Feels Like Home to Me

I can't help but be reminded of the song from Dawson's Creek, Feels Like Home.  I had that soundtrack when I was in middle school and listened to it over and over.

I drove to NWArkansas to stay a week at my parent's house.  I left TX around 10 yesterday morning and was driving up their long, steep driveway by 3:45 :)  The drive was great, but became particularly beautiful once I hit 540 heading north.  The crystal blue sky created the most beautiful backdrop for the fiery colors of fall.  The trees are amazing.  The most brilliant pops of orange, yellow, red, and brown amongst the evergreens.  You can't help but feel the presence of God around you.  I believe He is perched up on this mountain, above the home known as the Escarpment, doing what He can to continue to heal my father and provide strength for my mother.  We are doing everything we know how to stay positive, and believe that God is in control.  These next few weeks are crucial.  We need so many good days of my dad feeling good.  The more he feels good, the more the surgeon believes the tumor is responding to his treatment.  So, we will pray, wish, hope, and pray some more that the healing continues.

My mom had to head back to work this week after being off for a good 8 weeks.  It wasn't easy for her, as she has been by my dad's side through all of this.  She is his #1!  I am here doing what I can to be his #2 :)  This morning, I got this text from her...

She is still great as his #1, even from 5 miles away :)  I know she likes me here, and I don't mind it myself.  It  feels like home.

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."


Friday Feels Fallish

Happy Friday, friends :)  It feels like fall, and it's so nice.  I can't help but be happy today.  The picture above makes me smile, remembering that day.

Sometimes my mornings start out slow.  SP had an early appointment, so I had the house to myself.  I woke up late, showered, made hot tea, and sat on the couch for an hour (or two) enjoying the sounds of fall outside.  You know, the sound of leaves falling and wind blowing.  Also Norah Jones' soulful sound playing in the background.  Today is bliss :)

I hope your weekend is lovely.  I will soon be leaving for the mountain to help my dad through this upcoming week, and I can't wait.



Our Weekend

The weekend flew by, as usual :(

Friday was Tiffany's birthday, so a group of us went to Bronson Rock to celebrate!  Bronson Rock is a new burger/bar with an awesome patio that opened up in Keller.  It was a lot of fun, but it definitely got colder than any of us had planned on!  We got the security guy to bring us a heater over to stand under :)

Shemele, Me, Tiffany, Anne
Saturday was a really fun day.  LSU kicked off at 11 (worst kickoff time ever!) against A&M.  SP and I went up to Flower Mound to watch with my cousins.  They have a tv outside, so we all sat around, drank a few beers, and watched the TIGERS WIN!!!!

Even though we were not all in the same city to watch together, our Tiger Team was tuning in from all over!  We had Shawn and Ian in DC....

Yasha says "GEAUX!!!!"
We had my dad, mom, brother Adam, Uncle Jim & Suzanne, Aunt Vida, and even a Racerback back, Mrs. Corkran cheering on the team in Shreveport....

Best overalls ever!
SP & I about to head to my cousins

Watching at my cousin, Boyd's

Boyd cooked burgers and I took a pan of brownies.  We were all so full.  After the game, Jennifer and I made the boys wait around on us while we helped Claire (my 2nd cousin) get ready for Homecoming!  We picked out her nail polish, Jennifer did her hair, and I did her makeup :)  She looked so pretty and I hear had a lot of fun!!

SP and I didn't get home until 5ish.  We were exhausted.  We ended the night with PJs and chinese takeout.  In bed by 10:30 :)

Sunday was another early football day.  Our friend Shelby was in town from CO and wanted to get together and watch the Cowboys (& Saints) play at noon.  She met us at Red Dog Right in Southlake.  We spent the entire day on their patio catching up!  It was sooooooo windy, but we didin't really care.  The temp was perfect!  The Cowboys & the Saints won!!!!

