Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Are You Worth?!

If you truly had to answer that question how would you? Do you find your worth in your education, your dress size, your children's accomplishments, your own accomplishments, your beauty or what you perceive as lack of, do you base it on your spiritual relationship, or your actual relationships?

There are so many ways the world tries to measure a woman's worth and none of them matter it only matters what is in your heart to share with the world. I had a conversation with a friend recently and we talked about insecurities and how we each thought the other shouldn't have them. It was an enlightening discussion for me, this woman that I think is so beautiful has insecurities about her appearance, and much more. She struggles with insecurity just like I do. I realized that one of our biggest problems in society as a whole is we don't often know our own worth. We are so consumed with our own insecurities that we often forget others have the same struggles. Whenever I find myself in this place I do my best to encourage others and it seems to help. I've written before when I struggle with my own insecurities it helps me to lift others. I often try to remind myself it's not about if I'm better than another individual but whether I'm the best version of me. I can't compare myself to others, and I can't worry about others opinions if I'm being true to myself then I'm being authentically me and that's the best thing anyone can be.

With that said I'm officially announcing for all the world to see that I'll be competing in Mrs. Oklahoma America on March 22, 2014. Pageants are a part of my past and I made some amazing friends looking at you Sasha T, Allison G, and others. I worried when I first decided to compete that others would think I was silly or that it was a dumb idea, or that they would be wondering what business I had competing in a pageant, but then I stopped and realized why should I care. My family supports me and everyone I've told so far has been so excited for me. I actually decided this last year in September but then our journey with Carys's health began in October and as a mom my first and foremost allegiance is to my child. I would never in a million years think of competing if she wasn't healthy, but she is and as my husband and I discussed I have earned this. I'm excited for a weekend that will certainly be full of memories. I hope to come away from Mrs. Oklahoma with rare and precious memorable moments, an experience of a lifetime, and hopefully some new friends, and a renewed confidence in who I am as a woman, that may mean a crown and it may not but pageants are not all about winning for me, they're about setting goals and striving to be the very best me I can be. My mom was always a big supporter of my pageant journeys and I'm dedicating my Mrs. Oklahoma competition to her memory.

Anyone who spends more than about an hour with me and gets me talking will soon find me on my soap box of families needing guidelines and rules when it comes to technology. I see it everyday where I work, and I'm even guilty of it too, we spend so much time on our technology we forget about those around us. I'm not advocating that smart phones, or tablets are bad just that we should set some rules with regard to them and not forget to hold those closest to us in higher regard than our devices. We are pioneers of this "at hand" technology and we must learn to harness it's power for good before it swallows our families whole. When I was talking about this with a friend the subject of Mrs. Oklahoma came up and I thought well maybe and then I thought no not me, and then I paused and said you know what, why not me? Why can't I be Oklahoma's voice to set guidelines on their tech usage to encourage families to "disconnect to reconnect" I think it's so important that we make time to truly communicate with those we love most not just nod in agreement while looking at our phones or tablets. That lead me to enter and become Mrs. Canadian County and that led me here to telling the world that the competition is 51 days away. The gown has been purchased, the swimsuit and the interview dress too. The wardrobe is complete now it's just staying healthy, and getting myself to the best version of me before competition weekend. I ask for prayers as I step out on shaky heels to take on this challenge. I'm so excited about what God has taught me about myself through this journey. So there it is my big pageant announcement. The competition is in Guthrie and tickets are on sale already on the website . I must warn you tickets are expensive but they help offset the cost of the show. Hope to see some of your smiling faces in the audience. If you do purchase a ticket please do it in my support.

With Love,

Mrs. A

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Scary thing that wasn't

So if you've been following along here the last time I updated Carys had just completed her MRI and we were waiting on results. We got them after a week long wait and they were sent to another doctor to be reviewed. Carys's mass is a slow flow vascular lymphatic malformation that is benign. Which basically is a mass of lymphnodes and blood vessels that has fluid in it! We waited another week to hear back from Carys's doctor on what our next steps would be. His recommendation was we should leave this alone for now no surgery no draining nothing just continue to monitor it. I had severe hesitation with this decision wondering can it become something scary if left alone and the answer is no it cannot. So we'll leave it alone for now, I'm sure someday when she's older she will want it removed, but we don't have to face what would be quite an invasive surgery while she is so young.

