YAY for Clean Dishes!

Our new dishwasher came yesterday!  YAY!

The old one was over 6 years old and definitely base grade.  Yes, it was stainless, but the inside was yucky and plastic and rusty...and had a missing wheel!  Not to mention, we had to turn our TV up extremely loud just to hear over the freight train like noises it liked to make!

It never cleaned very well, and I was always angry after unloading it!  That is no way to live, mad at your dishwasher all the time :)

We replaced it with a Kenmore from Sears.  So happy with it...so far :)

Soooo pretty.  And shiny.  And NEW!  


Cloudy, Rainy, Beautiful Day!

1.  I spent the weekend in Houston.  I drove down Thursday and SP came on Friday.  We enjoyed a pretty quiet weekend with my parents.  I was able to go to my dad's doctor appointments on Friday.  He is definitely making progress.  Slowly, but surely, and that's what is important!  We watched TV, played yahtzee, watched my dad draw new planter creations with my house in mind, and enjoyed the crazy spring-like weather.

2.  Saturday night SP and I met up with a very old friend of mine, Chris.  We met for drinks at Little Woodrows in Rice Village.  It was a beautiful early evening, so we were able to sit outside, which I love!  After a few Stella's, we walked around the corner to Pasha.  It's a restaurant that SP randomly spotted and decided he wanted to try.  He is always keeping a watchful eye for the next whole-in-the-wall  to try.  We were glad he spotted this one!  It was sooo good.  Turkish food.  After dinner, we went back to Woodrows, for another round or two fo Stella!


3.  We didn't leave Houston until 3ish Sunday afternoon.  We arrived in downtown Ft. Worth around 7.  We were both hungry, we stopped at one of our favorite places, Yucatan Taco Stand.  Another perfect evening to sit outside and enjoy a quiet dinner together.

4.  I got to have dinner last night with Kelly & Jenn.  Jenn and I drove to Dallas and met Kelly at Gloria's.  Always good to catch up with your besties.  We decided we are going to kick SP out of the house one night in March so we can have a slumber party.  Drink too much wine and watch continuous episodes of SATC :)

5.  Last week, SP and I went wireless!  With our printer that is :)  We can print from anywhere in the house, and from any device..iPhone, iPad...it's so cool!  The other morning, I surprised SP with a sweet note coming off the printer while I was still laying in bed.  I'm pretty sure he thought I was still sleeping.  It was pretty funny when all of a sudden the printer started mysteriously printing :)  Sneaky sneaky!

6.  We've spent a lot of time lately researching dishwashers.  Ours is Terrible, with a capital T!  And it sounds like a freight train is coming through our living room, which completely sucks b/c it's hard to hear the TV over it!  We finally pulled the trigger and our new one should be here any minute!  YAY!

7.  No, we still do not have our bed that we ordered back in August from C&B.

8.  I painted my toenails red yesterday.  Normally I leave the brighter colors for spring/summer, but with this weather, I stay so confused that I felt like maybe I should just go with it?

9.  I would looooooooove some King Cake!!!

10.  SP and I are planning a road trip to CO in May!  Red Rocks...Zac Brown....SOOOOOO excited!!!!


Will It Last?

I have been wanting to delete FaceBook off of my phone for a while now. I think about it a lot, but then talk myself out of it. This morning I decided to go for it. I spend way too much time on it, and it usually has me laying around in bed for an extra hour in the morning! Most of the time I'm not even that interested in what I read on there anyway! So I did it. Today is the day I deleted the book from my mobile device! My home screen definitely looks different without that little blue box with a big white F on it.


Week at MDA

Flowers : MDA : FLT cleaning his board : FaceTime with the hubs :)

