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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...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm so lucky!

Charli didn't get out on her bike yesterday because of the rain we had all day...but we went for a long ride on Sunday! This morning we had a Relay For Life breakfast in Humphrey which Charli came to be my "helper" and the boys came down a little later. They left earlier than we did, so the "girls" stayed behind to play at the shop and grandma's house (grandpa has the shop...grandma has the house!)

Enjoy the pictures :-)

the boys getting Harper ready for bath! Harper looked so cute in his Charli shirt -- this is the shirt she wore when she was two :-)

you can call me bias, but I think she is the prettiest little thing ever!

Charli got a new "big girl" swing since Harper gets the baby swing now. She her enjoy it here as she pushes daddy while he enjoys the sunshine. He is a slave driver... :-D

oh, my mistake...NOW see Charli enjoying her new swing!!

Charli really enjoyed feeding Dolly & Polly today!

She didn't like this pose because it hurt her bottom she said!! She was tucked down like this feeding the goats this afternoon and she said "oh, my bottoms falling out" as she pulled her pants back up!!

talk about extreme happiness! Charli won this fleece tie blanket today!! She really-really-really wanted Harper to win the boy blanket, but instead she won it! She was thrilled! She said to me, over and over again, "I can't believe I won it mommy" followed by "I'm so lucky"!! What a great ending to her great weekend!

Grandpa & Harper
a different "Charlie & Harper" picture!

the fam in our matching shirts! Harper was full of smiles :)

Charli & Mom

Friday, March 26, 2010


What a day, just a great night to sit and just say "ahhh" to myself!!

We have been enjoying the sunshine! The kids have been outside every afternoon at daycare and in the evenings as much as we can around the rest of life that has to happens (eating, baths, and sleeping!!)

Today was a good day in Omaha! It was a little stressing at times with a few things that went on a little differently than normal! The radiologist came in to recheck Charli's scans and take additional pictures, which makes you wonder what they were looking for!! Thankful to know they are always making sure they have it right! We went up to clinic and were seen by a nurse first, then were told that Dr. had to go to radiology so it would be about 30 minutes. About 2 minutes later we were asked to go "downstairs" and have Charli's blood drawn. While waiting Charli quickly caught on that other kiddos were coming out crying and decided she didn't want to go. Austin is who took her blood today. She is not a big fan of Austin. Several hours later she said "Austin is not my friend, I am mad at him". And when she went to bed, Chad asked her what she didn't like about today and she said "Austin made me cry"! We made our way back up to clinic to be seen by another doctor and a resident...before our doctor came strolling in with "she looks great". I wanted to say..."couldn't you have lead with that and hour ago?"!! All in all, I don't care how I get the news, just that I get the news. Charli will not have to go back for ONE year! And, no more scans...just regular check ups, like a regular kiddo!! That comes with some, well almost a lot, of anxiety, but it truly is what we want.

In our tradition of doing something fun and all about Charli we left the hospital and made our way to McDonalds where she got an "I <3 Carly" bracelet that looks like a watch, she is in love with it! Then we went to pick out her new bike! She loves it! When we got home and after riding the new bike for a long time her and I got groceries, we all picked up Harper and made our way to the fishfry to see all of our grandmas and grandpas! And...we ended the night with a "Popsicle". Ahhh, life is good!!

When the doctor told me that we would need to contact them in several months to schedule the appointment she said, it will be easy to remember that it will fall around Easter. I laughed, like I will EVER forget this time of year!! Three year ago today Charli was having surgery and preparing for her first dose of chemo. I am pretty sure I will know that she needs to go back in March :-) Unreal!!

Enjoy the pictures!

fishing off of her slide. fishing is serious business

chubby little fingers! I am so not willing to let him grow up...

loves to play outside in his big sister's swing, rocking his dinosaur camo jacket

beautiful sunrise on our way to Omaha this morning

Charli did so well for her scans today. She really is a trooper! She walks back there on her own, steps on the scale, and turns to enter the room...plops up on the table and says "remember last time mom, I was scared to come in here?"

loves her elephant, he is holding her hand

lays so still

and when we have "tummy time" it is time for us to be silly with the camera and our faces!