I immediately hit my knees when we got the news that the mass was benign and praised God, I cried for a few minutes and finally I fell asleep and slept harder than I have in months. In a way I felt like I'd put life on hold when we began this journey with Carys I refused to let myself actually plan and book a 3rd birthday party, I'm competing at Mrs. Oklahoma in March and I had all but decided that wasn't happening, it IS happening but that's another post for another day. I felt like we lived in the what if, not knowing where we would be in the next month. It was such an amazing feeling to actually plan and send out the invites for Carys's 3rd birthday party which is now one month from today. Throughout our journey of the unknown our family felt an overwhelming outpouring of love. I heard from people with messages of hope and support that I haven't talked to in years. My MOPS group surrounded me with love and prayers and I got the sweetest text messages of encouragement on the day of Carys's MRI from so many! We were so abundantly blessed in our trial that it was hard for me not to believe with the support we had we could get through anything. It's my belief that when I made that decision is when things began to turn around and I started to believe we would come out of this with good news.

After all is said and done I'm grateful to have gone through this journey. I feel like I have a new appreciation for the precious redheaded firecracker of a daughter we've been blessed with. I notice the little things more the fierce blue of her eyes when she's really serious about something, or the playful smile she gets when playing with her daddy, or the way her hair falls in her eyes when she stomps to timeout after being told for the millionth time "don't chase the cat" or the sweet sparkle of her eyes when she's so tired she can't see straight but refuses to nap. The charm of her little voice singing songs of thanksgiving and praise to God. One of her favorite songs is "Speak Life" by Toby Mac and I think she embodies that she "speaks life" into everyone she meets, it doesn't matter if she's known you all her life or you just met her you can't help but fall for her infectious giggle. She is such a blessing to me and her father.

I also have a new compassion for the parents who don't get the amazing news we got. Who get the hard news who spend months fighting a disease they have no control over. Facing first hand the possibility of being one of those parents makes me realize what warriors they must be to just keep moving everyday. Carys is having her 3rd birthday party at Build A Bear with just a few of her special friends and one of the add on options I had was to do a $10.00 donation to St. Jude for a child to get their own build a bear, before Carys's journey I doubt I would've thought twice about it, but after I jumped at the opportunity to bring happiness to a child who is suffering the hard things. My heart goes out to the courageous parents who fight that battle of wanting to do anything to make their child well fully knowing it's completely out of their control.

I hope our family can find a way to return all the blessings we've been gifted with, the love, the support, the companionship, the prayers. We are so thankful for everyone who walked this journey with us and we are so happy to report that we don't have to face those scary battles!! Praise God for He is Good.

With Love and Gladness in our Hearts!

The Adams Fam

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Prayer is Powerful

I've been pretty open in sharing Carys's journey and allowing people to pray for us. When the news came of her MRI schedule date I immediately began praying and talking about her getting the MRI quicker since we put her on the cancellation call list. I posted on my FB page and I posted here about the dreaded wait and how I knew it would be difficult but with prayer we would get through it.

I didn't have to wait long for God to move. Thursday afternoon I got a call from an unknown number I almost didn't answer but I'm so glad I did. It was the hospital calling to say they had a cancellation the next day at 1PM and would we like to take that appt. Without hesitation I jumped at the chance to have the MRI done sooner. I am so thankful for the power of prayer.

Friday morning we woke Carys up at 4:30AM to eat some toast and drink some milk because she couldn't have anything to eat after 5AM. She ate her breakfast and went right back to sleep until around 8:30 AM. She was amazing and only had a minor melt down about 2 hours before the scheduled appt. over food. We were scheduled at 1PM but Carys didn't actually get sedated until close to 3PM she however didn't seem to notice the wait we watched "mickey mouse clubhouse" and played with toys in the prep area.

I got to be with her while the administered the "silly gas" to put her to sleep it didn't take long she had about two big gulps and was out. The MRI took about an hour and she recovered for about 45 minutes so we were there until around 5PM. When I went to see her after the scan she was happily sipping apple juice and chatting with the nurses, who at this point had all fallen in love with her. Carys was a little out of it and slightly loopy most of the evening and I would say the hardest part of our day was the car ride home. Poor girl just wanted to eat!

 By the time we got home and finally got her something to eat it had been over 12 hours since her last meal. Carys amazed me with her strength.

We were told we should get results within the next week and hopefully then we can continue to move forward and get definitive answers.

Until Next Time...

Mrs. A

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


WAIT...I feel like that's the only word in my world these days, as if WAIT is the only word that's ever spoken to me. First I had to WAIT for the weekend to be over to get something scheduled, and then I had to WAIT for Carys's doctor to actually be in the office to discuss with him he doesn't work on Mondays and when the nurse told me the doctor was off on Mondays yesterday I half laughed, half cried and said "of course he is", and then I had to WAIT for him to confer with Carys's pediatrician this morning. It was starting to feel a bit like no one cared about my little girl the way they were arguing over who had to schedule the MRI. I absolutely know that's not the case but I can't help but feel that way when it seems like no one wants to get the ball moving.

