Looking Beyond This.

I’m here still. I took a little break from blogging, to be honest the last few weeks have been difficult.

To catch you up, I just had my second Avelumab infusion, the next one is on the 28th. The last infusion went well, one poke and a few hours later and I was done! I flew to Seattle this round, boy is it just a thousand times better. It’s less stressful, it takes less time, and my body feels so much better afterwards. I just wish it wasn’t so dang expensive! So I’m exploring the alternatives, this coming trip I’m taking the train.

I haven’t felt very good. The tumors in my neck are continuing to grow which is scary already, but now I’m experiencing a lot of odd feelings. I’m light-headed, I have frequent headaches, I have fogginess, I have trouble focusing, I see black spots more often, and I feel more exhausted. My soon-to-be EMT husband thinks it may be the second tumor pushing on my carotid artery and making the blood flow to me brain slow down. I decided to test his theory by pushing on my tumor. Hah bad news, I nearly passed out! It’s hard to sit here and watch my body freak out. Knowing that the cancer is actively eating away makes me feel like I’m slowly dying. It’s an odd roller coaster to be on. Some days I welcome the thought, some days I feel devastated. I mean, I know that technically we are all dying, but how many of us actually think about that?

I’m really terrified that I’m never going to be able to have children. I had a dream the other night that I was pregnant. You know those really realistic dreams that feel so real? It was magical. I mean in my dream I wasn’t sick, I didn’t have cankles, or the pain of carrying another human, just the magical mommy feelings. I woke up only to the fact that my chin is the only thing that looks pregnant. Such disappointment. In those times where I’m frozen in fear that cancer is going to kill me before I get to put a little Hayden here on Earth, I’m reminded of the time last December where I thought I was going to die. I started to panic, thinking that I’d never get to experience the joy of being a wife. And here I am. But what if I don’t get to be a Mom? This is where that eternal mindset comes to mind. This idea that “greater things are yet to come”, or “we are not made for this world”. Heaven. How often I forget that heaven is my reality because I’ve placed my faith in Jesus. How often I neglect the beauty that I get everlasting life in HEAVEN. While Motherhood is something I pray I will experience, and while it’s such a beautiful gift here on Earth, how much better will heaven be? I think the idea scares me a bit to be honest. I mean, it’s hard to fathom, so I don’t like to go there. I like the tangible, realistic. But gee, to think that this Earth is the best there is? How’s that for a sad reality.

It’s easy to take hope for granted. But man, look at our world. Look at the chaos, the hatred, the terrified souls that think that this is it? We need to hope, we need to remember that our suffering, our President, our marital status, our kids, our jobs, this isn’t it. Thank the Lord for giving us a hope, a hope to look beyond the evil in this world and know that one day we will bask in the glory of heaven. To know that we will not end up as merely a pile of bones in the dust. To know that this is not the best there is. I don’t marvel in the wonder of that enough.

Please pray for these tumors to stop growing and for the medicine to works! Also, please pray for me as I plan my travel, I have to be in Seattle every single week of December. So prayers for my attitude and perspective as I travel a lot, and prayers for travel to not be too expensive and not booked up! I also have a  PRAISE, Adam got a new job!!!

image1-2

 

 

Have you ever lost your mind?

Who can know the mind of God? Who can know their own mind at times.

I had every intention of continuing my story of how everything went wrong, the biopsy was painful, the next day it took 3 digs to find a vein for an IV, we got pulled over on the way home…yada yada. But I’m not going to say more than that, because God had a different plan for today’s blog.

I don’t know how to navigate this. Cancer. Life. Loving God. Loving myself. Just everything. It’s one giant rollercoaster. One day I’m great and positive, the next day I’m begging God to end it all. Today I had one of the worst break downs since my diagnosis. I started off the day feeling so encouraged at church, I was singing, laughing even, and just recovering from the frustration of my last visit. I was sitting at my computer trying to figure out alternatives for Sis’s bachelorette party since I will be in treatment. I started thinking about how much cancer ruins things in my life. I became envious of the girls, my family even, that they just get to go. The only obstacle they have is work. It made me enraged to think that cancer will keep me from fully participating in the most important week of my only sister’s life. It’s more than just missing a bachelorette party, though, obviouslly.

