Thursday, December 20, 2012

blessed / Christmas


what a crazy few days have transpired in my absence from this here little blog. sorry for that absence, by the way - you'd think that during my vacation, i'd have more time to blog, right? ha! here's what i've been doing instead:

1) counting down days
Chris is coming to Lil' Hometown - and to ME - so soon! in under two weeks, he'll be at my house - and i honestly cannot wait :D my countdown chart is coming along fantastically; now i just reckon it could move a little faster ;)

so today's technically day 13... but i'll only put the sticker up over the 13 at 3:30pm, cause that's when Chris arrives. cause i'm obsessive-compulsive. okay.

2) going to the game reserve with my dad
...on Sunday, where the highlight of our day was seeing this lovely lioness just chillin' in a tree for a good 40 minutes :D

(i took this photo... HA! *boast boast boast*)

3) making Christmas cards
my beautiful friend Kate decided that what would be really fantastic this Christmas would be to send actual Christmas cards... in the post, not via e-mail or Facebook. so i picked up the baton and then decided that i had time on my hands and so i could even MAKE the cards... myself. which i did. and which took a lot longer than i expected! but it was lots of fun :)

i finally sent them all off yesterday morning (15 of them... which sounds sorta little but is a lot, let me tell you), each one enveloped and stamped... and now i'm just praying they all get to where they need to go!

4) getting end-of-year varsity results
...which were, um, very pleasant. and hey, everyone - my sister has a teaching certificate now, and she got it with a distinction! :D we had a celebratory lunch with my mom on Tuesday, and then ordered pizzas for dinner and watched Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (which i'll talk a little bit about just now). on top of that, sometime yesterday afternoon i was also offered a really incredible studying opportunity that i'm still struggling to wrap my head around... needless to say, i feel seriously blessed.

5) reflecting
after the horror of Friday, and after finding out that sweet Daisy Merrick, whose story my family and i have been following for at least two years now, is once more facing chemo and an uphill battle after two new tumours were discovered in her abdominal region...

We are feeling so confirmed and peaceful after our trip to UCLA. To those who prayed for us, thank you! Here’s whats going on:

The doctor we met with was brilliant and kind and gave us his undivided attention. (laughing at Daisy’s knock knock jokes) He affirmed that there would be a potential use for Daisy’s stem cells should the need arise (another relapse) and so we are going through the uncomfortable procedure of collection in a few weeks. 

Daisy’s chemo has been pushed back a week to make for an easier stem cell collection. That means fun for us!!! It also means that every time there is a delay it pushes Israel back as well. We are used to the waiting game though and are relishing in the long days of reading books and gardening and putting  clothes on the line with the sweetest most creative girl in the world. 

But the best part is the affirmation the UCLA doc gave us!! He said the treatment in Israel was absolutely the best way to go for her. He is familiar with what Dr. Slavin does and was so encouraging of our choice to go that route. This was huge for us as it makes so much sense, but to hear it from him was such a boost in confidence for what lies ahead. 

Proverbs 16:9 we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps

Daisy finally shaved her head today. It’s so bitter sweet.. Bitter because I will miss her hair so much; it’s funny how hair has been so elusive to her for almost half her life. But sweet because Daisy is brave and strong and has built character beyond her years. She is so much more than a pretty face. Every tough milestone, every sacrifice has had an effect on her and makes her lovelier all the time… We are blessed to call her daughter.

…and edema!
(follow Daisy's story here)

after watching Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a movie adaptation of a book with the same title that deals with a young boy whose father was killed in the 9/11 attacks... after all of these things, i've been reflecting a lot in the past few days on the value of life and how important it is that we make the days we have been given here count.  so i've been doing lots of thinking - EXCITING, yo.

6) baking
....aaaaand then i had to get into the kitchen, obviously :P you'll recall that i baked cupcakes for my mom's class a couple weeks ago and i was itching to try something new (since all i make most of the time is... cupcakes). the marvellous Mirtle posted a cute semi-illustrated recipe for ginger biscuits on her Facebook page a few weeks back and i decided that i'd tackle it with gusto. the cookies are DELICIOUS, guys! here's the recipe:

it's worth noting that you should set your oven to 180°C (±350°C) when you start mixing up the batter; she omits a temperature on her instructions, which yielded interesting results for not-an-everyday-baker Hannah, who didn't know at which temperature to bake her cookies... ha!

yesterday morning i made more of 'em ginger biscuits...

no, wait, not those ginger biscuits! these ones :P

om nom nom.

...and then i made some "cinnamon cookies" yesterday afternoon - which turned out exactly like a kind of cookie my mom occasionally makes called a Snickerdoodle. they are scrum-diddly-umptious, friends!

here's the recipe, if you're interested, as designed by me :P

speaking of baking, i can smell cherry-chocolate muffins from the kitchen... yummmm.
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and those have been my last four days, in a nutshell! in other news, Christmas is approaching swiftly and i'm excited and grateful that my brother Huw and his beautiful fiancee Mary-Elyse, as well as my Grampa Mac, will be spending the day with our family - biggest Christmas party EVER :D

how are all of YOU?!

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