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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

8 more weeks?!

Looks like about 8 weeks left...seeing Braxton gives the three of us baby-fever!! I have been feeling great, a little hard to get out of bed each morning - my eyes aren't ready to open when my alarm goes off! I think I feel a little more pregnant each day! A few of you have been asking for pictures - so I thought I better post!

Welcome to the World Baby Boy!!!

Welcome to the world Braxton John!!
This little bundle of joy was born to Chad's little sister, Amanda, and her husband Brad on Monday, April 27th!! He was born around 12:35pm, weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and is 20" long! Everyone seems to be doing well!!! Feel free to send Amanda, Brad, and Braxton well wishes here - I will send her here to check the messages!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

what a princess!

First of all, were all right on the picture. I had no idea it would be so obvious, I guess I will have to try harder next time! That picture promted a phone call from my sister saying "last time I saw you, you weren't protruding so much...I guess I need to come see you"! What EXACTLY was that supposed to mean Rachelle?!!

This was a busy weekend for us. On Saturday Chad's grandma got married in Genoa. Charli was the flowergirl, she was adorable. I have never seen her look this cute! Chad's cousin also got married in Norfolk, so after his grandma's ceremony and reception we made the trip to Norfolk to take part of some of that reception as well. Charli was shy at first and said she was too little to dance, but once she warmed up to the environment she wanted to dance! She danced a little with Chad, and then with me! She was funny and had to tell me exactly how to hold my hands, etc. She was tired when we got home!!

Today we took off for an auction by Humphrey that our Relay For Life team was doing a fundraiser at, with three other teams. We hosted the lunch stand!! It was a long day, I was there from about 9:30 - 6:00...we were so lucky that the rained stopped mid-morning, it made a much better day for everyone!! Because of the rain and the big day Charli had on Saturday, Chad and Charli took off around noon to head home, they got to play together at home!

Just a reminder that if anyone wants/needs Charli's Angels shirts this year to let me know ASAP while we still have them!!!

Hope everyone has a great week!! My feet are tired ;-)

PS. we were told on Monday morning that someone saw Charli on TV from the Relay at Wesleyan last weekend!!

possibly the last family picture we will have of just three of us?!

Chalrli and her stylist!

she must have liked her hair...she was shocked to see it in the mirror! cute!

did anyone think she had this much hair?!! curls are deceiving!!

Chad and Charli were practicing with her flowers!

she is so in love with her grandma and grandpa!

the newlyweds!!

i guess she is past the stage where she will just look at the camera and actually smile!!!

enjoying her very special surprise from grandma after walking up the aisle so nicely!

sitting at the 2nd wedding reception of the night watching the big kids dance!

Friday, April 24, 2009

guess this picture...

To take an idea from my friend Rachelle (Joey's blog to the right)...guess this object!

Cancer Mom

I don't think I have posted this before, maybe I have. I read it on Ila's blog...and wanted to share. Sometimes I think that because it has been nearly two years that we have gone without having to actively be in this fight...that I am not longer one of "these" moms. But, the truth of the matter is, I will always be one of "these" moms. And, although I would have rather Charli not suffer...and I would rather not live with the daily agony of the unknown...I am honored that I am one of "these" moms. I have learned so much from this journey...and while I know we are one of the very lucky families out there, and we don't even know a fourth of what "it" could have been like...we still know. I read this poem and I thought - please God I hope I never have to be snapped back into this world...but God forbid it happens, I know we can do it because He has surrounded us with amazing people to lift us up and make it possible for us. For that, we thank YOU.

