2.28.2014

Unexpected Emotions


My internet is still down so I'm blogging from my phone again. One week and counting waiting on our new provider to come and do the installation. This whole process is really testing my
patience. One positive of me not having internet would be that my house is now very clean and very organized. Lots of bags have been taken to Goodwill!  

This week marked the 3rd anniversary of Lucy's cancer diagnosis. I have to say that we handled it pretty well..that is until last night. Erik is serving on the newly created Associate Board for LeBonheur Hospital, which held a function for the Board and it's guests. 

The Hospital does a 101 Tour that lasts for about 4 hours but last night we just did the 1 hour tour. We were taking one 4 different floors of the hospital and shown all the ins and outs. I felt like I had a leg up in everyone in attendance, seeing as we have known these areas so intimately in the past. 

We got to the MRI surgery room and I never expected to experience the feelings I did. The MRI Operative Suite is a surgery suite where they can use the MRI while performing the actual surgery. The benefit is that surgeons can tell if they left any tumor behind before they close up a patient. Before there was a chance of multiple surgeries within days. 

Lucy was the 3rd child ever to be operated on this revolutionary piece of
equipment at LeBonheur. 

As I walked in the room I felt this overwhelming need to vomit. Then I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to see it. I wanted to see where my baby layed for 9 hours. I wanted to see where she was cut open from her waist to the top of her head and where she received the scars that haunt me every day. 

Mainly, I just needed to know where the host of angels and the God of all creation protected my child while Dr. Boop, Dr. Chaudry and their amazing team of doctors and nurses fought to give Lucy her life back. 

It was like walking on holy ground. I needed to take my shoes off and stand in reverence. Again, I was not anticipating the emotions that came that night. 

As I think back on the past three years and how they have changed all
of our lives my mind and heart are a whirlwind of emotions. Good, bad, angry, glad. They are all there. I live them every single day. In the end, though, I have Lucy. I have my baby girl. And that's all that matters. 

Lucy's 8th birthday is March 6th. We plan on celebrating big!  But as life has it, three days after her birthday Erik and I will be back in full anxiety mode. Please be in prayer for her and our family as we prepare for another set of scans (March 10th.). 



2.23.2014

Happy Sunday


Weekend highlights:

Basketball season came to an end. Swimming starts tomorrow. In laws were here to visit. Kids were ridiculously spoiled rotten. The house has been loved to death--dirt covered floors from
endless bonfires and marshmallow roasting. Still on cloud nine over our 501(c)3!! 

A special dinner with my hubby followed by a late night of Memphis Tiger basketball


Our modem was taken out by the lightning storm Last weekend and now I'm way behind in everything...Especially blog posts. Oh, well.  God knew I needed to shut down for a little while. 

I hope your weekend was as wonderful
As mine!!


Don't forget about the great sweepstakes on the blog from #maxwellhouseinternationalcafe ending soon!

http://erikandkatekrull.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-spoonful-of-lovin_12.html

2.18.2014

The Worst got Better

Today was a crappy day.  I'll just be honest and say that I've been pretty hacked off since about 9:30 this morning.  In a post to follow I will explain how I got to the point of desperation, but I am currently on day 7.5 of an auto immune elimination diet.  I am following the protocol laid out in Whole 30 as detailed Here.  As I was reading about the plan I was convicted down to the depths of my soul when the author said "Beating cancer is hard.  Choosing to eat healthy is not."

It was the breaking point for me and I have jumped in head first.  Within 3 days of my new eating plan I felt as if I had a new lease on life.  I am NOT exaggerating.  Then, by the next day or two I was beginning to experience some of the old symptoms I had been having.  Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  So, today I went to my allergist for testing for food allergies.

I was honest with her and told her that I was not expecting anything to be positive.  If it was, my money was on corn.  Remember, I already have Celiac Disease so I avoid all gluten products (ie, bread, pasta, cakes, cookies...all things yummy.)


64 pricks and 1 shot of serum couldn't have left me more shocked with the results.  I showed a highly reactive response to peanuts and cashews.  Let me just say, I was floored!  The gut kicker was when the doc said I had to avoid all tree nuts due to cross reactivity.  Now, unless you have adapted to a Gluten free diet or are living Paleo like I am now you might not realize how big of a deal this is to me.  Most of my healthy protein comes in the form of a tree nut.  Cashews, hazelnuts...almonds.  Almonds; as in almond powder, almond milk, almond cheese.  This is a huge blow for me.  

I know I wasn't given a death sentence today and I'm sure I'll get over the disappointment very quickly but man!  This just stinks.  I've pretty much been pouting all day long.  That is until I went to mailbox around 6:00 tonight.  My letter came.  THE LETTER.  I saw a glimpse of the word IRS and starting crying.  My hands starting shaking and my knees buckled.  Best. Moment. Ever.  My 2 year labor of love has finally come to fruition.  

