Friday, August 29, 2008

Good News!

Dave here with a quick update.

We headed for the hospital this morning, driving out in faith, praising God as we went. Mikey made some praise CDs that we sang to on the way. Twenty-five or so friends and family came to hospital and countless others were praying. Pastor Dan prayed over Julie before she went back and Pastor Alton encouraged us all.

As I write this, Julie is out of surgery and in recovery. Everything went as planned and she's doing well. Dr. Stahl just came out and gave us all the good news: Initial pathology results indicate the lymph nodes are clear! There was much applause and tears of joy at the news. Praise the Lord! We won't get the final results until Tuesday, but the doctor believes we've gotten ahead of the cancer. We'll still have to do chemo to make sure we've killed off any microscopic cancer cells that may be lingering. But we're very relieved and encouraged by the initial results. Thank you for your prayers and please keep them coming for Julie's recovery and the final pathology results.

'Twas The Night Before My Surgery

So my tennis buds and I had a bra burning (and one pack of band-aids) (capped off for a lonely two who snuck off to the study to watch the Democratic National Convention to get their Obama fix. I will not mention which two, because I love their guts as much as I own a Right Wing Conspiracy mug, which I am not really part of but like to serve my one friend, whom will not be mentioned, coffee in.

Anyway it was loads of fun. As you can see, I have an amazing group of tennis buds. Plus, it's pretty easy when you say the word party to draw this fab crowd.

There is no proper segue to anything after talk of bra burning, but before we went to my friend, Celina's (right front with a bra that is obviously not hers), Matt, Mikey, my sister Jen, and I went to a prayer service at the Vineyard Student Union, who were lifting up me, and a number of other mums and critical prayer requests. There was so much love and faith in that room that I am still floating on it, and plan to keep it on cruise right into the operating room in a wee bit.

All in all, it was a quite proper, not to mention, perfect, segue to today, at least in my world. And I did get permission for a glass of wine, from a nurse, or best friend or second cousin of a nurse, or somebody, who sounded like they knew what they were talking about and I totally trust them, who answered the phone in the pre-op room, who said she was tight with my anesthesiologist and it was okey dokey--JUST KIDDING, but they really did say I could. And then I had a cup of coffee at 11p.m. to help stave off the caffeine headache that likes to chase me after 10 in the morning. They tried to slide some Folgers by me by sneaking in some chocolate in the coffee grounds, but I drank it anyway, with a very happy heart, I might add. I may be a coffee snob, but I hope I'm not rude.

After, my sister and I packed my hospital bags, and then I went to sleep, resting in God, and woke up still there. In a few minutes we are off to the hospital, and I go trusting Him, and casting myself into His care, and look forward to waking again to say thank you, God (and maybe a few silly things as well. But we'll just have to see about that. You have to remember, I will have had NO CAFFEINE and I might start swinging IV bags around or something and that would not be the delightful delirium you might be hoping for. So just come warned all who visit!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oops (or as my mum says, Whoops) and Pre-ops

My mum mentioned that we had neglected to mention which of the Jewish Hospitals she was supposed to go to, or wondered if I was just seeing how good of a guesser she was. The surgery is to take place at the Kenwood Jewish Hospital, which I happened to check out today, as I had some pre-op testing to do. So, when you get off at the exit, if you turn right there will be a Starbucks, and then you'll have to backtrack to get to the hospital, but at least you can get a good cup of coffee to drink while you're in the waiting room. If you prefer, just go left off the exit and you will pass a Panera, which also has a good cup of coffee, and is a little bit more on the way. Whichever way you go, I think it will be better than hospital coffee. Dave would probably not turn down a cup of coffee--no frou frou necessary. Dave is a no frou frou kind of guy. Just don't go waving your coffee breath in my direction because I can't be held responsible in my uncaffeinated state for dealing with that kind of risky behavior.

