When It’s Cancer…

For the past six months, my family and I have been waiting, as patiently as possible, to find out if my mom had cancer. Back in September she had to have a chest x-ray before she could switch to a new RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) medication, and to everyone’s surprise, something showed up on the x-ray. A very tiny spot on one of her lungs. It is common for RA patients to have nodules grow on their lungs because of the medication that they have to take, and because of this fact, the nodule wasn’t all that alarming. They told her that because it was so small and because she has RA, they weren’t super concerned with it and she would just need a follow-up x-ray in six months.

Waiting those six months was very hard on my mom. She could not shake the bad feeling she had. Finally after waiting six months, she had her second chest x-ray to see if the spot had grown. It had in fact grown ever so slightly. The next step was to do a PET scan to determine if it was cancer. She had to wait two more weeks. Once the PET scan was completed, she had to wait some more for the results. Four very long days. It turned out that the scan showed a slight glow that could possibly indicate cancer.

My mom was devastated. We were all devastated. The next step was to have it removed immediately. She had surgery last Friday and during the surgery they dissected the lump, sent it to the lab and found out that it was definitely cancer, so they removed the entire thing. It was a major surgery and the recovery is long and painful, but she’s doing pretty good.

It’s been very hard on everyone and I don’t think I realized just how much it was affecting me until after I found out she made it through surgery and was okay. I hadn’t cried at all, not the entire time, until I hung up the phone with my dad. Then I broke down. I couldn’t stop crying. My mom had cancer. It was gone, but it was real. It was so hard to wrap my head around, so I think I powered through as best I could with the information I had. But once I knew she was going to be okay…well I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I haven’t felt much like myself since Friday. I’m still trying to work through all my feelings. I’m so relieved that the cancer is out. I can’t believe how lucky she was and is. If she didn’t have RA, she wouldn’t have needed a chest x-ray and if she hadn’t had that x-ray, she wouldn’t have found out about the cancer. Her cancer was stage 1-A, which means they found it the earliest they could have possibly found it. For that reason, I’m so thankful that she has RA. Her cancer could have gone unnoticed until it was too late. Instead they found it early and removed it before it could spread anywhere else in her body. She is now cancer free!

I still need some time to heal emotionally. We all do. Especially my mom. So, I’m going to spend some time with her and I know that will make all the difference (I didn’t get to be there for her surgery). Hopefully by next week, I’ll be feeling back to my normal self and be able to focus attention on other things again, but for now, I’m giving all my attention to my mom.

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This is my mom with my uncle at Christmas. She will say she looks terrible in this photo. She always says that, but I think she looks happy.

Love you Mom!

See you next week!

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Update: Fall Bucket List

We’ve had a ton of fun crossing activities off our Fall Bucket List this year! Our fall has seriously been magical. The weather has been perfect for getting out of the house and enjoying all the beauty of autumn.

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As you can see, we’ve been very busy having fun. We’re still hoping to make it to an apple orchard this weekend even if we can’t pick our own apples anymore. There’s an orchard close to Omaha that makes apple donuts. That’s reason enough to visit!

And of course, there’s still time to make a couple of turkey crafts before Thanksgiving rolls around.

I’m just not sure we’ll get to have a fire to roast marshmallows though. Every time it’s been warm enough to sit outside it’s also been really windy. High winds and fires don’t mix. But this weekend may work. The kids love roasted marshmallows, so I hate to miss that one.

Autumn seems to be coming to a close here in Omaha. The trees have slowly been losing all their leaves and the beautiful colors are disappearing. I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet though, so I plan to relish in every last second of it before the dreaded snow comes along!

A couple of weeks ago we took the kids to the Wildlife Safari to see the animals one more time and to get in a hike (one of the activities on our list) to Frog Pond. It was a gorgeous day. One of my favorites of the season!

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Please excuse our dirty dashboard and the crack in our windshield. We really need to get that fixed! IMG_9773

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I hope you all have been enjoying fall where you live!

**All the photos were taken with my iPhone 5 and are unedited.**

Autumn In Full Bloom

There is a nursery in town that has a park area that’s open to the public for photograph or just visiting and it is beautiful in the fall. They have trees in every color. I’ve taken some photographs for clients there in the past, but never any of my own kids. The weather was really nice last Friday, so I got the kids dressed and grabbed my camera. We didn’t have a ton of time because we were about to head out of town, but I got some really great shots of them surrounded by all the pops of color. I’m so loving these!DSC_0227 copyDSC_0235 copyDSC_0249 copyDSC_0253 copyDSC_0269 copyDSC_0282 copyDSC_0305 copyDSC_0321 copyDSC_0355 copyDSC_0363 copyDSC_0413 copyDSC_0464 copy copy 

And how about these trees?! They look like a rainbow! Gorgeous.DSC_0477

I’m so happy that I finally got some really colorful fall photos of my babies. I can’t wait to order some prints to put up in the house.

