Saturday, September 26, 2009

Believing God


Jack had a wonderful 1st birthday party, surrounded by all of our family, and graciously hosted at my brother-in-law's house (thank you Jeff & Janet). We got some great pictures, Jack was ridiculously spoiled with presents, and it was just nice to have almost all the family in one place. Fun times! Thank you everybody. Unfortunately, Jack doesn't look like his birthday picture today. He is down with a fever and he's pitiful. Won't eat, just wants to moan and snuggle. I'm loving the snuggle part, but I wish he could get some good sleep so he can start feeling better. We were supposed to go to Kangazoom for a 3 yr old's birthday party this AM, but we had to back out. Don't want to get any other kiddies sick.

I just started a new Beth Moore study at my mother-in-law's church - Believing God. I know a lot of you have taken this study already and I've heard such wonderful things about it. I've only been to the first week's session and done 2 days of the homework, but I am LOVING it. It's pretty crazy to think how quickly we can be arrogant about our own lives and start thinking that God can't make things better for us, or that he wouldn't want to. Our faith is what pleases him. There is nothing he can't do, and I need to remind myself of this daily. God has already blessed me in so many ways, and I'm choosing to trust in what he has planned for our family next.

Forester had a GREAT time at the big Braves day out. He got to meet some players and they signed a jersey for him and a glove. He even got to say "Play Ball" before the game started. Thank you to all the wonderful people that came out to support him and let him know how much we care about him. It was definitely a day none of us will forget. When Forester got home from that big weekend, he had his Sept chemo treatment and then had to have another transfusion this last week due to low blood counts. He still has two more chemo rounds (Oct and Nov) but he's holding up okay. The two main things to note are that his last MRI was clear and his hearing tests have all been perfect so far. PRAISE GOD!! His school teacher has been coming to the house a few days a week to keep him up to speed, and he's doing really well with that.

So, I am slowly becoming a self-taught graphic designer. SLOWLY is the key word. I could play with my design software for hours and not get sick of it, but I get really impatient when I can't figure out how to do what I want to do. However, I've got some great designer friends that are quick to help me with my questions, which is a huge help. Below is my first official design I've done for a friend's catering business. It ain't perfect, but it's a starting point. (Side note: This gal can really make some yummy stuff, if you're ever looking for a caterer. She rocks!)

Ok - I'm tired of typing :) HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

GREAT again, we are (say in Yoda voice)

Jenna (Steve's niece) is a mommy, times two, now. She delivered Campbell May Bonner on Saturday morning at 5:10am in San Francisco and she's perfect. We can't wait to get our hands on her. Why oh why must they live so far??!! Oh yeah....Coast Guard. Poo. Congrats to the whole fam! We love you! Thanks for making us a GREAT Aunt and Uncle again. Keep 'em coming.

Mom came in town last night and Dad is coming tonight. Whit, Pete and family will be here late Friday night and so will the Nashville clan. We're doing Jack's 1st birthday part at Jeff and Janet's pool Saturday afternoon and I can't believe we're actually going to have everyone together. It's really hard to make that happen these days, and I'm so excited about it. Sunday is Forester's Braves day and we've got almost 100 people coming out to support. So cool. I think it will be such a fun day for him. I still have a few extra tickets I've been holding on to, so let me know if you still have interest in going and I can try to work something out. Here's the t-shirt we'll all be wearing on Saturday.

Forester, overall, is doing pretty well. He's still getting chemo treatments every few weeks where he's in the hospital for about 4 days. He's also getting his blood counts tested frequently to check his platelet levels, etc. and sometimes that requires a transfusion and limited access to the rest of the world. His neuropathy and leg pain is pretty bad right now, so he struggles a lot with his walking. The prayers and sweet thoughts and gestures have been constant, though, so thank you for all of your support. God is good and there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It's just a very long tunnel for my sister and brother-in-law (and my parents) who are dealing with this daily. Time passes a lot faster when you're not spending each day with Forester. Please continue to pray for their strength through all of this. Pete is also struggling with a pinched nerve in his neck, which has created some extra stress. We're hoping this is better by the time they drive down here on Friday. Here's a new Bradburn family pic that I love.

