The Macs

Monday, August 30, 2010

goodbye long hair {locks of love}

I remember sitting in Cora's hospital room and meeting her oncologist for the first time. It was surreal. Just the day before I thought my daughter was suffering from a nagging ear infection and now I was listening to an oncologist tell me all about her cancer. I could hardly put it together that my daughter had cancer. I was completely overwhelmed to say the least. I had never heard of Neuroblastoma. I had so many questions yet I was still in such shock I could hardly put my thoughts together to ask them. As we talked about Cora's chemotherapy I do remember asking the oncologist if she would loose her hair. I dreaded the answer. In my mind cancer equaled loosing your hair. The oncologist was always so kind as he talked to us, but with his next words he confirmed my fear. Yes, although some children do not loose their hair during chemotherapy, there was a good chance that she could. All I could do was cry. 

One of Cora's physical attributes that I just loved was her hair. I remember being so surprised when she was born by how much hair she had. Her hair was a very similar color to mine and she often had a little barrette on one side. While I know very well that our physical appearance does not define who we are, I HATED the idea of my baby girl loosing her hair. She probably would have been a cute bald baby, but I knew her already puffy face and bald head was going to make her look so sick. I didn't want my baby to be sick or look sick for that matter. The reality of her loosing her hair made everything else all the more real.

Cora began loosing her hair following her first and only round of chemotherapy. I remember seeing those first pieces of hair on her hospital crib and feeling so sad for Cora. But honestly, by that time the reality of how sick my baby was had sunk in. By this point we had been in the hospital for two weeks. Cora was on an oscillator and we were so concerned by her decreasing oxygen levels. I remember crying out to God all throughout the day and feeling so silly that I had even cared about her hair falling out. I remember begging on my knees for Cora to be healed. I told God that I didn't care if Cora ever had hair again, I just wanted to be able to hold her and play with her. I just wanted to be able to take my baby home.

As Cora's hair began to fall out, Joel and several of the boys in our families decided that if Cora was going to loose her hair they were going to shave their heads too. I wanted to "do" something too. As I sat by Cora's bedside I felt so helpless everyday. Moms are supposed to help and take care of their babies and there was nothing I could do. So, my sister and I decided that while we weren't brave enough to shave our heads we could grow our hair out and donate it to Locks of Love.

Cora never lost enough of her hair to notice too much. Only her Mama would really notice. A few days after her hair started to fall out, Cora went to be with Jesus. We never got to see what our little girl would have looked like with a bald head.

After Cora died, my sister and I decided we would still grow our hair out in her honor. Locks of Love's mission is: to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. When you are dealing with childhood diseases and disorders your life is anything but normal. I love that the simple gift of my ponytail might bless a beautiful little girl who has lost her hair.

So can you guess what my big change is??

Saturday was haircutting day. My sister has been begging me to cut my hair for a few months now. Her hair grows faster, so I was a little behind her in length. I finally decided I could handle it...I was hoping it wasn't going to be too short though.

Here we are before we left. A last look at our long locks.

I made Anne go first. I told her that way I still had time to chicken out. She didn't like that, but agreed to go first anyway. Sometimes it pays to be the big sister.

Ten inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.

There was no turning back now.

My sister has super-thick hair. Look at that ponytail!

And here she is checking out her new look. Doesn't she look great?

Our stylist is a friend from high school. She always does such a great job. She has two sweet blonde headed little girls. They entertained us while we waited.

Okay, now it was my turn.

If we wouldn't have been doing this in honor of Cora, I might have chickened out. Just being honest. 

Feeling those scissors cut through all those layers of hair is so weird. 

And holding your ponytail in your hand is even more weird. I think at this point I was just praying that my hair wouldn't be too crazy short.

The last time I cut my hair really short was right before Cora was born. It was all pretty much one length though. I don't think I have ever cut my hair this short, especially in the back.

Of course Aimee made me look so stylish. I don't know why I even doubted.

I loved that I could do this with my sister. And I loved that we could do something little, in honor of Cora, to help another family that is hurting.

