Wednesday, February 29, 2012

seeing the light.

the past few days have looked and felt entirely different and new. this past month or so has been tough. feeling disengaged and sad.  it took all the effort in the world to just try and attempt to be myself because i felt so different from who i am or who i was or who i am becoming. i guess all those things mixed together.

last weekend a new friend told me that there are seasons where we are the teachers. where we lead and help grow and encourage people around us. but there are also seasons where we are taught. where we take a step back a bit from our everyday norms...for me those norms (aside from caring for ava and being a wife) are meeting with college girls, leading small groups, investing in people and discipleship. it took everything i had to do what i was supposed to do. what i love to do. who i am. i had gotten a little confused on where my life and purpose is found. it is found in what we do or what we give our time to or how we invest ourselves. but that is only a part of it. but not all of it. as a believer in Jesus i think it is far deeper and grander than just what we do. but who we are...i was having a hard time believing that who i am in Christ is enough. i know it is...but believing it to be true and living my life in that truth is a whole other thing.

i think the past month was hard. sad. dark. i think i was a little depressed. working through and thinking about things i had pushed deep inside. sometimes not even pushed away...maybe did not even know i felt that way because our life has been full of so much upheaval and change and newness.  i like to be strong or at least pretend to be strong. but i have been so broken of that lie. that strong is better than weak. i think we are both. of course we are both. we can be both strong and weak in the same hour or day or week. the two walk alongside each other but i had kept my eyes on: i am strong. i have it together. i can do this. well come to find out: i am strong...but not all the time. i do have it together some days...but most of the time i don't. i can do this...well in theory i can. but mostly i am weak and He is strong. He keeps me together. He can do it...and because He can do it...He enables me to do it. i am not sure what you believe and that is okay. we can be different. i like that. but i believe i am not my own. i believe my life is in His hands. He carries me. He walks alongside me. He teaches me. He wrecks me. He fills me. He is the author of life. i want all of that.

i have not arrived. but i am moving. i saw a glimpse these past few days as the weather warmed up here in harrisonburg and we ventured outside. took walks. played outside on the lawn at JMU (many college students looking around trying to figure out who had a 2 year old on campus) and met with friends. all i kept thinking was this is life. this is joy. it is all far less complicated than we make it sometimes. i choose joy. i will always choose joy. even when i can't seem to see it or know how to live in it...i will always seek joy. as ava and i were walking home from campus after meeting a friend for lunch...i realized two things. my circumstances and my life have not significantly changed in the past month or week or day. things are pretty much the same. but because our God is heart. my heart felt joy. real genuine joy. i felt like myself. for the first time in a while. not a front or fake or trying to be happy. but joy. you see our God has the ability to change a heart. work inside us. without necessarily changing our circumstances and i love that. i love that so much because it is less about fixing everything and making it better...sometimes life is hard and tough and there is not much we can really do to change it. but our heart. our perspective. our way of seeing the world...that is what makes all the difference.

last month i wanted to choose joy. but honestly i didn't feel like i could. life seemed too dark and too hard. i am thankful for a God that works in ways i do not understand. but because He is for us. He is for you...He is in this with us. whatever your this is.

i could not be more grateful.

side note: february is a dark dreary gross wintery month and it was a big month cancer wise. last chemo. cancer free...all things that should provoke joy...and we had moments of joy. but mostly it was hard to cling to the light. but this season will pass and a new one will begin and He will keep walking alongside us and carrying us when necessary. i am so thankful i am not alone. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

melted my heart.

just dropping in quick tonight because it is late. i am feeling a bit emotional for no specific reason. my heart feels tender. joyful. alive. for the first time in a while. i am feeling more like myself. who i really am. not who i feel like i am supposed to be. but becoming more sure that who i am. in my heart. in my just fine. some of my favorite girls just left. i stayed up late to find out who won best picture...the artist...not a shocker. though i have never seen it. but i loved moneyball and the help.

just a small story before i sleep.

every night when i put ava to bed...after books, songs, and prayers i lay her down and tell her...