We are in the lab here. Austin gave us the choice of her arm or finger. We picked the finger knowing it would be less dramatic for Charli. She picked up on that and was hiding her hands and fingers behind her back!

doesn't matter how much I try to distract with the stickers that look just like Wynston - it still hurt, scared her, and was something she was afraid of. Austin, this is where you lost her. You lost her for good.

what a champ! sitting very casually as she gets her blood pressure checked and her temperature taken!

she is talking to chad as if there is nothing else going on! and yes, she is in ALL purple! She HAD to wear short sleeves today (her rule, not the clinics!) and HAD to wear a jacket (zippie hoddie). She is starting to have quite the opinion on her clothes!

Waiting for the doctor to make her grand entrance! They couldn't believe how big and grown up she has become! I think they said she is still above 90% for height! I am pretty certain she gets that from me :-)

She really favored her "Austin" arm for several hours...but here she is just so happy to be home and outside!

I'm not sure, but I am pretty sure our "Fun Friday" fairies left this for her today! She loved it, nothing makes you feel more special than something like this after a trip to the hospital! We have the most amazing friends.

Rocking her new bike! She picked a Dora helmet which came with knee pads that she has to have on all the time now! She is a master already.

i love this picture!

ahhh, and what better way to end her night than with a popsicle...she loves these!!
PS. Charli informed me this afternoon that she has a boyfriend, and that he isn't a bad guy!
I am so thankful for this day, for this life. We have been put in so many situations that lead us to where we are going. I feel blessed for all of this. It is much easier for me to see and believe that when we hit forks in the road, that they truly are leading us where God intends. Had we not experienced Chad's accident and Charli's diagnosis specifically...I think I would never have the trust and faith that I have at this very moment. I am not saying that I enjoy being challenged in these ways, but I do know it is easier for me to throw my hands up and trust we are being guided exactly where we need to go. Thank you to EVERYONE along the way...truly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

big day...BIG news

Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is THE day we stress over. Tomorrow IS the day we try to not think about as it gets here. TOMORROW is the day we need, so we can hear again that she looks fantastic. TOMORROW IS THE DAY!!!!!!!!!

Chad was talking to her about going back to the doctor so she could be prepared to head down there. She told him that she wasn't scared of doctors and that they helped her. Then, in a surprised tone she added "maybe they can help my hiccups too!". Hey, maybe?!! These doctors are miracles workers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

and I quote...

and Charli says....
"I smell smoke."
....."It's Dad. Dad's smokin' hot."
.....and continues to play UNO.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Here comes the roll of pictures from the past few days. Like I mentioned earlier, I forgot my camera yesterday to share the joy on Charli's face, but I am sure you can about imagine!

Enjoy, it's been awhile since I have flooded with here are a few to make up for it!

she is still just as proud as ever to show off her little buddy

who needs a wii when I have my very own rockband right here!
Here we have Miss Charli on guitar and Mr Harper Buddy rocking out the lyrics to "my mom's the best!"

showing off about a 1/4 of her stuffed animal collection! In about a weeks time we rotate through most of these animals as sleeping pals!

he likes to play in big sisters room, which works out nicely - for some weird reason he has way more hazards in his four walls!

Charli's master piece! She thought it was great fun to mix all of her six colors together to make new colors! She was sad that she "couldn't paint pretty like daddy"...we all feel that way, she will get over it!

Chad's plate for Charli. He traced her hand to make this, and she picked the colors out!

my plate - it was very relaxing to do this and I hope to do it again

she was feeding him!

he ALWAYS gets the fun parts of the job!

brush * brush* brush

he slept in this position for a long time! He was sitting "cris cross applesauce" and just bent over at the waist, plopped his head down, and hung out there for his nap!

