2012 Music & Book Review

I always make a year-end playlist of my favorite songs from the year.  While I would venture to say most of my readers don’t like my style of music, I still wanted to share.  You can listen to any of the tracks free on Spotify, here is the link for this playlist:  2012



I only read 33 books this year, way down from last year.  My reading goal for the year was to read or re-read the classics.  I think I did a pretty good job on those:  The Fountain Head, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Confederacy of Dunces, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye, 1984 and The Stranger.

My favorite book, besides maybe The Great Gatsby or the Catcher in the Rye, was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I cried approximately 7 times and finished it in about 4 hours, staying up until almost 3 AM.


Gone Girl and Defending Jacob were also very good reads, although none of them particularly happy stories.

I read several I didn’t care for, so in 2013 I need to decide not to waste my time finishing a book that didn’t resonate with me from the beginning.  I can stop watching a horrible movie, why do I feel I need to finish a book?



Overall, 2012 was a pretty great year.  Ups and downs aplenty, but lots of great memories.  Here are a few of the highlights:

Turning 30 & celebrating with lots of great friends.

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In April we went to Biloxi with my parents.

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I was very excited for Ryan to start playing T-ball this year!  Below is his first hit and spectacular fielding position.

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I had several friends have babies this year, guess I’m at that age… Congrats to Lauren, Erin, Jenn, Jamie & Emma!  And Elisha, one of my best friends, is going to be having a girl this May!!

I had my last Chemo treatment on October 9th.  It sort of feels like I am 18 again and not sure what to do with my life, sort of like a blank slate.  I still don’t know what adventure will come next!  To celebrate being finished, we went to Disney World over Halloween.  Defiantly the highlight of my year, and a check off the bucket list.

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Our Christmas was great, lots of time with family and a spoiled little guy to whom Santa was very good to.

On a sadder note, this year I also lost a couple people who I cared a lot about.  The first was Christy, my friend with ALL, who my last blog was about.  And just on the 30th of December my Aunt Jackie passed away.  She married my Uncle Kenny when she was only 15, and being that she was completely blind, they were ALWAYS together.  I pray he can find some peace in this new year.


Happy 3rd Birthday Little Buddy!

You’re probably thinking I forgot how to blog…. I was kind of thinking the same thing.  I haven’t got pictures off my camera in a while and that’s often what prompts the writing.  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing lately:

TURNING 3 YEARS OLD!!  Ryan’s birthday was on Monday, the 25th.  For his birthday party we went to Jump Mania.  We had the place to ourselves Sunday morning for a couple hours before it opened to the public which is the only way to do it.  He had lots of little friends there and got lots of awesome gifts, so thanks again to everyone who was able to make it!

My parents and niece Brandi came down for Ryan’s birthday.  Last Thursday Brandi spent the night with us while Mom & Dad went down to Branson.  They all came up on Saturday and stayed with us until Monday.  It was a very nice visit, Mom & Dad hadn’t seen Ryan in a couple months, which I think is the longest they have gone without seeing him.

TURNING 35!!  🙂  John’s birthday is just two days after Ryan’s so to celebrate John’s mom made us a lovely dinner.  No bounce houses or slides for John’s birthday, poor John.

My niece Chelsey had come to visit a couple weeks ago, she made the trip down just to watch the new Harry Potter with me opening weekend.  Ryan had a great time playing with her, it’s been nice for him to be able to spend some one on one time with his cousins.  My niece Torie just needs to come down next!

A couple weeks ago Ryan and I went up to the lake to stay with Brian, Jenn & Tyson for a night.  We played in the water the next day and of course rode in the boat.  I even let Ryan go tubing with Brian.  There was no traffic and we went slow, I was still a little nervous but Ryan loved it!

Other than that, nothing really new is going on with treatment.  I had a spinal tap on the 19th and I should have my last one ever next month!  This upcoming Tuesday I have a bone marrow biopsy.  It’s just routine, I will have to get them every 6 months or so.  My counts have been good and I’ve been feeling good!

I’ve been doing more work with Winstead Media Group and have kept really busy redesigning my wedding site.  Springfield-Wedding.com  I built this site 5 years ago when John & I were planning our wedding and besides updating some of the vendor lists, haven’t really touched it.  I’ve spent probably 20 hours or so in the past couple weeks redoing the look and updating all the vendors.   Please go there and “like” me on Facebook.  Gracias.

Taxes are fun

We are not doing our own taxes, my brother-in-law Kevin is an accountant so he gets to have most of the fun.  This morning I did get the joy of figuring out how much we’ve spent in medical bills this past year.  I am a pretty organized person and had been keeping a spreadsheet of most of the payments we made last year, but I still went through several semi-organized folders of bills and statements.  Then there’s all of the prescription receipts.  Ahhh!!