So the pre-op testing went off fine, and we are good to go, except for the fact that the mean pre-op people said I am not allowed to have a glass of wine tomorrow with my dinner, which I think is a bit over the top. I plan to call and make an appeal in the morning, but will most likely not disobey if they persist in this uptightness. It's not like I want to get them mad at me before they put me under or anything.

One thing I have found interesting about hospital waiting rooms, in my recently acquired expertise, is that they give you buzzers just like at P.F. Changs. I have to say it is a bit of a let down when they don't bring you any food, and so I'm not sure if this is a very good use of technology. It might even be cruel if you really think about it like I have.


P.S. Thanks seems insignificant for all the love and support we have been feeling. But after careful consideration and the fact that it's all I could come up with, I just wanted to say thank you, everyone, so very much for all the prayers, visits, phone calls, emails, snail mails (how often do you find real mail in the mailbox these days?!), comments on my blog, messages and wall posts on my Facebook, all the kind things people have dropped by, and most importantly to me, all the love you have been showering on my redheads. They are the reason we fight like hell. And they are the sweetest hearts of my heart.

Nu Do

So I got a new haircut today. It feels really good but I don't quite recognize myself in the mirror yet. I was told it might be a while before I can lift my hands above my head after the surgery, plus I thought I would transition myself to the possibility of chemo effects, so I thought, "Why not?" and before I knew it my tennis buds were scheming with the stylist over some very scary ideas. This is what we ended up with. But we'll see what it looks like tomorrow after I wash it.

How cool was it that my stylist "happened" to have have gone through all this with her mum, who is a 16 year survivor at 75 years old!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Empty Cups, Optimism, and Faith

Dave and Julie this time. See if you can tell who wrote what parts.

It's only been a few days since our last post, but it feels like a lot has happened.

Saturday evening was amazing. About 70 people gathered at our house to lift up Julie in prayer. It was a mix of family, old friends, new friends, church friends, and of course, Julie's tennis friends. They came from as far as Indianapolis, Dayton and Northern Kentucky. The love and support was such an encouragement--there are no words, thank you seems cheap, but there it is. We told everyone our approach to battling this cancer was the same as Jehoshaphat's battle plan in 2 Chronicles 20. The following is our battle bullet points, taken from The Message.

  • a huge force is on its fight you.
  • Shaken, Jehoshaphat prayed:
  • "O God...You hold all power and might in your fist--no one stands a chance against you!...We take our place before [YOU] ...and pour out our pain and trouble...We know that you will listen and give victory....We're helpless before this vandal horde ready to attack us. We don't know what to do, we're looking to you."
  • Jaheziel was moved by the Spirit of God to speak from the midst of the congregation:
  • "Attention everyone...Don't be afraid; don't pay any mind to this vandal horde. This is God's war, not yours...You won't have to lift a hand in this battle, just stand firm...and watch God's saving work for you take shape. Don't be afraid, don't waver. March out boldly...--God is with you."
  • Then Jehoshaphat knelt down...worshiping God.
  • Then Jehoshaphat stood up and said...believe firmly in God...and you'll come out on top.
  • Then Jehoshaphat appointed a choir for God...they were to march ahead of the troops, singing, Give Thanks to God, His love never quits.
  • As soon as they started shouting and praising, God set ambushes against the [vandal horde] and they all ended up dead....The [vandal horde] mistakenly attacked [one another]...and all ended up dead."
This is our battle plan.

So Saturday night, we began this battle, marched out (metaphorically speaking. The house was a little full to actually stand up and march, without kneeing each other in the butts, which would have probably been some good physical comedy, but we didn't think of it in time) in faith, singing praises to God first and in front, and following that up with loads of prayers for Julie, and now we are eagerly expecting God to fight the battle for us and get a really cool victory, with all the glory going to Him. It was a great night. Thank you to all who are joining us in prayer, whether in person or from afar. We're feeling the love and are truly blessed.

Monday, we met with our breast surgeon, Dr. Donna Stahl. From all accounts she is the best in Cincinnati and she's been great. She seems to be able to put up with our senses of humor, which is a definite bonus. At times she reminds us of the secretary in The Office, with the way she can dead pan response us in a way that amps up the humor. Which we like very much.