Knew our bar tenders pretty well by the end of the day!
We didn't leave until around 6, when SP's parents wanted us to come over and go to dinner. They have been in Japan for 2 weeks and other than me picking them up from the airport on Friday AM, we hadn't had a chance to hear about their trip.  They brought me back a kimono!

We enjoyed hearing all about their trip and seeing what all they brought back.  

It was a great weekend, but today will probably require multiple coffee breaks :)


RIP Big Tex

It's a sad day in North Texas.  Big Tex, which is the iconic symbol of the Texas State Fair since 1952....

...had a tragedy this morning.  Big Tex caught on fire and burned to the ground.  Nothing but his skeleton is left.  Poor Big Tex.  

Big Tex's corpse
SP and I were cracking up watching the news b/c they had eye witnesses saying...

Witness: 'We all know Big Tex does not smoke, so we were wondering why he was'

HA!  Too funny!

SP and I at the TX State Fair , infront of Big Tex in 2007 :)
RIP Big Tex :(  I am sure you will reincarnate in some grander, more exciting way!


Cancer is so limited.

Cancer is so limited...it cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot destroy peace. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot suppress memories. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot steal eternal life. It cannot conquer the spirit.

I found this on the world wide web this morning.  My dad always uses the word poignant.  I think that is most fitting.  I wanted to share this because I know so many have been, are being, and will be...affected by this terrible limited disease.  



This and That

Morning, friends!
I hope it is a beautiful day wherever you are, because it sure is here :)


Yesterday my sister-in-law, Kristi, and nephew, Asher came over for dinner.  They were in town from Austin and I'm so happy we were able to see them.  I made a taco casserole and this yumminess for dessert!

You know when you decide last minute you're in the mood to bake something?  But then you realize you don't have time to go to the store?  I felt so lucky yesterday when I opened my pantry to find all the ingredients I needed to bake this Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake.  I didn't have a fall candle, and I really wanted my house to smell warm and cozy :)  I think this did the trick.  And it was very tasty, too :)


I started this week off with going to the grocery store (something I have a hard time making myself do sometimes).  SP and I were TERRIBLE last week!  We ate out almost every meal.  What a terrible thing when you aren't even on vacation :(  I was determined to make it a priority this week.  So I did a quick meal plan, and made my trip to the grocery store.

I purchased this board several months back for work, but it ended up not working in the way I wanted it to, so I turned into our weekly meal plan board :)

I took a lot of recipes from my mom this week :) All of these are ones she's made before.  Thanks, mom!

Asian Glazed Drumsticks w/ roasted broccoli and basmati rice w/ ginger

I have really enjoyed being back in the kitchen this week, but I did not miss doing the dishes last week :)


Our garden is severely overgrown!!!

See all that basil?  I have big plans of making yummy pesto and freezing it in batches.  It's a shame to let it go bad.


Quick coffee table explanation.  
1. It was SP's parents, they gave it to us.
2. I painted it white.
3. The middle was open to the floor w/ glass on top, but I broke the glass one night after my heavy coffee mug fell on it.
4.  I wanted the new glass to cover the entire table inside, instead of just the inset b/c of the grooves in the table, it was a pain to clean!
5.  I painted that board in the middle.  
6.  I got a new rug.
7.  Do we still like the painted board in the middle??  Seriously...I need your input!  I can't decide what to do!


When I went to Houston a few weeks ago without SP, my mom got me hooked on streaming Army Wives on Netflix.  I can't stop!  So now, when football is on (and it's a game that I don't care to watch), I say "Sure honey, you can watch that game....no, no need to go watch in the bedroom." (which is what he often has to do b/c my DVR usually takes priority :) )

And then,  I grab my laptop, my headphones, and my sofa and zone out :)


Lastly, SP is usually always most of the time running out the door!  This morning was no different.  And sometimes all the time he makes his hot tea and leaves it on the counter b/c he forgets!  So I then walk by, and enjoy his cup of tea :)  Maybe he is secretly leaving me this special treat.  I love this guy :)


Full of Football!