This past Sunday I loaded up my car, kissed my husband goodbye, and headed south to MD Anderson.    My dad, unfortunately had a longer stay in the hospital than any of us expected.  He had to get a feeding tube (J-tube), an NG tube (nasal gastric-tube) to then be replaced with a g-tube (gastric tube).  Yes, apparently they can put a tube anywhere and make it do lots of things to help your body function properly when it's not working on its own.  It was a week full of highs and lows.  We are TEAM TRAYLOR and have to stick together and lean on each other when things get rough.  We are trying to keep spirits high and know we are doing what we have to do.  My poor dad is still fighting and ready to win this battle.  I tried to cheer him up often while in the hospital room by bringing him pretty flowers, putting together a care package from random stuff I bought at Target (rubix cube, paint your own bobble heads, yahtzee, etc :) ), and giving him sweet cards.  When he would perk up, he would do things like walk around the halls and rouse the nurses and anyone else he could find!  Pure entertainment, that's for sure!  One night, he decided he wanted to clean off the dry-erase board in his room b/c it was driving him nuts!  It's the board the nurses use to write goals, and all their names, etc.  So he went to town, redrawing everything and using his hospital gown as the eraser (he didn't wear it anyway!).  Friday I got to head back home.  Adam drove down Saturday morning and then Uncle Jim made it on Sunday.  He will stay through Thursday, which is when I will head back down.  He was released from the hospital on Saturday evening :)  Now they are in an apartment for at least the next 2 weeks so they can stay close to MDA in case something heads south.  My mom is busy learning how to care for him.  Feed him, flush his tubes, pump him full of IV fluids.  It's a lot to learn and remember, but she's getting it down and each day is getting easier :)  I look forward to seeing them again in a few days!  I'm thankful I was able to go to a class with her at MDA last week on how to flush and feed.  Now I can be more helpful to them :)


Is There Life Out There?

I have been home.  Like, have not left the house.  Since SUNDAY!  It is now FRIDAY!  Being sick is no fun :(  I am finally feeling like I've got this cold kicked, minus the obvious sinus/allergy that is constantly attacking me!  I have done more TV watching this week then I care to admit.  Yesterday I decided I was going to try and do a little more to try to get some energy back.  I did 3 loads of laundry (only sheets and towels b/c those are easy to put away :) ) and even loaded and reloaded the dishwasher.  I'm sure the hubs appreciated that.  We have cooked a lot of good food this week.  We made yummy shrimp and pasta with artichokes and garlic sauce on Wednesday.  YUM!  That night, I had to leave the bedroom around 12 b/c I couldn't stop coughing!  SP had a big day on Thursday showing 1.5 million dollar homes, so I wanted him to get his rest and not be kept up by my yucky dry cough all night.  SO...I grabbed my pillow and headed towards the living room for the sofa.  I needed some more time infront of the TV (ha! right!).  By 12:30 I decided to go make myself cozy in the guest room.  Before doing so, I was busy googling exactly this, "How to stop a cough so I can sleep!"  Everything I was reading kept talking about whiskey and Hot Toddy's.  I am determined to kick this sickness in an all natural way, so I grabbed the whiskey and started mixing :)  My dad has always told me that his parent's (who were not drinkers) would fix these drinks to feel better when they were sick.  I wonder if they fixed them in mason jars, too?  Anyway, it worked!  My throat was instantly coated and quickly into lala land I drifted :)  Bottoms up!



This past weekend felt like it went on forever...in a good way :) On Friday, SP cooked us a deliciously simple dinner of chicken with sautéed mushrooms and onions with a side of cous-cous. While he cooked, I made us bourbon and gingers :)
After dinner we went to Bronson Rock to watch the Cotton Bowl with our friend, Tom. We ended up running into a few other friends, which is always nice :)

Saturday Ryan and Melanie came over with their two little ones, Embry and Cera. We drank a little and ate snacky foods. The weather was beautiful so Sean cleaned off the patio for us to enjoy :)
They left around 3, and SP and I found ourselves incredibly lazy the remainder of the afternoon. We watched a few movies and then picked up take-out :) I was started to feel under the weather, so I wanted some warm soup and an egg-roll.
My that evening I had to write my mom and dad that I wasn't going to be able to make it to Houston for my dad's feeding tube surgery bc I had a sore throat. Shoot, I really was hoping to be there :(
Sunday I didn't do a darn thing. Laid on the couch alllllllll day nursing my cold, while Sean cooked me homemade chicken & rice soup. Yum.

Even though the weekend ended with me getting sick, it was still nice and relaxing. Just the way we like it!

I don't know what my hair is doing in this picture!

Table set w/ mismatched china plates my mom gave me when I got married :)

Snacks :)

Me, Baby Cera, and Melanie

Me.  Sick (and yes, my Christmas tree is still up!)

