1.17.2018

Rain Puddles and Five Current Happenings


1.  Let's address this set of pictures first.  Conrad got to play in rain puddles for the very first time!  When we took Levi out to the bus stop one rainy morning, I noticed Conrad excitedly splashing through the puddles.  It made me smile.  He even crouched down to take a sip!  Eeew.  So I grabbed my camera and just went with it.  He wound up covered in mud from head to toe.  It was worth it to see him explore the world.  Good thing Conrad loves bubble baths.  One of my favorite things about being a mom is getting a front row seat to all of my children's first time experiences.


2.  We're halfway through January already.  And surprisingly enough, I've been sticking to my New Year's resolutions which includes using my time intentionally.  I suspended my Instagram account and have been the better for it.  Yes, I miss it.  Yes, I miss interacting with some fellow momtog friends.  Yes, I miss scrolling through all the incredible pictures and {sometimes} feeling inspired to pick up my camera.  But mostly, I'm just plain happier.  I have an awful habit of scrolling through the app every. single. time. I. pick. up. my. phone.  It's no bueno for me or for the kids and has become such a waste of time.  The amount of content found within the app overwhelms me and fills my head with needless information.  I feel like a cow constantly eating and then regurgitating to chew on the cud.  It's an awful analogy but the only one I can come up with that feels appropriate.  So for now, Instagram has got to go so I can concentrate on investing myself and my time in more intentional and meaningful ways.  It's working.

I've also been sticking to a new workout routine.  Ideally, I'd get up at 6:00AM to work out, but I usually hop on my bike (attached to a trainer) or turn on a video at 7:30AM just after I get Jed on the bus.  Bron also has been putting the kids to bed one or two nights a week so I can go to a Yoga class at the gym.  I used to think that Yoga was weird, but I've changed my mind.  It's not a big calorie burner, but it sure is amazing for building strength, balance, and flexibility.  I feel better already.  Hopefully I'll be looking better later this year too if I can just figure out my diet.  I love chocolate too much.  The goal is to comfortably fit back into my cute size 4/6 dresses that are hanging in my closet.  More than that, I can tell that putting on muscle and working on flexibility has helped my upper back tremendously.  It's been so tight from lifting Conrad up and down continuously over the last year.

^^Running away from me!  I love the little hop in his step.  So cute and funny.^^

3.  Bron and I agree that the best winter dates are gym dates.  We've been hiring a sitter and going to the climbing gym nearly every weekend.  It's so fun and addicting.  Can't wait til the kids are old enough to make it a family affair.

But no worries, the boys are getting out and staying busy too this winter.  Jed and Levi are in swimming lessons again.  We go to the pool twice a week where the big boys swim and I chase Conrad through the turn-style doors over and over again.  Jed and Levi are definitely big kids now.  Jed is actually swimming in the deep end and learning strokes while Levi isn't far behind.  I'm so proud of them.  It's also been so nice to send them into the boys' locker room ALL BY THEMSELVES to shower and change.  The ease of it all blows my mind!        


4.  I received news that I am BRCA2 positive.  A few weeks ago I had my blood drawn and tested to see if I carry the same mutated gene as my dad and sister.  Lauren's breast cancer was caused by this particular gene mutation.  And since my dad is a carrier (my mom most likely is not), then I had a 50/50 chance of carrying the gene too.  Unfortunately, I'm a carrier.  This means that I am at a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer.  I have about a 1 in 3 chance of developing breast cancer before I'm 50 years old.  After that, the statistics sky rocket to over 50%-80% the older I become.  I'm also at higher risk for ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and melanoma.  So basically, I have crappy genes.  I honestly never thought that cancer, particularly breast cancer, would be such a prominent factor in my life! 

But at the same time, I wouldn't trade this miraculous working body of mine for anything.  I am so thankful to be given this one chance at life.  I've been blessed tremendously with great health and a beautiful family.  What more could I ask for? 

The plan is to go in to the doctor's office every six months for routine cancer screenings: mammograms, MRI's, blood tests, and ultrasounds.  If/when I do develop cancer, they should catch it early.  It's also highly recommended that I get a double mastectomy and reconstruction.  My sister, Lauren, basically told me that I have to do it.  And she's right.  I'd rather go through six weeks of painful recovery than deal with cancer and the lifetime of change that would cause.  So an insurance covered boob job will be coming my way as soon as Bron and I say we are definitely done having children.  I once thought that women who voluntarily had a mastectomy were being a bit extreme.  I understand them better now.

So I am BRCA2 positive.  It's not good news, but it's not bad news either.  I mean, I don't actually have cancer.  Instead, I get a heads up (thanks to my gracious sister) to safeguard my health and to make sure my children safeguard theirs too because God willing, I am determined to know and spoil my grandchildren.       

^^Taste testing.  Sooo muddy!^^

5.  We've begun the process of partially remodeling our home!  Bron already demolished and rebuilt part of our fireplace to make room for a new tv that now hangs in our living room.  Our living room is going to get a lot more use now that there's a tv in it.  We're planning on making the den into Jed and Levi's room.  They will have so much more space for their beds and toys and general stuff.  I'm hoping their room will feel like a retreat once we're Bron is all done creating a closet, some walls, and a new doorway and moving the electrical.  It's going to be an adventure for sure!  We're also planning on selling the piano and purchasing a Clavinova instead to fit into the recessed space in the living room.  I'll place a desk for all the kids' school work and papers where the old piano now sits.  And lastly, we'll re-carpet.  Though not in that order.  Wish us luck!  We're going to need it.  Moving everything around is already causing a snowball effect for purging and organizing all of our things.

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