The Go Lucy Go Foundation is officially 
a 501(c)3 organization!!  


 Those of you who eat on alternative food plans, please feel free to leave comments as to what I do now that I can't eat almond flour.  I'm open for suggestions!  I'll leave you with this gratuitous picture of my sweet boy.  Who doesn't ride their bike in a baseball helmet?


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2.17.2014

A Sister


There is nothing in the world like a sister.  That's why I'm happy to be getting a new one.  Sister-in-law, that is.  I still can't believe that my baby brother is getting married.  I remember changing his diaper, watching him learn to love sports and then helping him with high school Calculus.  He is marrying the most precious young lady and we are so excited to welcome her to our family. Here's to the next 8 weeks of wedding festivities!


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2.14.2014

A Spot of Tea

We were privileged to attend a really special fund raiser for LeBoneheur Children's Hospital the other weekend.  It was our second year to attend and we are already looking forward to next year.  The GenerosiTEA party is all about little girls...Lucy's "cup of tea" these days.  (pun intended)



We took several friends from Lucy's class as our guests and these kiddos kept me laughing and smiling all day long.  It thrills my soul to the very core when I see Lucy having fun with children her age.  Social interactions are still sometimes hard for her but she is definitely starting to come out of her shell.


(the big glasses were a hit this year in the photo booth.)


I know the little girls had a great time and I think its safe to say that the big girls had just as much fun.  It's always nice getting to spend time with other mothers on a Saturday afternoon.


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2.12.2014

A Spoonful of Lovin'


This is how I wake up.  Every. Single. Morning.  The alarm goes off at 6:00am.  We both hit snooze at least twice and then it's feet to the floor.  Erik goes downstairs to let Copper out, fix lunches and prepare Lucy's medicine.  I take a shower and then start working on getting the kiddos ready for school.  One of the sweetest parts of the day is that Erik turns the coffee pot on and it's waiting on me when I walk downstairs.  It's the little things, I know.


I don't know about you, but the monotony of the day reminds me of the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray.  Do you ever feel that way?  Well, I was excited when I was given the chance to try Maxwell House International.  You can drink it as a flavored cafe style coffee OR you can add a little romance to your everyday coffee by using it instead of a creamer! I have always used liquid creamer and loved the flavor of Maxwell House International as an instant cafe-style flavored coffee.  But this time I used the French Vanilla as a creamer substitute.  Just a couple of lovin' spoonfuls and yummy richness ensued!  It reminded me of a coffee shop latte and those are my one true addiction.

This week the extra special morning treat has been just the ticket.  With "Ice Storm 2014" baring its teeth in our town we have been stuck inside for 3 days now.  Valentine crafts, marshmallow treats, or as Jack calls them, "Rice Christmas Treats," laundry up to the ceiling and general mayhem has been the call to action.  Not only was I able to still have my daily cup o' joe, but I saved a whole lot of money this week.  Erik will be happy about that.  

Me, the kids, the dog and lots of Maxwell House International French Vanilla.  



Jack is now in that awkward stage of not knowing how to smile for a picture without being silly.


Mornings can be the hardest part of anyone's day.  If you are looking for a way to "spice" up your humdrum mornings this might be the ticket for you.  There is a great tag line Maxwell House International is using right now, "Who Will You Spoon With?"  That's sure to get your morning off to a good start!  There are 11 flavors to choose from, many of them being sugar free.  There is bound to be one to tickle your fancy.  

You can also go HERE to receive a free sample (while supplies last) or coupon.  What's not to love about that?  Go ahead.  Try it!  You never know, you might just add a little "spark" to your morning routine.  

Sweepstakes
Each comment posted will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card.  Tell me which Maxwell House International flavor would you like to try (or spoon with) and the winner might just be you.  There are so many good ones - French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Suisse Mocha, Vanilla Caramel, CafĂ© Vienna, to name a few!
Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/12/13 - 3/24/13.

Be sure to visit the Maxwell House International Page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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2.10.2014

The Remedy for Dry Winter Skin!


I have shared before that I have really dry skin.  I mean really, really dry skin.  
Unfortunately for me, dry skin is something I have to deal with pretty much year round.  My problem is I hate to feel greasy or oily.  I'd rather deal with the dry skin then feel as if I am sliding around in my clothes all day.  I had the opportunity to try two new products by Suave® Body Care.  It's a part of their new Suave Professionals® line and I just love them both.  
First of all, I will admit that I love Suave products.  With very few exceptions, we are Suave® loyalists at my house.  I've tried more expensive products but we always seem to come back to our good ol' standby.  The Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care line includes Body Lotion, which I personally preferred thanks to its non-greasy formula, and a Dry Body Oil Spray.  The Dry Body Oil Spray, in my opinion, is probably more fit for a night on the town or if you are going to be outside.  I felt a little shiny, but I can tell you that even after 3 hand washings with soap my hands still looked great.  
Here's what Suave has to say about their product: "For the first time, Suave® Body Care is launching products in the Suave Professionals® line, offering women everywhere access to premium quality products with the finest skincare ingredients. Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion features authentic argan oil from Morocco, a lightweight miracle oil known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The new premium range leaves skin looking and feeling beautifully silky and radiant.
You can check out their Facebook page and read more about  the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products and let me know what you think.  Is this something you would want to try?  Find more information about at www.Facebook.com/SuaveBeauty.  You can also visit the Suave Beauty Facebook page to get tips for radiant skin, style advice from celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and enter the “Radiant Wishes” sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion products, a spa day or a trip to Los Angeles.
For a chance to win a $1,000 gift card, let me know which of the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products you would most like to try!
Sweepstakes Rules: 
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/7/2014-2/28/2014.