Relaxing.  SP cooking chicken & rice soup in the kitchen :)


Prayer of Strength

Yesterday morning I woke up to my phone ringing.  It was my mom.  The decision was made to go ahead and have my parents head to Houston on Sunday.  My dad just can't eat.  So this means he isn't able to get the nutrients his body needs in order to become strong enough for his major surgery that is scheduled for Jan 24th.  We've tried everything to get protein in him, but his body is just rejecting it.  It's been a tough road, but these last few weeks have not been fun.  Seeing my dad in pain and wanting to eat, but not being able to is NOT fun.  And knowing how tired my mom is and all her efforts in coming up with ways to get him to eat.  It's exhausting, really.  It has just sucked.  So, though we are all happy to have a set plan, yesterday I was just feeling weak.  I felt like I needed an extra push of strength and confidence that everything was going to be ok.

I turned to my best friends.  A specific bunch of girls that have been there through just about everything in my life since college, if not before.  I sent them an email asking for them to please prayer specifically for me, that I needed strength.

One friend in particular decided to write her prayer out for me so that I would know specifically how she would be praying.  I wanted to share it.  I will carry this with me and read it when I have moments of weakness from now on during this battle we are fighting.

God, I pray that You would give Catherine strength and hope over the next few weeks. I pray that you would provide her comfort and peace beyond understanding. I pray she would come to You as the only one that can provide strength, peace, and comfort. I pray she would grow closer to You during the next few weeks and despite the situation surrounding her, that she would trust in You, in Your timing, and Your will. I pray You would show her tangibly and intangibly Your love for her, and for her family. I pray you would answer prayers and have her dad's surgery go well and for his protein levels to go up as needed for his other surgery. 
Then she shared some quotes and verses....
"Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." - Andrew Murray
Isaiah 41:10  fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

"His ways are higher than our ideas of how things should go. But I can tell you this: It is possible. He hears your prayers and He is not indifferent to your plight. God loves you. Above all, don't equate your suffering with how God feels about you."

Thank you, dear friends, for being there and praying so hard for my family.  I told my mom last night the statement "battling cancer" is SO TRUE.  It is w/out a doubt a battle!  My dad is strong and he will fight and win this battle, no doubt!

Love you all, sweet friends :)


My New Journal

For my 31st birthday, my dear friend gave me this journal.  It is called The Happiness Project  One-Sentence Journal.  I didn't know it at the time...in fact, neither did she, but it is based off of a book called The Happiness Project.  The idea is to recognize how many things in your life take place on a daily basis that we forget to document or even worse, we forget completely!!  So, with the help of this journal, for the next 5 years, every single day I will write one sentence documenting my day.  

It isn't intimidating by lots of blank space.  Actually, in my 2 days so far I've wished for more space to write!  As you can see from the picture, you just write the year and turn the page according to what day you are on.  So then next year, and the year after that, and so on (at least for 5 years :) ) when you go back to Jan 1 (for ex.), you can read it and remember something about that day.  I love this idea and will hopefully will end up with 365 sentences by this time next year :)

Now I want to read the book!


Our New Year's Meal :)

I spent the day yesterday being lazy.  I had the best day.  Minus the obvious emotion and aching that goes deep down inside right now.

My poor dad can't shake his nausea and just feels, well, awful.  My mom is a saint doing everything she can to nourish him and try to keep him where we need his protein levels to be.  Today marks 22 more days before his surgery that is still scheduled for the 24th.  I hate that he is so miserable, and that makes me miserable.  And I also feel for my mom who is there with him every second.  I know they are strong and my whole family is there to push them through and get us to Houston, but we are all so tired.  And so ready for this chapter in our lives to be closed.  We are soooo ready to tell that darn damn tumor GOODBYE!  My dad will be fine.  I know it.  And he knows it.  We all know it.  But, come on digestion....GET EASIER ON HIM!!!!

Back to yesterday.  It was spent being lazy around the house.  Lots of prayer, and lots of cooking.  In no particular order.  Prayers for my dad and his healing, and cooking for good luck for the new year!

I made my first successful pot of black eyed peas, along with some homemade, cast-iron skillet cornbread.  There is only one word to describe this meal....YUM!  I am tooting my own horn here, but sometimes that's ok :)  Jack and Sheryl came to eat with us.  Sheryl brought a salad and a yummy berry trifle for dessert.  It was seriously all so good and the hubs couldn't stop raving about it, which always makes a wife feel pretty darn good :)  Especially when it's good ole' soul food (as my mama calls it!)  I can't wait to eat leftovers for lunch (and maybe even dinner, ha!).  Happy happy, day :)


Happy New Year!

GoodBYE 2012 and hello 2013!!!  2012 is a year I am happy to leave behind.  Cancer decided to take over by invading my dad's pancreas back in May and we've been fighting the battle ever since.  I am thankful the year is over and now in just a few more weeks, my dad will get to have his awful cancerous tumor REMOVED!!!!  That is the day my new year will start!  