Ok - there's always more I could update on, but I got to get my day started here. Jack has been taking "infant survival" swimming lessons each morning over the past four weeks. I know...crazy, huh? Call me overprotective. We just spend a lot of time around water so I figured it was worth it. He's learning to "roll and float", which basically means if he fell into water, he would know how to roll on to his back and float until someone sees him. Here's a pic of the torture :(

And one more, just for the cuteness factor. I can't believe he's already a year old. This was definitely the fastest year of my life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Monthly update

I'm really doing a bad job at keeping this blog updated!! I think I have to cover everything each time I post and I should just give some quick updates and move on. So here it is:
  • Steve's sister is doing great. She ended up getting better and is fully recovered and back at work. We're still keeping our fingers crossed that she will consider moving down here so we can be closer to her :( We miss you, Lynn.
  • Jack is crawling all over the place and will even stand for a few seconds, if he's unaware that he's doing it. Go figure. I've also bartered with a swim instructor to get Jack learning how to float! I'm babysitting the instructors children for an hour each morning and then Jack gets a free swim lesson. He hates it. We're on week two (of 6) and it's Monday-Friday for 10 minutes. Ideally, at the end of the 6 weeks, if he was to fall into a pool, he would know how to roll himself over and float until someone gets him. I think it's great b/c now we can go to the pool and not even pay any attention to him. Just a joke, people! Jack is also turning one on August 27th. This has been the fastest year ever, but the best.
  • Forester is doing well. He just finished another round of chemo and is back home with the family. He feels pretty good most of the time, with the exception of some excessive sleepiness. He really hates being at the hospital, but it makes for a big celebration when he gets to come home. We're all excited about the "Friend of Forester" Braves game on September 6th. 90 people have bought tickets and we're all going to wear t-shirts at the game. Maybe we can get on tv?? That would be fun. I will have to plant a seed somewhere...
  • I finished the Beth Moore study and really liked it, so I'm going to do the next one that's titled "Believing in God", which I have heard is great. This is the first time in my life I have truly enjoyed studying the Bible and learning more about who God is and what he desires for us. Very cool. Outside of that, I'm trying to learn PhotoShop and Illustrator and I'm having so much fun with it. It's unbelievable how much time I can waste just playing around - yikes!
Ok - need to work on Jack's birthday invite, so more later. Night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We're still here!

Soooooo...I'm not too good at keeping up with this blog thing (thank you for the reminder, Jenna) so I'm going to try to do better in order to keep more of you in the loop on stuff...

FAMILY NEWS:
  • Steve's sister (Lynn Crover) is in the hospital - Steve's oldest sister is in the hospital in Fort Wayne, IN with some fluid build up on one of her lungs. The docs will do surgery tonight to drain the fluid and find out what's going on in there. Please be praying for her peace of mind, healing and rest. Lynn was one of my bridesmaids, so some of you may have met her at my wedding. She's an amazing person and we've been begging her to move down south for awhile now. Still hoping!!

  • Birth of Nicholas Jeremiah! We have a new nephew - yah! Nicholas was born in Nashville, TN on Friday, May 22nd (two weeks early). Jack and I got to go up for a quick visit when he was 3 weeks and he's absolutely perfect. I can't wait for Uncle Steve to meet him and for me to get my hands on him again. Soon, I hope.

  • Forester: Whitney obviously keeps all the details updated on her blog (thebradburns.blogspot.com) so I don't want to repeat everything she has already reported, but I do want to mention some good news. #1 - Forester passed his first hearing test with a perfect score - woo hoo! #2 - His blood counts were up this past weekend so he was able to attend the fundraiser run in his honor and do the "ready, set, go" at the starting line. #3 - This run (Run Forester Run 10K) was a huge success. Over 100 people showed up and over $4,000 was raised to help cover medical costs, with an additional anonymous donation - so cool. Forester still gets tired and sick from time to time but overall, he's doing better than we would have expected. Keep praying, please!

  • April (Whit's best friend) - Just diagnosed with Lupus today. Please pray for her :( This is a lot to take in and we'll be praying for her overall health. April was also at our wedding. She's been a family friend forever and an amazing support system for Whit. We love you, Ape!


