Sunday, November 24, 2013

the c word.

crap. crap. crap. crap. crappity crap crap crap.


never thought i'd be 34 years young, associating that word with my body.  my self.  my mind.

but i am.

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it all began 2 years ago when my ob-gyn noticed my left thyroid was a tiny bit larger than my right.  she sent me off for blood work and an ultrasound, which resulted in yes, the left is a tiny bit larger, let's biopsy it.  well that came back with a diagnosis of benign thyroid nodule.  phew.  nothing major. no harm done.

until this benign little nodule kept growing, and over the next year-and-a-half it tripled, quadrupled, i'm not sure, but it exponentially grew in size.  despite 6 months of synthetic thyroid hormone, it grew.  it became only slightly bothersome, more noticeable, and when asked if i wanted to have it removed, i resoundingly said yes.  why allow it to continue to grow?  just take it out.  move on.

november 7th.  i am wheeled into surgery to remove the nodule and my left thyroid, well aware of the fact that when it is removed, they will pathology it to determine if there are cancerous cells present.  if so, my right is coming out as well.  but i awoke several hours later to the good news that i was only missing half my thyroid.  no cancer was located upon first dissection.  i could recover with my collarbone war wound that was larger than they initially planned, as that little sucker they removed was the size of an egg, and my drainage tube.  oh joy.

fast forward 6 days later.  i arrive for my post-op appointment, have my sutures removed, and wait for the doctor to give me the final check, the all clear, the life moves on smile.  except that i didn't get it.

what i did get was a shock to my system.  only just that morning, she tells me, the pathologist called her to change his diagnosis.  follicular carcinoma cells were found throughout the nodule, mildly invading the thyroid.  these cells were difficult to detect in the post-surgery dissection and even the frozen dissection completed the day after surgery.  it wasn't until the entire nodule was scanned that they found those little enemies.  and it was then that my mind began to race and my tears began to creep down my cheek and my mom's hand outstretched to enclose mine.

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i listened to the doctor tell me what to expect, what the next steps are.  but honestly, my mind was completely on michael and my girls.  how would we do this?  this is not what we had planned.  this was not supposed to happen.  everything up until now came back benign.  this was a minor percent scenario.  why is this happening to me?  to us?

i left that appointment and cried.  i called michael immediately at work and after getting the facts, he said he was coming home from work right then.  i called my dad and cried.  i called my sister and sobbed.  i haven't had the chance to blog this yet, but you see, my sister and her family moved to london only 3 weeks ago.  london, as in england.  as in, thousands of miles away, won't see them until april.  we facetime daily, which helps a little, but this day, it hurt that she wasn't here.  a lot.  she knows just what to do and just what to say to make it better.  and i didn't have her there with me.

we drove home, my mom and i, praying and talking and trying to wrap our brains around this.  i arrived home and didn't know what to do, who to call, how to tell family and friends.  this isn't something that you write in a mass e-mail or text, and so it's taken me over a week to tell those i love in person and via phone about this crappy new journey we've just ventured on.

i don't even know how i'm feeling.  some days are good.  some are crummy.  some are ok.  some days i've kept pretty busy and have pushed this diagnosis out of my mind for awhile.  but underneath there's a whole mess of stuff going on inside my head and i am so thankful i have this blog to dump it all onto.  so here goes some of it.  all very random.  i apologize.

my doctor tells me that if you're going to get cancer, thyroid is the one to get.  wow.  lucky me.

i feel chilled to my bones.  nothing seems to warm me up.  i stand in piping hot showers for what seems like hours only to dry off and put on yoga pants and cuddly sweatshirts.  i am constantly shivering off so many feelings.

i have amazing friends.  i have received so many cards and texts and e-mails and phone calls.  meals delivered.  offers to take my kids for a few hours.  coffees brought over.  hugs and kisses and shared cries.  stupid jokes and poking fun to make me laugh.

i have an even more amazing family.  my mom and dad live 10 minutes away, but you'd think my mom moved in.  she was here bright and early to take the girls to school, she was back in the afternoon to bring them home.  she made meals.  she did our laundry.  she picked up the house.  she was present.  and that in itself was comforting.  she'll never know how blessed we are for her.

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what i do know for absolute certainty is that i'm not going anywhere.  if this is the cancer to have (it just sucks that i have it at all), then i guess i can be thankful for that.  but this isn't going to overcome me.  i will not be struck down by this.  i have way too much in my life to live for.  to be thankful for.  i am strong.  i have faith.  i am surrounded by strength and courage and love.  and that's what counts and what matters.

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so on we go.  to my next surgery january 2nd to remove the other side of the thyroid.  and to 5 weeks post-surgery for iodine radiation when i will be quarantined from anyone for a few days.  but first, we will enjoy and celebrate and love the holiday season.  and that i am looking forward to.