Anyone else going crazy over the insane color this year? I have a shoot in a couple of weeks and I’m hoping some of the color will stick around until then.

Well, I’m off to work on some projects!

**If you live in the Omaha area and would like your own fall family photos, check out my website http://www.tashiadoylephotography.com and call or email me to set up a session!**

A Perfect Fall Day

Yesterday my little family and I got out to enjoy the beautiful fall weather before it disappears. We started our day by picking up some coffee and heading out for a fall drive through a local forest. It was a calm, cool morning and perfect for a drive. After our drive we went home so I could pack a picnic.IMG_9277IMG_9278IMG_9283IMG_9284

I didn’t have time like I had planned to make our lunch this time, so we opted to grab some Panera instead, with homemade pumpkin bars for dessert. Sometimes keeping it simple is the way to go. I packed our basket with everything we needed, we picked up our food and went to a park on a lake. It was so much fun! I’ve always wanted to go on a fall picnic. I loved all of it! Once we were finished eating, the kids played at the playground for a bit and then we went for a walk along the lake and down by the water. The kids were having so much fun.IMG_9297IMG_9300IMG_9303IMG_9305Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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We still needed to run an errands, so we had to leave the lake and the kids weren’t very happy about that, but once we were home we played in the leaves out in the backyard. Even that was fun and we were able to cross two activities off of our Fall Bucket List!IMG_9371IMG_9374IMG_9377IMG_9383IMG_9384IMG_9388IMG_9397

So far, this fall has been magic! I can’t wait for what’s next!


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Our Fall Bucket List

Now that it’s officially fall, I thought I would share with you one of our little traditions. For the past four years (since Hudson was born) I’ve been creating us a Fall Bucket List. Yep, we have a Summer Family Fun List and a Fall Bucket List. Have I ever mentioned that I like lists?!

There are a few activities that we love to do every fall, so I like to be sure that we get them all in, plus a few extras. I tend to keep the regulars on the list every year. You know, pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, hike, etc. But I also like to try to incorporate a few new activities each year too, like going out for coffee and donuts or make a turkey craft.

Fall is such a magical time! I can’t wait to start having fun!

Here is our Fall Bucket List for 2013.

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If you would like your own copy of our bucket list, click here: Fall Bucket List

I would love to hear about your autumn adventures if you decide to join in the fun!

Enjoy!!

**NOTE-this download is for personal use only**

Linked Up Here:

http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2013/10/pity-party-160/

A Lavender Farm

This summer we replaced strawberry picking on our Summer Family Fun List with visiting a lavender farm and picking lavender. I read about a local lavender farm, Loess Hills Lavender Farm, in Midwest Living magazine. I had no idea there even was such a thing. It turned out to be pretty interesting. Oh, and I think we’ll be making a trip back to the farm in August to see all the butterflies. The owner said that thousands of butterflies come through in August and our kids love butterflies. Who doesn’t?

They had this adorable little fairy house right by the gift shop. The kids loved it! It really inspired me to make a little one in our backyard. I even have a few ideas pinned on Pinterest.

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It smelled so good!

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You had to cut the lavender with shears, so it wasn’t really something little kids could do themselves, but they still liked just being there.

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We picked two different varieties of lavender; the kind that smells really good and is used to make essential oils and the kind that you can use in cooking and baking.

The farm wasn’t huge, but they were planning to add 10,000 more lavender plants at the end of the season. So, by next season it will be quite a bit bigger. We’ll definitely be going back to check it out.

In case you’re in the area and would like to visit the farm or you’re just interested in finding out a little more about lavender farms, here is the link to their website:

Loess Hills Lavender Farm

You can also read more about lavender farms in the July/August edition of Midwest Living magazine.

Have a great afternoon and keep cool. I hear it’s supposed to be pretty hot everywhere today!

All About Them-Water Blob

Since I have two little kiddos and I’m a stay-at-home mom, I decided to incorporate some of the activities that the kids and I do together into the blog. Most of these ideas will more often than not be pins from my  Hudson & Harper Pinterest board.  Sidenote: If you are interested in following any of my Pinterest boards, you can find me under Tashia Doyle or tjdoyle811.

Anyway, I love finding activities to keep the kids entertained. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. Last summer I came across what I thought looked like the most awesome activity ever! It’s called a water blob and it’s all over Pinterest now. I put it on our fun list last year, but we never got around to it. I knew it would be a must-do on our list this summer, so we bought the supplies and did it this past weekend while up at my parents house. The kids seriously loved it so much. They were having so much fun that it was almost as much fun just to watch them.

Like I said, I found the idea on Pinterest, but the post can be found here. I also checked out a few other blogs on the topic. If you’re interested, just type water blob into the search box on Pinterest.