Charli helping Chad spread the snow out so the "sunshine" would melt it! We have yet to see the sun shine, but the snow is gone! She said it was hard work and came in to inform me, with her hand on her hip, that "it has been a long day", I think it was 12:30!

Happy Cancerversary Charli!

Happy Cancerversary Charli!!!
Yesterday was "Chalri's special day" as we all seemed to call it! She had a nice day and hopefully was able to feel special. When I asked her if she knew why it was her big day she told me "it is my special day because my doctors found my cancer". When she says cancer, she says it so cute and sweet -- totally not what that word deserves.
Our day started with Chad and Charli picking me up from work for a lunch date at Picket Fence. After that we made our way to do some bowling, which was so much fun to watch her excitement, and then played arcade games. With her tickets she wanted "something to eat!" so she got jelly beans and picked three dinosaurs! From there we went to paint pottery, Charli made a great plate and, no surprise, Chad did too!! Our next surprise was ice cream which was followed by a cat nap in the car on our way to see the bunnies and chicks before picking up "buddy" from daycare. When we got home she got to eat breakfast for supper and pick a cartoon to watch and stay up late for! I forgot to take my camera, which I am still made about, but will post pictures of the plates later!
Putting her to bed last night was amazing. I held her in my arms and remembered holding her in my arms three years ago and all those scary terrible things I was feeling then were no more, because in my arms was an amazing little person who has changed the world.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

celebrate * remember * fight back

prepping for surgery...

Those of you who know the Relay For Life, know about my title today. But, as we are just days away from Charli's "anniversary" those three words have meant more to me than I realized.

I have been thinking about what I would write this weekend for a long time. "It" is always on my mind, and this place really was an outlet for my feelings, fears, joys, and just life in general. But, there comes a point when I realized...maybe I should move beyond what has been the past and only focus on the future. That is when I realized, that our past will always be a part of our future. We would be fools to let it go and blindly carry on. On a different level of being a "God fearing individual", I am also a "cancer fearing individual". By saying that, I mean I respect the nature that things can come up and change so quickly. I treasure the now and realize that it may not have been, and it may not always be. I am guessing there are people reading this thinking "you can't always fear the unknown"...and I imagine those of you who have been down this path can somewhat, if not fully, understand what I am trying to say.

The past few days I have been cleaning and organizing, finding treasures for our summer Relay For Life garage sale. Today was the day for Charli's closet. I have a ton of bags, love fun bags!! And, in each of these bags is almost always the "usual" for me...hand sanitizer and suckers :-). In a bag today I found something extra, two tubes of EMLA cream. This is the cream that we used each time Charli's port was accessed. We would put the cream on her port area, cover it with press-n-seal and make our way to Omaha. I loved the made accessing her port a breeze. I have no ill feelings to EMLA, in fact I am a fan. As I pulled it out of the bag this morning though, I cried. Why did I cry?! This stuff was our friend!!!! There are always reminders, always.

To celebrate how far Charli has come, and how far we have come, we will be taking some time to celebrate on Monday. Chad and I have taken the afternoon off (if all goes well!) and we plan to do something special with Charli that afternoon. We want to celebrate the life that God so graciously gave us not only once in this lifetime...but twice with her diagnosis and successful treatment of the neuroblastoma. Last year we had a pizza party for our family to thank them for their help while Charli was in treatment. This year it is all about her!

We all remember and honor things in different ways. I tend to remember all the time. With Harper being born only one month before Charli was, it is strange to see how different things could have been with Charli when she was that age. But also, it makes me so thankful that her body was giving us those hints that we needed to get her diagnosis. I remember the Thursday that she started acting strangely, I remember telling her Aunt Amanda "she doesn't want to be crabby, I know it!". I remember the "first time mom" look from almost everyone at first and the words from some too. I remember thinking a billboard was talking to me (boy was I WRONG!!), I will always remember her St. Patricks day dress she didn't get to wear on St. Pats day, the phone calls made, posts written, tears shed, blessings received, shutting down and turning off, being hopeless but most of all hopeful. There is so much to remember...most of the memories are suppressed I think and pop up on occasion for whatever reason jars my memory.