"you are my favorite girl, ava. my most favorite girl."

tonight felt a bit rushed. people were here and it was getting late. since it was past her bedtime we skipped books for tonight and prayed quick. i kissed her and laid her down and covered her up. she always asked to be covered up.

i walked towards the door and said goodnight and as i was shutting it i heard...

"momma, am i favorite girl?" to which i realized what i had forgotten. "of course, baby. my most favorite girl."

then my heart broke with love. there is nothing like your love for your child and in a week and a half we prayerfully anticipate a clear scan and the thumbs up to start trying for another baby. i had no idea the emotion i would have over this upcoming scan. to know that i am still cancer free and that my body is healthy enough to be a mom again. oh, what a day that will be. i actually started crying today in the shower as i thought about what i would write on the blog when (or if) i become pregnant again. realizing more now than ever what an incredible gift and miracle it is to even be given the chance to embark on that journey. as so many people struggle for that reality. i do not take it for granted. i know nothing is a guarantee. 

so for tonight i will hold on to that sweet little voice. making sure...momma am i your favorite girl?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

out of sorts

this has not been the best week for the ryder household. feeling a bit behind but trying to cease the moment when possible. so last night ava and i headed to barnes and noble for a seriously sweet night. ava has been on her A game these few days. saying little things like..."oh, excuse me, excuse me..." when she walked through a group of people at the children's museum. or her signature..."sorry about that...sorry about that." often for things she does not even have to apologize for but does anyways. she has some little ava sayings that melt my heart.

or when she gathers a few stuffed owls...just to she can read to them a bit.
 or her obsession with "cheers" anytime we both have a drink or anyone has a drink that is willing to "cheers" with her. i am always up for celebrating. whether it is a special starbucks steamed milk or her orange juice at breakfast. i like that ava and i have our own little things.  you know you are close to someone when you have those little special things.

we missed daddy. but called him and sent him lots of pictures so he could feel like he was there. before we left i dropped my iphone in the bathroom and did not thing anything of it...i have a case. so it was unfortunate to realize that my screen is now shattered. bummer. so it goes. we headed home and off to bed she went. around 3am i heard her talking a bit in bed. looked at the monitor (why a video monitor is worth every last cent) and something did not look right. she was crammed up against one side of the crib with her blanket and all her stuffed animals. she sleeps with like five animals. went down to check and quickly realized...puke. all over the place. without knowing it we realized we had a little system for cleaning up after a throw up incident. i strip sheets. give medicine. he changes diaper and pajamas. he starts laundry. i rock baby back to sleep. in the dark, rocking, and singing and then i am quickly trying to catch throw up in my hands in the dark. i realize that is gross but anyone with kids totally understands these nasty moments in parenthood. i yell for justin and he adds more clothes to laundry and we clean up. ah, the joys. all this to say our little ava is sick. a little stomach bug, nothing serious according to the doctor since her throat and ears look good. so today she was attached to me and by 6:30pm poor baby she was inconsolable. no movie. or book. or cupcake could settle her sick little soul. she asked me to make cupcakes (jiffy corn bread but she does not know the difference) so i made some quick and she was asleep before they were done cooking. asleep before 7pm and justin asleep by 9pm. it was supposed to family night out...and it was still family night. just not out. i am currently making scarves (thank you for the orders) and about to head to bed early myself. some weeks call for early nights and extra sleep. hoping it is a puke free night.

looking forward to co-hosting a baby shower this weekend. not to worry...the house will be lysoled. that's not a word. but the house will be clean.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

trying to figure it all out.

