Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sonia Kashuk Product Reviews

I've decided to share my You Tubes here during the summer for those of you that don't want to subscribe to You Tube, but still want to watch my videos.

Thanks...and I am SO enjoying my break...especially from Facebook!!!

By the way, when I say I remove makeup with a sponge, I meant to say cotton ball :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crossing the Finish Line!

So I've been in the weird holding pattern for months now...on some level for three years, since Scott was first diagnosed with cancer.  How many times have I put something off "until Scott gets better"...a lot!  Not my chores, my day to day parenting, travel, or having a good laugh.  It's my inner self... I have so many things I want to do... so many dreams tugging at my heart.  It's like they've been in incubation...and it's time they came out.  

We all know we can fill our day with nonsense.  My brain has indeed felt foggy and groggy, and I've found it increasingly easy to waste time.  Don't get me wrong...I think I've been doing exactly what I've been called to do...stand by Scott's side during the past 9 months or so.  It's been great and very fulfilling.  But I've come to recognize that I've begun to look to him for my affirmation, my self-worth, my "okayness."  No one needs that kind of pressure!  No human being can give you those things anyway.  They should come from the inside, from our creator.  If Scott was having an 'off' day, I had an 'off' day.  If he was happy, I was happy.  If he was sad, I was sad. This was a strange phenomenon, one I've never experienced before.  I find I can't just let him "be" which is exactly what he needs to "do".  He shouldn't feel like he has to perform for me, or do anything specific because I'm acting so needy, so weird.  We have always been 2 really separate people.  Our day to day lives couldn't be more different.  There is no criss-cross from 6am-6pm, other than a quick phone call or text.  Now we are criss-crossing all the time.  

As I'm typing this I realize it's making NO SENSE, but maybe you can glean some sort of understanding of what I'm trying to say.

Today is Scott's last radiation even 50.  He is very worn out, and dealing with some side-effects, but overall doing well.  Throughout the summer, he will have blood-work done, but no more trips to the clinic.  We go back in September for scans, x-rays, tests, and drumroll...results.  In December he can go off all the medicine...that will be the best present of all!

So here's the deal... I have chosen this summer to really get back in touch with 'me'... trust me when I tell you Scott will be relived when I quit trying to read his every thought, feeling, and emotion.  I am going to try and get some results with the hours in my day... take some action steps to achieve some of my goals and stop wasting time.  So in the spirit of accountability, I'm going to put out there some of the things I will do, hope to do, and dream to do.  I feel like if one person reads these things, I am honor bound to achieve them... that's just how I am...
so here's the list:

I am taking Soul Restoration II online (Brave Girls Club) in June.  It's a class about moving forward and getting in touch with your dreams and goals.  Not in a weird new-age way but in a personal "listening to your heart" kind of way.

I am taking an online writing class.  I really want to write, but I am not motivated.  If someone gives me an assignment though, I will complete it or die trying.  Some of you remember I wrote a novel in November, 2009.  I accomplished the 50,000 word requirement, but the novel is so poorly written, even I can't read it through.  For this reason, the online class I have chosen is Beginning Writing.  I want to start at the beginning and get a good foundation and see where it takes me.

I am not artistic, but I want to "do" art.  Don't ask me what this means.  I'm not sure yet.  

I want to have fun times with my grandkids swimming, beaching, and having Leila over for sleepovers so we can cook and do crafts and snuggle down for Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.  My daughter is jumping for joy right now... I've been so busy lately!  

I want to hang with my youngest that's still home.  Lexi and I have a blast together.  We will also beach it, lay out by the pool, and Lexi's favorite... go shopping.

I want to start homemaking again. I want to update my home, and create some special areas.  One of the first will be my sitting room, a tiny room connected to my bedroom.  Right now it has an UNUSED treadmill, an armoire full of junk, a huge dresser, and a Barbie tent.  I am going to clean it out, get some comfy chairs and ottomans, a cute sidetable, a chandelier, a tabletop fountain, and some bookshelves.  It's going to be our new Book Nook.  Scott is super excited.  He loves to sit in the quiet and read.  

I want to meet with the Lord (not the computer) everyday...  

I want to eat better, lose 5 pounds, and get about 15 simple, healthy go-to meals under my belt that we all like.  Right now our favorite word is "takeout"... that has got to stop.