So, here's to a new year!  January 24, hurry up and get here!!!


A Christmas Post.

I sure wanted to get this written before ringing in the new year...but well, that just didn't happen.

Just a glimpse into Christmas 2012 with my family.

SP and I drove to Arkansas the Friday before Christmas.  Adam drove in on Saturday, and the DC bunch flew in on Sunday.  We were happy to have our family all together on the mountain.  After such a crazy Thanksgiving with 16 people around the harvest table, I think we all enjoyed the slower pace of Christmas.

We did our usual..cooked, ate, drank, relaxed, loved, hugged, and just enjoyed being together.  And being quiet.

We ate 15 bean soup that my dad made.  Gumbo that SP and my mom made on Saturday.  Tamales from TX.  Bacon wrapped, boudin stuffed quail from Louisiana.  Boudin.  Prime rib, popovers, green beans, and lumpy mashed potatoes (ha, j/k mom :) ) on Christmas day!!

SP and I were ready to learn how to make my mom's gumbo, since we've now mastered (well, SP has mastered) her ribs!

Below is showing how much fun SP had on the mountain.
Pic 1 - Winning the best son in law of the year award by cleaning out my mom's fridge.  Pic 2 - Learning how to make the roux.  Pic 3 - Slowly turning into a mountain man wearing my dad's hat.  Pic 4 - His Christmas getup.  A reindeer hat and rudolph nose (gifted by my dad), a silly book, and his new cooking apron.  

When I say we did a lot of sitting around, we did a LOT of sitting around.  Christmas Eve was so quiet.  We didn't do much of anything.  Everyone just relaxed.  Watched some movies, finished wrapping presents, and of course played with our favorite little buddy, Ian.  Mom and I decorated Christmas cookies!!  It was a lot of fun.  I can't tell you the last time I got to use cookie cutters and make delicious sugar cookies :)  We turned on the music and got busy decorating!
Our decorating skills could use some work, ha!  But they sure did taste good.
We ended up not putting up the big tree this year.  Just too much work for everyone.  But my mom has lots of little trees that surrounded us :)  Ian got to help Grammy decorate her animal tree!
Pic 1 - Yasha and Grammy decorating the tree!  Pic 2 - The DC bunch being lazy and playing with their buddy.  Pic 3 - We let Ian decorate a gingerbread house :)  He had so much fun sticking things in the icing and then pulling them off, ha!  Pic 4 - SP gets reaaaaally crafty while gift wrapping!

Ian helping us make the icing for the gingerbread house :)

For our Christmas Eve meal we ate beef stew with pone bread!  This is something we used to eat every Christmas Eve growing up at my grandmother's house.  My Nana made this and it is such a fond memory for my mother, she made it for us!  Sometimes it's nice to eat just a simple meal.  We all really enjoyed it.  Then we moved into the living room and watched our staple holiday movie...A Christmas Story!  "I can't put my arms down!", ha, gets me every time :)

Christmas morning, we began our gift giving around 7:30.  I woke up around 5:30, then fell back asleep for an hour.  I heard SCT, AZT, and IFT coming down the stairs and jumped out of bed so I wouldn't miss his first real Santa gift all set up and ready :)  Santa brought him the cutest, most classic, wooden train set.  Oh my, he loved(s) it so much!  It was so cute watching him say, "choo-choo" constantly :)

SP made an aluminum foil snowman on the top of my gift, ha!
And this one was an aluminum foil wrapped MILK JUG, with a pretty necklace inside :)
My favorite gifts this year were a nice cozy long robe, and a KEURIG!!!  SP caved and finally got me one.  I have been using it so much.  I love it!!  Oh, and I can't forget my new shoes that Shawn and Anastasia got me...

After gifts, we opened the wine and started cooking!  We sure thought we were going to get snow, but it completely skipped us!  UGH!  It snowed at our house in TX though...my neighbor, Shemele sent me this picture of our house!

We ended the evening gathered in the living room watching the last Batman.   Thanks Adam for bringing all these movies :)  The next day we all packed up and headed out.  With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, it was hard to stick around much longer.

It was a wonderful, peaceful Christmas.  My trooper of a father had a tough time, and still is.  We are staying strong and positive and hoping and praying continually that his digestion will become a bit easier for him.  We have started our countdown till surgery.  Only 23 more days!

Merry belated Christmas, everyone.