Then I just, I don’t know, cracked. I don’t exactly remember what happened to be honest. It didn’t even feel like me, it felt like a stranger from a movie. One of those terribly sad movies where you maybe even cry for the girl on screen. I started screaming. I started screaming and shaking. My mind was cloudy, I even thought I was maybe going crazy. I screamed, exclaiming that I can’t do this anymore, that I don’t want to do this. Right there in front of my family. Why is it when you get so angry that you actually want to harm yourself? In that moment I just wanted to smash my head through a wall or pull out my hair. I wanted a distraction from the sudden range of emotions I had just let go. It was one of the few times I’ve let it ALL go. I did’t think, I didn’t analyze, I did’t try to be strong, it truly was just raw emotion.

I hate that vulnerability, I think it’s because I know there’s magic words, there’s no 4 step process, there’s no pill, it’s just, there. It’s much easier to contain it, to act like it doesn’t exist, to busy yourself enough to never give it a thought, to maintain control. That’s what I like, control.

The Lord is perfectly okay with just being there. He shows us that in Psalms when David is just pouring it out to the Lord. I can imagine that he was shaking, screaming even, just like me. Or Job.  The Lord didn’t condemn them, and He doesn’t condemn me for it. I condemn myself though. I don’t give myself a lot of grace I’m realizing. Mainly because I don’t understand God’s grace well enough, nor do I accept it. I am a weak, feeble, lost, confused, angry, flawed, human. I have no “inspirational strength” outside of the strength that God graciously gives me. Every single day is a battle. I have very down and low days where I want to lay in bed until I’m dead. Where I exclaim, “Take this away God, I can’t do this again!”. I have better days when I can keep my eyes on the Lord and exclaim, “God you are sovereign AND good, thank you for the blessing of life itself”.

Today I feel like I lost my mind, genuinely. But the crazy thing is, God loves me the same as He did yesterday when I was praising His name.

img_2605

20 viles later…

The first Avelumab Infusion is officially flowing through my apparently non-existent veins. It pretty much feels like the last trial did. I feel achey, nauseous, feverish, exhausted, and I have a head ache. So the flu without the flu part. Last time it only lasted a full two days, I’m hopeful that this is the case for this trial!

My most recent visit to Seattle was terrible. I mean other than the fact that my Sister and Mom were able to come with me, which made it all worth it!

I started out the right before we left with a really positive perspective. I felt encouraged and ready to fight this battle. I felt a peace in letting it go and giving God control of my life. I felt as though He gave me this new inspiration and a warrior spirit. The drive up was easy and wonderful, the night before my appointments was enjoyable. My appointments started off on a sour note. 20 viles of blood, was a tall order, even a vampire would think so. My one good vein pumped out a solid 12 viles until it begged the doctors to go away as it dried up. Now we enter foreign territory. A new vein. You see, I have always been able to depend on my ONE good vein. It never fails me. So the nurse feels around on my opposite arm. Nothing promising but she finds one to “give a try”. For those of you that get blood drawn a lot or get IV’s often you know the terror paired with “give it a try”. This means digging, digging under your skin, digging in your veins, and it’s disgusting, and painful. So the pumped another 4 vile out of some random vein deep beneath the surface. Finally they found a 3rd random vein to “try” in my hand and barely got 4 additional viles. After that discouraging event, they then went on to tell me that I won’t be able to receive my TCells until December. Now while that’s scary in that we are waiting another month, it was more disappointing to learn that the one week in my life that actually matters to me is the week I HAVE to receive the Tcells, the week of Sis’s wedding. I broke down. Cried my eyes out in front of my new team, in front of my mom, and in front of the nurse. I couldn’t help it. I exclaimed to them, “I’m 23, and cancer just ruins everything! Why do I have to do this? Man I’m just so frustrated.” And they all looked at me and agreed. “Cancer Sucks.” they replied.

Then I went from that embarrassing and frustrating appointment to the biopsy…

to be continued…

image-1

2 viles not pictured. For those of you who counted!

Clinical Trial Fears.

I have this devastating guttural cry, woe-is-me, I’m done, this isn’t fair moment every time I get diagnosed. Yesterday I had that moment.

A clinical trial, it seemed like it would be a straight forward, almost easy road. But there is no easy road with cancer. I sat in the REI garage crying and contemplating the different roads I could take. I could go forward with the trial, I could do surgery and radiation again, or I could skip treatment all together. The latter sounds so enticing, to just be done, to just go back to normal until cancer runs it’s course. This isn’t the first time I’ve explored the idea, but the truth is, all roads have sacrifice. So then after I realize that there are no easy roads, I feel trapped. I feel like cancer has me trapped, there is no escape, I have no choice. Then in the midst of my self-smothering, I panic.

