Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yesterday was a blue day for me. I struggle a little bit with the idea of having sad days. I know they are important. If you don't address your actual feelings and try to cover them up, they will seep out into other areas of life. But I still feel strange having a sad day.

Thyroid cancer is one of the best cancers you can get (oxymoron there). There are so many more things that could be wrong with me that are so much more serious than thyroid cancer. However, the word cancer is super scary. I know that having a positive attitude is really important when dealing with healing and the body.

So I know I should be positive but I also know it is ok to be sad.

I am confused.

And then yesterday this song came up on my iPod:

Smile by Charlie Chaplin
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by.

If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
For you.

Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying.
You'll find that life is still worthwhile-
If you just smile.

Until I can get how I am supposed to feel figured out, that is what I am going to do. Get up. Take care of myself. Do my hair. Get dressed up.

I think it will help. I feel better already.

Of couse then I got to work and my boss (aka daddy-o) is a major grumpy-puss.  Must not let that affect my mood.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm officially OLD

I have a hard time sleeping.  It has been better since my first surgery, but still isn't where it should be.  I try to go to sleep early, but can't and then I can't wake up when I want in the morning.

So last night, Phil and I tried to go to bed early.  Phil was asleep and by about 11, I was ready to try to go to sleep myself.  As I stop reading my book and get all tucked in, I hear people in the street bouncy a ball.  I look out the window and two teenage girls from across the street are taking a ball, bouncing it as hard as they can against the street and then hitting it with their hand.  I looked at the clock...  11:06.  Pretty sure 14 year olds don't need to be out bouncing a ball in the street at 11 o'clock at night.

I watch them do this for a couple of minutes and then I see the ball bounce into my driveway and hit my car.

I was pissed.

I grabbed my robe, went downstairs, tore open the front door and flipped on the front light.

They looked like two deer in headlights.

Me:  What do you think you are doing?!?

Girls:  I'm sorry.

Me:  Do you know what time it is?

Girls:  I'm sorry.

Me:  It is completely inappropriate to be bouncing a ball in the street at 11 o'clock at night.

Girls:  {stand paralyzed looking terrified}

Me:  And I better not see that ball hit my cars again.

They bounced the ball as they walked back into their house.

It took me another hour to calm down and get tired again.  And then I woke up a little before 4 and couldn't go back to sleep.  Awesome.

But I think the fact that I used the phrase "Do you know what time it is?" makes me old.  And the whole thing kind of makes me a bitchy old lady.

Pretty sure our house will get tee-peed (or toilet papered depending on what you call it).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jeffrey's plans for my parents (Part 1)

Jeffrey has REALLY thought out the future. Even for my parents.

Side Note: My parents are raising Jeffrey. We have a lot of fun with the whole "my nephew is my little brother" and "Jeffrey is my only full sibling" (my other siblings are all half siblings).

Jeffrey has been telling my mom for the longest time that once he is an adult, my mom and dad can live with him for 2 years and then he is going to pay for 2 years of assisted living for them. After 2 years my parents are "on their own" to quote Jeffrey.

So the other day, my mom picks Jeffrey up from school and he is hassling her to take him to the
mall. Apparently one of his friends at school has a jacket that Jeffrey really wants. And that started a pretty hilarious conversation:

Mom: I am not taking you to the mall. It is raining and you don't need another jacket.

Jeffrey: But Grandma!!! (insert super whiny voice)

Mom: You have 3 jackets. It isn't your birthday. It isn't Christmas. We aren't going to the mall.

Jeffrey: I have the money. I can pay you back.

Mom: No.

Jeffrey: Will you take me to McDonald's? I want their chicken finger things.

Mom: No. We are going to have a snack at home. Probably fruit.

Pouting ensues.

Mom: By the way Jeffrey, there will be no more computer privileges in the morning and you will have to start earning computer time (he has been really bad about playing on the computer lately).