As you can see... this is quite an ambitious list.  I will be hard pressed to achieve it all.  Once I take SR II, I might tweak some of these.  But did you notice something???  Three things are missing.  Blogging, Facebooking, and YouTubing.  I LOVE all three of these things, but I'm considering a summer break.  I will not take down or delete my blog.  I might, however, have to delete my Facebook... the temptation will be too great to sit and veg reading all the fabulous things others are doing rather than do them myself.  But if my oldest calls and says something awesome is online, I want the ability to go check.  Obviously I haven't thought this through.  It's a fluid decision!  FB has become my biggest time 
waster... that, I know for sure.  I will still be visiting some of your blogs. There are certain ones I need to read because they've come to mean so much to me.. and if you are interested, I will most definitely do a post in September with Scott's results...good or not so good.  As far as YouTube, I haven't decided.  It is really fun, but I'm not sure what my goals are there.  Do I need a goal?  Not sure...still thinking on that one.

Before I sign out for awhile, I wanted to once again thank you all so, so much for your good wishes, thoughts, comments, and prayers.  They really made a huge difference in our lives during this trying time.  Some of you email me occasionally and I look forward to continuing that....

So... since this blog is called GirlMeetsParis, I have to leave you with a little bit of France.  Here's a slideshow I made Scott...just to let him know how much I love him.  These photos are from Paris and Marseilles, over the past five years.  Hope you enjoy.

Love you all,

Saturday, May 21, 2011


My youngest daughter recently went on a mission trip to Brazil.  She had a blast, and has changed her life's goal from moving to Laguna Beach to moving to's always changing because she loves an adventure, and rarely backs down from a challenge. 

She went with a large group of high school students from our church.  She made a lot of new friends...the Brazilian team they were working with along with some translators.  What is so cool, is that they are all friends now on Facebook.  I think Facebook will allow some friendships to last a lifetime, that would otherwise have been forgotten.  

Here are just a few snapshots of her trip.  The bonus was she personally prayed with a Brazilian woman, who came to know Christ as her personal savior!  That's an experience Lexi will never forget!

 Some of the group at the airport.

 I think this is in Miami...pretending to be Harry Potter. (going through the wall to catch the train to Hogwarts)

 Her team

 Lexi and Lucas, one of the translators.

 Precious child

Doing a skit for the children in a school.

School children.

It's photos like these that remind a mom that her prayers for safety were not wasted! 

Near the camp where they stayed.

A few days after getting home, she got her braces off, got her hair highlighted, and came home from Walmart with a fish and named him Frank.  It never gets dull at our house.

Update soon...
Love as always!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

...and on a lighter note...

Having a little fun on YouTube.

Hope you enjoy~

P.S.  We are in single digits...only NINE more treatments.  By the time we are finished, we will have made the drive 61 times since Dec.  When we are finsihed, we will celebrate by... SLEEPING!  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello out There...

I haven't officially blogged in awhile, so I thought today I'd write about something a few people asked about, and a very important subject I think in general.  I mentioned a few posts ago, that I would give my personal thoughts on how to deal with cancer in a family member, a close friend, or an acquaintance.  Take this for what it's's only one person's opinion.  I am certainly not an expert, although I have been going through it for a few years. I have talked to a few other cancer victims, and spouses of cancer victims just to make sure my feelings aren't completely weird or unusual.  
I have been assured I'm normal...sorta!

This is all from my perspective as an outsider...I have not experienced cancer myself, but I am about as close as one can get (unless it's your me, that would be a whole different ballgame. I can't even begin to speak to that, and wouldn't even try.)

When we very first found out, we took time to digest the news before we called and told anyone.  This is needed.  We were so shell shocked, and in hindsight, I don't think we waited near long enough to tell people.  I ended up being the spokesman for the two of us, which was fine. I gave a general amount of details, but again in hindsight, this was not necessary, and details probably got on people's nerves.  I tend to chatter when I'm not sure what to say or do.  
Details, I've decided, are only for a few, select people close to you.

If you hear someones been diagnosed with cancer, you might be tempted to Google it.  That is fine, and no one can stop you, but do not repeat or believe everything you read.  Each type of cancer is so specific to the individual.  What might be true for one person, may not be anywhere near the facts for another person with the "same" type of cancer.  I know a lot of people assume they know exactly what Scott and I have gone through... they do not.  I know for certain that some people think we made the wrong choice of treatment.  What they don't understand, is a ton of thought, research, and prayer went into our decision, and it was made in conjunction with specific information and diagnosis that they are not privy to.  Just because a treatment worked or failed for one person doesn't mean the exact same treatment will work or fail in another person.  

Ultimately, God is in control.