i sometimes have a hard time just keeping it all straight and together. i like to make lists and plans for the day and end up creating anxiety for myself when i see what the day has. i much prefer a day of sleeping in and going to the park. but i think that is a given for most people. i really am not that busy. i am just working on finding purpose and joy in the mundane things. the things that make our life...well our life. i often get distracted with something and do not give my attention to ava. i get so focused on something and i loose sight of what it is important. but what if it feels like or seems like it is all important? how do you make it work then? i do want to be that person that is like...i am just so busy...i am not that busy. i mean i have things i need to do and things i want to do...i just have a hard time coping with days that seem so full that i miss it. i miss the joy or the purpose or the perspective. i want to have a focus and not just move through life in a constant state of...i wish this were different and this did not take up time or this was not going on. this is life. i know that. i realize that there is room for finding joy and seeing what is good right alongside the parts that i just do not like very much. for example, i do not think cleaning is fun and i wish i was magically showered with make up, hair, and outfit picked out everyday. anyone else?

i recently went back to work. it is part-time part-time. nothing to really...considering plenty of mommas work full time and seem to still clean, cook, and do laundry. not the mention the one hundred other things that seem to take our time and energy. all the things that seem to the fill day, but rarely make the to do list. for example,  last week ava peed through her pajamas last night so instead of a quick diaper change it was immediately into clothes, strip the sheets, wash 'um, and then get them back on the bed before her nap. or maybe it is a few little errands...mail scarves, picking up yarn, dry cleaning. but then your husband calls and can't find his brand new hair stuff i just bought him on friday (it is nothing crazy or over the top. just a little hair stuff). so i get to take ava out of her car seat for fourth time to swing into cvs. it's the little things. they are what seem to fill up our days. working on my friends baby shower, catching up with friends on the phone, returning emails, picking up the house. the usual. but this new little job is throwing me off a bit. not in a bad way. i am thankful to be working and utilizing my education and experience. i am working for an agency that provides therapeutic services to children who are at risk of being removed from the home and i am working on making it all work...without going crazy. did i even mention spending time with friends, my husband, or myself?!?

i do not want to get lost in the hecticness of life. no one wants that. i need rest. i want rest. but life does not always seem to allow for it. but i got a glimpse of what rest can look like last year and i think i liked it. so i am navigating my way through...stepping back, reflecting, finding rest, and healing...while keeping up with the endless lists, responsibilities, choices, options...when to say yes and when to say no. i imagine we are all walking down a similar road. no easy answers or simply conclusions...this is life and we keeping trying to do our best.

***side note: in a season of transition and newness i am finding that the tone on the blog. my heart for that matter has seemed a little down and let's be honest who wants to feel down or let alone read about someone who is feeling a bit down. i realize this. i prefer joy and laughter...i do laugh and see many reasons to be thankful...i hope you still see that woven through the authenticity of my heart and the way i share it on this blog. this too shall pass and you better believe i wont be wasting it.

justin got up with ava this morning so i could drink coffee, read, and talk to my friend for a second in peace. i read this in psalms. i finding i am spending a lot of time there right now.

116: 1-2, "I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live."

as i long as i live. as long as i live. as long as i live. that is truth. in the midst of it all...i am never alone.

Friday, February 17, 2012

we did it.

it has already been one year. one year ago since we heard the words: "libby, you are cancer free. it's gone. i remember sitting in my bed, like i am right now. numb to those few words. the shock i felt over
took any emotion i thought or assumed i would have. the words we had been waiting to hear since we heard..."you have cancer." i did not know what to say or what to do. the emotion came later. i  remember driving to the mall to buy a new shirt before we headed to richmond (where we are about to go today) and listening to a voicemail that simply was one of my best friends screaming for joy into the phone. no words. just intense joy. i saved the message forever. often re-playing it to be reminded of the joy and gratitude i felt that day. i was saved. many are not. but i was saved. our story is one of healing. i will never grow numb to that. i was healed. healed from cancer and now healing from the aftermath of that storm. but i want this weekend. this day to be one of joy. although the actual date of 2.18.11 takes place tomorrow, it was on this friday last year that my doctor called me with the news. 

rejoice with us & read it again HERE.

