells' but that they 'turn' on for people sometimes without reason or rhyme. I hate how cancer can go away, be "cured", and then, years later (or sooner) come back into someones life. I hate that i actually have suggestions for caretakers of cancer patients on ways to help them eat, or how to maybe feel better and how to watch for certain things. I hate that i read about cancer and how i hate that i look to see if there is anything new that could help a cancer patient.
Because that "cancer patient" is some one's wife, some one's daughter, some one's mother, some one's sister, some one's aunt or uncle, some one's father, some one's husband or some one's child....it seems that cancer isn't picky about who it picks.
Oh, and of course, i hate how no one has figured out a way to rid us of this disease.
I sometimes want to scream till my throat hurts: "How is it that we can put a man on the moon, travel in space, make a car that runs on electricity and yet, cancer is still in our world?" or how about this one: "Really?!? We can have a trillion dollar deficit, but we can't have a cure for all cancers?!?!" I know, i know, i know....cancer is a difficult enough of a disease to figure out much less treat.
But i wish....
Well, you know what i wish...
My sweet Grandma.
My Tio, Jose Luis.
I wish that i had a magic wand sometimes to cure cancer. Or at the very least, a big stick to beat it away.
Cancer has shown me just how immature, how horribly immature, my faith can be. It's truly embarrassing, you know. I find myself wanting to "make deals" with God when faced with a loved one's cancer or a friend's cancer. Almost like i'm on that game show, Let's Make a Deal? Or the "Please-Take-This-Person-Not-That-Person" game?
"God, please, please, please cure my friend's father. Isn't there someone else who deserves to die more than my friend's father? If you need some names...."
Yes, i have prayed that. More than once, i'm afraid.
And i know that it's wrong to pray that. And i know that it's horribly immature to pray that. I truly hope that God sees past my childish prayers and outbursts and understands. But, sometimes, anger finds a way to creep in when i'm thinking about what cancer is doing to someone i love, or to a friend's family member. Anger creeps in when i realize that there isn't anything i can do to help, other than give hugs, send notes and just be there.
Praying, leaving and trusting in God is the best thing to do during these times; i know this. In fact, i have come to understand that it may be the only thing to do.
For He does have a plan.
Even if i struggle to understand it.
Monday, January 31, 2011
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 4:16 PM
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
...that literally take "my" breath away.
These three black and white photo are a snap-shot into our mornings. Emma, in her favorite monkey pjs, being chased by my husband who is acting as the "Tickle Monster". Through the house Emma, Pachi and Robert run, giggling hysterically until the "Tickle Monster" catches Emma and Pachi.
And moments after being caught by the Tickle Monster, the chase begins again; round and round the three of them go, over and over again, Emma with her little girl screams, Robert with his "monster" noises and Pachi swinging from his tail or ears. Poor Pachi is usually being held by one of his ears or his tail (which is barely hanging on, btw) as Emma runs and laughs her belly laugh as she is chased by Robert.
These are the moments that i try to close my eyes and memorize. I try to memorize the smell of fruit loops, the smell of Emma and Robert, the sound of my little daughter laughing and running and my husband, who i fall in love with over and over again as he chases her. I want to hold onto these moments because i know how fast moments move through our lives and just how fast life can change in one of those moments.
I am always terrified that something will happen that is out of my control and these types of moments will stop forever. Perhaps that's why i try to hang on so desperately to the moments that take my breath away. Perhaps that's why i always try to have my camera in hand, to capture the moments. I hang on to my daughter, my husband, and my life like a drowning woman sometimes, terrified that i will loose it all to some unknown force. I worry that God won't be looking at the exact moment that this 'disaster' strikes and my life will forever be changed and i will loose these two cherished ones that i consider "mine" and my happy life.
The truth is, neither my daughter or my husband are "mine".
They are entrusted to me, to take care of, to love, to cherish by God. They are gifts. His gifts to me. And no matter how desperately i hang on to both of them, they will never be "mine".
They are His.
Just as i am.
