Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a Year

This time last year brought a lot of emotions. You may be thinking that this is when we found out we were having Denver. No, that wasn't until New Year's Eve. Actually, in the Fall of 2009 I found out that I had melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer. After they removed and biopsied the melanoma, they discovered that it had a number of qualities that made it particularly dangerous. The doctors had to do another surgery* to remove quite a bit more skin to make sure that they "got it all." They also needed to check nearby lymph nodes to be sure that it hadn't spread. My dermotologist informed me that my situation was potentially fatal.

How do you go home and inform your husband that you might be dying? How do make that phone call to your parents?

I found out about the severity of the melanoma right before Halloween. I had the surgery on
November 2nd, and then found out the wonderful news that the melanoma had not spread a
few days later. For about a week, though, I went through life wondering if I was dying;
wondering if this would be my last holiday season. I had always wanted a family, but I suddenly
imagined that it might be impossible.

Not only did the melanoma not spread, but just two months later we found out we were pregnant with Denver.

I felt compelled to write this post for a few different reasons. First, to give thanks and praise to God for healing me and blessing us with a son. Second, to encourage anyone who is going through a dark time in their life right now. On November 1st I thought I might be dying. By January 1st, I knew I was healthy and pregnant and my future was brighter than it had ever been.

With God, all things are possible.

*The melanoma had been on my neck, so when they removed the skin, I was unable to move my head for quite a while. It was quite a sight. For a bit of comedy in this serious blog, please see the photo below of me cooking dinner a year ago with some claw thingy (the claw is completely unecessary and unrelated to the surgery. It was just funny):

Monday, November 29, 2010


Denver is blessed to have two families that love him very very much.

His Dad's side of the family (picture taken when Denver was about two weeks old)...

And his Mom's side of the family (picture taken on Thanksgiving, Denver is about 2.5 months)...

We love you all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


This Thanksgiving we give thanks to God for many things.

One particularly fun thing is that on Thanksgiving Day, Denver had his first snow! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the most fun parts of pregnancy was brainstorming baby names. I would scour books and websites making sure I hadn't missed "the perfect name" for this baby. Austin found this particularly funny because he knew that it wouldn't matter what we actually named this child. There would probably be very few times that I would call the baby by his true name. Austin even went so far as to (jokingly) assert that he should be the one to name the child because I would never use it anyway.

He was right.

And here are some of the names you might hear me call my son on any given day... and please don't try to understand. I can't explain them, and you shouldn't try to either.

Sugar Bear
Big Man
Funky Winkerbean
JP Morgan
Mr. Baby Man
Mijo (pronounced mee-ho)
Bilbo Baggins

Here are some recent pictures of the Cutie Pie himself... at about two and a half months:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

35 Days

So I haven't blogged in a while because I've been stalling. I knew that it would be challenging to write this post, and I never wanted to sit down and do it. How would I put into words what the month of October was like? I'm still not quite sure what I'll say, but here's my attempt...

How do I begin to describe the last month of our lives? Austin and I feel that the last 35 days were probably the hardest days in our lives, yet in other ways, the most amazing.

From October 1st through November 4th, Austin was in Canada. That's right, for about a month I was a single mom while Austin co-directed a film in Saskatchewan. Austin has been working on this film for months, and the fact that he was able to go up and co-direct it was a huge answered prayer. It was just difficult timing, considering he had to leave before Denver was even a month old.

Never in my life have I had to rely on the Lord for my strength in such a huge way. Let's face it: babies are really cute but reeeeally hard work. Adjusting to being a new mom has been quite the transition for me...nursing, sleep deprivation, diapers, spit up, sleep deprivation, crying, sleep deprivation. You get the idea. Going through all of this without my husband for the last month was very challenging. Yet now that it's over and my husband is back with us in Texas, I am actually glad that we had this unique opportunity.

So many family and friends stepped up to help me in a time of need. I constantly had people in and out of our home... cleaning the house, bringing me meals, watching Denver while I ran errands, watching Denver while I took a nap, taking Fable on walks, and so much more. Sometimes all I needed was a friend to stop by and keep me company.

I've always loved my mom, but I now appreciate her in a whole new way. Not only because she raised me (and had many sleepless nights because of me), but because she moved in with me for a while during October to help me out. I don't think I would've survived without her.

I am generally a pretty private person. I don't usually like a lot of visitors, and I definitely am not used to asking for help. Yet I became a pro at asking for and receiving help during the last month. It was very humbling to realize how much I was dependent on others to help me get through daily life.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who helped Austin, Denver and me throughout the last 35 days. We love you so much. You have blessed our lives.

But enough about my personal journey... allow me to brag for a moment about my husband. Did I mention he DIRECTED a feature length film?! I am so proud of him. Here are some pictures of the film set he worked on...

Monday, November 1, 2010

happy and healthy

Denver is a happy and healthy baby boy. He had his eight week check up today, and he is a growing boy. Don't believe me? Here's proof...

September 7 (his birthday):
height: 22.5 inches
weight: 8 lbs. 14 oz.

November 1 (today):
height: 24.5 inches
weight: 13 pounds 6 oz.