(a very special thank you to my friend, laura, for these beautiful family photos.  i am so thankful for you.  and i am so thankful for these happy memories.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

apples to apples

apple picking is one of my favorite autumn activities, and surprisingly, it's taken me 2 months to post the pictures about it.  call it life getting in the way and making our days pretty busy.  alas, here is our cool, crisp, sweet fall apple-pickin' morning.

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crosby double fisted those apples the entire time, dropping one after several bites only to pick another and fill her empty hand.  she wandered the orchard in pure happiness, and seemed to have an amazing time.  especially when daddy started tossing the apples over to harper and mama to put in the wagon, and she decided to imitate him.

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harper, on the other hand, chose her apples to munch on more cautiously, picking the ones that only looked the yummiest.  she accessorized for the jaunt, purse filled with essentials, including her tool set pliers, for which she used to carefully pluck each apple off of its perch.

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each year, this trip becomes more and more important to me to keep up.  the memories we're building for them, the traditions we're laying.  it's what family is all about.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


how sweet is this little one?
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our friends, megan & tom, welcomed kendall right before halloween.  i first met her in the hospital the night she was born, and she was so very sleepy.  i knew at 6 days old when i came to take her photos that she would  likely sleepy most of the time again.  wrong.

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she may have cat napped a few minutes here and there, particularly in her mama's arms, but that little lady had one eye on me the entire time.  she preferred to be swaddled, pacifier in place, and held.  when those three were not in perfect order, she was up.  but i forgave her.  i mean, look how sweet she is.

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and she is adored by her big brothers.

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life is so amazing.  looking at this tiny little angel, i just stare in awe and wonder.  how precious we all are.

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megan & tom, congratulations on your beautiful bundle of love.  i wish you many happy days and peaceful, slumber-filled nights.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

one year.

another day and more photos of my adorable niece, emma.  these were her first birthday and family photos.  so much love and happiness and a beautiful fall day.  and what's not to love about a little lady in pink.

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oh, some of those faces were killer.  stinkin' cute.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013


our niece, emma, is already 1. seems like only yesterday my sister-in-law and brother-in-law were welcoming her into their arms.
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to celebrate her big day, we had a little party. and no first birthday is complete without a cake smash.
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i love the cake smash. it's such a rite of passage. from the first questioning looks and hesitant taste to the inevitable parental forcing of the hand into the cake to encourage the kiddo to try a bit more. then the realization that this bright, colorful, smooshy thing in front of me is actually quite tasty, and the dive in with all gusto, can't get it to my mouth quickly enough, not caring that it's now all over my face and hair. it's sort of magical to watch.
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we as adults are sending an is your first taste of the sweet life, child. the good stuff.
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enjoy it.
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and remember that sometimes in life, it's ok to eat dessert first.
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happy first birthday, sweet girl.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

goldfish march of dimes event

if you're looking for something to do, here's information for the march of dimes family swim event -  a really fun upcoming event at goldfish swim school to support an awesome cause.

november 17th is national prematurity day so all proceeds will be going to local hospitals specifically funding premature births.   the event will be sunday november 17th from 5-6:30pm.   come and enjoy light snacks and your chance at winning tons of cool stuff in a raffle!

heck, just come for the warm pool and the awesome swim toys!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the harper & crosby project - october 2013

since we've hit mid-month, it's time for the previous month's recap.  i cannot believe that this project is more than 10 months in.  october was a very busy month.  full of a birthday, a wedding, a trip to florida, dancing, pumpkins, swimming, lots of love and happiness and capping it off with a rainy night parading around with a cat and a superhero.  overall, it was pretty great.  enjoy.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

goldfish underwater event!

"hello ms. maggie!  we'd like to buy some snacks."

we love our goldfish swim school and are always looking to support in any way we can!  here is a fun upcoming event...

*looking to spice up your holiday card, or just show off your child’s swim skills?  check out our underwater photos with ms. maggie!  sign up for a 15-minute time slot:

          friday november 15th     9 am-12:45 pm
          saturday november 16th     2-3:45 pm
          sunday november 17th     8-9:45 am

call the front desk to schedule your time slot!

happy fall y'all

i guess we're closer to winter than the first day of fall; honestly my mind is still stuck in october.  when did it get to be november?  and almost mid-november at that?  either way, in editing some pictures, i found some fun fall ones.  these were taken just about a month ago, but it truly feels like yesterday.  i'm blaming my fogginess on my thyroid surgery last week.  more on that later.

either way, happy fall!

(p.s. it snowed here last night.)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

fall family of five.

you may remember this family from last fall.  pat and jeni have been friends with michael and i since college.  since then, they've added 3 kiddos and a whole lot of love.  i was happy to be asked to take their pictures again this year.  we somehow managed to wrangle them all together for a family and a kids photo, but it took a lot of laughs and trials and running around.  and it was a whole lot of fun.  i truly enjoyed our morning you fun family of five!

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