This past weekend was full of football!  It's like...all we did!  And I like it that way :)

Friday night, we went with our friend Tennille to watch her husband coach Haltom High School's football team.  SP and I hadn't been to a high school football game since we were in high school, I'm pretty sure!  The weather was perfect which made for a great night in the bleachers, reminiscing of how things have changed so much from when we were teenagers going to our own high school games.

Spaghetti straps in Oct.  Gotta love the south!  
We left in the middle of the 3rd quarter b/c we were starving!  It was getting late and were worried if we didn't go soon all that would be left to eat was fast food. We stumbled upon this little place called Funky Baja's.  The windows were all tinted so we really couldn't see inside, but the parking lot was packed at 10pm...this was a good sign!  We walked in and this place was so lively and fun! And, they were still serving food!  BONUS!  We ordered a pair of drinks and some $3 tacos.  It was delicious and we will be going back!

Saturday was a big day for football!  It was TX/OU weekend around here (no, I don't care about this game!).  But regardless, it's always a good time b/c everyone is out in force!  My alma mater was kicking off at 8 against A&M (#22 and new to the SEC this year).  This is huge!  I went to a little school known as Louisiana Tech University, in Ruston, LA.  LA Tech is in the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) and normally, unless you went to school there, you don't get too excited for Tech.  But this year!  They are doing AMAZING!   Our Dawgs are ranked #23 in the nation! WHAT! GO DAWGS!  My good friend Alison (aka college friend/roommate/sorority sister/maid of honor) lives in Dallas and invited us all out to watch the game!

SP and I left Fort Worth early and went to our other buddy's house, Paul.  We did a little pre-partying at his house before heading to Uptown for the game.

Paul's bachelor pad!
We had a good turnout at the bar to watch LA Tech, and, of course, my Tigers, who kicked off against my other alma mater, South Carolina at 7!  We tiger fans were soooooo scared of this game!  Them Gamecocks are one heck of a team this year, and well, I can't exactly say that about the Tigers.  But the good news is LSU won!!!! GEAUX TIGERS!!

Here are some fun pictures from the evening...

John Bolton was able to come out, YAY!  Even though we missed his wife, Tiff :(
Bolton, Me, Alison - College friends!
I was ummm...acting like a tiger?? 
Just having fun :)
Kristen came, too!  Last minute.  
Match made in heaven, Kristen and Jeff!
Paul, Baller Sean, and JB!
Alison w/ her friend Justin 
SP, Me, Rachel, Paul, Alison, Justin - At the Gingerman
We ended the night with a disappointing loss for LA Tech, but they played so well and we are all so proud of them!  I think they will continue to go far!!

They finally kicked us out of the Gingerman by 2am and of course, that's when it started literally pouring outside!  SP, being the good man that he is, took off in a full sprint to get the car for all of us to pile in!  Annnnd, just as soon as he got back, yep, the rain stopped :)  O'well.

SP and I stayed with Paul because there was no way we were making that hour drive back to Fort Worth at 2am on a Saturday night.  On the way home, we made a little detour :)

Can't you  just smell it!
So, yea.  We got to smell it too.  BUT, we didn't get to even eat it b/c we sat there for 15 minutes and STILL not even a hello from any worker there! So we left. We finally made it to bed by 4am.  I'm not sure what we were thinking b/c yes, we know.  We are not in our 20's anymore.  Staying up till 4 has major effects on you for days to come :(  Sunday, I didn't get off the couch :)

Last but no least...I got this in my inbox Sunday evening of my little buddy.  Isn't he such a lady killer!  Such a stinkin' cutie!

Ian in the pumpkin patch :)


YAY for Ringing the Bell!

This morning, I woke up sort of late.  The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is grab my cell phone and go through my emails.  This morning I had lots of texts from my family.  I knew something was up (hoping for good news of course)!  It was the most perfect way to wake up, actually....see for yourself!....

My dad is awesome!  I am just so proud of him for toughing out this radiation and getting done with it.    Radiation hasn't treated him very kindly, and it's really hard seeing someone you love and care about so much go through all this pain.  My dad is no wimp, and when he asks to be checked into the hospital, you know he's hurting.