Cancer moms

I belong to a special group of women
My friends and I have an amazing bond.
We never wanted to be in this group,
Yet we are in, for life.
Maybe we have met,
maybe we haven’t,
Yet our love for each other is boundless.
We know the pain the other one feels,
And we share our victories small or huge.
Words like chemo, IV, Zofran , bald heads
Are always parts of our conversations,
As well as roidrage, tears, and meltdowns…
We always know where the closest puke bucket is ,
We can hold it in one hand and if necessary,
Swallow the sandwich the other hand was holding.
We can drive to the hospital,
Park in the dark parking garage
Make our way thru the halls of the hospital
And to the appropriate floor,
Settle in a room, turn the TV on,
Give instructions to the head nurse,
Silence loud beeping IV pumps,
Direct a wagon AND an IV pole
To the playroom without hitting anything
Make our way back to the correct room
And all this, mind you,
With our eyes closed at any given time.
We know how to draw blood from lines
Sticking out of little kids chests.
We can hold them down with one hand,
While a nasogastric tube is inserted in their little nose,
And be on the phone with their dads at the same time.
We can live for days on hospital food,
And on maybe only one meal a day.
We know the names of up to 20 different drugs,
Their purpose, dosage and time to be taken.
We are always on call,
24 hours a day,
Seven days a week.
We are used to not always looking our best,
Hard to do with only a few hours of sleep.
Make up, hair styling, skirts are words of the past.
We have become addicted to texting, hospital,
clinic, home, wherever…
We talk sometimes at all hours of the night,
We know we can count on someone to be up.
Then for one of us, the world stops .
She has to walk away, broken.
This job is over.
The job is over, but the fight is on.
Remember, I said we were in this forever.
We are friends, sisters, temporary nurses,
We are each others rock, each others punching bag,
We listen, we vent, we cry, we laugh together.
We share our lives and our deaths
We share our pain and our victories.
We are strong, but not by choice,
Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose,
But never are we defeated.
We are not nurses
We are not doctors,
We are cancer moms…

(found on another NB child's site)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We went to our first Relay For Life of 2009 this weekend! We participated in the Relay at Wesleyan with my oldest nephew Andrew, his girlfriend, and his team "Relay Militia"!! During their opening ceremonies they played a short video of local and national pictures. The very first picture was a 3-4 year old little girl, and Charli said very loudly "it's me mommy"! It made everyone laugh, but made me tear up! We took the survivor lap with Charli, and not to sound like "one of those moms", but at every corner we heard people whisper "oh, she is so little...she is so cute!". It is flattering when I hear people whisper that - but it is also very weird to know they are talking about you right in front of or behind you!! But, anytime you see someone so little wearing purple at a Relay is going to cause a lot of conversation.

Saturday we took off from Lincoln to Omaha to take Charli to Kids Explore...we had never been but enjoyed! It is basically an event to market to parents, but where each business really grabs the attention of the kids! It works for the kids...and since we are not in the Omaha area we didn't have to feel bad or tempted to spend our money at those businesses!! Charli got her hand painted, a flower balloon bracelet, a fun penguin pillow, and lots of goodies!! She ate a pretty good breakfast at the hotel but before lunch she had: a sucker, M&M's, ice-pop, icecream bar, icecream with chocolate, and more!! So, needless to say she didn't eat a "great" lunch!!! She had a good time though :-)

Sunday was pretty much dad's day! She helped Chad wash cars and play outside! She really wanted to be outside today, who can blame her!!

She has been saying some super funny things the past few weeks - which I have forgot to here is the short and favorite list!!
-While sharing fruit snacks with Chad, he gave her the last one and she looked him right in the eyes and said "are you kidding me?"!!!!
-I bought apple juice and she grabbed it, loving on it - saying how much she loved apple juice and thanking me for it! At a random time a few hours later she said "thank you for buying me two apple juice mom! I am so proud of you!"
-she is calling anything good "delicious"! But she said it DEEE-LICIOUS!!

showing off her art from the day!! She was bummed when it washed off!

our little Indian! One of the vendors gave out these little hats - she didn't mind wearing it!

our little scaredy-cat!! She was scared of the fish in the big tank!!

well...they aren't black and whites, but according to Webster they are still considered cows :-)

showing her flower bracelet and new penguin pillow! It is so cute!! She had lots to pick from and picked this little guy!

I bet Chad will purchase these soon, mega-super-duper legos!!

on our way into the Kids Explore

Emily, Andrew, and Charli at the Relay!

Charli was being so shy!!

I think Andrew enjoyed having Charli there...we were glad we went!

the oldest Borg grandson...and the youngest Borg granddaughter

the luminary bag on the track for Charli!

just the three of us...we don't have many pictures like this!!

Lynn had her hair SO cute for the night!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Relay For Life

Hey everyone...just wanted to pass some information along!!

The Charli's Angels team had shirts made again this year. They are ORANGE with the same awesome design my friend made last year (the silhouette of Charli to look like the three Chalri's angels). They are only $10 again this year with all proceeds being donated to our ACS Relay For Life team. If anyone would like a shirt please leave a message with a way to reach you (email is best!!) and we can work out the details!! I imagine an extra two bucks would cover shipping, so we can send them anywhere!!! They are a fun color and I can't wait to wear mine :-)

Also, if anyone out there has not yet been contacted but would like to purchase a luminary in honor or memory of someone, please let me know. The cost of a luminary is $10. I can and will decorate any bags for the event so just let me know the name and if you have a special message to write on them. Again...please leave me a message or send an email to coordinate this information! As an example someone purchased a few in Charli's name with the requested message to read "God is working", I thought that was awesome!! Other messages have been to parents, grandparents, friends, family, etc. You are very welcome to post someones name and not a message too...the bag is totally up to you! We want to honor the person you love, just just tell us how we can do that!!

