Thursday, June 12, 2014

This Girl!

So lately I feel like people are always asking about the twins and they're great, fun and learning something everyday. But, it's my oldest "baby" who has really been amazing me lately! 

Madelyn who turned 5 a little over a month ago has literally turned into a little lady right before my very eyes.  I find myself looking at her in awe everyday as she does or says something that makes me realize she isn't my "baby' any more.  People are always asking if she is a good helper with the babies, I can honestly say "YES".  Now, she has her moments but don't we all?  She is a great helper and chooses to help more often then she plays the "I'm not the mommy" card. And yes, she really does use those words.  For example, a few nights ago Adam had put Colten to bed and went to take a shower. Maddy and I were still downstairs playing with Carter when I heard Colten crying from upstairs, I knew Carter would throw a fit as soon as I got up to leave the room and he did.  As I am upstairs trying to get Colten back to sleep I can hear Carter crying/ screaming downstairs.  I am silently praying for Adam to get out of the shower quickly to come help me but he had literally just gotten in. As I rocked Colten back to sleep and listened to Carter cry down stairs it took only a few minutes for me to realize Carter had gotten quiet.  I put Colten back to bed and raced down the stairs to find this!

Maddy had covered him with a blanket, put his paci in his mouth and laid down next to him while she sang to him...he was out!!!  I was so proud of her and she was very proud of herself.    I seriously looked at her in awe, she's an amazing big sister.  I also can't figure out how people have twins without a "little helper" at home.

*Maleficent Spoiler Alert*
I try to do things where Maddy and I can have some one on one time, this past Sunday was kind of gloomy out so I asked her if she would like to go see a movie. Of course she said yes, I decided to take her to see Maleficent.  For some 5 year old it may have been a little scary but my kid likes to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies so I knew she could handle it.  The movie was great and she was enjoying it and asking a few questions through out.  Towards the end of the movie you see the relationship grow between Aurora and Maleficent, their love is un-wavering for each other.  At one point during the movie Maddy looked up at me and her tear filled eyes met my tear filled eyes.  Of course she started laughing that we were both crying but it hit me hard.  My little girl is realizing the emotion and love in this movie and was actually moved to tears.  WOW, she really is growing up!

I love you like crazy, my precious girl!

*sorry for the dark iphone pics :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Results Are In

Remember this, where I talked about getting up the nerve to do the BRCA testing?  Well, I did it and we will get to the results shortly but first let me fill you in on a few things that have happened since my original post. 

Let's go back to July 4th, I was in the hospital after giving birth to my twin boys.  I had a visit with my grandmother and aunt on my mom's side, they had come to see the babies of course.   Some how during that visit we struck up a conversation about doing the genetics testing.  I am not sure how we got on the subject or even how the conversation went. What I do remember is my aunt saying she was going to do the test. My grandmother had already done the genetics testing a few years ago and we knew she had tested positive for the BRCA2.   I had used the "I will do it after I am done having kids" excuse for a few years. Maybe if I had just had a singleton pregnancy I could have milked that excuse a little longer but since I got a "bonus baby" I knew we were done.  No more excuses!

Fast forward six weeks and I go in for my 6 week check-up, I have a conversation with my doctor and she urges me to do the testing but to give my body 6 months to return to "normal".   Fast forward another 3 months and I get a text from my aunt, it says "hey, will you be around tonight? I want to share some information with you about my genetics testing".   I think I instinctively knew it wasn't going to be good news.

I called my aunt later that evening and we talked, she had done the testing and gotten the results. Positive BRCA2.  My heart sank, but as we talked I became increasingly more positive about it. She had a plan, she had done her research and was prepared for the results either way.  She was going to proceed with a double prophylactic mastectomy. I knew this was the right plan, I had thought about it myself and had decided that if and when I was tested and the result was positive, I would also have the prophylactic mastectomy. With our family history it wasn't IF you got breast cancer it was WHEN.  

