Saturday, May 28, 2011


What an emotional week.

Lot of ups. Lots of downs.

Just a heavy, emotional week.

Cara’s first dance recital was Thursday and Friday nights.That meant 2 nights of dress rehearsals and 2 nights of performances. She did great each and every time. She tapped, she sang, and she let that big Cara personality shine! Of course the highlight for her was getting to wear makeup!

The best part was that Cara got to share the whole experience with cousin Aubrey.




We have our final MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting this week. This is always a special time when we invite a speaker to share their personal testimony of faith with our ladies. It was a blessing to pray for a dear friend who shared this year. She did an amazing job and I know that hearts were changed! On the same day in the morning MOPS group, I shared my testimony. Even though I have done so quite a few times now, the process for preparing to share so personally is emotional. I had the opportunity to talk with several moms after the meeting who could identify with parts of my story. Many of them are suffering in areas of their life and were blessed by the hope I was able to share through my story.

A dear friend of mine is going through something unimaginably difficult in her life. She has been on my heart so heavily all week. It has been an honor to pray for her and to ask those in our church family to do the same.

We also had our final meeting with Brady’s physical therapist, Linda, this week. Brady has been seeing Linda for over 2 years now. During our first appointments with her in the spring of 2009, Brady was barely able to stand! Back then we were traveling twice a week to see her, about 50 minutes each way. She was able to establish such a great rapport with our reluctant boy back then. They were quick friends and Brady has looked forward to his “Linda” visits ever since. In the past year we have only been going to PT once a month, kind of like a maintenance visit. Brady has been achieving and exceeding goals almost every visit in this past year. Linda and I both knew that by the end of this school year he would no longer qualify for services. I shared a while back that Brady did indeed show that he was an “average joe” when Linda completed his annual review testing. It is a bittersweet accomplishment as we knew he no longer would need PT, but that we would have to say goodbye to our dear Linda. She made the trip from Rochester to see Brady at preschool on Thursday. I think I cried three or four times leading up to that morning! She is such a treasure and we are forever grateful for all that she has done for us!!!

Today Brady and I went to the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation’s Baseball Tournament. We have been blessed to participate for the past three years in the awareness ceremony at this event. To read more about this amazing local charity, click here. I was able to briefly share about our story and how this charity helped us financially and personally during Brady’s illness.  Brady stood next to me the whole time enjoying his very first ring pop! Another special friend of ours, named Griffin, also shared his story as a cancer survivor! He is an amazing 4th grade boy who so eloquently and bravely spoke about how cancer affected his life. I couldn’t help but think ahead a few years and wonder if Brady will ever want to stand before a crowd like Griffin and advocate on behalf of pediatric cancer. It was just amazing.

That wasn’t all! As we were leaving a man approached me and told me and told me that he would be praying for Brady. He had tears in his eyes as he told me that his nephew also had Neuroblastoma. I asked this next question even though the pain in his eyes told me the answer, “How is your nephew doing?” He continued to tell me that his nephew had passed away after seeking treatment in Buffalo and in California. He told me that he understood what an awful disease Neuroblastoma is and how happy it made him to see Brady doing well. He repeated again that he would be praying for Brady and I thanked him. I don’t even know if this man was local, but I will never forget his kind face, the sadness in his eyes, and his sweet promise to pray. I’m always amazed when I’m able to connect with another person so powerfully, in such a brief moment…all because of cancer.

It has been heavy. My heart rejoiced and broke a few dozen times this week. Life is amazing like that, isn’t it?

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of compassion

and the God of all comfort, 

who comforts us in all our troubles,

so that we can comfort those in any trouble

with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

T Ball or Comedy Show

Being that my kids are the youngest on their T Ball team, I guess we shouldn't have expected all-star-like play from them. They are really trying hard and certainly we have seen some improvement since week one. In all honesty though, it is about 10% baseball and 90% comedy.

Take for example tonight's game.

1.We waded through the muddy baseball park to the field in the way-way back. We dropped the kids off in the dug out and went to sit on the bleachers. It was about 5 minutes later when I realized I still had Cara's glove. She had no idea whatsoever that she was missing anything.

2. Eli stepped up to the plate tonight and spent the first few minutes admiring the bat, the T, and anything else in sight. He finally got ready to swing and hit the ball a solid 8 feet or so! He took off for first base and about 10 steps in, the weight of that big batting helmet won the gravitational battle between it and all 32 pounds of his body. He tripped and fell helmet first on the ground. It was so funny, it really was. He got right up, straightened out the helmet, and made it to first base.