Thankfully, our insurance website has a list of every amount that was the “member responsibility” and what our portion was of every prescription filled in 2010.

We can also claim $.16/mile for trips to and from the doctor.  So I figured I’ve made approximately 98 trips back and forth to Cox South in 2010.  That’s an average of one trip every 3.7 days.  They should let me claim $.16/ every minute I’ve had to wait in a waiting room!

Thinking of Nathan

It’s not often I let myself think about the heaviness of our situation, it’s mostly just a foggy thought of “I have cancer” and that thought hasn’t even crossed my mind lately as much as it did in the beginning.  Then the other night while reading my friend Abby’s blog I stumbled upon a post about one of her friends passing away from leukemia.  He was a couple years younger than me, and although it was a different form of leukemia than I have (he had AML), that hit me hard.  Here I am crying for a guy I never knew, crying for his poor wife and, in a way, crying for myself.  I guess it just kind of scared me, if it happened to him why couldn’t it happen to me?  I found his Caring Bridge blog and read only a couple pages, seeing that maybe he had pneumonia near the end.  My recent bout with pneumonia was the first time I thought,” you know, this could kill me”.  I have never thought I was going to die from this, but then it’s hard not to let your mind wander to that dark place.  In his obituary it wanted to thank Dr. Ellis and the nurses on 5W; it all just hit a little too close to home and shook me up a bit.

His name was Nathan and his wife keeps a blog – http://www.minusambition.blogspot.com/ It would nice for everyone to say a little prayer for her, being a widow at 25 is heartbreaking, and for the rest of his family.

You Say it’s Your Birthday

Today I turn 29 and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to have a birthday.  I never would have thought in my 28th year I’d go through countless chemo treatments, blood transfusions, something like 6 bone marrow biopsies and 10 spinal taps.  And I lived through it.  And my quality of life wasn’t terrible.  I have changed more this past year than I can even describe.  I never really thought birthdays were that big of a deal, fun to celebrate but really just another trip around the sun.  This year feels different.  I am truly happy just to have another one to celebrate.

Friday John took off work and we went to my neck of the woods.  We dropped Ryan off with my Mom and he was pushing us out the door to leave.  He literally shut the door in my face when I was telling him to be good and listen to Maw-Maw.  We went up to the loop and checked in to the Moonrise Hotel, we stayed there last year for my birthday too.  Brian, Jenn, Elisha, Sean, Takara, John, Sara & Matt all met us at Blueberry Hill at 7 that night for dinner.  We all ordered burgers and mine was super good.  I don’t really get to see my friends that often since I really only come home for holidays, which I spend with family (which is good too).   It was just really nice to have a night out with John in STL.

Saturday afternoon we ate at the well-known pizza establishment Pi which just happened to be right across the street from the hotel.   (President Obama ate there when he was in town.) Since we were celebrating my birthday, I ordered the stuffed mushrooms (which I normally don’t do since John doesn’t like them) and they were soooo good, the pizza was pretty alright too.   We went to the Art Museum for a little while before heading back to De Soto.

Saturday night we had dinner and cake with Mom, Dad, Pam, Torie & Brandi.  Ryan helped Mom make the cake and had been waiting patiently all day to eat it.   My niece Chelsey had to work on Saturday night, but she did come over on Sunday morning to eat breakfast with us before we had to head out for the day.

It was a really great weekend, a lot of fun!  We have no plans for today besides I let John know we’d be getting take out from somewhere because I’m not cooking 🙂  Happy Valentines Day!

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It seems like my posts have been pretty boring lately, at least in my opinion, so this is a non-health related blog post.  If you remember my list of things I am thankful for, I had mentioned Google Reader as it helps me keep up to date on blogs I like to follow.  I’ve had a couple people link to my blog in the past couple days and I wanted to return the favor and share some of my other favorite reads.

My sister-in-law Amy’s blog.  Lots of posts about food and photography, two things I love:   http://yerttle.wordpress.com/

My cousin Drew’s blog about music.  I told him a couple days ago he should write for a magazine, he’s a talented writer on a subject he’s clearly passionate about:   http://earbook.blogspot.com/

My cousin Drew’s friend who I’ve never met, but always blogs with a passion, mostly about food…  http://confoundedcook.blogspot.com/

I have lots of other friends who have blogs, but rarely blog anymore!  You know who you are, step it up!

This is a “Mommy-Blogger” who cracks me up.  My friend Stacy turned me on to her several years ago and I’ve been following her every since.  http://www.dooce.com/

Anne Taintor, really funny pictures and products:  http://annetaintor.com/ati/

John has taken my car to work for the past couple days because it has 4 wheel drive.  His truck is a stick and I still don’t know how to drive it, so that means I’m stuck at home.  Which is really no different than any other Thursday as I really only leave the house when forced to.  I can’t wait for spring!