She spent over an hour with us going over the biopsy results in detail and explaining her recommendations. The cancer is an invasive ductile carcinoma (grade 3, which is the most aggressive and fast growing). The lumps she took out were in a clump and measured at 2.3 centimeters. This cancer is ER and PR negative, but HER2 amplified, 6.2 if you're into numbers, (translation: this type of cancer can't be treated with hormonal therapy like tamoxifen, but it can be treated with immunotherapy like herceptin). During the lumpectomy on Tuesday, Dr. Stahl said that she wasn't happy with the margins on the lump we could feel, since it was attached to the surface, so we definitely have to go back and take the rest of that. She strongly recommended a mastectomy and to take out 4 or 5 lymph nodes, followed by chemotherapy, as in, not optional. (Reconstruction is not on the table at this point either, until we get through chemo.) The lymph nodes will be tested to see if the cancer has spread there. Then we'll know the stage of the cancer. We are praying very desperately that the lymph node report will come back clear and that we will have gotten on top of this. We will not have that pathology report until Tuesday, unfortunately, due to the holiday weekend.

We have decided to go with a double mastectomy. It's scheduled for this Friday at Jewish Hospital at 1pm (we have be there at 11am). On the one hand this wasn't an easy decision - it's so drastic and quick and scary. On the other hand it was a no-brainer. The doctor agrees this is the best chance to stop the cancer in it's path and save Julie's life. It's aggressive cancer and we need to be more aggressive and get ahead of it and stay on top.

Unfortunately, all this means we've had to cancel our 20th Anniversary celebration in the Cayman Islands. We were scheduled to be there this Saturday for a week in a nice little beach-front villa. They didn't have to, but the kind people we rented from are giving us a refund. So hopefully we can reschedule later. There's a hurricane heading that way anyway, so thank God for this change of plans, too.

All for now. Please continue to pray with us as we continue to march forward praising God. Sure, the optimist can say the cup is half full when it IS half full, but when both "cups" are empty it takes faith to still know that our cup overfloweth. So we continue to trust the One who is pouring.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases."

The Evans

PS - Julie's tennis friends have started Team Evanshire to represent Julie in the Cincinnati Race for the Cure. The event is Sept 14 mainstreamed in Mason, Ohio, but going on all throughout the country, and all proceeds go to fund breast cancer research. The five of us have signed up. Don't know if Julie will be well enough by then. Maybe she'll let me push her in a wheel chair and at the end she can stand and walk across the finish line.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Scoop

I'm sorry it has taken until 5a.m. to get to this blog update. I'm not gonna lie. This is not the easiest blog to write. This has not been the easiest day. Parts of it have been lovely, though, so that's where I let myself drop at the end of the day, and that is where I find myself right now, sitting here, so I will start right there, if you don't mind, and then open the fortune cookie we got from the doctor today in proper form, after I've digested some of the day.

The kids and I hung tight and close to home all day, which is one of my favorite things. We all slept in for the first time after this whirlwind hit. The boys did not sleep the night before my surgery, and Amanda has been burning a candle at both ends with everything and her new job and beauty school. I think I may have just passed out from exhaustion. Or maybe it was the Vicadin. But the point is, sleeping in is also one of our favorite things, and a good way to start a day. Unless you have to be somewhere and you are late. Which occasionally happens in our home. But not today.

My mum and sister and nephew are here, so that's also nice to wake up to. I actually woke up to the lovely little pitter-patter of my nephew, Brodie's, sweet feet, who, apparently swept up with Olympic fervor, was in training for the 100 yard dash around the race track that circles my dining room and kitchen. You really can't start training too early these days and I have to admire his dedication at 2.

My dad and aunt Carol drove over for lunch and we all had a lovely picnic out on my back deck. My kids did a mini concert for us which was the icing on top.

After lunch we watched a movie to pass the time before the phone call. We did not just sit around all day waiting for the phone call. We had a really good day and then the phone call came.