3. Sweet Cara. She is a piece of work. She gets up to bat and when she swings you would swear the bat weighed 100 pounds. It usually takes about 5 or 6 tries before the batting coach will just swing with her to hit it. The greatest part of the whole thing is when Cara does funny things like tell the coach that he needs to fix her hair first, or like tonight when she stopped and used the end of the bat to draw a line in the dirt on which to stand. No matter what she does at the plate, she always trots to first and then turns to us with the most pleased look on her face. She waves, she smiles, and she thinks she is fabulous. And she is.

4. Brady boy is a quiet boy on the field. He seems to pay the most attention to what is going on, but like Eli and Cara, isn't quite ready to field the ball. When it is his turn to bat, he usually gives it a pretty good hit after a few tries. The very best part about watching him, is to see his big smile as he runs to first base. Well, it's great to see his smile and to laugh as his pants start to fall down as he runs!

5. Our kids our usually the last ones in off the field. The coaches prod them along and tell them to "hustle." Tonight we all cracked up as we saw Eli pulling a reluctant Cara off the field by her ponytail!

So even though it is much more of a comedy show than anything else for our family, I'm happy they are playing baseball. They are learning the game, getting some fresh air, and making us laugh twice a week. Life is good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Full House

It was kind of a madhouse here tonight. We invited our good friends over and also had our nieces for the evening. My philosophy is always “the more the merrier” when it comes to our home, and it was very merry.

Here is our quaint little dinner party for 4 adults and 8 children, all 4 and under.


If you don’t see child #8, he’s there in the car seat on the floor next to his mommaSmile

The kids ran, created messes, and were loud enough to make good conversation tough. It was great. The adults sat, snuggled the baby, and enjoyed a pot of coffee. That was great too!

After our company left for the evening, it was time for the kids and their cousins to get in their pjs. Several episodes of Tom and Jerry followed.


How many preschoolers fit on our couch? About 6.


60 toes to be exact.


There were kisses.


And best of all, a lot of love.



Family and friends are the best.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Best Part?

In the eyes of a 4 year old…

perhaps the best part of T Ball is…






Sunday, May 1, 2011


Back in 2009, weeks after Brady’s diagnosis, I kind of claimed a Bible verse to represent our family’s struggle.

2 Corinthians 5:7

FoFF For we walk by faith, not by sight.

As a Christian I knew that only by trusting in the Lord would I survive the nightmare we found ourselves in without being destroyed by it. So that is what I did. That is what we did.

We were told by a specialist in December of 2008 that because of suspected Cerebral Palsy that Brady would “hopefully learn to walk.” As a mother whose heart was breaking, I needed the doctor to clarify his diagnosis with in a more tangible way. I asked him, “Will he be able to normal things, like play T ball?”

He kind of looked to the side and answered, “Brady will find lots of things he is able to do, T ball just won’t be one of them.”

For the next month we mourned and we clung to our faith as our sight had been shattered.

On January 21, 2009 we once again sat in front of the same doctor who told us that his diagnosis was wrong. Not cerebral palsy. Cancer. A form of cancer with a disgusting 55% chance of survival.

How else could we carry on, but through faith? One day at a time. One step at a time. One prayer at a time.

2 years and 4 months later, we claim a victory in Jesus’ name. Victory over the limits of a diagnosis. Victory over a tumor that sought to paralyze Brady. Victory over the limits of our sight.

In the quiet of our hearts we celebrated this victory on Saturday, as we celebrated Eli, Cara, and Brady’s T ball parade and first game.

We had faith that we would see this day, even when we were limited by our sight.

Enjoy the pictures my sister in law (Kristen Hamm Photography) and I took.






Brady and mommy.


Brothers getting ready to bat.


The hats pushed the boys ears down and made then look a little like DopeySmile


The parade, followed by a 45 minute warm-up, and 1 1/2 hour game made for a boy who got tired out. Shortly after this photo was taken, Eli completely melted down and was done with T ball for the day.


Run Brady!


Proud Grandpa.




Sweet Eli hit the ball for the first time, promptly went picked it up, and then handed it to the pitcher.



Brady is in the helmet. Notice the size difference between he and some of the “big kids” on the team.



I wanted to ask the coach to make the triplets’ numbers 1, 2, and 3. Matt thought it was corny and didn’t want me to make a big deal that they are triplets. How much do I love their coach for coming up with this idea all on his own?!? Even daddy thought it was precious!


This picture is just going to be a classic. Ha!





Airplane overhead!


Come what may, we celebrate this victory!