The clinical trial is a systemic infusion every 2 weeks for the next year.

The next year.

The very words make me squirm. I long for home, no, I long for stability, for a calm to this chaos, for a schedule. The last year and a half I’ve been a gypsy, going from one place to the next. I’ve barely been able to hang all my clothes in the closet and now I have to make the trek to Seattle every 2 weeks for a year.  After 8 weeks and 2 biopsies they will determine whether I am responding well to the drug or not. If I don’t respond, there is a risk that my tumor will continue to get bigger and spread, leaving surgery, radiation, or chemo as my only options. It’s already grown to the point that it’s a painful lump pushing against my throat. That possibility scares me so much. I’m the 1% girl remember? Stats bring me no comfort, neither do others success.

But what if it works? What if my tumors dissolve into nothing and the cancer slowly fades from my body? From my life? What if? And it’s in the what if’s that we can make ourselves crazy. I’ve been telling people that being diagnosed for the 3rd time makes me feel kind of like I’m living out Groundhog Day, but the cancer version. So every time that I begin to go into panic mode, every time that to ask the Lord to just kill me know and be done with it, every time I doubt His plan and insist that mine’s better, every time that I start to look at other 23 year olds and envy their freedom, in these moments, when I feel all loss of control, that the Lord lifts my downcast face to meet His gaze. He says, “Look at me daughter.” When I look up, I imagine Him staring back with tears in His eyes, because He hates this too. Then I look back on the first diagnosis, the devastation, the wondering if I’ll live past Christmas, then I reflect back on the second diagnosis, the anger, the wondering if I’ll ever get married, and as my gaze shifts from poor me, from the weak, feeble, and untrusting human to the all knowing, kind, merciful, and GOOD GOD, I remember…

 

Greater things are yet to come. I will make it, and I will be okay. Not because I’m good, or brave, or strong, but because God is good and brave and strong. He has brought me through 2 battles with cancer, and He is gearing me up for the 3rd.

 

Greater things are yet to come.

img_2575

PS: Shout out to my girl Rose for traveling from KANSAS every 2 weeks, I should focus on my blessings.

Also if you want to be praying for my travels, it’s an 8 hour drive to Seattle from Kfalls so we are trying to figure our some flying options. If anyone has a private plane, I mean and it’s on your heart… 😉 I go in for a brain scan and a CT scan today to get restaged. Prayers that I don’t have any other tumors would be appreciated! LOVE you all dearly!

Going to War.

I’m tired. I’ve become too familiar with this term in the last 2 years. I feel lately as though it’s a permanent state. Fatigue. An abnormal amount of it. I guess that’s not crazy considering my body has been fighting a life-threatening tumor. It annoys me though. Maybe it’s also the fact that I just turned 23 years old…Nahhhh. But I can say that I am so incredibly grateful for another year of life. 23 blessed years. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and encouragements. It was tempting to douse the celebration of my birthday in the worry, anxiety, and stress of Adams treatment and my upcoming treatment. I’m grateful for friends and my husband who help me focus on the present and the excitement of the celebration of life.

Adam and I head to Seattle on Tuesday and I get a bunch of tests done on Thursday. They want to try a new clinical trial on me before we go to surgery and radiation. It’s a gamble. Last time my body didn’t respond to the trial and 3 tumors grew in the meantime, but if it works, GAME CHANGER. We could actually get ahead of this thing instead of the old game of whack-a-mole. It’s a risk I’m willing to take if it means skipping surgery and radiation.

My heart has actually been in a healthy state of peace. Adam and I were talking about it the other day. We are different warriors, this time. This is my 3rd battle. No, this is my 3rd war, I’ve had a dozen or more battles now. But I have 2 wars under my belt and I’m wiser because of it. I’m not stronger, nor am I more capable. I am still David with his slingshot. But, imagine if David was able to fight Goliath 3 different times. On the 3rd he would be able to reflect on the last 2 battles and have a wave of calm and trust as he saw God’s strength and power come through for him. He would approach the 3rd battle boldly, and with less fear. He would have more confidence that the God he serves is powerful and good. He would doubt less and he would learn from the first 2 battles. He would look back and see that He is just as weak and still wields only a slingshot, but he would see his God who is more than capable and wields something better than a sword.