The Relay is just over two months away, and I am so excited! I know my role at the actual event will not be as planned or as envisioned last year, since I will be playing the roll of mom of a newborn, but that has not knocked the wind out of my sails for the event at all!! I am just as excited to be a part of it!!!

Anyway - all for now! Just remember that if you want a shirt, or to donate to the Relay, contact me as soon as you can! The shirts are 100% on a first come first served basis and I would HATE for someone to get left behind!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! I have a few days worth of stuff to talk about, so I will hit Easter last :-)

On Friday Charli and I went out to the farm to watch the girls while Rachelle was at the dentist. After a little nap (Charli...Ryen is too big to nap she told me!!) and Grandma got home they decorated eggs together!! Later in the afternoon Colton came over for an Easter Egg hunt with grandpa and everyone had a good time!!

On Saturday we went to visit the Busselman's in Lindsay for some more egg decorating and just "hanging out"! Charli wasn't "into" the eggs much this year. She was good with them, but not that excited about the process, but I bet next year will be different! I think all in all she did nearly 5 dozen I guess the novelty does dwindle!! After supper Uncle Brad wanted to take Charli to see the firetruck! You will see pictures from that! Although, once they got in the truck and took a drive she seemed more interested in a slide they drove by...but rest assured Uncle Brad - she is STILL talking about the fire truck and how it says "whoop-whoop" and she pumps her arm up and down like she is pulling the horn herself!

Charli woke up to find eggs leading her into the living room and to a great-big basket of Easter Bunny goodies! She enjoyed finding the eggs, but wanted to put all the real eggs inside the plastic eggs...and some just wouldn't fit! We left for church, which Charli was great for, and Charli got to see lots of little friends there! Many of the daycare kiddos go to the same church! One of her daycare friends even came to get her for the children's story and helped her find an egg with jelly beans in it!! She did a great job in church.

When we got home we discovered the Easter Bunny came to our house AGAIN! He left eggs in our front yard while we were in church, Charli was so surprised and excited to find that "each one has candy too mommy"!

The church message was great, I always know that when I tear up in church, I get it. Our pastor talked about writing our own ending to things, and how we have to have faith that God always wins. In his message, because his wife was recently diagnosed with cancer, he said "there may even come a time when you visit your doctor and hear that the scans show irregular results". Of course that hit home to me. He followed that up by saying, but when you write your own ending in your heart, you know that even that doesn't mean it is the end. God allows us to write our own endings in our heart, making each "downfall" a simple new opportunity for goodness in our lives. I looked at Charli reading her Dora book and snacking on the jelly beans from his children's sermon, and I "got it". I knew the exact thing he was talking about. No matter what devastating news we get, and no matter how hopeless we may feel at times - we MUST have faith that God is allowing us ANOTHER opportunity to write our ending. Hearing your daughter has cancer, a cancer that for some has no cure, seems pretty daunting one would think. But, although I had my moments - I don't ever remember thinking "this is it, my life is over". Don't get me wrong, I had days where I didn't know what would happen...but never did I think God abandoned me, Charli, or my family. In fact, I knew it was our opportunity to do 'something' wrapped up in this tumor. It was because I had already written our ending in my heart that I knew no matter WHAT life throws at me...we will all be okay, because behind everything is God - and he will never forsake.

I don't know how any of you have your ending written, but I think now is a great time to reflect upon it! We hope everyone had a blessed Easter and that they blessings continue to show throughout the year.

checking out her goodies...she spotted the chapstick right away of course!

putting her chapstick in her matching purse! (she wanted to take her picture in her timeout chair...which I am happy to say I can't remember the last time I used)

mmm, watermelon chapstick!


she said to me "mommy - remember when I ripped this off the wall mommy?"! YES Charli, I remember :-( grrr!!!!

do you think she is obsessed with chapstick?!

working the climbing wall!

three happy little campers!!

I think one was just as excited as the other!

she is so posed with her dad...cut me out and it would be a cute shot of the two of them!!

I found one grandpa...!


when Charli's hair catches up to Maceys - no one will ever believe that she is almost a year older!

it's blue!