Jeffrey: Well... We will see what Papa says about that.

Mom: I already talked to him and he agrees with me.

Jeffrey: Oh.

Silence for a little bit. Jeffrey is super mad.

Jeffrey: Grandma... You know how I said I would pay for 2 years of your assisted living?

Mom: Yeah.

Jeffrey: Make that 1.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jeffrey and the Food Pyramid

We were hanging out with Jeffrey last week, getting dinner.  I asked him what he was going to have as a side dish (we were at Applebee's) and OF COURSE he said french fries.  His reasoning (or perhaps rationalization) for choosing fries was pretty interesting:

"That way I can get my oils."


Jeffrey saw my look of confusion and continued, "We learned about the new food pyramid in school and oils are a part of the food pyramid."

"Aren't oils a small portion of the food pyramid?" I asked.

Jeffrey replied, "Yeah.  But your body needs them to function.  Sugar too."

"Jeffrey, you also need fruits and vegetables.  How many servings of fruits are you supposed to have a day?" my mom asked.

"11 cups."

Yeah I don't think so.

Then Jeffrey said, "I may have had selective hearing when they were talking about fruits and vegetables.

Ya think?!?!

But what he definitely did learn from the lesson on the food pyramid:

Sugars and Oils are essential.

Hopefully his teacher will set him straight on this before he starts thinking french fries and lollipops are vitamins.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baby Blankets

Has anyone else noticed that everyone is pregnant/having babies?  It's like an epidemic.  There must be something in the water.  (Don't worry, we filter our water here in the Janney household)

I have posted about my baby blankets in the past and it is pretty safe to say that if you are friends/family with me and are having a baby, you will likely be getting a baby blanket from me.

I know of 3 blankets I will be working on over the next few months, but only 1 baby is due in the next few months.  So Saturday, my mom braved going to the fabric store with me so I could pick out the fabric and come up a "vision" for the blanket.

After 2 stores, I found them. 

The fabric isn't very "baby" but I kind of like baby stuff that isn't super baby-ish.  We will call it baby chic.  The baby's parents aren't finding out the sex of the baby, so I am hoping these fabric choices will work for a boy or a girl.

My goal is to get the majority of the sewing done on this blanket before my next surgery (since I won't know how much energy I will have afterwards).  I should probably go clean up my sewing room...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where did the weekend go?

I honestly don't know what happened to this weekend.  All of a sudden, it is gone.  It was a good one though.

Friday night we went to dinner and a movie.  Both activities just reinforced that I do not enjoy crowds of people.  I especially don't enjoy movie theaters.  We usually try to see movies at theater pubs.  First of all, there are fewer noisy children there.  Secondly, every other row of chairs is removed, so we are farther away from people.  Third, the theater pub doesn't serve disgusting portions of soda and popcorn.  Honestly... why do people need 2 liters of soda and a gallon of popcorn?

Anyway... Saturday, Phil and I slept in and then had a lovely little brunch at Starbucks.  My mom and I went shopping.  Then Phil, Ian and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Blazer game.  Once again, the Blazer's waited until the last minute to rally for the win and lost.  That's ok.  It was still a good time.  I may or may not have played trivia the whole time.

I was undefeated at trivia!!  (With the help of Phil and Ian, of course)

Sunday was filled with church, laundry, and dinner at my parents.  After dinner, I was discussing the low-iodine diet with my mom and she mentioned she thought she had a recipe for a chocolate cake that would work for the diet (no dairy, eggs, etc.).  In a move that kind of shocked me, my mom whipped out the recipe and started making the "Wacky Cake."

It was pretty good.  And a nice way to end a quick weekend.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best of Instagram Link-up

A good majority of my pictures on here come from Instagram. So when Jenni said she was doing a best of Instagram link-up, I was all over it.

It has been a scary few months for me, trying to figure out if I have thyroid cancer. But here are a few things that have made life good.