SWANEY NEWS:
  • STEVE: He has two new loves - gardening and golf. Golf has always been fun for him, but he's recently gotten psyched all over again. Obviously, his hobby ain't as cheap as cross stitch but he's getting to the course when he can. The gardening is a new love. He has planted cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, okra, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, cilantro....and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. He's having a great time with this and I'm certainly enjoying the fresh goods for dinner. YUMMY!

  • JACK: He's crawling! He made his first move at Aunt Brenda's house with some help from Aunt Parker. It's only been a couple of weeks and he's tripled his speed. You definitely have to keep an eye on him now or he'll find something (Ex. dog biscuit) and put it in his mouth. Hypothetical example, of course :( He's happy to eat anything. Even happier if it comes off of your plate or spoon. Yesterday he started saying DADDY and he really knows what it means. It's melting Steve's heart, of course. I'm still anxiously awaiting the MAMA. Hmph. Jack's 23 lbs and chubbing up all over.
video
  • KATIE: Not too much to report on my end. I'm enjoying every minute with Jack and trying to get back in shape - the struggle continues. I've just started a new Beth Moore bible study at my mother-in-law's church and I think I'm really going to enjoy that.

  • TRAVEL: We just got back from Charleston last night. Went for the 10K and our neighbor friends, Jeremy and Valerie Benson and their daughter, Kara, went with us. We had a great time. Poor Kara came down with a double ear infection but she was quite the trooper. Good food. Good beer. Good times. I'm heading to Destin Friday morning with some girlfriends for a long weekend. I'm really looking forward to the trip. Mom-in-law ("grandmommie") will keep Jack on Friday, Steve will have him Sat and Sun and Valerie will watch him on Monday. I'm going to miss him SOOOOO MUCH but I know he'll be in good hands, so I won't be worried. This WILL be the first time I've ever spent more than one night without him, though. WAAAAAAAHHH!! I guess it has to happen sometime, huh? I never thought I'd be one of these people - who knew! I just love him so much.

Whew! See - that's a lot. I definitely should update more often so there's not so much to report on in one post. Off to feed the kid and do laundry :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick Forester Update

Forester continues to have some good days and bad days. He'll be starting his chemo/radiation treatments next Monday - 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. Please continue to pray that he (and Whit and Pete) will have some much needed restful time between now and then. He's continued to have some fever, vomiting and headaches from time to time, resulting in some trips to the ER. I'm planning to head back to Charleston with Jack this next week to help where I can. In the meantime, I can't seem to get enough time with Jack. He is such a constant joy. Here's a video I took today while his daddy was taking some practice swings.

video

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FORESTER (my nephew)

Last Tuesday morning we received a very frightening telephone call. My nephew (my sister's oldest son, age 7) has been complaining about bad headaches for the last few weeks. We suspected a blood sugar issue or maybe an allergy. Unfortunately, what started with a few blood tests ended with a CT scan that showed a cancerous brain tumor. Within a couple of hours, Steve and Jack and I were on the road to Charleston. By the time we arrived at the hospital, Whitney and Pete were surrounded by the most amazing group of friends. Within hours, hundreds of people were praying for this sweet little boy, including many of our friends. By Wednesday morning, Forester was in surgery to remove the tumor. By end of day, we were able to see Forester recovering in the ICU. By Thursday, they moved him out of the ICU and into a regular room. Sunday afternoon, he came home and is now recuperating with family. As of right now, he's still very lethargic and keeps his talking to a minimum. We're anxious to see the hyper, smiley, energetic Forester that we're used to, but we know that it will just take time. Most immediately, he needs to ween off the steroids and pain meds and just let his body recover. When he goes in for a check up (within a week), we should have a better idea about his chemo and radiation schedule. Steve has gone back to Atlanta. Jack and I are still here in Charleston indefinitely. Thank you for all of your prayers and please continue to pray for a full recovery. There's a long road ahead for Forester and his family. I know God will continue to give all of us strength to get through this. He is faithful.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ava Claire Wike is born!

We are now (for the second time) a great aunt and uncle! Steve's nephew, Jared, and his wife, Nicole, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on January 17th in Kodiak, Alaska. She's beautiful and we can't wait to squeeze her. Congrats to the proud parents!