Be sure to visit the Suave Professionals® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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2.08.2014

It Came to Us


I was convinced that this year the only snow we would see would be 2,000 miles away when we made our yearly trip to Colorado.  Looks like we lucked out a little!  This morning we woke up to about 1.5 inches of snow---you would have thought it was 5" the way the kids played today.











You have to understand, this is a really big deal here in West Tennessee.  We NEVER get snow.  We "sledded," built a snowman, roasted marshmallows by the fire and stayed outside until our fingers and toes were numb.  By the time we came inside I think we had used up every little bit of snow in the whole neighborhood.  The weatherman says we may get some more Monday...here's to wishful thinking and fingers crossed.
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2.06.2014

48 Hours

Last Saturday we spent the entire day outside.  The weather was amazing in it's 65 degree glory.  It was such a nice treat to be above freezing for a day.




Copper might have enjoyed the day more than anyone.  He ran around the yard for hours and then collapsed all night.  And oh my goodness!  Look at my baby boy.  This makes me so sad and so proud at the same time.


Two days later and my yard looked like this...



Our town was hit pretty hard by an ice storm, causing thousands to be without power for extended periods of time.  Thankfully we never lost power but we were prepared for the worst. We are all sleeping in the same room right now, air mattresses and everything.  We have some really large trees around our house and I'm a nervous wreck that one of those branches will fall on the kids' rooms.  I know that is not likely to happen but I just don't like to take chances.

The kiddos are going back to school tomorrow for the first time since Tuesday at noon.  I have loved having time with them; time well spent in pajamas in front of the fire.  Days like these remind me, however, how nice it is to be able to get outside and play!  We've been busy with lots of Valentine crafts and baking but the walls are starting to close in just a little bit.  I think we will all be glad to get back into a regular routine tomorrow.



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2.04.2014

Can You Cartwheel?


I have to admit that I feel super "techy" writing this post for Target.  I'm not usually too hip on current trends but this is one bandwagon I have really jumped on.  I wish I could say that I was a coupon clippin' Momma, but sadly I'm not.  I want to be...I've gone through all the motions, but I just can't seem to get my act together.





The other day I ran into Target because, well, how in the world would I travel to Memphis and NOT go into Target?  I try to avoid the temptation but the sirens always lure me in!  I always make it a point to check out the little boy's clothes since it seems as if Jack is growing at an ever rapid rate.  As I was looking through the clearance rack a grandmotherly woman said "Hey, do you use this Cartwheel app.?"  Well, I immediately felt rather embarrassed seeing as she was clearly new to the whole smart phone phenomena and was going to town with this Target app.  She showed me what it could do and I instantly made my way over to iTunes.

Here's how it works.  You download the app from either iTunes, the Android app store or by following this link http://tgt.biz/TargetCartwheel_A123.  You can log in with your email address or your Facebook account.  I don't like that that the app will post to your timeline, but it does track the number of your friends who also have the app and you can gain even more discounts that way.

Once I installed the app, I opened it and starting scanning the items in my basket.  Seriously, it was that easy.  If there was a coupon or discount associated with the item then it would ask me if I wanted to apply it.  Yes please.  Some items did not have a coupon and you simply moved on. What's cool is that when I opened my Cartwheel account tonight the items that weren't discounted while I was shopping had a discount active now.  It was like a reward for buying something I was going to purchase anyway.  See?





After I had scanned all my items and I was done shopping all I had to do was take my phone to the cashier and she scanned my Cartwheel barcode.  (barcode, upper right, below)  Like magic, all my discounts were applied and Bam!  Instant riches.  Nah, just kidding.  But I did save $3.00.  


                             
                           




The Target Cartwheel app is super easy to use and I'll admit I'm having fun with it.  Before my next trip to Memphis I will take just a few minutes to go the Cartwheel home page and upload more discounts.  You'll have to let me know if you try this app and what you think
about it.  





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For a chance to win a $1,000 Target GiftCard® answer the following question in the comments below: What is your favorite offer in the Target Cartwheel app?

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 - 2/28.
Be sure to visit the Target Cartwheel brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!