So, if you have long hair and are ready for a change, check out Locks of Love. It really is fun...kind of like being on one of those makeover shows. How do I feel about my new short hair? I love how Aimee styled it, but it is definitely going to take some getting used to. Spending less time with my blow dryer has been fabulous though!

Friday, August 27, 2010

my new best friend

I have a new best friend.
I know it might come as a surprise to you...
especially if you are already one of my sweet friends.
Don't worry, I am not replacing you.
This best friend is just for the kitchen.

After eight long years {just kidding, it really hasn't been THAT bad},
my hubby and sweet son bought me the BEST gift ever.
I now spend a lot less time in the kitchen
and I see the tops of my counters much more frequently.
That is why we have become best friends.

Are you jumping up and down now like I was?
Yep, this is my FIRST dishwasher.
It has been beyond amazing.
I had no idea what I was missing out on.

Joel and I used to always joke about wishing 
that the "dish fairy" would come to our house while we were sleeping.
And now it is like she REALLY does come to our house.
With the push of a button, I wake up to clean dishes.

* * * * * * * * * *

Besides the change in our kitchen,
another change is coming my way this weekend.
I will tell you all about it on Monday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

corn picking

Yesterday Levi and I went out to pick corn.
We weren't picking sweet corn from the garden this time.
This was serious corn picking.
And I'm pretty sure it might have been Levi's best day ever.

Every time Levi sees his dad his arms start pumping up and down wildly.
It is pretty funny.

But when he saw his dad AND this huge combine he was REALLY excited.
It must be a boy thing.

He sat on the floor of the cab and checked everything out.

He really liked looking out the window.
I think we left a few finger prints behind too.

When we were dumping the corn, Levi got to drive.

This was his favorite part.
He tried to touch EVERYTHING.

Seriously, this child never stops moving.

And he doesn't stop talking very often either.
I think he might talk as much as his dad.

Levi didn't like sitting with me quite as much.
He kept lunging across the seat to touch all the controls.
He really wanted to drive.

There is nothing better than an evening of combining with dad.
Can you feel the excitement?

Monday, August 23, 2010

six month pics

A few weeks ago the fantastic Megan took Levi's six month pictures.
Levi was a grinning fool.
Apparently, he loves the camera.
He is kind of a cheese ball like that.
I was so excited to get his pictures back yesterday.
I LOVE them all.
Here is a sneak peek for you:

I saved a few of my very favorites to maybe use for our Christmas card this year.
Now I just need to print some and put them on the walls.
Thank you Megan.
They are awesome like usual.
You did a great job capturing our chubby little guy's personality.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Levi and I braved the heat this morning and went running.
I am about up to two miles now without stopping.
I still have a ways to go though.
I am thinking that today I am going to go off of pop.
I know I shouldn't be drinking it anyway with Levi,
but if we are being honest...I do.
I don't eat a ton of sugar, but pop is definitely a weakness for me.
Especially Dr. Pepper and Cherry Coke.
So, no pop until the race.
I figured if I wrote it on here you all would keep me accountable.
My husband is not a good "no drinking pop" accountability partner.
He likes it as much as I do. :o)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

my birthday week

Hooray for the weekend!

There has been lots happening around here this week.
My birthday was on Wednesday.
It was a low-key day.
But that was okay with me.
I was thinking back to last year on my birthday...
how I didn't even want to celebrate it.
I didn't want to celebrate my birthday 
if Cora wasn't here to celebrate hers.
It is still hard celebrating without her,
but this year I was so thankful to be spending the day with Levi.
Just doing normal everyday things
and enjoying every minute we had together.

Levi and Joel had flowers and a present 
waiting for me when I woke up.
And my family threw a little party for me too.
Those candles mark my entrance into the last year of my twenties.

We also celebrated my niece's birthday 
and said goodbye to three siblings this week. 
It's hard to believe that school is starting already. 
My brother and Joel's sister left for college. 
Joel's brother also went back home to China to teach English. 
All the goodbyes meant that we needed some 
family pictures while everyone was still around.

This is what happens when my family tries to take family pictures.
Nice pose boys.