It’s a hard decision everyday to wake up and remember that I GET a 3rd chance to fight this war better, instead of being angry and bitter towards God saying that I HAVE to fight this a 3rd time. I want to look back on the mountain of faithfulness, I want to look back at the wars and see Gods strength through me.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Him who gives me strength.”

The tumor is that “you have a gumball stuck in your throat” lump on the right of my scar.

img_2562

 

 

HOG’s.

The English language is so odd. Like how the word LIMBO can mean “an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution” but it can also refer to the “How low can you go” stick game. In this instance I’m not referring to the stick limbo, although now that I think about it, I feel as though I’m being forced to go lower and lower. You start out standing, then you’re squating, and before you know it you’re barely off the ground, trying with all your might to stay up. I’m in the medical limbo. I’ve played this game before, it’s a hurry-up-and-wait kind of thing. My biopsy results were inconclusive. I’m supposed to watch the lump for the next week. Sit and watch to see if it disappears or get’s bigger. It’s an odd thing, to sit and watch. To wait as a life threatening beast either grows or decides to disappear. But here’s the thing about waiting, you’re forced to rely solely on the Lord.

I can’t do a thing about this lump. I can’t remove it, I can’t go to the doctor, I can’t take a pill, I can’t drink a certain tea or eat a certain root, I can’t sniff a certain oil or sleep a certain amount, I am not in control. The things I can do, the things I am in control of are my perspective, my relationship and dependance on the Lord, and my attitude. I intend to do the best I can in those areas.

A huge way that I’m able to control my perspective during this time, is to focus on all the blessings in my life! It’s hard to do at times, but it’s easier these days because my ENTIRE house is filled with blessings. It’s a house of gratitude no doubt. Allow me to walk you through it. When you walk up to my HOG (house of gratitude, now referred to as my HOG), you see two cars in the driveway. Each car was given to us graciously. Inside our home you walk into the living room. Each couch was given to us, the window hanging on the wall was given to us, the rug was given to us, the coffee table was given to us, the lamp was given to us. Heading into the kitchen in my HOG you will see a cute dining room table that was given to us, and the kitchen itself is filled with gizmos and gadgets…GIVEN TO US. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, in our bedroom the BED was given to us, the dresser was given to us, there is not one area, one room, one foot in my house that I can escape gratitude! My HOG got me thinking, isn’t that really the case EVERYWHERE we go? Isn’t every house a HOG, isn’t every breath, flower, kiss, rain drop, grain of sand, a thing to be grateful for? Everything has been given to us, we deserve none of it. The intense Irish music playing in this coffee shop, the laptop I type on, 10 fingers, a husband, all given to me. How often I forget to be grateful, but how essential it is for our souls. You can’t have an attitude of gratitude and be an angry, bitter, or sad person. Sure you are allowed to have your moments, even your days, but as I am tempted to demand that I have the life I am told by the world that I’m entitled to, I will take a moment to look at all that I have that I don’t even deserve.

Thank you all for helping me during this time, your kindness and generosity, your words, they all help me keep a positive perspective during this waiting!Please pray for this week of waiting, but even more please pray for my husband Adam! Next week we head to Spokane for his Lyme treatment and I am begging the Lord that it will work. Love you all and I’m grateful for you ALL.

fullsizerender-2

I Want the American Dream.

Last night I panicked. I panicked over finances, I panicked over change, I panicked over being a new wife, I panicked over not being able to work, I panicked over the biopsy, I panicked over the next battle I am about to face, I panicked over the unknown.

As Adam and I sat in the car in front of our house, I began to cry for the 30th time since my recent diagnosis. He asked me what was wrong. I honestly told him that I know if I trust God all the panic and anxiety wouldn’t be there. But I refuse to be humble, I refuse to trust Him right now because I’m mad at Him. He then asked me if I’ve complained to God yet? He reminded me of David in the Psalms, crying out in anger to the Lord.  What an amazing husband God has gifted me with. So as worship music filled the car,  I closed my tear filled eyes, and I complained.

It felt odd at first, not that I haven’t been mad at God before, but telling Him about it directly was kind of a new thing. As I started my prayer, “God, I’m super mad at you. I’m frustrated and confused and I don’t want to do this. Why me? Why me again? Why me a 3rd time?” I froze. A question plagued my mind. Why am I so mad at God? I didn’t want to answer. But as the Holy Spirit probed further my only answer was, “because He took away my comfort.” Immediately I cried. Because He took away my comfort. I mean if I’m honest, honest to the depths of my soul, I want to be normal. Take that further and I want to be what our world says is comfortable. I want the cookie cutter, I want the American dream, I want the white picket fence. I cringed at the thought. For the last 4 months I’ve been comfortable, and in that comfort joy came easily. Now that…poop has hit the fan…it’s hard to find joy. Therefore I’m mad at God. I’m uncomfortable.