weeping as i read those words today. my heart. where i was one year ago and where i am now. my husband's heart and the numbing, quiet joy we felt on that porch on the river. still in shock. can this be true? the cancer is gone? just like our diagnosis changed everything. this day changed everything too.

please celebrate alongside us. what a joy it is to be healed. to be alive. stay close to Jesus. even if your heart is not one of joy today or of healing. He is good. All the time. He is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

vday love

i like looking back. especially to last year. not the hard parts...even though it might be necessary at times.  i like remembering where my heart was and where it is now. provides me such insight and encouragement. even when it is hard. so i read about what we did last valentines. what joy when i re-read a blog post and i am quickly brought right back to that moment...that dinner on the porch. my family. feeling alive. really alive. this year was the same. something i do not take for granted since i have been feeling a bit low in the past weeks. yesterday was good. life giving. full of energy. excited for a night out with justin. we ate breakfast together. met up at a new nail place for a little pedicure. little aves first time. it went so so...not sure if the place was excited for a two year old to be there...even though i called ahead to warn them. the owner told me as i was paying..."your little girl was loud and noisy"...then proceeded to laugh.  either way she is obsessed with her toes. i catch her looking at them all the time.

 instead of a dyi sign...we went with one i found for 50% the night before valentines day.

 cookie with daddy while she waited
she is obsessed with her little toes. when we ran errands after her nap she would take her shoes off as soon as she got into her car seat and immediately said..."ooooooh, nail polish."

last night ava hung out with perrin and trish. thanks for loving ava so well. headed to see the movie...the vow. justin and i were not in agreement. i liked it. he did not. so it goes.
off to the chop house for dinner. new favorite special occasion spot in town.

one part in the movie stood out to me. to long to explain without getting into unnecessary detail.
he said to her...a little angry...very broken hearted..." is not how we talk to each other."
i realized how often my subtle tone or sharp words or passive aggressiveness sneaks into my marriage. i never would have spoken to justin like that when we first met. never. so why...after five years. a little baby. cancer. moves. i get too comfortable? do not get me wrong...comfort is good. it is a part of how you continue to grow as one in marriage. but i refuse. we refuse to loose sight of what we are about. how we love one another. on a daily...moment to moment basis. we almost lost each other once...i wont do it again. i will only have one husband. this is it. my one chance to love. really love. deep and hard and unselfishly. this is it. do not waste it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

first friend party. a rite of passage you might say.

the ryder family enjoyed a relaxing weekend together. pop pop came to town (justin's dad). we spent a lot of time eating good food, catching up, playing downstairs, watching a movie, hanging some pictures, and even introduced ava to the harmonica. that happened accidentally and she loves it. pop pop brought justin's electric guitar and he plugged it into the amp and we had a dance party right in the dining room. if music is playing...on a movie, or a stuffed animal, or a song, or the guitar ava is moving. i am thankful for uninterrupted time with my family. we loved having you here pop pop.


saturday morning ava and i took a drive 25 minutes outside of town for ava's first friend birthday party. the drive into the country was full of windy roads, farms, cows, horses, and according to ava...even a few elephants. i am much more of a city girl...but i do appreciate the beauty of this new town.

ava's friend, levi had a David and Goliath themed party. his mom made him this outfit for christmas and he has worn it everyday, except the day they went to a water park. it is pretty cute. hence the outfit he is wearing. 

listening to a little David and Goliath story time.

scavenger hunt for collecting "pebbles" just like David did.
we had a nice little obsession with this dog that was outside. she would not let it go and stood by the door until we could go outside. however, after a little while it got too cold so we went inside and ava processed to scream. like out of control loud. ah the joys.
to keep it real not let the sweet pictures of ava deceive you. she was not on her best behavior per say. trying to teach a two year can not always get what you want. not necessarily the easiest thing. but fun we had...happy birthday levi!

 scarves for sale. scarves for sale.
i am finally caught up on orders and since it was 17 degrees here this weekend it seems that winter has only just begun.

some sweet friends who are rocking my scarves all over the country.


email me at with SCARF in the subject for more details and to place an order.

happy monday.