Ring that bell, dad.  You SO deserve it!!!

Now we must hope, pray, and send good vibes to the Lord above that these radiation and chemo treatments have done the work they need to do in order to make this tumor operable.  It will be a long 6 weeks waiting to know if we are a go for surgery.  We are giving it to you now, Lord.  Please work your magic, as I've felt and witnessed you do before.  Together, we can BEAT THIS CANCER!

Love you, dad.



My good friend shared this with me.  It definitely spoke to me and wanted to share it and remember it.


Home Sweet Apartment!

That's right folks...we were released from the hospital today!  Yayyyy!!!  I'm pretty sure they would have kicked us out come tomorrow afternoon anyway, after having to listen to us yell at the TV during the LSU game :)

It was another long day.  Getting out of the hospital is like trying to escape prison.  It is not easy and it takes foreverrrrrrrrrrr!

The breakdown went like this....

I showed up in the room around 9.
At 9:40 they took him down for radiation.
Directly from radiation, we took him to Dr. Wolff's office.  I actually got to drive his wheelchair.  I think he was a bit scared :)
We were all a little uneasy knowing we would find out the results from his CT scan he had the day before.  We knew Wolff would give it to us straight, we were just hoping it was what we wanted to hear.
The news WAS what we wanted to hear, sort of.  Basically, Wolff believes it is all due to the radiation. He has quite a bit of swelling in his lower intestines and colon.  There is really not much else they can do for him other than take pain meds to help. They do not want to delay his radiation, but they are letting him skip a week of chemo.  He is real glad about that.  So after a lot of good advice from Wolff, we headed back up to the room to pack up!

We didn't get out of the hospital until 4!  We knew we were going home by 11, good grief!  Anyway, regardless.  We are back.  Out of that darn hospital!

The first thing my dad did was take a HOT shower (his room had luke warm water!).  If there is one thing my dad loves, it is a hooooot shower!  Now he's curled up on his bed taking a nice nap.  We are all glad to have this week behind us.

It will still be a tough road getting him through these next rounds of radiation, but he's tough!  He will be ok!

Thanks for all the prayers!  Keep them coming.  The road isn't over yet.


Friday Update...I mean THURSDAY!

Basically, none of us know what day it is.  We wake up early, go to the hospital, sit, wait, talk, laugh, eat, sit, wait, sit, wait, and on and on until the mid evening hours.

This morning (ok really I think it's Thursday!) my mom and I got to the hospital around 8, just after his radiation.  He looked good and had a good report from the night.  All but one problem.  He is now having major stomach cramping, like shooting pain.  They gave him some good meds to help this and he was in good spirits most of the day.  Dr. Campagna (his hospital doc) showed up around 9.  When she heard about the pain, she instantly decided it was time to order him a CT scan.  As much as we were hoping we would be packing him up and heading home today, we were all pretty glad we are going to take another step into figuring his issue out so we can fix it!

Wolff showed his face shortly after...didn't have anything new to say, but we will meet with him longer tomorrow with the scan results.  We are seriously hoping and praying that whatever it is won't be serious and can be easily fixed so we can get him out of there and into a little more normal (whatever that word even means anymore!).

We sat around all afternoon and waited for them to come take him to his CT.  I got some work done while my parents had fun shopping online.  Everyone was in a good mood so I was playing music off my computer and all of a sudden Cee Lo Green, Forget You came on my iTunes.  As we were all sitting, dancing, singing, I couldn't help but laugh at the thought of...wouldn't it be funny if Wolff walked through the door right now!  We all got a chuckle out of that and wondering if he would join in and bust a move, HA!!

Early evening my dad was having some pain again so they gave him some more meds to help get him comfortable again.  My mom decided to stay up in the room with him tonight.  She was feeling more rested and ready to have a night by his side :)  We are hoping for some early morning results also, so she didn't want to miss the doctor.