Dave is out of town. I made him go ahead and go on his business trip because I didn't want to act like we were going to get bad news. He will be back tomorrow (Thursday) night.

I (had Mikey) conference Dave in, and the kids were right by my side, on speaker phone. The doctor said the damn spots were cancer. Grade 3, which is apparently aggressive. And if I understood the doctor correctly, the size of the 3 spots together was 2.3 centimeters. The one I felt was very near the surface and she had to scrape to get what she could of it, but couldn't get it all without taking some of my breast, which she didn't obviously, at that time. But that's, at least going to have to go. We have some big decisions to make this weekend before we meet with the doctor on Monday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss and jump into our game plan. We plan to be more aggressive than the cancer. I'm told I'm a wee bit competitive, so hopefully that's a good thing. We also need to go back and get some lymph nodes. And I think she mentioned chemo. Other than that, it was a fairly fuzzy phone call for me. It hit my kids hard and fast. Please pray for them anytime you think of me. I am not sure it has sunk into me yet, unless it is the pit that I have felt like throwing up since before dinner. But haven't. Yet.

I ordered the kids some pizza and some of my tennis buds came over and we sat out on the back deck and drank some pinot grigio, which the people in the operating room the other day wouldn't give me, but my tennis buds brought. Good tennis buds.

One of them brought us P. F. Changs Tuesday night for dinner, and my cookie had a fantastic and apropos fortune in it that we are going with: Good food brings health and longevity. Not to mention, the first lucky number mentioned is 42, which my age. And I believe it is also a significant number for galaxy hitchhikers. (Yes, I have the t-shirt; Mikey made me one for my 42nd.)

So that's the scoop. Thanks for praying.

We'd like to invite anyone who lives near to come over and pray with us Saturday night at 7 p.m. as we'd like to bring out the big guns of prayer to begin this battle with and cast ourselves into our Father's very capable hands. And we go from there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home from the hospital

Dave here, filling in for Julie.

Hi everyone. The surgery went well and Julie is home from the hospital and resting. Other than a bit of pain, she's doing great. The surgeon successfully removed all three lumps. Right now she's feeling a little groggy from the pain medicine and said she's having trouble getting her words in the right order. I had to tell her that's been going on for a long time :)

They didn't put Julie out completely - it was sort of a controlled anesthesia that kept her awake but not able to remember anything. Apparently she was quite talkative and more than a little humorous. They tell us she asked for a glass of Pinot Grigio and when they wouldn't comply she said she'd settle for a beer. Then she asked if they could hook her up to a coffee IV. And she praised the surgeon repeatedly, telling her, "you rock!"

We won't have biopsy results or a diagnosis until tomorrow (Wednesday). But the pathologist took a quick look at the lumps and said they look "suspicious." We don't know if that meant they were wearing trench coats and dark sunglasses, or what?

Whatever the outcome, we trust God our heavenly Father... yet shall we praise Him. If you know this Jewel, my Julie, you know she is a precious treasure who loves Jesus and loves people. She has this way about her that even makes her tennis opponents feel good about it when she beats them. We pray that God would "let this cup pass" us by, but either way we are going to keep loving each other, our kids, our family, our friends, our life and the Rock of our salvation.

Thank you all so much for your love and prayers and support - it means so much! Bless you all! Please keep praying and we'll keep you posted.

"Though we experience trouble on every side, yet we are not crushed; though we are perplexed, yet we are not driven to despair; though we are persecuted, yet we are not abandoned; though we are knocked down, yet we are not destroyed;... to the glory of God." Amen.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Booked, but my Cofffee IV is on Backorder

So it looks as if we squeaked into the surgery schedule for 7:30 a.m., tomorrow, which is Tuesday, unless you're in Bejing watching the Olympics, in which case, feel free to email back from Wednesday and let us know the results. The subject line could read: Benign from Bejing or something like that. That would be great.