Suddenly I was tempted to feel ashamed. I know that God is an empathetic God, I’m learning that at least. He wasn’t sitting there as I complained to Him going, “Well Hade you know what just suck it up and glorify me already. Why do you have to be so stubborn and difficult all the time?” Nope. He said, “I know my sweet daughter, cry, be frustrated, be in pain and anguish, I am too. I hate the evil and disease in this world. I hate that you are suffering.” I paused to wipe the tears from my eyes, and I actually smiled.

JOY.

Because God is the constant source of our joy. Or He should be. So in the comfortable or the uncomfortable. In the beautiful and in the ugly. In the stability or the chaos. He is unchanging. And so I sit here, after a long, difficult day. After yet another biopsy, after another IV, after another hospital visit, and I’m still frustrated, I’m still scared, I’m still confused, but I’m not mad at God for allowing me to be uncomfortable. I choose to seek joy, I choose to seek God.

image1

Frustrating Fly.

I went to a little bbq last night at my parent’s house. Normally I love being social, people fuel me, but not last night. I just wanted to go home and curl up in my fluffy white comforter, in my safety. I asked myself why I wanted to seclude myself, I know that being alone in my mind is a very bad place during these times. Once again I came up with an analogy…

We are all running on the grass, running the race of life. Somewhere along my race I tripped on a little tiny pebble (my tumor) and fell into the mud. Now this is nasty, sticky mud that’s nearly impossible to get out of. I’m stuck in the middle of the grass, in this mud pit. I can’t move but I can watch everyone around me run freely on the grass. At times people will stop and wave to me and shout, “I wish we could help you!” But their race continues on. Mine doesn’t, it’s paused. Whether it’s a temporary pause or a permanent pause I’m not sure. But it’s hard for me to be around people during this time. I’m envious. I was running in the grass. My path was clearly marked. Marriage. Job. Family. I got married and I had several job opportunities in line. I was set to be a “normal” person again. I even had kids on my mind. After all I just had to be clear for a year before I could get pregnant. 4 months down. And then this tiny lump appears in my neck.

How can such a small thing cause so much damage? That’s been my question lately. I mean a little bump threatens my life, it wrecks all my plans, it causes so much pain and despair. This tiny lump that feels as though I could just pluck it out and move on with my life is actually enough to kill me. It’s frustrating. It’s like that fly in your house. That big, juicy fly that makes the loudest buzzing. Life is fine until you see it one day. Then it’s all you can think about. It’s all you can hear. It distracts you from everything you’re doing. You lose sleep. You follow it with your eyes. You use every household item to kill it. A fly swatter, a towel, hairspray, a cup, and yet it escapes you every time. It could have been there for weeks but now that you know about it you are obsessed.

There’s a fly in my neck. In fact, I just found out, there are two.

I’m having a hard time trusting God. My plan seemed so perfect. I was going to work part time to help Adam and allow him to go to school. I was going to learn to be a good wife. I was going to cook more. I was going to take a photography class. I was going to join worship team again. I had a plan. And at this very moment I really don’t see how God’s plan is better. Yet I am forced to think about Job. He and I are becoming very good friends. The hits just kept on coming for Job (like Merkel keeps coming for me), yet God had a much bigger and better plan.

I’m going to Skylakes for an ultrasound guided needle biopsy at 8 a.m. tomorrow. I’m honestly dreading it. It hurts. And in a way it brings back awful memories of my first diagnosis. They jab this giant needle in your neck and plunge it back and forth. But I am trying to be grateful that God gave me an appointment so soon, especially since a second tumor has already emerged. Sheesh Merkel is aggressive! Thank you for all the prayers and support already, if you could lift up my biopsy I would appreciate it so much. And pray that it doesn’t hurt or that I fall asleep or something! Love you all.

 

img_4033

 

Round 3.