{Taylor's Halloween Costume/Mr. Bones by David/Stylish People}

{Christmas Presents/Get Well Flowers}

I love Instagram.  Maybe too much.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ten Little Things, vol. 3

E is hosting another link-up today and after several moments of "oh crap there is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I can come up with ten things" I decided I will give it a whirl.  I still think the first and second lists I made are better though.  Just fair warning.

10.  It has been raining A LOT here in Oregon.  Shocking, I know.  Oregonians are used to a little bit of rain a lot of the time, not a lot of rain in a little bit of time.  So now we are all worried about flooding.  Freaky.  It freaks me out a little more because I am a civil engineer and part of my job is to calculate detention storage, drainage systems, and grading so that things (like houses) don't flood.  Watching my boss freak out and frantically check out projects he did 10 or 20 years ago does not make me super excited for my stress level in the future.

9.  Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of Phil's brother.  Every year, I try to prepare myself for how Phil will act because I can not relate to such a tragedy.  I have no idea what it is like to lose a sibling (thank goodness).  In the past, Phil and I have gone out to eat for a steak dinner on this day (something his brother really enjoyed doing).  Last year, Phil decided he wanted to change that tradition and rather than go on the day his brother died, he wants to go get a steak dinner on his birthday.  I think that is MAJOR progress in his grief and I am so proud of him.  So tonight, we are going to the Mongolian Grill and going to a movie. 

I never got to meet Nick (Phil's brother.  I also have a brother named Nick), but Phil says I would have liked him.

8.  Our puppy search is going well!  We found 2 breeders that we are really excited to work with.  We filled out the applications and I think Phil sent them to the breeders.  We are SUPER excited.  All this talk of getting another puppy has caused Taylor to get showered with love and affection.  I'd say it is a win/win for everyone.

Don't forget to vote on a name for the puppy!

7.  Last Friday night, Phil was going to be late coming home from school so I decided to go to the gym (for the first time in a long time).  I figurded the gym would be empty... NOPE.  There were so many people there.  And my neck was all, "What is this crap?!?"  I haven't been back since.  Maybe tomorrow.

6.  Last Saturday Phil and I went to an early dinner at Red Robin.  We sat in the bar (no wait) at a booth.  We both ordered our food and were eating in peace, despite the group of men sitting at the bar watching the 49ers game.  They were all rooting for the 49ers like they were betting on it or something.  We are talking lots of hooping and hollering and "up top!".  It was super annoying.  I wanted to tell them, "You're not at a sports bar.  Stop."  After several annoyed glances over at them, I noticed they each had like 3 milkshake glasses in front of them.  We were about done eating when Phil told me to look over at them...  The largest guy's pants had slipped down and he hairy crack was hanging out for the world to see.  It was bad.  And I don't mean that in a judgemental kind of way, but in a "please don't show me your pooper while I am trying to eat" kind of way.  Needless to say, I was done eating after that and it still took the waiter 15 minutes to bring us our check.  For every minute that guy emulated a plumber, the tip dropped.

5.  After Red Robin, we went to my brother's house and played canasta.  David (my youngest nephew) and I also played Disney Headbanz.  He is way better at it than I am.  We also made up a new super hero.  David is so stinkin' hilarious and cute.  There are some good David stories HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

4.  I haven't talked about it much on here, but part of my thyroid cancer treatment will include radioactive iodine.  That will happen about 12 weeks after my holiday surgery.  To prepare for this, I have to be off my thyroid meds and on a low-iodine diet for 4 weeks.  "What foods is iodine in?" you might ask.  Apparently lots.  Iodinized salt, everything from the sea, meat, dairy, some beans,egg yolks, soy, red dye #3.  Basically I will be eating a lot of salads, no processed food (not hard since we don't do much of that now), 5 oz. of meat a day, only 4 servings of grains a day, a lot of fruits/veggies.  It will be super healthy which is good since I will have no metabolism.  But the thought of no milk makes me want to cry a little.  It will be fine.  I'll do it because I have to do.  Besides, I am rewarding myself afterwards with a puppy.  :)