(i will be back tomorrow with a special valentines day post &
 don't miss an updated home decor post on friday)

Friday, February 10, 2012

dropping in real quick.

 ava's friday go enjoy a cupcake.
thank you celebrating one year since finishing chemo alongside us.

enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

today marks one year since chemo.

what a difference one year makes. this was not necessarily a year that flew by. it was full of so much change and so much uncertainty. in many ways it was a lot like 2010. the year we welcomed ava into our lives along with cancer. 2011 was a year of celebrating, healing and moving.
now two months into 2012 and so far it is one of healing. pain. sadness. joy. confusion. and fear. regardless of where i am at or how i am doing.

we celebrate one year since completing chemotherapy. yes. yes. yes.
one year down...a lifetime to go.

last year on 2.9.11 it started with this post: this from my husband. do not miss it.

then i shared this glorious news: i had finished my 12 chemotherapy treatments.

finally, late at night  i thanked you.

one year later we remain thankful for my healing, that my cancer is gone, and i am physically free of the disease. 

i finished with this last year...i miss my hair and fitting in to my favorite jeans. but the day will come when my hair will be long and i will rock my jeans again. just not for today and that is alright.

i am excited to report that i do fit into my favorite jeans & my hair is growing. slowly but surely. see...

a quick snap shot of my hair while i sit in bed and write.

thankful that today was simply spent running errands, working a little, baking with ava, and relaxing.
i like 2.9.12 much better than 2.9.11.

what a joy it will be to return again on 2.9.13 to keep on celebratin'.

goal for next year...longer hair. still fitting into my favorite jeans and maybe a little baby on the way??

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

finding beauty...even when its hard to see.

love that we all like to keep it real here. i will never stray from that.

i am currently moving through foreign waters. trying to stay afloat some days. this place of healing and growing and peeling back the layers is like nothing i have ever experienced or known. but it is real and it is happening. the Lord is taking me to the end of myself. my friend angie and i talked it out via gmail chat last night. here are some highlights from my wise friend.

at the end of the day, God is either working IN you or THROUGH you.
  and He is working in you, lib. and so that means, that you are here on this earth to please you run after Him, you continue to heal, and hear what God is teaching you.
  do not forget that He is working IN you right now...and maybe along the way, He sprinkles people along to hear what He is teaching you... but until then, you are here to please the Lord. and my goodness...this stuff would not be sifting if it wasn't needed.
if God wasn't using it to prepare you, to grow you...i heard a beth moore thing a while back and she said " God is ever after proving us genuine."and she said "God is after turning us inside out to put truth in our inmost parts." you are finally dealing with cancer. you have moved to a new place and are starting a whole new life. a new life with people who do not know your old. which has everything to do with who you are are allowed to deal with this friend. you need cannot pour into others, when you have not let God cut in and pour into you. so the journey continues... ***

switching gears a bit. which is okay i think. in the midst of it all...let's continue to celebrate the small things. like cute earrings. how about a sweet giveaway from my creative friend katie

hair is a bit crazy in the back.

whether you are buying for yourself or as a gift...there are some real cute ideas for a little valentines day gift. use coupon code "DWYC" at check out for 10% off your order.
just for you.

leave a little comment love on this post to be entered into the giveaway. 3 pairs of free earrings of your choice. nice! winner will be announced friday on the blog.
go check out it all out here: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

i tend to dislike blogs that...

only tell you the good stuff. that cause you to feel like you are the worst mom b/c of blank, blank, or blank. if it makes you feel bad don't read it. seriously. some people honestly just have a really good outlook on life. i try to be one of those people. but sometimes things are hard and sad and i just want to pull it together, but i just can't seem to.

so today i am bringing you some truth. i am sad. i cry a lot. i am obsessed with decorating my house right now b/c it distracts me from real life. i have a hard time forcing myself to get ready everyday. i hate running. my basement is messy and i need to clean my house.