I am at the apartment, glad to be here relaxing.  I will be back at the hospital bright and early!

For now, our prayer is for a good report tomorrow along with answers.  Also, a good night sleep because we all could use one of those.

I miss SP so much!  He is coming down on Saturday.  It will be nice to have someone else entertain for a while!

Prayers going UP!!!  Goodnight :)

OH!  One more thing...just to show you how brain dead I feel...when I left the hospital tonight, I walked around level 2 and 3 before realizing I parked the car on level 4 this morning.  Sheesh!  It is all running together.


Update from Houston

Sunday afternoon I got a text from my mom that after my dad's chemo, he wasn't feeling well and was running fever (pretty normal for him after his treatments).  After a few hours, his fever went up to 102. At this point, they decided it was time to go to the ER.  Anything over 100 is not good for him.  This was the highest it has been since he started all of this.

Unfortunately it was too late at this point for me to jump in the car and head to Houston Sunday night by the time this all started, but Monday morning I was on the road by 9:30!

So glad to be here now.

Starbucks downstairs.  Bonus.
It's been a complete roller coaster ride.

Monday when I got to the hospital he looked just the same as he did last time I saw him a few weeks back.  He was my same 'ole crazy dad, entertaining us all!  That evening my mom and I went and stayed at the apartment and left him in good hands at the hospital.

Tuesday morning, the report was that he slept through the night w/o any upset stomach and still no fever! YAY!  As the day progressed, we could tell his energy was disappearing and next thing we knew, he was crawling back under the covers with a fever.  101.  Shit! (excuse the french).  Radiation had been scheduled for 3:30 and here we are at 2:30 with fever.  Next thing we knew, Dr. Wolff just appeared (as he always tends to do just at the right time).  The man is amazing.  He's so smart, and so intelligent, but he can disappear and reappear faster than anyone I've ever known!  I'm pretty sure he has some sort of magical power or something.  He is still confused by what is causing all this w/ my dad.  He took a look and then left saying, "I'm going to have to think on this for a while, I'll be back."  And just like, POOF, he was gone!  By 3:30 they were here to take him for radiation with Wolff's OK.  Off we went....down the elevator, around corners, and down lots of hallways to the radiation room.  They were all so glad to see my dad.  They were joking with him saying "Mr. Traylor, why have you been playing hooky!" You can tell they get  my dad.  They were happy to see him back, and he was happy to be back!  We have hated that all this time in the hospital might delay his treatments and we don't want that.  So far only one day behind, which is good.  The day went on and his fever stayed down.  Mom and I stayed until 8:30ish, allowing us to meet his night staff, and then we took off back to the apartment for some sleep.  We were all wiped!

Now we are on Wednesday.  Mom and I got ready to head to the hospital by 8 so we would be sure to be here when the doc came by.  Before we were out the door, dad texted her asking if we were on our way yet with 4 "?"s at the end of it!  That triggered us into instant craze mode and we literally RAN out the door!  We got here as fast as we could!  I dropped her off before I headed into the parking garage and parked.  We found out his white blood cell count had dropped pretty low.  This is not good, but not uncommon.  Just something we haven't seen with him yet.  So now, we have to wear gloves and masks in the room at all times so that we don't pass any germs to him.  It makes for some good laughs seeing my mom and I in this crazy get-up!

Nurse 1 & Nurse 2
It's now 11am and still no sign of the doctor yet.  I know she will be by, but this waiting stuff is NO FUN!  Dad's mood and spirits are good today.  His energy seems better than yesterday.  He entertained us for a while, had some breakfast, tried to kick us out b/c we were bugging him, and now he's napping.

Radiation is supposed to happy by 12:30 today and I'm sure it will.  I'm sure we will see Wolff again today, and I'm sure there will be more roller coaster stories to tell.

I am not happy we are in the hospital, but if there were ever a place for us to be, we are in the perfect place.  Hopefully everything will settle down and we will be out of here soon and back to the apartment that for now, they call home.