Once you decide to have a prophylactic mastectomy you have to do a few screenings prior to the surgery, one of those is an MRI.   My aunt was proceeding through the proper steps before her surgery when she received the news that they had in fact found something on her MRI. It was cancer. I can't speak for my aunt because I don't know what was going through her head but I can imagine it wasn't good things, I am sure their were a few choice words.   The prognosis was good, it was an early catch and she had already decided to have a mastectomy. So she did! On February 7th, after a 6 hour surgery, she was cancer free and on her way to recovery.  Not an easy recovery, but recovery none the less.

I can tell you my aunt is one of the bravest people I know, that's not an easy decision, let alone an easy thing to go through.  She did her homework, made up her mind and proceeded forward.  If you hear nothing else out of this blog post, hear the test! This includes MEN too, you aren't excluded just because you're male. Men are being diagnosed everyday with breast cancer and you can also be a carrier to your children.  If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, do the test!!  It ultimately saved my aunts life. If she had not gone through the genetic testing and had that MRI it could have been years before that spot would have shown on a mammogram.  It may have been to late at that point. 

My aunt is now almost a month into her recovery and she is doing great, her doctors are impressed with how she is healing with this first surgery.  She also received clear scans of the lymph nodes they removed during the surgery.  She still has a long road ahead and more surgery but from what we know she has completed the hardest part.

Now let's rewind a bit, I met with a genetics counselor a little over a week ago.  Adam was out of town for work so my sister went with me to the appointment, honestly I probably would have had her go with me even if Adam had been in town.  I guess I feel a since of responsibility to her to do the test and to guide her through the process as well.  It was very interesting, they explain how the test works, how our DNA works and do a complete family history. After an hour discussion or so I did the test.  It was simple, one vile of blood and off it went, along with the results of both my grandmother and aunt's genetic testing.  This helped when they did the testing because they knew exactly what mutation they were looking for.  My genetics counselor said to allow two weeks for the results, okay, now I have two weeks of what felt like a 100 pound weight to carry around. 

Yesterday at 3:37pm I look at my phone and see a missed call, I realize it's the Breast Center and they have left a voicemail.  I don't even listen to the voicemail because it's only been a week since the test and she said to allow two weeks.  I immediately thought, this can't be good news if she's calling me already. I call her back and here is how it goes:

GC: Hi Sara, I have test results back, do you have a minute?
Sara: Already, it's only been a week. ( I don't think I had mentally prepared myself to hear the results that quickly)
GC: Yep, it was a quick turn around. Are you ready to hear the results?
Sara: Yes
GC: Your results are NEGATIVE for both BRCA1 and BRCA2, you do not have the mutation.
Sara: Are you serious? Are you sure?
GC: Yes, I am positive.
Sara:  I could kiss you right now if you were in front of me!!
GC: Well we can send each other a long distance hug.  With your negative results you won't need to do anything additional other then continue to get your yearly screenings.
Sara:  (In tears) I can't believe it, I never actually thought I would be negative. This is the best news!!
GC:  I am happy for you and glad I could deliver good news.

Then we said our normal good byes and I thanked her for being so kind through the process.

NEGATIVE!!!!  I am still in shock I think, I had convinced myself I was going to test positive and I was going to have the prophylactic mastectomy.  I was trying to figure out how I would take care of three kids while going through the process, I knew I would have family support but most people don't have to do stuff like that without the support of your mother.  Others can try but there is truly nothing like being looked after by your own mother.  So, I believe she and God had a hand in the negative test result, they knew it would be virtually impossible for me to get through without her.
I didn't realize how much it was effecting me, I cannot explain the weight that I immediately felt lift off my body.  I cried a lot yesterday, but all good tears!  I was in a better mood yesterday afternoon then I have been in a long time.  I had know idea the stress it was putting on my body.  Honestly, I think even if I had gotten the opposite results yesterday it would've been a relief. It makes me think of the saying "when you know better, you do better", if the results had been positive I would've at least known and could set my plan in motion. 

Now I just have one more step, getting my sister through the process so we can set her plan in motion.  I can only hope and pray that her results are the same and the plan we put into motion is one of celebration!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!!

Happy New Year, we are wishing all of our friends and family a healthy, happy and blessed 2014!

2013 will be hard to beat for our family but we're excited to see what it has to offer.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Did It!!