Charli waited so patiently!

girls just wanna have fun :-)

this is trouble!!!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

late, but not forgotten!!

So this is about five days later than I thought it would be, I am sorry!! I know that because I waited so long I will forget some of the things I wanted to talk about last weekend!!

Charli was a great trooper last Friday when she had her scans. I know that I always worry about how she will do in these situations, and she always exceeds any expectations I had...I should learn by now! If I could write gthe story how I would have wanted her day to go, I probably would have planned on at least one or two melt downs...but she had none!

We got to Omaha a little before 8:30 for her 9:00 scans. Of course at 9:15 we were still playing in the waiting room! Shortly after 9:20 she got to go back! Luckily for all of us the waiting room wasn't full for most of the time so we didn't have to worry about her noise or space!! When we checked in we were told that only one of us would be able to go back. Chad, being the great husband he is said that I could go. Which, I felt bad about because he had worked with Charli the night before on how she would need to lay still and be a big girl, etc. He explained to her that mommy and daddy would be right there holding her hands, etc - and she totally understood, so I knew he felt like he was letting her down by not being in there. But they both did well at separation!

We got into the room and lucky for us they had a TV in the corner, and NOGGIN has pretty good cartoons on at 9:30! We got to watch Wonder Pets during her ultrasound!! They took just under 100 pictures. She had to lay on her back, side, and tummy for these. After she was done she had the radiologist take a quick look and he decided he wanted another view of something so we had about 15 minutes of more pictures, for a total of around 120 maybe?? At that time I was told he didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but that he hadn't made the official report or finalized the entire scan. We headed up to the oncology department where everyone welcomed her with big smiles and ooh's and ahh's about how big and cute she is!

Charli had a great time in the clinic. It made me sad. I was sad because I realized this was the first and only time she has been in that room and actually felt good...either from sedation or treatment. And, I felt guilty because I knew that deep down all of those parents were thinking "get your healthy kid out of here" because two years ago I remember kind of feeling the same way! Not that I was ever jealous of those who had healthy kids...just jealous FOR Charli!! So, I understood. Either way, she had a great time with the toys and other kids!! We saw her doctor who thought she looked great, and it was a just a great experience overall!! We headed down to eat dinner before heading out! Charli's big prize for doing such a great job was nothing other than a RING POP! After eating dinner she got to enjoy it! We then went to the baby store to stock up on some things we need for baby#2. As another prize she got to pick a new dora movie for the car, which she watched the entire way home, not napping!! So, she was up from 6:30 - 8:30 that day!!

happiness is...a ring pop!!

posing for pictures while waiting for the 2nd ultrasound to start!

she looks excited and happy for not eating!

she was so brave!! she couldn't see the TV when she laid like this, and she was still a champion!

this picture was "for grandma" so they could see how brave she was being!

thank God for "Wonder Pet, Wonder Pets, we're on our way..."

one of her new things, resting her head on her hands for pictures!

cute duo!

high-five dude! Charli had a friend over to play one night last week!

Where is Charli?! Her daddy covered her in cards one night before bed! Why did he think to do that?!!

When mom is gone they tend to do things their very own unique way!! It makes total sense to eat an icepop with gloves on!
We were cautiously optimistic as we waited for the official results. I was hoping to get a call yet Friday, but we didn't. Which, we totally understand. The further we get away from treatment the less of a "priority" it is, so to speak. That is not to say we feel like we are not #1 when we are there, because we are. We just know from being on the other side of things that the kids who are in active treatment need to take TOP priority at that time. made for a little bit longer of a weekend with that on our minds, even though we knew it was okay!
Monday, however, I started to get a little nervous. I found out about a friend who has a little girl with the same story as Charli, same age, etc who had scans last week too. Well....her scans at the 2-year mark did note a spot on the lung. I think we tend to get in a comfort zone where we have been perfect for so long we feel that we are out of the woods, so that reality check was a huge downer for me. That night I also watched a special on St. Jude where a girl who had NB had great scans for 7 years, and then had a relapse. Ahhh, like I said I have talked myself into the fact that we are DONE with this, and at the same time in the back of my mind I know it can all change in a second.
HOWEVER, Tuesday morning I got the call apologizing for taking so long to call and giving us the OFFICIAL report of Charli's scans!!!!
So now we go about our lives for the next six months and do it all again!!!!
Thanks for checking in on us! We are expecting to get a snow storm tonight, but hope to make it to Lindsay tomorrow to have Amanda's baby shower!! Hope it all works out with NO problems!!! Have a GREAT week everyone!!