Dave and I have to arrive at the hospital at 5 a.m., which, the hospital lady told me, means we will have no traffic to fight, find premium parking, and be first on the docket. She has no idea I don't experience "traffic" with my mini, and can park quite "imaginatively", so it's good she didn't go into sales. You really have to know your audience to go into sales.

The surgery is supposed to take an hour or so-ish, and we'll see how long I sleep in recovery with no caffeine. Then I get to go home. The doc, whose name, interestingly enough, is Stahl, which couldn't be a more perfect antonym for the speed at which things have been happening, said she will probably have an idea of what said spots are before we head home, but the definitive diagnosis will be the results of the biopsy, which we will hear on Wednesday.

We are all trying not to dwell on it too much today. There is no sense worrying about something that isn't yet, and hopefully won't be. Yesterday at church, Amanda and Matt and Mike asked me to come over to the Student Union and be prayed over by them and their prayer team. Their big hearts have big faith, so I am not worried, whatever happens at the hospital tomorrow. My home is very peaceful.

My sister, Jen, and my nephew, Brodie, are here, and Brodie is quite the charming distraction. Later tonight I am taking the redheads to watch a movie of the David Crowder Band in concert at the Rave Theater, which will be another fabulous distraction. We love the David Crowder Band. David Crowder reminds me of Matt. Coolio.

Distractions are much better than dwelling.

Thanks for praying.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Out Damn Spots (On Tuesday)

So we had encouraging news yesterday.

We squeaked into this brilliant breast surgeon's calendar, end of the day, yesterday (Friday). Kind of amazing how things have just been falling into place so fabulously. Or most likely a God thing.

But she gave me a very thorough breast exam and talked her way through what she was finding, which was kind of cool, not to mention, she did say the words "fatty tissue" more than a few times, and I only wish I had a tape recorder to prove this to unnamed people who think I just "need a sandwich".

Anyway, mostly things were pretty copasetic minus the three solid masses, which, sounds worse than we are hoping it is. She was encouraging that we are going for a diagnosis of fibroadenoma, which means benign. Yes, I finally wrestled that word to the ground.

The plan is, to have them removed on Tuesday morning, before I've had my coffee, and really, way too early for any reasonable person to be awake. Luckily I will be sleeping through it, and I am just hoping it is a good trip. My sister is flying in from Charleston, with my nephew, Charlie Brown, so that will be an interesting job for Dave, dragging both of our lazy bums (not to mention our clone, Amanda) out of bed at 5 a.m. At least they get to have some coffee, which doesn't seem very fair, but what are you going to do?

Our late Friday afternoon appointment did not leave the room to have the surgery booked, so we will hear first thing Monday if they were able to squeeze us into that schedule. If all things go as smoothly as so far, we should know within 24 hours the nature of these spots.

And we go from there.

Thanks for praying.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

In a World Where Boils = Blessings

(or Out Damn Spot)

So this week has had me doing a precarious balancing act to stay centered, and I've found myself wavering, not in faith, but somewhere between channeling my inner Job and my inner Lady Macbeth.

I woke up somewhere in the wee hours Monday night. Mike was out in our driveway watching the meteor showers and I went and sat with him for a sec. I just went to see him, not the meteor shower, because I just really only dragged myself out of bed for hydration purposes, and then some more z's. Somewhere in the mix, I don't know if I bumped against something, or how I noticed - that the bump was on me. Or my left breast to be more specific.

First I sat there a bit stunned. I know I can be oblivious at times, but I don't believe it was there the day before. I can't imagine how I could've been that oblivious to miss something the size of a marble. And without intending to be too graphic, in a rather obvious place. Part of me thought I was imagining things and part of me started imagining things. A sensible part of me, that I had to dig deep for, took all the other parts up and put them to bed.

I lay there, nor wanting to wake Dave, but just wanting to wait out the night and wait for him to wake up and wait to see if it would just go away.

This would be one place where my inner Macbeth started coming out, as "Out, damned spot" were the words that came out as I was praying. This seemed like a reasonable prayer so I went with it.