3.  I have struggled a little bit with blogging lately.  I read a lot of blogs and so many of them show the absolute flawless life of the blogger.  Everything perfectly in its place.  Everything going totally according to plan.  And that is really hard for me right now, where nothing is going the way I had planned it.  And some of these blogs and a ton of followers!  It feels like high school all over again, where everyone wants to be and wants to be friends with the popular girl.  I was not the popular girl then and I am not now either.  But I realized this week that this blog has been a real blessing lately.  I have made some good friends through this blog.  Friends that have reached out to me and helped me during this cancer stuff.  Friends who have had thyroid cancer and have answered A TON of my questions and concerns and have asked others to pray for me.  And while I may not have a ton of followered, I have super high quality blog friends.  And I think that is MUCH better.

2.  Joanna sent me this video last night.  Braxton likes the sound of his dad tenderizing meat.  It is like his own personal dance beat.  I expect tickets when he is a contenstant on "So You Think You Can Dance."

1.  I bought new mascara about a month ago and put it in my purse.  Since then, I keep forgetting to take it out of my purse and put it with my makeup.  So every morning I put on my makeup and think to myself, "Oh dang!  My mascara is still in my purse!  It's ok, I'll put it on when I get to the office.  Or while driving.  Whatever."  Then I drive to work and get to work and forget to put it on.  Then at about 3 in the afternoon, I have a meeting or something and remember I don't have any mascara on.  At that point, why bother?  But you know it looks really weird to have dark eye shadow on with no mascara.  I just need to move my mascara.  We'll see if that happens.

This is my 200th post.  I think that is cool. 

This was by far my lamest Ten Little Things post.  I'm sorry.

Jeffrey's Life Plan

Jeffrey has figured out his life plan.  At 8 years old, he has it ALL figured out.

He is going to get married and have 6 children.  If his wife can only have 1 child, he will adopt the other 5.

Sounds expensive, right?

Don't worry.  Before he gets married he is going to go to culinary school and have a successful chef career.  He is also going to buy a jet pack and dismantle it.  Then he will buy some scrap metal to produce and sell his hover cars.  Once he has invented and sold some hover cars, he will begin work on his time machine.

So you see, buy the time he gets married, he will have quite a bit of money.

After he gets married, he will buy my parents' house.  He will pay for them to live in an assisted living facility for 2 year and then they are on their own.  He is going to knock down the wall between his current bedroom and the bathroom to make a bigger room.  Then he will knock down the wall between the other 2 bedrooms to make those one big room.  He will then construct bathrooms in each of the bedrooms and put 2 bunk beds in each room.

Then he is going to put in an elevator up to what is currently my parents' bedroom and replace the stairs with an escalator.  That way he will NEVER need to go up stairs.

He is also going build 3 stories DOWN into the ground.

I informed him I will not be engineering this for him.  He already thought of that... He is going to build a engineering robot.  And because he is probably going to need to know engineering in order to program the robot, he will go to engineering school as well.  That way he can be an engineer AND a chef.  But he will always take Sundays off to spend with his kids.

Inventor, Chef, Engineer, Family Man...

At least the kid has a plan.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Early Birthday Present

My birthday is less than a week after my next surgery.  So my mom decided she wanted to give me one of my birthday gifts early.  Like a month early.  :)

{If you are wondering why things aren't centered on the rug, it is because the area rug is strategically placed to cover some nasty looking stains}

My new area rug!!  We bought one from Target right after our wedding and we LOVED it, but it was really hard to keep clean (READ: Dog Hair) because it was a shag rug.  We did our best to keep the dog off of it, but that was kind of unrealistic and never worked.  We were constantly telling her to get off the rug.  This rug will be so much easier to keep clean and the dog can lay on it all she wants.