see this is why we prefer to read the happy stuff. this just sounds like complaining and sorta annoying. it's like..."pull it together, libby." but let's be real. none of us have it together. even if someone seems like they do...they don't. not below the surface. let's all just be real together. sometimes seasons of life are hard. this is one of them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

playing catch up.

first off...thank you thank you for the incredible comments and emails that were written after this post. it is comforting to know that i am not alone in this. that we are all a little messy.

it was a busy weekend. in a good way. work. leadership. mexican food with our yl team. where ava on her own asked our server for..."guagamoly please." she then proceed to ask to get out of her high chair so she could say hi to friends. two little girls were sitting next to us so she joined them for a bit. she likes having friends. i like that she is social. headed home late. got up saturday and had all of our yl team leaders over for breakfast. justin was ambitious and the night before went to the store and got everything for pancakes. i had to run to the store early on saturday because the coffee he had bought the night before was previously opened. here is how it went...

that was just funny to me. great morning with leaders.

then our fridge stopped working. so i brought a ton of food to my friend ashley's house so it would not spoil. put some stuff in coolers. someone came and fixed it and there really was not much to fix...somehow the freezer temperature gauge had been turned down so low nothing was able to stay cold. later that night we went bowling. i did surprising well and ava was hyper. like out of control running everywhere. after we were done a few us hung around and had a little dance party with ava. girl loves to dance. put her to bed and watched moneyball. um we loved it. justin said at least twice...babe, i love this movie. for what it's worth we liked it.

got up sunday and felt a little funny but headed to church anyways. where i proceeded to throw up three different times before we headed home. slept. threw up. slept. ate a bagel. tried to lay on the couch with ava while she watched curious george. it was impossible. she was all over me. threw up in the laundry room sink. gross i know. justin told me. threw up a little more. slept. missed out on two possible super bowl parties. thankfully justin and ava will still able to attend. drank some gatorade and went to bed. woke up this morning feeling better but anxious about all that i needed to do for work this morning. finished my progress notes and other paper work and the day began. like five errands later ava is napping and about to do the same. trying to fight the anxiety i have about my growing list of things to do and how desperately i need to clean. it will have to wait. i am attempting to live life with a bit less doing and more being. more present if you will. not defined so much as a doer but a (made the word up. need spaces or else it would have been beer and that would not have made any sense.

more to come this week. like a fun giveaway and we have a little something or maybe a huge something to celebrate on thursday. try one year anniversary from my last chemo. WOW.

love him more today than every before. being on the same page in marriage is so key. let's stay on the same page, paragraph, sentence, and word for life. we do not have it all together. yesterday we fought over dumb stuff like..."are you really sick? i mean you were not sick last night." how silly is that. but we got in bed and apologized for where were both fell short. gotta do it. set the pride aside people and fall in love.

p.s still running and i still hate it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

because you rallied around us.

i do not do this often. but today it felt right. many of you rallied around us. without evening knowing us you came alongside our story. here is another families story. 
another lovely family just like ours and just like yours. they continue to be a lovely a bit of a bump in the road. not what they planned. not what they expected. but as we all know far to can change in a second. here is another story of how everything can change...but our God...He remains the same.

Mike Zegarski is the former Young Life area director (same job as Justin) in Naperville, IL. On March 21, 2006 he suffered a brain aneurysm. Michelle, Mike's wife, is currently still on with Young Life staff part time. The past six years have been a journey for the Zegarski family. Since the aneurysm, Mike has made great progress. You can follow his story from the beginning at this blog (

This video is an update on Mike's progress and sharing his story. For the past six years, Mike has been able to live at home with Michelle, and their two children, McKaela and Eli. Currently, The Zegarskis are working to raise funds to cover Mike's care expenses to keep him at home, where he is supposed to be. Throughout the month for February, a donor has agreed to match and amount donated to the medical fund, up to $20,000. One of the most beautiful things about Mike and his story, is that he continues to remember Jesus, and His love and grace, and he continues to pray for the mission of Young Life. Mike loves talking about Young Life and the way Christ is moving in kids lives. (written by a dear friend sarah spunt).

let's see if we can rally alongside them and keep Mike in his home with his family. where he belongs.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

scratch the plan

we sang this song a few times last week. (ignore the dumb advertisement on you tube). i would watch it.

but in case you do not have is the gist.