What I also remember are people 100% believing us and pushing me to push the doctors, I remember late night hospital visitors popping in just to see her sleep and give us hugs. I remember phone calls, letters, emails, and anonymous gifts. I remember the desperate need people had to come see Charli, because they couldn't wrap their mind around the reality. I remember feeling disgust, terror, strength, passion, hope, faith, love, fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, joy, anticipation, and being just naive enough to make it through some days! I remember feeling pretty much any emotion I have ever dreamed of! And at the end of it all I still feel thankful and full of gratitude to all who were a part of it and our God for the miracle we not only expected but were chosen to receive.

I was reminded again this week that life isn't always fair, and we won't always know why things work out the way they do. But, we are not supposed we should really stop asking! At the beginning and end of everything is God -- who are we to judge. Of course sometimes it is hard not to question why something worked out the way it did, but by dwelling on it we are basically doubting His choices for us.

I remember the day in college when I decided my methodology in life would be "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you look at it. And if you can't do that, get over it!" I can even tell you where I a "Mr. Basketball" game in Kearney watching my nephew Andrew play basketball at Sunrise Elementary near my apartment! I TRY TRY TRY to remember this when things have me upset. Of course we all have our moments when we need to overreact about something before we can move on, but it is the moving on or moving forward that is important!!

We fight back, by literally fighting back! We have tried to make childhood cancer awareness and raising funds for cancer our priority. We are doing this by being active in fundraising and advocating for CureSearch, Alex's Lemonade Stand, CNCF, and the American Cancer Society to name a few. We try to reach out when a local family is down this path, and do our best to do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need. We fight back because year ago others fought back, and that is why Charli's story is as successful as it is. And, because we are fighting back, someone down the road, with a little faith, with have to fight a little less.

My challenge to you is to take a moment to figure out how you can CELEBRATE * REMEMBER * FIGHT BACK. It doesn't take one large act to make a difference, but several people making everyday/typical acts that will make all the difference in the world!!!!!!!

the face of a miracle

Charli is doing well!! She goes down for what may be her last ultrasound later this month. We trust the results will still be good, but as mentioned before we respect the situation just enough to still be scared out of our minds :-)

Thank you for following Charli and her journey in life...we wouldn't have made it to this point alone!

Sounds kind of silly to say this...but, Happy Anniversary Charli! What started as a horrible day is now a day that I know saved your life. I will forever love March 15th....

Monday, March 08, 2010

fishing in the dark

Charli had a week full of surprises which left her asking "whats next"!!

Tuesday night we surprised her with a trip to the circus! It was my plan for Chad and her to have a night away, just the two of them (since Charli and I had a night together over the weekend) but when it came time to go to the circus Grandma Jody offered to come watch "buddy" so the three big kids went! She had a great time, she just stopped talking about the circus from this summer and then we went again! You will see some of the neat things she saw :-)

On Thursday her Aunt Amanda took her to the state games to watch Lindsay play. I didn't get any negative reports, but the truth really comes out when it comes time to do something like that again :-) They picked her up from daycare and took her down for the day, and dropped her back off to end the day with her friends. She really enjoys basketball right now.

On Friday Grandma Borg got to pick her up and have a slumber party at our house, which was pretty cool! They watched even more basketball in the morning!! Come Sunday it was just plain old mom and dad...what a disappointment!

Hope everyone has a good week!

fishing for a spider monkey with "fruit by the foot" which these two think is really fruit!!

Harper in his new seat! Charli was very concerned that her sucker wouldn't make the picture!

looks like he likes it!! Looks so big when he is in it, and so little when Charli is in hers!

Charli got to ride on an elephant!! So did mommy as you can see...I think I rode on an elephant when I was 5 or so, but I can't really remember!

before the ride! she was so brave, not even scared of that huge animal!

a pretty white, and mean looking, tiger! (the person next to us kept telling her 3-4 year old son it was a lion!!)

pure excitement!!!

they both have a good time at the circus