The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Sunday, August 11, 2013

If...

If Ellie never got cancer...
 
I wouldn't know my own strength
We would have never seen Memphis
My family wouldn't be as close
I wouldn't know what Methotrexate, Cisplatin, Topotecan, and Cyclophosphamide are
I would never know that platelets are yellow...or even what platelets are
I wouldn't own so many St. Jude shirts
There would be less tears
I wouldn't know Jesus like I do
I would be giving Ellie pig tails
I wouldn't know that Pineoblastoma existed
Richard wouldn't have had to leave right after SG was born
My mom wouldn't have had to live in our house forever
We wouldn't have know the wonderful people of the UVA PICU
SG wouldn't be named SG
Princess Strong wouldn't exist
Noah wouldn't have a heart for kids with cancer or even know what cancer is
She may never have been on an airplane
I probably wouldn't be blogging so much
I wouldn't take so many pictures
I would get more sleep
We would have been to the beach this summer
Ellie wouldn't have so many stickers
I would have finished out the school year
Habitat for Hope wouldn't be so close to my heart
Noah wouldn't have friends in TN
We wouldn't think about the future so much
I wouldn't pray so much
We'd be stressing about money
Noah would have finished pre-school
We wouldn't know the love of a community
SG may not be such a good car seat baby
We may have never experienced the power of prayer
Ellie wouldn't know what a "buddy" or a port is
I would have never given my child a shot
I probably would have never known just how amazing my husband is
I'd still be terrified about what others think
I would never have been able to share my love of God with others
We would never have touched so many lives
-Carly


She wouldn't have to leave and I wouldn't have to say "I miss Ellie, I miss Ellie"
She probably wouldn't throw up a lot
She probably wouldn't fight with me
She wouldn't sleep so much
She wouldn't lose all her hair
She wouldn't have to take medicine
She wouldn't have to go to the hospital all the time
-Noah
 
This was inspired by a conversation with Noah today...as he was crying, he said "If this never happened, I wouldn't be crying", when I asked him what he was talking about, he said," if Ellie never got cancer." I started to think of all the changes in our lives...the good and the bad.  When you really look at it though...there's not all that much bad, just things that are part of a plan bigger than I will ever understand this side of heaven. You can't live life worried about the "ifs", you can't go back and change it, regretting it won't do any good, and wishing it was different is pointless.  All you can do is look ahead (but not too far), praise God for today and pray and make changes for tomorrow.
 
 
 
Prayers, Praise, and Pink
~Carly and Noah

Friday, August 9, 2013

Blaine's just want to have fun!

What have we done all week?  Hmmm....not a clue...but I know my house is a wreck....my kids are fighting like true siblings and we are having a blast!  This is the first week we haven't had to go to the hospital twice.  Ellie's counts were so good on Monday they said we didn't need to come back before Ellie's return to St. Jude.  It's also my last week before I go back to work so we have spent this week enjoying ourselves the best we can.  Visitors have been coming from near and far.  One of the most exciting visits was from family we had never met before!

It was so nice to feel family love and feel like you'd known each other forever.  There was no stress over a clean house or an activity to do, it was nice to just be "Blaine's"...(and a couple other last names!)
 
It has been so nice to be able to shop in stores and goof off and not have to worry about doctors appointments or germs (I do still make them clean their hands after every store...but I'm not as anxious!)
 Found the perfect chair!  No we didn't buy it!

Super girls...they are "working" on their relationship :)
 
Ellie has also found a new love of being outside.  When we first got home, Ellie wouldn't step foot in the grass without her shoes on...not sure if it was sensory overload or just her being her....but now...
She is all over the place.  She loves to get into the yard and take off running...without shoes.  She giggles and yells and wants Noah to chase her, of course once he catches her she yells at him.  It has been so nice over the past week to watch Ellie regain her confidence in herself and what she can do.  She's climbing up steps by herself, running, jumping, putting her own clothes on and taking them off.  Things that weren't really happening when we were in TN.  My heart just swells with pride over the independent little lady she's returning to.
 
 She's back to her love of crafts with Mrs. Kelly!

And her love of silly faces!
 
Attempting to make dinner as a family...I think we ate about 2 hours later :)
 
 Finally getting to spend time with friends this summer...and feeling like we never missed a beat!

Practicing Kindergarten....can't believe school starts for him in less then 2 weeks!
 
We have new roommates!  Uncle Aaron and Aunt Cay Cay have moved in with us for a little bit.  Its so nice to have more family around...I especially appreciate it in the evenings when Richard isn't home and I'm attempting to make dinner and take care of 3 kids...they are a life saver!

Ellie's cook book was completed while she was home as well!  She loves to look through it and see all the pictures of her (so modest)! 
 