I recently have realized that hanging on so desperately to my moments out of fear with my family takes the joy out of those moments. For me to think that i have control of my life or that these two that i love are "mine" isn't smart or wise, either. I am entrusted by God to take care of both of them, cherish both of them and love both of them as best as i can. And i am to cherish the moments that i am given with them as a gift...
...a gift from God.
I know all about God's gift of eternal life for us. I know that He loves us so much that He gave His son for us. I know that things happen to people for reasons that i don't understand and struggle with, but that God understands. I know that i am to trust God with all my heart and soul. But i sometimes find myself wanting to "help" God with "my" ideas of how i think things should be in the world and in my life. I tend forget, it seems, that He has a plan for each of us and truly, does not need my help or input with any of it
Although i think and say that i trust God with all my heart and soul, do i?
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." ~Isaiah 41:10
"Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." ~Psalm 2:12
"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." ~Psalm 27:14
In my quiet moments now, i am a student again, learning and reading my bible. I am immature in my faith, wanting to "help" God, wanting to change things to suit me. Learning for me, is a slow process, reading the bible and learning about it can be a challenge; but it has also been almost like an awakening of my soul. I am learning how to let go, learning how to truly trust God entirely and not just let that be a sentence that comes from my mouth that sounds good. I am slowly learning to let the moments in my life continue to take my breath away, not be fearful of the unknown, and to truly not only put God first but to trust Him fully.
It's hard to teach these things if you don't know them yourself, you know. A child knows when your bluffing or when you don't have a clue about what you're talking about. I have to get this right, teaching Emma about God and how to study His word. It's one of the most important thing as a parent that i can teach her.
I want to be the one to teach Emma not only about how amazing God is, how amazing His grace is, how amazing His love is for us...
...but how thankful and grateful we should be to Him for all of those moments in our lives that He gives us that take our breath away.
Because if we think those moments He gives us here on earth are amazing and take our breath away, can you imagine how awesome and breath taking it will be to stand before Him when our time comes?
Truly a moment to look forward to...
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 11:33 PM
Saturday, January 22, 2011
....with this cake from "I am Baker".
Amanda, my friends, has the most amazing blog, full of photos and yummy things. You can find her HERE. Trust me, you'll want to visit her site with a cup of hot chocolate with no one to bother you, it's that amazing of a blog. I love a blog with ideas, recipes, and amazing photos. Amanda has all of those things. I truly wish i knew her and that we were BBFs. :)
Back to this beauty of a cake...
I'm not sure if it's the pink icing, the pink polka-dots or what, but i love this cake. I may even be in lust with this cake.
Emma's birthday is coming up.
She'll be four.
I won't go there right now about her turning four...
Emma tells me that she wants a 'chocooowate cwake"....
Maybe this cake, with chocolate inside....
Maybe i can pull this off....
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 6:57 PM
Friday, January 21, 2011
I'm sorry for the poor quality of the photo; my camera phone isn't as good as the real one. But this recipe, is really yummy....and even better, it can be made the night before and put in the refrigerator till your ready to bake the next morning. I love to share recipes that i find like this!
ummm, well, actually, i didn't "find" the recipe. It found me! At Fellowship Bible Church, i belong to the MOMs Together group. I get to bake for the meetings and this is one of the awesome, fix-ahead recipes that i got assigned.
Anyways, back to the Breakfast Bake....and how yummy it is and fat-free.
Got ya there, didn't i? It's not a fat-free breakfast casserole. I don't even know if there might be a 'healthy breakfast casserole'...i'm sure that there is, maybe, but, well, is it as yummy as this one?
So, it's not the friendly, Weight Watcher kinda breakfast. Unless you only have one fork-full. Trust me, though, you won't be able to have just "one" fork-full of this thing for breakfast!
4 1/2 cups seasoned croutons (i used 'herb seasoned')
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion- chopped/diced
1/4 cup chopped/diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped/diced green pepper
1 jar (4 1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
8 eggs (Oh my....)
