Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LAST chemo!!

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

Today marks the 6th and LAST chemo treatment for my dad! We still have to wait the final scans on March 1st to get the all clear, but we are believing that God has healed him! We are so thankful for the nurses and doctors that have taken care of him through this process and for the prayers of so many of our friends and family as we we've been on this rollercoaster that started in June. We were faced with waiting, gut punches, more waiting, gut punches, and then even more waiting... This is a journey that has strengthened our faith for sure. And man, has my dad allowed God to be a light in him through it all. He did it all with little complaint and a smile on his face, reminding us that God is still good and that there is reason to rejoice in each day that the Lord made. 

I cried buckets of tears when my mom sent me the video of him ringing the bell to signify the last of his treatments. God is so, so good. 
{ringing it with another man that entered this at the same time as my dad}
...and then even more buckets when she sent me this one of the 2 of them with her oncologist that then became my dad's oncologist too. Our family has watched both of my parents get diagnosed. We've fought the fear the comes with the terrible C word, but we've come out stronger as a family unit and as children of God. Of course we wouldn't ask for these trials, but in a way we're thankful for the opportunity for God to show himself to us through them. To be forced to lean on our faith because it was all we had. 
And of course we're thankful that it ended well for us as we believe the same outcome for my dad that he'll be deemed cancer free! We know that these stories don't always end this way, but we believe that God is no less good when it turns out differently. Harder, absolutely....but through the birth of Jesus, HOPE was born into the world. As believers, we have hope in the eternal. 

Thank you for those of you that have prayed along with us and walked beside us. We ask that you continue to pray that He who began a good work in us will continue it until it is finished. 

Merry, merry!

I can't believe it is already the middle of January February. The holiday season has come and gone and it was such a good one. Every Christmas season, I seem to get so emotional about all the blessings that God has poured out on our lives. I just want to hold tight to each and every person and memory. If I'm honest, I'd say it was so much so last year that it also brought on great anxiety and fear that the wonderful people and good health that were surrounding us would somehow be ripped from me.  I had to continually remind myself of God's true character, and I knew even then that it was a lesson on learning to let go and to trust Him. Because this Thanksgiving and Christmas were not spent with family that were all in good health. But you know what? It wasn't any less joyful either. Instead, this year was filled with an understanding and great appreciation for the HOPE that was born on Christmas day. I just couldn't seem to get over the joy that the promise of Jesus brings us.  

I really do like taking pictures, but I tried to be more intentional about being present instead of capturing the moments-which explains why there are an abundance of some moments and gaps in others. Please excuse. ;)

The night before Thanksgiving, we were with the McGuires at Lake Oconee. We went to the tree lighting at the Ritz Carlton and had cookies and hot chocolate right before bed time. ;) We even got in a visit with Santa! 
I love these two pictures because you can see how hard Reynolds is working to be brave. Teagan on the other hand has no problem telling a strange man in a red suit what she wants for Christmas (American Girl doll). Reynolds asked for preseths. 
Pancakes with Pappy on Thanksgiving morning. 
Thanksgiving morning was spent at the McGuires and the afternoon was spent at my sister's house with my mom's side of the family. 
Lunch with the family before heading back home. 
Saying goodbye to my car for THIRTEEN years!
Getting to see that THREE carseats fit across in our new one helped me get over the fact that I hate goodbyes. ;) Party in this mom-o-bile. Bring me all the kids! 
And another stop by the lake on our way home. 

That weekend, we started the Christmas season off with a trip to get a Christmas tree. (Technically two trips to get a tree if you count the fact that our first one split and I caught it as it was falling and breaking our tree stand. It was just helping us get in the spirit.)

Our first tree. Everyone was a little too grumpy the second time around to snap a picture. 
Sweet girl helping to wrap presents and write names this year. 
The next weekend we went to Papa G and Gigi's house to help them decorate too! 
Return to Betheleham
Garden Lights at the Botanical Gardens
Love these new additions to our tree
Cookie decorating! 
Third annual family fun night to look at lights in our pjs with a cfa milkshake. 
Spreading Christmas cheer :) 
Little too much help with the tape ;)
We started Friday Family Movie Nights--that we've continued! 
Christmas Party fun with this girl at school! 
We skipped school for 2 days to get in some quality time with all of our family during the Christmas season. First up, North Augusta with my fam! 
Gingerbread making! 
We took this whole crazy crew to visit Mema! 
Presents with the family! 
One big, crazy, happy family! 
And breakfast together the next morning for one last hoorah before we headed back home. 
Back home for Christmas! 
Had to FaceTime with our elf since she decided she "had more work to do in North Augusta before the big day." {certainly not because we forgot to pack her}
Christmas Eve service at Passion City Church
...and then again at our church! 
Christmas morning! 
favorite present for this guy! a pack of orange practice golf balls. 
This guy couldn't hang...he had to get his first breakfast in. 
Making beignets! 
Scavenger hunt time! 
That evening we headed to the lake to have Christmas, round 3 with the McGuires! 
Uncle Joe got the kids Flarp and it was quite the hit! 
Attempt at sleeping in the same bed. It lasted until about midnight and took lots of patience from a big sister. :)
 There's no telling how many times these 2 have made pancakes together. 
 On Pappy's scavenger hunt! 
 ...because Christmas in Georgia. 
  snuggles with Uncle Joe's new puppy
We left the kids with the McGuires the next day and went back to Augusta to spend time with my dad during one of his treatments. 

It was a WONDERFUL and full Christmas season. We are thankful for the blessings that God has given us and for the JOY that the season brings.