After a bit of a battle this morning between Carys's pedatrician and her dermatologist we finally got the MRI scheduled for her. However it's in February, it's the 27th to be exact two days after her 3rd birthday.That's a 7 week, here's that word again, WAIT. I feel as though my life the past few weeks well months actually has been a series of hurry up and WAIT moments. I hate that word...WAIT, I hate what it means for me, I hate what it means for Carys.

It means we'll celebrate her 3rd birthday still not knowing what we're dealing with, it means I get to wonder and try incredibly hard to stay positive and not get wound up or psych myself out for 7 weeks. It means I have to pretend everything's normal when internally I'm freaking the heck out for 7 weeks. I have to put on a smile and serve others at my work and serve my family without expectation and without concern for MRI and biopsies for 7 weeks.

If you can't tell I'm slightly irritated at the long wait. I understand that the hospitals are busy but it just seems extreme. I'm ready to know what it is we're dealing with. It's like I've said to many at this point I don't even care what it is I just want to know so we can move forward instead of feeling like we're stuck in this never ending.....WAIT.

I'm leaning on and trusting (TRUST is my chosen word for 2014) that God's timing is perfect but I won't lie I'm so tired of the...WAIT!

We did get Carys on the cancellation call list so if there is a cancellation we can be seen sooner, so fingers crossed.

Until Next Time...

Mrs. A

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Test Of Faith Part two..

So here we are again. For those of you who've been around for awhile. You might remember this post where I shared the scary journey of finding a lump on my infant daughter's left side. We went through scary scenarios and did an ultra sound and eventually a sedated CT Scan on her tiny little body only to be told a few weeks later. It's nothing don't worry about it she will surely outgrow this lump and it is not harmful to her. The doctor's exact words were "don't worry unless it starts growing"...

So we came out of that scary moment in time with a renewed appreciation for the precious redheaded fireball of a gift that we'd been given. We've strived from the moment we were given the all clear to enjoy her fully even in her frustrating moments. Well fast forward to this summer and every time I would bathe Carys I would feel as if the lump was enlarging, but I ignored it as momma paranoia until finally I decided in October she needed to be seen by her doctor and we needed to talk about this lump.

In October we saw Dr. Bowen our pediatrician and she agreed that it had grown and changed consistency. The lump was no longer a hard knot under the skin's surface it was now a sponge like texture and had grown to about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Dr. Bowen referred us to a dermatologist and we saw the PA at his practice on 11/20. The PA said he'd never seen anything like what Carys had before and he wanted to confer with the primary doctor in the office. The PA took photos of Carys's side and did measurements on her and on 11/20 the lump measured in at 4 1/2 inches in diameter. In the course of a month and a half the lump had grown 2 inches. This concerned the main doctor so he recommended we do what's called a punch biopsy, basically they punch into her skin, pull a sample out for testing and close her up with a few stitches. So that was scheduled for 12/20. We were given a topical anesthetic to put on her side, and told they do the procedure in office I worried about keeping my 2.5 year old still while they cut into her, but I shouldn't have. We took one of her favorite movies on the Ipad and she didn't shed a single tear she was truly a rockstar and showed me just how tough she is.

So with the biopsy done we enjoyed our Christmas festivities. We built Carys her very own play kitchen and her grandparents supplied it with food, cooking utensils, and her very own tea set.
We were really proud of the fact that we built Carys's gift, (we used Ana White's plans from her book "Handbuilt Home")
Christmas came and went and I never felt like I got in to the spirit of the season. I more felt like I just went through the motions the burden of the biopsy results rested heavily on me and I tried to keep it that way I didn't want it to ruin anyone else's Christmas. Please don't get me wrong my Christmas was lovely I just didn't feel the spirit quite as much as I normally do.

Fast forward to 12/30 we eagerly got Carys ready to remove her stitches believing we would get the biopsy results then and we would know exactly what we were dealing with and how best to attend to it, whether that be surgery to remove it, or something else. Unfortunately we didn't get biopsy results that day because of the Holidays the lab was backed up and the doctor hadn't received results. With a promise of a phone call on Friday Carys and I left the doctor's office a little deflated but confident of clear results on Friday. I waited all day Friday for a phone call and finally at 3:15 it came in. The biopsy results were inconclusive, the mass extends past the skin surface, and an MRI will be needed to measure the girth of the mass and then based on those results there will possibly be a 2nd more extensive surgical biopsy in her future. To say that I am discouraged is a huge understatement. I feel like we're right back where we were 3 years ago. No answers more tests of both the medical and spiritual kind. I am tasked Monday with getting the MRI scheduled at Children's Hospital and she will have to be sedated for that test again because no one could expect a near 3 year old to hold still for 20-30 minutes heck I'm not sure I could hold still for that long. So needless to say 2014 has had a rather frustrating start. I'm praying hard that the rest of the year is much better.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. A