Saturday, January 25, 2014

Exceedingly glad to be in 2014 :-)

Happy New Year, family and friends! Yes, this blog update has been a loooooong time coming, so let me tell you why. Besides family coming to spend Christmas and New Years with us (what fun times we had!!), I have specifically taken time to reflect on this past year and to pray to God for guidance on how to approach 2014 and the rest of my life. 

I know that you, my family and friends worry when you don't hear an update, but please know that Zev, Zachary and I are doing well and thankful to be alive! So, my devotional for today hit the nail on the head and encapsulated what I've been feeling and thinking lately:

"Lord, whenever You went through times of trouble, You always withdrew from the crowd and went to a place by Yourself to be alone with Your Heavenly Father. Help me to learn to do that too. At the first sign of loneliness or lack of peace, remind me to draw closer to You and sense the comfort of Your presence and the HEALING power of Your love." Stormie Ormatian. The Scripture verse that she provided is "You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him EXCEEDINGLY GLAD with Your presence ." Psalm 21:6.

I'm sure that a lot of people probably wonder "how can she say she is "exceedingly glad" considering she still has brain cancer and is constantly tired and is trying to raise a busy toddler? First of all, let me tell you that there are certainly lots of days when I feel down and lonely and thinking about MRI's every 3 months fills me with moments of dread. But there are also days when I  feel GRATEFUL for my many blessings: the fact that I am still alive and am able to work out and be a wife, be a mum, a daughter, a sister, a friend, that I have a slow growing tumor and that there are treatment options for my chronic disease (viewing my brain cancer as a chronic disease has really helped a lot!) The amazing thing (thanks to God) is that there are many days when I forget that I have brain cancer! I like to refer to myself as a "x amount of years brain cancer SURVIVOR" and I don't let it define who I am. 

I've learned a lot of important life lessons through this crazy journey and if anything, I can wholeheartedly say that life is about perspective. That is, if your perspective is positive and filled with love, then even the dimmest situation can be viewed as a growth point and a chance to make a difference in someone's life. My focus at this point in my life is our sweet Zachary. Zev and I love him to bits and love watching him grow and develop and say funny things and see his interests develop. I am researching everything I can about preschools and ways that I can teach him to read and count at home and learn his colors and shapes (it's amazing to see the great resources available online!) I have visited 3 preschools already and have plans to visit a few more. Yes it may seem like overkill, but I do believe that young children can learn so much if we place the right tools in their hands. Zachary is naturally inquisitive and it's awesome to watch him explore different activities at museums and nature parks. Gosh, I love that boy!

So our sweet friend Ginny Hopkins from took these amazing photographs of our family. The most incredible part is that most of the following 7 pictures were candid photos. Ginny came along with us when we visited the local nature museum and took these incredible pictures, which I think, captures the personality of our little family perfectly. Thank you SO VERY MUCH, sweet Ginny :-)) She and I are pictured in the last picture below at a Paint Nite last Monday. Her painting was a masterpiece; mine: not so much! Seriously, all the participants came up to her and commented on how beautiful it was (I wish I had of taken a picture of it!) and one lady even asked her if she had been to art school (Ginny is seriously artistically talented!) Zev said he would put my painting in his man cave :-)) 

The rest of the pics were taken with my phone. In addition to loving trucks of pretty much every sort (fire trucks, mail trucks, garbage trucks, school buses and tractors), Zachary also LOVES LOVES LOVES his tools. He loves to hammer (thankfully mum and Howard bought him this awesome tool set and work bench for Christmas so he doesn't bang on the kitchen table!) and loved "helping" daddy build his table and chairs this past week. He also loves to put his hands in his pockets like dadda and pretty much copy dadda in everything. Tonight, Zev had him stand at attention and salute. I will have to take a video of that one next time! He also likes to help me vacuum and clean and "cook" for me, which are interests that I'm hoping will last until his teenage years and beyond. Fat chance I'm sure, but one can hope :-) 

Hope you have a wonderful week and I pray that no matter how your year, your week or your day has been, that you remember that tomorrow is a new day and a chance to see things in an entirely new perspective :-)

In His love,

Fiona xo


Sam said...

Our Best Wishes for 2014. Love the Pics, they are great. Enjoy seeing Zachery grow and looks more and more like his beautiful parents. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. LoL

Anonymous said...

Dear Fiona,

I am a second year medial student and found your blog while researching brain biopsies. I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your amazing story and for being a inspiration to everyone who has the privilege of learning from your experience and perspective. I wish you every happiness and pray for your healing to continue. May your light and generosity be returned to you and your beautiful family many fold.

Kate B.

GiGi said...

Boy I love reading your post and seeing your lovely faces. I hear your voice and see your wonderful smile when I'm reading. Thank you so much for searching your life with us and always being such a bright star from the day I met you. You and Zev are wonderful parents and God has blessed you both with your gorgeous Zachary. Life is good Sweetie, Thank You God!!! Love and miss you Sweet Girl!!! xoxo

Cassy Quick said...

What a beautiful family! I just LOVE your smile!!