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We used a 3.5 Mil roll of plastic sheeting and a  roll of duct tape. We also added blue food coloring which didn’t last long in the hot sun. The total cost for the blob was around $15.00. The plastic sheeting was $9.99 and we bought a new roll of duct tape because ours was old and gross, so that cost $6.99. We still have some leftover.

The water blob lasted all day and only seeped water slightly at the seams in between the strips of tape, but it wasn’t enough to notice a difference. Jeremy even put three strips along every edge.

We sprayed water on the top so the kids could slide and splash around. They were both running and bouncing on it and it stayed in tact. The only tear it got was when Jeremy tried moving it after he started filling it with water, so don’t do that! He was able to fix it with duct tape though.

I would recommend this to everyone to try at least once. I know it’s something we’ll do over and over. It was totally worth the money!

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This is my favorite shot! I caught her in the air!

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Here’s an aerial view. I think the size ended up being 12.5×10 after folding it in half to tape it. It seemed like the perfect size for the two kids. We gave the them soft toys to play with on it. Nothing that was hard or had pointy edges. But they mostly jumped, rolled and chased the giant air bubbles trapped inside.

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Jeremy and I even got in on the fun, sort of. We walked and sat on it…if that constitutes as fun.

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Totally. Love. This. And these two cutie pies.

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After this, we were able to cross two big activities off of our Summer Family Fun List; visiting Grandma and Grandpa and the Water Blob. What an awesome weekend we had!

Summer Family Fun List: Progress Report

We’ve slowly but surely been crossing activities off our fun list. Some of the activities are simple and some are more extravagant, but they’re all fun. The kids love all of it no matter if it takes just five minutes or it’s an activity that involves hours, and that’s the most important thing. Jeremy and I always end up loving it all too. We crossed off a big one this past weekend (it was awesome!) and I’ll be sharing more on that tomorrow, but today I thought it would be fun to share a progress report of sorts. I love lists (I think I’ve mentioned that before) because they keep me accountable and help me visualize the things I want to do. Plus crossing things off of lists is the best!

Here is what we’ve crossed off so far, minus a couple that we crossed off this past weekend.

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Not bad! We’re making good progress, but still have quite a few things to tackle. And there are a couple that I don’t think we’ll get done this summer like taking a summer vacation (unless it’s a weekend trip) or strawberry picking (due to the fact that the season is over), but when that happens, I like to substitute those activities with different ones. For example, strawberry season was later than usual this year because of the cold spring, so we ended up being too busy to go the weekend that it opened and if you don’t go the first weekend, chances are that you won’t get the best berries. So, instead of strawberry picking this year, I read about a lavender farm over in Iowa that sounds really cool (who knew there were lavender farms anyway?!). We’re planning to visit the farm this coming weekend. So even though we didn’t get to go strawberry picking, we get to experience something new instead, and I think that’s even better!

Today’s lesson: Don’t get discouraged if you miss some of your activities. There are so many things to do and see in every city that you can easily substitute. And the most important thing is that you’re having fun as a family and getting out to enjoy all that summer has to offer!

I hope everyone had a great holiday & weekend! Happy Monday!

A Little About Us

I realized that I’ve never done a post about our little family, so I decided to put one together to share with you.

Since you already know some about me, today I’ll be filling you in on the other three members of my family.

First, my husband, Jeremy.

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(photo by Danny Bligh)

We’ve been married for almost six years. He’s the best of the best! He’s a great husband and an even better dad. He loves adventures, big and small. He makes an insanely good Gouda burger, seriously. He’s loves being outdoors. He will play anything the kids want him to play. He’s super funny and I’m pretty sure he is THE nicest person I’ve ever met. Yeah, you could say I like him a little. I can’t say enough about him. Oh, and he’s handsome! How could I forget that?!

Then there’s my 4-year-old son, Hudson.

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He is so cute! This little guy is hilarious. He’s full of energy…all the time. Even when I wish he wasn’t! Ha! He loves to cuddle, but has recently turned into a total boy. He never stops talking, making noise or moving (running, climbing, jumping, you name it, he’s doing it)! He’s incredibly smart and is obsessed with animals. He loves to read too. He’ll be attending preschool in the Fall and I know he’s going to love it.

Last, but not least, my 2-year-old daughter, Harper.

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She is our adorable little lady. She is a total mama’s girl right now and I’m loving every second of it! She is very girly. She likes picking out her clothes, playing with babies and has a new love for Lalaloopsy and Doc McStuffins. She loves to dance and talks about being a ballerina. She’s really calm most of the time, but now that she’s two (her birthday was last week), she has certainly been showing her opinionated side. The tantrums are beginning! Ha!

There you have it! Our little family in a nutshell. Jeremy and I are so thrilled that we have a boy and a girl and love that we get to experience the different relationships that we have with each of them. They are so awesome and bring us so much joy! We’re very blessed.

We still haven’t decided if our family is totally complete yet. We’re leaving it open for now, but no current plans to add another member. Wait and see!