Hope you have a relaxing, tree swinging kind of weekend.

* * * * * * * * * *

I am so excited that some of you are 
going to join us for the Run for Hope.
As I was trying to fix the logo on my last post
I accidently erased all the comments.
Just wanted you to know that I read them all!
Keep on running (or walking)...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

come run with us {run for hope}

I pulled out the running shoes again yesterday.
Thankfully it wasn't five thousand degrees out like it has been.
The weather was so nice.
I have only run a few times since I ran a 5K back in April.
I guess I need something to keep me motivated.
I have some new, very comfortable, running shoes 
thanks to the help of our friend Marc (he is a crazy good runner).
I found out that good running shoes make a BIG difference.
I also learned that you are not supposed to "slip" your shoes off.
Did you know that?
You are supposed to untie them and take them off.
If you slip them off it will break down the back of your shoe.
There is your running tip for the day (thanks Marc).

Guess who else is running?
Yep, even Joel is running now.
He really doesn't like to run.
But I kind of guilted him into it.
I even used Cora to guilt him into running.
I know, it wasn't very nice.
But how can he say no to doing something to remember sweet Cora?
He can't.
That's why he is running.
So why all this running?
The three of us (yes, even Levi) are going to be participating 
in the Run for Hope 5K to remember Cora.
I am really excited to do this as a family.

What is even more exciting is that you can join us too.
I would love to meet you and introduce you to Mr. Levi.
So, grab your running shoes and start training.
The whole family can come.
And if you are not a runner, that is okay.
You can walk too.

My family will be running to remember Cora.
You can run to honor or remember a loved one affected by cancer
or you can join us in remembering Cora.

After the race their will be a dinner and concert.
Andrew Peterson is coming to Grace!
I went to my first Andrew Peterson concert with Joel and Cora...
Cora was nine days old.
It was our first outing as a new family of three.
Such a good memory.
And the concert was amazing.
You have to come hear him!

Here is the schedule:
Run for Hope
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Grace Community Church
Newton, KS

5pm - 5K walk/run
6pm - dinner
Luminaries to honor/remember loved ones
7:30pm - concert
Luminary walk

For more information or to register 
The early registration deadline is September 10th.

I am really excited about this event.
Cancer is awful.
And it has affected so many of us.
But we serve a God who offers us hope
even in the midst of suffering and tragedy.
I love the idea of extending hope to the community around us.
I love that this event will allow us to come together
and celebrate the hope that we have.

Okay, are you heading out the door to start training?
I hope to see lots of you there.
Leave a comment if you are going to join us.
See you September 18th!

Monday, August 16, 2010

the fly swatter

The flies have been really bad this summer.
After Joel's party we all of a sudden had TONS in our house.
They are very annoying.
Especially if you happen to be trying to take a nap
and you keep waking up because something is buzzing around your head.
They got so bad that we finally had to pull out the fly swatter.

I must have made the mistake of leaving the fly swatter 
in arms length of Mr. Levi.
The other day when I turned around from doing dishes
he had taken over the job of swatting the flies.

He was even holding in by the handle.
I let him keep it for a while because he was so proud of himself.
And at least he wasn't sucking on it, right?

When I turned around again he had scooted over to where our dog, Lucy, was.
Lucy is a farm dog, so she doesn't usually get to be in the house.
But, when it is really hot (like now) or really cold we let her in the mud room.
Levi gets so excited when she comes in.
He lets her slobber all over his face.
It is kinda gross, but I'm glad they like each other.

Anyway, when I turned around again, 
he was using the fly swatter to hit Lucy.
He was hitting her right on the head and she didn't even seem to care.
He is such a boy.
Already finding weapons at seven months old!


Some of you asked about my paint colors. I use Benjamin Moore paint. I really like it beacuse they have a flat, washable paint. They have good colors too. But it seems to keep getting more expensive so I might have to switch the next time I decide to re-paint. We'll see. The old color was Huntington Beige and the new color is Carrington Beige.

Hope you have some unexpected little thing that makes you smile today.
Happy Monday!