He makes all things beautiful & He is making us new.

i like to keep myself composed for the most part. i do not try too. i mean i want to be real and transparent and genuine. but i just do not want to cry all the time. however, last week i began to unravel a bit. i began for the first really let go. stop trying to be strong. to pretend like i am fine. to rally. to go with the flow. to be tough. to be numb. how do things like this happen without us realizing it?

without meaning to i have begun to turn into someone i never wanted to be. i do not want to pretend i have it all together anymore. instead i am a mess. i mean i am fine. but i am still a mess. does that make sense? i am functioning fine. but my heart. my insides are a bit of a mess. scarred a little. pretty raw. just sad sometimes. not all the time. i just feel like i am carrying a heavy weight around that i am ready to lay down.

i want to allow myself to be weak, to cry, to be vulnerable.

He makes beautiful things. He makes beautiful things out me and out of you. 

He is making me new.  He is making me new. He is making making me new.

i think i like to keep it all together because in many ways our life is pretty transparent. pretty out there. ministry does that. Jesus does that. friends are in and out of our house all day long. for various things. high school students and leaders and friends. we do life together. it is not just the three of us and i love that. i do not even know life any of other way. i am thankful i am apart of something bigger than myself and my family.


i am seeing how it is hard then in a new place to really be me. i was so scared to move because i knew we would be starting over. new home. new friends. new town. new job and lots of new people. but i think i thought i was supposed to be fine. be happy. be strong. be positive. be okay.


although i am all of those things at different points in the day. it is becoming very clear to me. my husband. many of the people who love me the most...that it is time to heal. to enter into a season of working through. saying out loud. admitting to the world (we will start with my new counselor and my husband) that i am angry i got cancer. i am sad it happened. above all...that it is okay to feel this way and not have to explain why. it is simply how i feel. done and done.

i am so thankful that i believe in God and that He knows the depths of my pain. my hurt. my anger. my tears. my questions. my fear.

so here we go. i have no idea what is ahead or what this means. but i know that in order to move. to become unstuck. i need to heal. to talk through. to pray. to read scripture. cling to it. cling to Him. i am ready to move.

remember when i started this blog back in july of 2010. for two reasons. to keep friends and family informed on my recent cancer diagnosis and to have our story written down for ava. in case one day i was gone and my little baby wanted to read our story. her story too. praise the Lord i hope to share it with one day personally. i recall thinking that maybe i would stop this blog when we found out my cancer was gone...but i kept writing. sometimes for me or for my family or for ava or for you. it usually sucked when i wrote for anyone else than me and my own heart and what the Lord was doing in it. it provides a place to share thoughts i did not even know i had and feelings i did not realize were inside me.

but i think i am realizing why i had to keep writing. for this. for this time. for the post cancer. for the aftermath. for the uncharted territory that is: life after cancer. in many ways cancer was much easier to navigate. they told me i had cancer. told me what appointments to go to. when chemo would be. how i might feel after chemo. what would happen. how my body would change. there was a little bit of a road map.

but not life after cancer. it is a mess you had cancer. that was unfortunate and your life changed forever and now return back to your everyday life. enjoy.

so i buried my feelings and we moved on with life. but now i want to peel back the layers a bit. see what i have been hiding from myself.

i am hesitiant to even publish this post. i do choose joy. we chose joy in cancer. we choose joy now. but life is not always joyful and cancer is ugly and deep and scary. i refuse to remain in this place and stop ignoring what i know is inside.