Do not assume the doctor is telling you everything good, or bad.  It has been our experience at two totally different clinics, that sometimes they tend to trickle out information.  I don't think they do this on purpose.  I think they talk to people all day long, and forget whether they told you something or not.  When it's someone really close to you, and you will be accompanying them to appointments, then I do suggest you Google reputable sites, in order to get a working knowledge of the vocabulary so you can ask pertinent questions.  Write questions down as you read, and have them in front of you when you call or go to the doctor.  Do not let the information panic you.  When Scott was diagnosed a second time, we read on the Internet on many different sites, that his cancer was now considered Stage IV.  That was a horrible couple of days, until we finally called the doctor and asked.  He totally disagreed with that assessment.  Again, each person is an individual, and even if you can check every box on the checklist, it still doesn't necessarily make it true. 

When you ask someone about their treatment, or appointments, only ask if you are really interested and paying attention.  I can't tell you how many times friends act annoyed at ME when they find out we had been to the doctor, or had an important appointment or a hospital stay, and they didn't know.  In most cases, I had told them specifically, they just weren't listening, they didn't write it down or make a mental note...and even if I hadn't told them, they should not act annoyed.  It is almost impossible to remember who you've told what, and to have to apologize, well, it's just silly. Always, always, always cut the person with cancer and those close to them,
 major slack.  

Do not ask children of the cancer victim questions all the time.  My 16 yr. old does NOT want to talk about it... neither does my 23 yr. old, or my 26 yr. old for that matter.  It's perfectly acceptable to say, "How's your dad doing?"  If they say fine, leave it at that. If they want to talk, they will continue the conversation. Let it be their choice.

So what's been one of the hardest things about going through cancer together? Somedays Scott and I are going along fine, happy, content.  We will walk in church, a party, a wedding, or otherwise happy event, and we are BOMBARDED with questions.  It's like we've become "the couple with cancer"... that is not a title I want to carry.  People tend to do this to me, not Scott, which is understandable.  Sometimes I'm cornered, and I have to answer the exact same questions from 10 different people in a matter of 15 minutes... I am in tears by the time it's over.  I feel sometimes like going underground, and reemerging at a later date.  I do not want to talk about it all the time. What bothers me most about this, is I THINK I'VE DONE IT TOO!  Well, no more.  In the future, when I hear someone's been diagnosed with cancer or some other sickness, I will send a card, stating how sorry I am, that I care about them, and I am thinking and praying for them.  Then I will tell them that I'm not going to ask about it every single time I see them.  A smile or a hug conveys the same message, without putting the person on the spot.  Emails and private inbox messages on Facebook work as well.  Sometimes I get text messages while we are at an appointment or whatever.  Those are shows the person really knows what's going on, and they are thinking about you, without you having the burden of having to answer your phone.

  Trust me, if someone needs or wants to talk, it's better over lunch or in private, NOT at a party or public gathering. 

So what does help, in my humble opinion?  Cards do mean a lot.  They are a breath of fresh air.  For years people have sincerely asked what they can do... number one, prayer.  Number two, if you think of something that you think would be nice, just do it!  Most people feel silly asking for help.  We have not really needed 'help' so to speak, but one afternoon a friend called, and told me she had dinner ready, and could she drop it off at the door in 15 minutes (she did this again the following week).  She said she would not need to come in, and that the dinner could be eaten tonight, tomorrow, or frozen for later.  It meant SO MUCH.  Not long after that, we started accepting meals (or restaurant giftcards) twice a week from friends from church, while we are traveling daily for radiation.  It has been a great help, more than I ever realized.  Without that first person doing it though, without asking, I would have never realized what a burden lifter that would be.  Another tremendous help are friends and family offering to bring my daughter home from school.  We are gone everyday when she gets out, so having a ride for her, has allowed me to accompany Scott.

There are probably other things I could say, but I've rambled long enough.  I hope this is read in the spirit intended...just sharing my heart.  I know at the heart of it, people mean well, and I'm not angry or upset with anyone.  I hope this post helps if you, or someone close to you, ever goes through this.  I know this experience has helped me, and has caused me to rethink how I will react to people in future if they get sick.  I am not saying everyone feels this way, but I bet a lot of people do.  Everyone is different, that's for sure.  Some are talkers, some are not, some are private, some are not... no matter how someone reacts, absolutely forgive them, understand them, and try and not take it personally on any level. 
 They are in a really tough spot :).

Thanks for reading... and if you have any personal insight, or suggestions, please leave a comment.  I'm sure we could all learn from each other.

Love, Teri

P.S. On a side note, one evening Scott and I happened on a documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer.  It was the story of one woman's journey.  Although totally irreverent, and not for children, we learned a lot from it.  I also checked out her Crazy Sexy Cancer book. Her name is Kris Carr, and her website is here if you are interested. 
It is not for the faint of heart :)

Two new You Tubes up over the past week.  Sunless tanning and Brow & Lash Enhancer.
Check it out here.

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