I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to say to Dave when he woke up. I don't know why I worry about the right words so much. Like there are right words for something like that. I had nothing by the time he woke up, and just had to wing it. Which is not my favorite thing. But anyway, some words tumbled out into the air and then seemed to settle in a cloud over Dave, as he groaned and reached over to feel the spot.

Then he got up, made me some coffee, and went to the computer to figure out what "not bad" things it could be. We were hoping it would just turn out to be a cyst or hormones or a boil (nod to my inner Job), but then began adding big words that started with fibro and pap and ended in oma that my brain has not gotten ahold of yet.

My Doctor (Dr. Allen) uncannily, thankfully, had one appointment available and we went in at 3pm on Tuesday. At first exam, due to the awkward placement of said spot, she missed it, but then once directed to the proverbial X, and not liking it, she thought it would be good to get a mammogram and ultrasound.

Dave booked me at Bethesda North's Breast Center, and we went in at 3pm on Wednesday. They actually put a little x on the spot (which I admit, I did enjoy the poetry in that) and told me it was at about six 'oclock on my breast (which also made me smile, though I told her I thought it was more like 5:27 or 5:28, but that I usually round up too). I know this all may sound like I'm making light of things, but I'm not. This is just how I roll. And cope.

Dave didn't have any of these little distractions with him in the waiting room, so in between the mammogram and the ultrasound they asked me to go check on him. We decided that Scotch would've been a good thing to stock the waiting room with. Right next to the coffee pot. Dave didn't really need any caffeine.

The Utrasound was lengthy. One, because of the aforementioned awkward coordinates of the spot. And two, because they found two more spots. Plus the technician had a bit of a sneezing fit, at which point we decided she was allergic to me, so these things take time.

The original spot is about a centimeter; the second is .7; I can't remember the third but it is the baby one. They all appear to be solid. This is not necessarily bad news, because there are "not bad" masses. They recommended we get them all biopsied. And stressed that we not go home thinking I have cancer because there are "not bad" solid masses that it can be. Of course Dave remembered and could pronounce them to the doc. Probably can spell them too he was studying them so hard.

We actually could feel the second spot, which is right next to, the first spot, Wednesday night. For a little bit. And then we couldn't find it. And haven't really been able to find nor feel it since. Weird.

Thursday we went back to Dr. Allen (who was able to find and feel the second one, and was just as shocked as us that it seemingly appeared overnight just like the first one) to process through the new info and she ran a breast thermography test, which is the use of a digital infrared camera to scan and examine the heat and blood flow in the breast. I had to get acclimated to a cold room. Holding my hands above my head to keep my arm pit area from trying to keep warm. Then they took some pics. Then I had to stick my hands in ice water. And hold them in there. Which, if anybody knows me, is torture for me. I told Dave and the technician that I would not have died well on the Titanic. The thing is, that I had to do this twice today. Once at 1pm and then again at 5pm. And twice at the 5pm appt. Because my baseline temp is lower than norm by a couple of degrees, and the room wasn't cold enough the first time around to make for the proper climate for me to acclimate to. Anyway, so apparently cancer doesn't cool like healthy breasts do, so they took some more pics after the ice trauma. And from the pics it was looking like there was something going on, probably as in, not healthy breast, but not necessarily positively cancer. We have not had a biopsy yet, which is the definitive diagnosis.

Today (Friday) we meet with a breast surgeon at 4:30pm. We will most likely set up an appointment for a biopsy and possible exision then.

That is where things are. I am still praying, "Out, damned spot[s]!" We are still holding out (firmly) for "not bad" news. But trying to deal with things as they come, in a way that is faithful to Whose Hands I am in and Whose Hands all these things must pass through. He is sovereign, and He is good. This I know. That is enough.

We will try to keep things posted here to keep everyone up-to-date. It seems more efficient than phone calls, and less cluttering of inboxes than email. That doesn't mean we don't want to talk or email, just trying to figure out a good system of keeping people in the loop who want to be in the loop.