Of course now that she can, she won't.  Apparently the training stuck.

Just kidding.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I cooked FANCY

After longer than I really care to admit, *cough* like a month *cough*, I finally cooked again.  I have made a few smallish meals, but Monday night I went for it.

Beef Daube Provencal
from Cooking Light

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine (I used 1 cup + a splash or two)
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 chopped onion
1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chipped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves (which I completely forgot to put in)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 bag of egg noodles

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2.  Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat.  Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add the beef to the pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, browning all sides of the beef.  Remove the beef from the pan.  Add the wine to the pan; bring to a boil, scraping the pan to loosen any remaning beef.  Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, onion, broth, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, cloves (assuming you don't forget like I did), bay leaf, thyme, rosemary.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Cover and bake for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender.  Take out bay leaf.  Serve over noodles.

Total calories: 367 per serving

It was SO GOOD!  Seriously...

I served it with a mixed green salad with walnuts and balsamic vinegrette and my mom's garlic toast (butter bread, sprinkle with grated parmesean cheese and garlic powder.  Then toast).

We were both silent the entire time we ate because we were too busy shoving food into our mouths.

Don't be fooled... it took FOREVER to cook.  We were both starving by the time it was ready.  But it was definitely worth the wait.  It is normal to eat at 9 o'clock at night, right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday Morning Freak-Out

I spent the morning in meetings with my dad.  He has me sit-in on some meetings to observe and learn how to deal with clients, public works staff, etc.  Well, after watching my dad answer question after question from the top of his head, I was suddenly taken over with a feeling of complete and total stupidity.

I know nothing.

Then the fear kicks in...  If something happened to my dad or when he goes on vacation, I am the only engineer at the office.  I am expected to fill his shoes.

Yeah right.  How am I supposed to do that?  Clearly I am an idiot who will never be able to know as much as he does.

Then I started giving myself a break.  He does have like 40 years of experience on me.  It will probably take me a while to learn even a fraction of what he knows.  And I was able to contribute to the meeting in a way my dad hadn't thought of.  So that was good.  Made me feel like I had value.

This also helped calm my Monday morning freak-out:

{My Harry Potter mug that changes when you put a hot liquid in it}

And while I know this is one of the nerdiest mugs ever created... it also is a little comforting to know that I am so excited about.  Because there are no cool engineers (even if some think they are).  All engineers are dorks/nerds.  That's why we are so good at math.  If we were cool, that would mean we were good with people (which we are not).  And if we were good with people we would be working in Human Resources or be a politician or a teacher or something like that.

So while I may feel stupid at work, at least I know I am nerd enough for the job.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The puppy search is ON!

After we got the news that I did in fact have cancer, Phil finally conceded...

I could get a puppy.

We started thinking of English Bulldogs, but they are REALLY expensive.  AND we want a dog that is active and will be playful when we eventually do have children.  Bulldogs aren't super active.  They certainly wouldn't be able to keep up with Taylor's jumping.

Then we found these:

{All puppy pictures found HERE}

They are SO CUTE!  And when they reach full-size, they are about the size of Taylor, which is perfect.  This particular breed also lacks an undercoat, which means it doesn't shed very much (YAY!).  They are also supposed to have the sweetest temperment.

I am so excited!!  Phil is e-mailing breeders at this very moment.  We are looking for a girl and I am trying to think of a good girl dog name.  I contemplated using "Tim Riggins" even for a girl, but I don't think it fits.  :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What happens in Vegas...

I mentioned earlier that Phil has to go to Las Vegas later this month to help his advisor with a presentation.  I had thought about going with him, but we kind of decided against it a while ago since we weren't sure what the schedule was going to be like for my surgeries, treatments, etc.

Now that we know my surgery date and that the radioactive iodine won't be until May sometime, my calendar is WIDE open for the end of the month.  We looked at tickets and I was able to get on Phil's flights for SUPER cheap.