Round 3. I can’t believe I’m even writing this blog. Cancer was a far off memory, a nightmare that I haven’t thought about. The summer was pure bliss. A little slice of cancer free heaven. I felt so much peace and joy that I forgot about the evil little disease floating around my body, searching for the next cell to attack. A wedding, a honeymoon, and a clear scan. Talk about excitement, and then this weekend as my hand caressed the bottom of my chin, I felt a familiar, round, lump.

A tumor.

My mind went into a whirl, directly outside of the faint little scar, right next to the area fried by radiation, a little tumor has staked it’s claim.

Round 3.

That’s the thing about Merkel, it’s not a “one and done” kind of cancer. Each diagnosis, each battle feels like I’ve been diagnosed with cancer all over again. I keep repeating “Round 3” in my mind. In less than two years I will have battled this cancer 3 times. I hate it. I hate the dread paired with finding a new tumor. I hate looking in the mirror and wondering what new scar this will add to the collection. What new terror will this behold? I had to tell my husband and my family. That’s probably one of the most hurtful parts of this entire ordeal. Walking into the house knowing that I was about to deliver the worst news to them. Turning their normal, maybe even happy day, into one of despair. Seeing the look on their faces, the look where you know their heart just dropped into the pit of their stomach. Seeing the tears involuntarily rush down their cheeks and seeing them experience the guttural cry. I gazed around the room as I looked upon my Mom and Dad, my Sister and Alec, and my husband. In the midst of all the pain I felt so much gratitude. These people are the soldiers on the front line, and just the front line. I can’t imagine how many warriors back them up. How many prayers will go up when I post? How many people will cry in despair? How many people will cling to the Lord? That I’ll never know.

When Adam and I were sitting on my couch I paused crying for a moment and thought, “What can we do this time? How can we fight better? How can we glorify God more? How can we trust more? What do you want God?” See even though my heart is broken that I have another battle ahead of me, I have an advantage. 3rd times the charm right? How will God use cancer to bless me this time?

 

img_4059

Hayden Palm.

Hello blog world and virtual family! Man, where to even begin. The last month has been packed full to the brim, I mean overflowing with news and happenings.

So to keep from writing a book, I will give you a general overview of life lately. Number one thing is, I GOT MARRIED! Yep, married the love of my life Adam Palm on August 27th. It was fast and furious. But hey, when you know you know. After all we’ve been through together it was the perfect next move for us. Then we went on a 10 day honeymoon to Costa Rica, man what a blast! It was a beautiful trip and such a nice way to relax and recoup after the wedding craziness. Then we had one day before we left for Seattle. In that one day we looked at what felt like a bajillion houses, feeling discouraged at Klamath’s rental market we left for Seattle thinking we’d never find a home.

In Seattle I had my routine scan and blood test, although this time we got to attend the Merkel dinner. Man, what an awesome event. To think that I attended last year as a girl in the midst of radiation and I got to return as a married woman and a survivor of 1 year. God is GOOD. The dinner was awesome. I adore seeing my Merkel family like Rose, Jim, Steve, Phyllis, Carol, and Don. It’s an amazing feeling to look around the room ( even though it’s mostly old white guys) and see people that know exactly what I’m going through. It’s a room full of hope.  Hope that we can all fight this, hope in that we have all fought this and as long as we sit at the dinner table we are winning. Everyone remembered me as the “girl who spoke last year”. I mean I kind of stand out, being the youngest and a woman. My scans came back clear! Man what a huge weight lifted. Tumor free for another 3 months. When the doctors left the room Adam leapt up in excitement, it’s so cool to have my best friend by my side for life.

So now I am in Klamath Falls, man it’s just a black hole! It’s the town you vow to leave but always come back too. Adam and I ended up finding the cutest little rental. Well, cute now. It’s an old house with some, let’s just say “character”. But it’s a good starter home. Adam is starting work as a substitute and he starts EMT classes at the end of this month. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing yet, photography is in full swing and God has blessed the business a lot! It’s so nice to be doing “real” life. Having 3 months of peace is the best feeling in the world. God has been so gracious to us during the first month of our marriage. People have been extremely generous and very helpful. I will never cease to be amazed at how God uses community to enrich my life. Thank you for being there for me through EVERYTHING. And for hanging in there as I let the craziness of life affect my blogging. God is showing me that it’s important to share our lives with one another. The good and the bad. Every part, and so I want to challenge myself to share the good with you guys. It’s easier for me to write about the bad, and the hard times. But boy right now the times are good and I want to PRAISE God with you all!

Here’s to the next chapter of the Merkel Miracle, starting as Mrs. Palm.

img_5144