A different kind of adventure.

bwIf you have been around Greg in the last 6 months or so, you’ll know that he hasn’t felt good at all. He was having stomach pain that wouldn’t go away. Sometimes it would be okay, but it got progressively worse until he couldn’t even leave the house because the pain was so bad. Test after test never showed any particular thing that could be causing it. We’ve been to his primary doctor, a gastro doctor a few times, one ER trip in Topeka. His blood work never showed anything alarming. Finally, January 17, we ended up in the ER in Lawrence because he could barely walk from the pain. They found a mass in his small intestine the size of a cutie orange. He had it removed 5 days later, and after testing came back, it was diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. Cancer. That is the scariest word. Further tests showed that it has not spread (Thank God!), but today we start the first of his chemo treatments to make sure every cell of it is dead and gone.

While chemo is scary, and we have no idea how it will affect him, I feel like we are actually on the uphill part of this journey. We know what the pain was caused from. We know it was cancer. We know it didn’t spread. And in a few short months, we will know that it is gone.

It’s going to be hard, but we’ll do it anyway. We have such confidence in both our surgeon and our oncologist, and we are ready to get this over with and keep going on with our lives. We have a body shop to get off the ground. We have a Disney trip to make next year. We have a little girl to teach to race. We have a 6th birthday party to plan. We have plans and opportunities and a future to look forward to. We have so many things to do, friends to make, people to love, and this is just a hiccup.

If anything, this has taught us that you need to slow down. Do things that make you happy. Stop living according to everyone else’s values and expectations. Do what is best for you. All those quotes that you read online are true when you’re looking down a road that feels full of uncertainty and thick with fear. So read them and take them to heart.

g&c: august

IMG_7499+ G is working his butt off still on the house. It’s getting there.
The bathroom looks great. And the rest is almost ready for paint.
+ C is planning her office setup. 2 Expedits and long ledge shelves. Oh, yes.
+ G put deer corn out. And saw two big bucks at it already.
+ C is kicking herself for getting rid of her super long lens now.
Deer photos would be great. Oh well.
+ G is encouraging C every day to do the business thing.
It might be sinking in.
+ C has been helping Ashley with Tink’s soccer team. Fun.
+ G has been picking up some gems at Redbox. Recently Killing Season.
+ C falls asleep usually within the first 30 minutes of every. single. movie.

our wedding: part 3

When we started planning last year, Greg and I agreed that we wanted a fast ceremony. Quick and easy, but still one that meant something to each of us. We planned it out to be 10 minutes or so long. Perfect.

So when people were still showing up at 10 past 5. we knew we had to start. My brother pushed my dad down the aisle in his wheelchair, and my mom pushed me in mine. If there was something that my dad wanted besides being there, it was to give me away. And that’s all I wanted too. My dad was there to do whats dads are supposed to do. (Thank you, Dad.)

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We went through the common vows, the ones that you “repeat.” And immediately, I choked up. I lost all concentration and asked “What? Say that again?” at one point, which turned my happy tears in giggles.

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The train rolled through, blowing its horn, for the entire 30 seconds (or whatever it was) that we exchanged our personal vows for each other. People said later that they couldn’t hear, and suddenly it occured to me, that it was perfect that way. They were our vows, nobody else’s. A lot of them asked me if I had timed the train or timed our vows to be intentionally overpowered, but really, I didn’t. I wish I had been so clever to think of that!

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Something about the way the weather, the train, all of it, went just how it wasn’t supposed to, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

After the ceremony, we moved into the barn. The greeting line felt like it was neverending. Literally, I thought people were multiplying before my eyes. There was so many people. We had to set up extra tables and chairs even.

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We ate, we cut cake, we did toasts, and we danced.  Perfect day/night. One I will never, ever forget.

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All photos by Chris Gharst. An amazingly talented local photographer and friend.

our wedding: part 2

I loved our wedding party. Small, two a piece. Our best friend and then, sibling. Easy peasy. These 4 people know us almost as well as anyone else, and it was only right that we chose them to stand up (or sit down, actually) with us.

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Everything about our outfits looked just like I wanted. The girls’ dresses didn’t look silly with the Chucks, and the guys’ yellow ties were the same shiny yellow as the tulips in our bouquets. We all coordinated, and there wasn’t too much yellow or too much gray. It looked pretty elegant given that there was lace accenting everything.

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I loved it all.

People often want it to be sunny on their big day, but I knew that sun meant shadows for pictures. I didn’t want that so the overcast through the entire afternoon couldn’t have been any more perfectly timed. The weather gods were looking out for us that day.

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I don’t know how long we spent taking pictures before the ceremony, but it felt like it took forever and no time at all, all at the same time.

All photos by Chris Gharst. An amazingly talented local photographer and friend.

our wedding : part 1

Our entire wedding could not have gone any better in my mind. It was magical and nerve-wracking and completely blissfully full of love.  Greg and I had all of our friends and family there to watch us take these vows to each other. It was perfect.untitled (34 of 258)

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We picked the Victorian Veranda Country Inn almost right away. It was only the second place that we looked at, and from the moment we drove into the driveway, we knew that this was the place.  It just had that feel to it.  And it was yellow. No-brainer.

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The morning of the wedding, I was running late (of course) and as soon as we got to the Victorian Veranda Country Inn, it was a race to get ready. Darcy and Maria put their dresses on, and then after a glass of wine, we started on mine. It’s not easy to get a big wedding dress on when you are sitting, believe me. Melissa, Chris’ second shooter, helped out with getting the train out of the way. That girl was a life saver!

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The boys all got there before we did and hung around until it was time to get dressed. I love that Chris snapped pictures of Grant, Greg’s brother, in my chair. It’s just funny.  There are also pictures of them racing. My boys being themselves, for sure.untitled (46 of 258)

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But being late all worked out and after Aunt Bev sewed me up (she carries thread and needle in her purse, haha), we headed out to get pictures together.

I was so nervous. Not because I was getting married, but because there would be 200 people there watching me get married. That glass of wine (half a glass actually) calmed me down, and then as soon as I saw Greg, it was gone. I wanted to scream to the heavens that HOLY CRAP, WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!
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All photos by Chris Gharst. An amazingly talented local photographer and friend.


photo+ C is dreaming of wall art for the bare walls of the new house.
   And a functional closet office space.
+ G is planning for a new bathroom and elevator.
   (oh yes, that says elevator).
+ C is slathering on sunscreen.
+ G is hating the summer heat.
+ C is adjusting to his long, odd hours.
   Oh, it is hail season!
+ G is adjusting to her city as home.
   Until they officially move to the country.
+ G is loving Spotify over Pandora (C knew he would).
+ C is soaking in whatever quiet she can get.
+ C is doing better about her dad.
+ G is there every step of the way.

photo by Chris Gharst, our awesome wedding photographer (more wedding photos to come soon!)