So I am going to Vegas.  We will only be there for one night, but we should still get to spend some time together.  We are both really excited.

This will be the first time Phil and I will be in Vegas together.  I have like 5 things I want to do on our only evening there:

1.  Bet on the Trailblazers to win and watch the game in the sports betting area.
2.  Go to a nice dinner.
3.  Watch the dancing waters at the Bellagio.
4.  Visit the Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio.
5.  Play some slots with Phil.
6.  Have drinks in a fancy bar.

Phil thinks I should gamble while we are there.  Since only 5% of all thyroid nodules are malignant and since only about 15% of all thyroid cancers are the type I have, that gives about a 0.75% that my nodules would be the kind of cancer I have.  Maybe those odds will translate to the tables for me.  :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


I got my second surgery scheduled.  It will be on February 14th.

That's right... Valentine's Day.  Nothing says romance like surgery.  Needless to say, lingerie will not be included in our plans this year.  Unless you count flannel pajamas and sweat pants as lingerie.

Much longer and I am going to get really negative feelings towards holidays:

  • Found out I had cancer 2 days before Thanksgiving. 
  • Had my first surgery 2 days after Christmas.
  • 2nd surgery on Valentine's Day.

My birthday is only a few days after Valentine's Day, so that could be awesome as well.  They offered to do the surgery after my birthday, but I want to get it done as soon as I can.  Plus there is a part of me that wants to get all of my thyroid out during my 26th year of life.  Then I can spend my 27th year of life radioactive.

At this pace, I may be going through my radioactive iodine treatment on my wedding anniversary.  Phil and I were talking about going to dinner on our anniversary, but having to be 6 feet apart.  We would have to drive separate cars to the restaurant and then sit at separate tables.  It would be ROMANTIC.  Is the traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary a lead vest?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Falling Down

Yesterday was a hard day for me.

It started with one of my coworkers explaining to me how exfiltration bioswales work.  I know that means nothing to non-engineers, but basically that is like explaining to Martha Stewart how to boil an egg.  And the worst part was, he wasn't trying to be offensive.  He I guess honestly thought I didn't know how they worked.  So apparently he thinks I'm a huge idiot.

Then I heard good news from a couple of people I know.  And there is something very strange about being really genuinely excited for someone and extremely sad all at the same time.  I'm not really sure how to describe it.  It is confusing.

And then I got some more news that I didn't want to hear.

Phil has a presentation day so he has been really busy preparing for that. 

By the time 2:30 rolled around this afternoon, I felt really deflated, drained, and alone.  I sat at my desk doing my best to just make it through the day and fight back tears.  It is the first time since I got my surgery results back that I have been upset.  I think I am allowed.

{image from my pinterest}

I decided to give myself last night, while Phil was working, to be upset.  Cry.  Be sad.  And grieve the fact that my life (in the not so distant future) isn't going to look exactly the way I was hoping it would.  Last night I hunkered down and took care of myself.

Today I will pick myself up.

{image from my pinterest}

I know that things will get better. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Dolphin Tale

After church, my sister-in-law, Stephanie, was holding two plastic dolphins.  My parents, Phil and I were all, "What's with the dolphins?"

Stephanie told us this story...

They have been watching "Dolphin Tale" at their house and David is apparently REALLY into it.  He is so into it that he took his two plastic dolphin figurines and tried to make them match the dolphin in the movie.  That meant needing to remove the tails.  He go as far as finding scissors and then Stephanie stopped him.  She explained to him that in the movie, the dolphin eventually gets a tail so he shouldn't cut the tails off.

{image source HERE}

David took the dolphins to church with him and as he was going into sunday school, Stephanie told him he couldn't take them in with him.  She was afraid he would do tail amputation during sunday school.

I think it is super cute that he was trying to make the dolphins match.  I'm only slightly concerned that what David took from the movie is that dolphins need to have their tails cut off.

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