I know its a million pictures, but I'm not sure I could possibly explain how much fun this week has been for me.  After the past 6 months, this was a long awaited week.  If Ellie had hair, you'd never know there was anything going on.  Her energy and appetite are in full force.  We are celebrating everything, even the few hairs that have started to grow!  She now has four eye brow hairs and some blonde peach fuzz on her head.  As she told me "my crazy hair is coming back!".  I have no clue if it will stick around or be lost after this next round of chemo...but it's exciting!  This week was a blessing...sure there were my moments of frustration when the sink was full of dishes or there were no more bibs to be found because I didn't keep up with laundry...but I got over them quickly (I'm learning too!)  They fought...a lot, I yelled (more than I should), we made a mess, but we had fun.
 
My children are amazing.  They have been through life experiences that most children will never have to.  They have had to give things up and miss out on things, but they still laugh, they still love each other, and they love us.  I know this is just a little part of the journey God has in store for my children.  Sometimes I feel bad because of the things Noah has missed out on, or the things Ellie has been through, but I think towards the future (not for too long, because we aren't supposed to go beyond today) but I think of how these experiences will shape them.  What we've been through will forever change our lives, but not in a bad way.  We are learning to just have faith and a lot of fun!
 
 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
 
Prayers, Praise and Pink
~Carly
 
 
P.S. I haven't packed a thing for Ellie and Richard's trip back to St. Jude, I consider this growth for my "need to plan everything" personality!
 
 
 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Want to see something cool?"

Ellie says this all day long, and it usually consists of a trip down the hallway to see her bedroom.  No matter how many times she does this, she is equally excited every time.  She doesn't care if you've seen her room a million times, its still "something cool" to her and she wants to share it with you.  That's kinda how our life is right now.  We haven't done anything extravagant or out of the ordinary, but it's all been "something cool".  
 
As I was getting ready for church this morning, I started to think about things that we take for granted.  Like going to church with our family...I remember when it was just 4 of us and how flustered we would be by the time we got out the door to church...someone was probably crying or mad.  It felt like a chore to get all this done, but now, even with 5, its the biggest blessing ever.  And can I just tell you, that walking into Sunday morning service with all my children, was amazing!  Watching my husband usher at church, filled me with pride.  Watching Noah walk Ellie up to penny march all my himself, brought tears to my eyes...the hug they both threw in at the end made it even better.  As Ellie walked off to the nursery, without our assistance, it felt like life just took a 6 month break and now we are right back where we left off (just without some hair).  These were all things that occurred on a regular basis in our lives before Ellie was diagnosed, but now, they are all "something cool". 
 
This past week Ellie got to go swimming!  Noah has been going swimming all summer with my mom and friends, but finally Ellie's numbers were good enough to go. 

This is something we did often last summer, but this is a much different summer.  It was so nice, after a summer of hospital visits and chemo and bloodwork, to have a break and enjoy the things that most people do during the summer. 
 
He is so proud of his new abilities!  I am too and so thankful to all who took his swimming this summer and helped his truly enjoy his summer.  Its definitely been a different summer for him, but its surely been "something cool".  Summer vacation is another one of those things I have taken for granted.  I have one of those great jobs where I have the summer off and I get to enjoy it with my children, so this summer was a big adjustment for all of us. 
 
Ellie and Richard head back to St. Jude on Sunday for another week of chemo, I am staying home with Noah and SG...and heading back to work.  I told Richard today, I wish she didn't have to go, not because I will miss her (which I will, but as Noah says, 7 days isn't that bad) but because she is in such a good mood.  Her spirit is happy, she is smiling and  having the time of her life.  She is playing and eating and laughing.  I know after 5 days of chemo her belly will hurt, she won't be eating, and her poor emotions will be all over the place.  We've been spoiled by her good mood, it will be hard to go back, but hopefully this will be the last time she will have IV chemotherapy.  After this she will be on oral chemo for 6 months. 
 
We will be spending this week enjoying the last few days of summer vacation!  Hopefully she we will get to the pool one more time this week and get to play with some more friends. We are taking Noah and Ellie to see the Pirates and Princess Disney show on Saturday.  I cannot wait to see their faces full of excitement.  A moment I will not take for granted and will definitely be "something cool"!
 
Something cool happens every day in this house...lately those cool things are every day things.  They are little things like baby giggles, playing princesses, dancing, attempting to put 3 kids to bed, cooking chicken nuggets, doing laundry, and just being a family....oh yeah, and having a crazy cancer go away!
 
So as we countdown again for Ellie and Richard's departure, I will enjoy every minute of this week...I may need to come back and read this again, because its easy to lose sight of that enjoyment when they are yelling at each other!  I will do my best to remind myself how blessed I am to have my children all together under one roof, and I get to be under that roof with them.

Always making life "something cool"
 
 
"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV
 
 
Prayers, Praise and Pink
~Carly