Yep. Life has LOTS of ups and downs.
Sometimes even in the same hour :)
***This post is the length of a small novel. You have been warned!***
So to get started, let me tell you about some of my "ups" lately!
On Friday, my husband and I surprised our girls with a trip to Connersville, Indiana where we rode on The Polar Express train ride.
They had no idea until we got there and they saw the train, and they were kind of in shock.
And I have to tell you that it didn't disappoint, either!
The ride is 2 hours long and they make it as much like the movie as possible. Kids are invited to wear their pj's, everyone gets hot chocolate and a cookie, there is a conductor, (that even looked like Tom Hanks in the movie!), and chefs wearing chef hats and coats that pass out the refreshments. The ride goes to The North Pole where Santa boards the train and sits with each child so that they can tell him what they want for Christmas. Then he gives them a Polar Express bell...The First Gift of Christmas.
For Addy, who is almost 8, it was fun. She enjoyed the whole thing and had a great time. But for Faith, who is 5, it was magical! She truly believed that she was on a magical train taking her to the North Pole. She believed that it was 'The REAL Santa', that there were real elves. I loved seeing her eyes get big as the train started to roll down the tracks as she anticipated the adventure.
That is the part that made it magical for me.
The next evening we went to Clifton Mill, which is a local attraction that decorates with thousands of lights at Christmas time. It's always beautiful, but Saturday night was FREEZING, so our kids didn't last as long as they usually do. So we only stayed about an hour and then ran through Tim Hortons to grab hot chocolate, Timbits, and use the bathroom.
Side Note: I need to do a better job of paying attention to the 'Men's/Women's signs on the bathroom doors. A nice gentleman who was washing his hands, (thank goodness!), got a surprise visit from me as I rushed in and then screamed when I realized what I had done. I quickly exited the men's room and rushed into the women's. I was completely embarrassed, and considered staying in there until the place closed. Then I remembered that Tim Hortons is open 24 hrs, and since making the bathroom my permanent home didn't seem reasonable, (plus I really wanted those Timbits), I finished my business and went out to make my order. The man was sitting right beside the counter. But thankfully, he had mercy on me and never looked my way.
After my Tim Horton's experience, we went to a friends house and visited a little while. They just got back from Disney and they got to tell us all about their super fun trip.
I'm not jealous at all.
No, that wasn't me rolling my eyes.
I mean, who needs a trip to Disney anyway? I just love staying in Ohio and enjoying the dreary weather and grey skies.
Sun and warm weather are overrated.
Ahem. Back to my wonderful weekend.
And it really was wonderful.
Because on Sunday, some of my bestest girlfriends and I did our annual Christmas shopping day!
We all pile in a van, (mine this year), and head down to Kenwood Mall near Cincy.
We spend an entire afternoon visiting all our favorite stores, and catching up. Then we get back in the car and head over to Rookwood, another shopping center, where we hit up Home Goods. After that, it's dinner at J. Alexander's and then home.
It's always so much fun to be with these gals. We don't all get to see each other as often as we used to, but because we have all been friends for so long, every time we are together, it just picks right back up where we left off. I love them dearly, and I treasure their friendship!
So those are some of my recent "Up's"
And now for a few of the "Down's".
I mentioned on my blog a while back that my mom had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She has now completed her first round of chemo, and it was a rough start.
We had no idea what to expect, but it has been pretty bad.
She just has no energy at all, has had horrible pain, and has been feeling sick pretty much all the time. This is her week off between rounds, and just now she is starting to feel a little bit better.
Our family is trying to work around her schedule, so we will have Christmas together this Saturday so that she can attend on, hopefully, a good day.
Please pray that she has a great day, and is able to enjoy the Holiday. Please also pray that her body begins to adjust to the poison that is being pumped into her body so that it can kill the cancer, and pray that it does kill all of the cancer!
Another 'Down' is that the same week my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, my father-in-law found out he had Bone Marrow cancer.
I know. Crazy.
He had been having back/hip pain for a while, and after a lot of testing, they determined that the pain was from damage to his bones and joints from bone marrow cancer.
And while we had some frustration with the doctors about getting answers for him, he had gotten a treatment plan and begun his chemo.
Until he had a fall and things spiraled and he ended up in the hospital with 2 blood transfusions.
UGH! Why can it never be easy???
Anyhow, he is actually doing better and we think he will be able to come home today.
Please pray that he can have as easy of a time as possible with this process and that the chemo kills his cancer and that his body heals from all the damage that has already been done.
Ya know, sometimes, life just comes right out of nowhere and smacks you upside the head with more than you think you can stand.
But I have to say, I guess we can pretty much stand anything when we have Jesus on our side.
I know that people are praying, and I know He is answering, because I can physically feel it.
You see, usually I am one big stress ball. I have all kinds of anxiety, and I can never control it. And on top of that, I am a 'glass half empty' kind of person. I like to call it being a realist, but it's all the same.
But with this, I have been steady. Not to say that I haven't had my moments, but overall, I have been able to just think about what needs to be done, and stay positive.
That in itself is kind of a miracle.
So that's kind of our life right now. Taking care of and loving on the parents in our life who need us more than ever right now, and trying to stay on top of our "normal" life with 2 wonderful, beautiful little girls that also need mom and dad to take care of all of their stuff.
I won't lie. It's a juggling act. But I am learning that no matter how good of a juggler you are, a few things will always fall.
Sometimes, it's dinner, (lots of fast food).
Sometimes, it's my house, (looks like a tornado...or a frat house).
Sometimes, it's an email or text that I don't return, (there have been lots lately).
And sometimes, (okay, most of the time), it's this blog.
Because as long as it's not the important things, (or the important people I should say), I can live with that.
Okay, okay...my novel can come to an end now! :)
Thanks for staying with it, and for the prayers. Keep em' coming please!!