4 cups milk (I used 2% milk)
1 teaspoon salt (i cut this to half)
1 teaspoon ground mustard (GROUND MUSTARD!)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (yes, that's EIGHT strips)
Sprinkle croutons, cheese, onion, peppers and mushrooms into greased(i sprayed the pan with PAM) 9x13 pan. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, mustard and pepper. Slowly pour over vegetables. sprinkle with bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, bake at 350 for 45-60 min, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
It makes a good breakfast dinner, too....
Back to my snow day, pj wearing activities...
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 4:34 PM
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I am sometimes jealous of the relationship that Robert has with Emma. I don't tell him this, of course, and i am thrilled that they are 'Two peas in a pod" but still, the little green monster sometimes shows up for me when i see how well the two of them mesh.
I am, sigh, a 'Helicopter Mommy'. I try not to be, and i think that i'm getting better at setting limits on myself
I apparently come from a long line of Helicopter Mamas. My sweet Mama was also a Helicopter Mama and i do remember, quite clearly, doing everything in my power to break away from her as early as i could. You would think that knowing this, i would lay off, but nope. I continue to think that Emma "needs" me to rescue/help/smother her.
I'm a slow learner, i know.
Robert, on the other hand, encourages Emma to go higher, run faster, swing higher, try this or that, touch this and that, and
I also remember Robert standing behind Emma on the stairs as she tried to climb up them. He would actually LET her try to do it herself! I totally thought that i had married an insane man at that point. She couldn't even walk and he was trying to show her how to climb! Of course, she mastered the stairs in no time and hasn't looked back since
Maybe it's a good thing that he is the way he is and that i'm the way i am with Emma.
She'll learn to be daring, independent and strong from him and she'll learn to hang on to things for dear life from me. That's a good mix, right?
I do know that when she's sick, i'm
Okay, okay, she wants Robert, too when she's sick, but she asks for me first!
Emma is almost four now, you know. Her birthday is coming up.
Not a baby anymore.
Not a toddler anymore.
But a little girl who, thanks to her Daddy, will have a zest for life and a infectious laugh to go with it as she sings her "Jewus lowes me" songs.
And that's an amazing type of woman to grow up to be....even if they both have to drag me, kicking and screaming, along with them while i watch my little Emma grow up.
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 2:40 PM
Monday, January 17, 2011
This weekend i was a lucky woman.
I got to take photos of Jillian. And i took LOTS of photos of Jilli-Bean, too.
Jillian is Luke and Rachel's yummy daughter.
She's nine months old and is one of the most beautiful babies that i've ever seen.
From the top of her head to her cute toes, this little one is a doll.
But i'm only sharing these three photos because i haven't shared all of the photos with her Mommy. I think that these three are my favorite photos from the weekend.
I think they are my favorite....no, maybe the other one where she's got this ginormous pink bow....or the one where she's trying to kiss her Dada....no, maybe the one of her giggling....
It was hard to pick just three photos to share!
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 2:47 PM
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Since i saw the sign for "Paint + Canvas", i've been wanting to visit them. I knew that i would more than likely have to go alone, but i was okay with that. In fact, i was actually excited about going alone. That way, i wouldn't look at my neighbor's painting
trying to copy and make sure that mine was better like i was five years old and i would pay attention to mine.
The class was a small one. Which i was thankful for as i was pretty sure that i would paint like i draw: horribly. But Amy (the instructor and owner) was awesome. She would walk the room, talking and giving hints, explaining the different brushes. I think that what surprised me the most was that in a class of five people, all five paintings were different. The five paintings were all of trees, but each tree was different.
Another surprise was just how relaxing it was to just paint. To get lost in the colors and the canvas and just create. While my tree wouldn't win any "First Time Awesome" awards, it's a keeper and will be hanging in my laundry room where i'll be sure to see it
because it seems that i spend a lot of time there on most days .
My next visit to Paint + Canvas is next Monday.
We're doing the Snowman.
♡ Scribbled by -Claudine at 3:28 PM