We are all doing well. I don't feel sick or anything. Things are normal except for this wee bit of uncertainty. But we are not worrying, but praying.

And we haven't received bad news yet, so that's where we are. Hoping.

Thanks for praying with us and for us.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Peeling Back the Mask of a Happy Day (with a side of happy pores)

Today I had a good "mommy day".

Note the quotes were not around "good mommy". We'll have to add up the kids' therapist bills when they are fully grown, or see how they feel about me moving in when I'm old(er) and decrepit(er), to tally up that one. So for now, the votes are out. And hopefully for sale.

I'm not sure if I've ever had a "good mommy" day. A day is a long time. But I have had some really cool "good mommy" moments. One that comes to mind is when my kids were small and we were stuck in a waiting room for ages, and I was trying to keep them entertained and myself sane, so armed with only my arm and a pen, I let them play connect the dots with my freckles. Which, by the way, worked, on both counts, methinks, unless the whole letting your kids play connect the dots with your freckles thing is up for debate. Maybe I should just stop while I'm behind on this "good mommy" thing.

I've had a gazillion good "mommy days", Luke 2:19, treasuring up these things and pondering them in my heart kind of days. The kind of days, where, even if they are not exactly getting up and calling me blessed, it feels like that's what they mean.

"Mommy days" are really every day, but when one's kids start test-jumping from the nest and/or get jobs and social lives, they either consist of being "good taxi-mum" or "waiting up till they come home safe mum" many of the treasures are soundbites and quite a few of the ponderings are of bullet points and recaps.

Today, Dave and I got to spend most of the afternoon watching Mike play in a tennis tournament, which, by the way, his team WON! They won both the league season, and the division play-offs! How fun was that, getting to be "tennis mum", watching your kid do something you both love, and he wins the trophy to boot! I got a picture of him biting his trophy like RAFA! Well, I got a few pictures. Ok, 56 pictures, but he is extremely photogenic, and I did try and make every shot a power shot, with my new Canon Power Shot Digital Elf. "Yes, I see you, tennis champion!"

And as if that mommy moment wasn't enough, the whole fam gathered together for dinner to celebrate Mike and his victory, which is a huge shock/blessing in a home with our three arrows going off in all directions this summer. How lovely that our back deck was the collective bullseye tonight, and all the arrows hit the mark!

After dinner, Amanda decided I was going to be her facial patient, I mean, customer, for the evening, because she likes peeling the mask off, which reminds her of peeling sunburned skin, which she really likes, and also, I think, because she secretly finds pleasure in ripping blackhead strips off people's noses. She said she was just excited for my pores, and, I'm not going to lie, this scared me a bit. The thing is, she was jumping up and down when she said this. Like a cheer. But I think my eyes welling up post-rip, scored me a bonus manicure and pedicure as well. Not to mention, she is trying to practice all the techniques she is learning at beauty school, where she is trying to get her license so she can help work her way through college. So basically the wind down of my evening was a lovely spa treatment from my little girl. How good do I have it? Even if she did paint my fingers orange at first, which, in tennis gear, is peachy with me, but my fingers and toes are lean toward the fall colors, particularly of the wine colored variety. Still, I ended up with pink, because she was not going to have the same old, same old. Two shades of pink. And they supposedly match my swim suit, for our Ladies' Night at the pool tomorrow. I don't usually think about these things, but I do wonder where Amanda got all this girlie from since I'm not sure if I even have one gene of it, and I do just sit there in awe, which makes me pretty vulnerable to things like having my nose ripped off. And honestly, my pores were rather smarting a bit.

Did I mention the glass of Pinot Grigio (appropriately, from Barefoot Vineyards, should be the official pedicure wine) that I sipped on throughout? My hub brought it up for me sometime between the ripping off of my nose and the manicuring of my right hand.

Did I also mention, that Matt came in and serenaded me for awhile with a new song he was learning on his electric?

And it's not like it was even Mother's Day. Just a day in the life. My life. Unmasked,

(And my pores, reportedly happy).