I signed up...and as soon as I hit submit I threw up a little in my mouth.  Let the adventure to my first  half marathon begin!!

You know you want to do it with me! Go here to sign up!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

All Aboard!

Have you watched The Polar Express? Or read the book? If you haven't you should, it's a favorite in our house. 

Let me first say I wasn't sure what we would get when I decided to buy the tickets to ride The Polar Express. I heard of a few of these train rides around central Indiana but no one ever shared much on the actual experience. I also read where the French Lick Scenic Railway did one in French Lick, Indiana. Again, not a lot of information. The reviews online were hit or miss but I figured as beautiful as the area is and as fun as I remembered the resort being as a kid we decided to give it a go. I have been to the resort quite a few times with my family and grandparents, it always seemed so huge and beautiful, I knew Maddy would love it.

We were NOT disappointed and I now have hopes of making it a fun, holiday, tradition! 

C & C are so little this year that we decided not to take them, we dropped them off in Bloomington at my parents along the way. It was also a great opportunity for Adam and I to have some alone time with Madelyn. 

We had purchased the 7:30pm train ride but decided to check-in a little early to enjoy the resort. Adam and I had not been back since we were engaged there in 2005, another reason I love the place so much.

We did some "exploring" as Maddy likes to call it. The Christmas decorations were beautiful which added to the "magic" of the trip. 

The hotel has a bowling alley and indoor pool, Madelyn was set on doing both so we did a little bowling before dinner and late night swimming after the train ride.

We walked everywhere since everything is so close. We walked into downtown and had dinner at 33 Brick Street, it's the Larry Bird themed restaurant. It was probably the low part of the trip. It wasn't very good and the service was lacking. We didn't let that put a damper on our fun though!

After dinner we walked over to the train station for our ride to the North Pole. I snapped this picture of the resort on our walk.

They had heated tents filled with things for the kids to do, gift shop, and professional photograpers to snap your picture. 

We found our train car and our conductor was there to greet us. We heard the famous words "All Aboard" !

The train was decorated with lights and garland inside. We had two elves, Elf Holly and Elf Snowflake. Once the ride began the story started, they did a great job of acting out the high points. The conductor came to each family and punched our tickets just like in the movie.

 We were served hot chocolate and cookies while they sang and danced to the "hot chocolate" song. 

The rest of the story was read as we headed to the "North Pole". Part of the train ride was through a fairly long tunnel which was really neat. Once we arrived we saw Santa and his elves waving to us, the train stopped for a minute so we could look at the lights. Shortly we felt the train start back to the train depot. 

The ride back was filled with lots of singing and dancing.

AND, a special visitor! Santa had boarded the train and presented each child with the "First Gift of Christmas"! A silver bell, just like the movie. Maddy was very excited to receive that bell.

We arrived back at the train station and our adventure was complete. As we left the train there were boys dressed as old fashioned newspaper boys handing out papers. It was a cute touch.

We had a blast and will be returning next year, our goal is to get a train car filled with our friends and family. How fun would that be? 

So, who's going with us!?!?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

I keep seeing breakfast burritos/ tacos everywhere these days, even Steak n' Shake has them on their menu.  

I decided to give them a try at home, I mean how hard could they be. Plus, I figure if we like them I can make them and freeze them for an easy grab and go breakfast option.

You can use most anything you want in them but I opted for eggs, sausage, potatoes and shredded cheese.

I first cut up 1 large potato and fried it in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook until fork tender, you want the potato to hold it's shape.

At the same time I started browning one pound of pork sausage.  I like mine in small crumbles but you can break it up however small you prefer.

Next is eggs, I scrambled 4 eggs with a little milk, salt and pepper.  However you normally make your scrambled eggs should suffice.

Last step is to assemble them! I used regular store bought tortillas for my shell, then you just pile in a few potatoes, eggs and sausage. Top with a little shredded cheese and you're done. 

 We thought they were delicious.  I will definitely be making more to freeze so we can heat and go.  I have heard through friends that they freeze and re-heat very well.

P.S. Sorry for the bad pictures, my kitchen doesn't have the best natural light.