Friday, November 4, 2011

Sorta Scary Smith Pictures.

Today I would like to show off my new, longer hairstyle.  Pretty amazing that I could grow my hair that fast, isn’t it?

But hey, when you’re good you’re good.


Um.  Except that something happened while it was growing.  It seems to have turned  . . . um . . . gray.

How could that be?


May I just say that I don’t believe gray is really my color?  With my coloring, it makes me look a little scary, a little sick-ish, a little not well. (Note to self:  Color your hair when the gray starts to show.)


Good thing the gray hair was just a wig, temporarily stolen from my friend, Cindy, who brought it to work--she’s the church bookkeeper--to show it off.  (She decided to go ahead and get her wig choice settled in plenty of time before the chemo kicks in.)  

May I just say that the wig looks absolutely stunning on her; she was made for those sparkling silvery locks. And I truly admire the panache and sense of humor of a woman facing cancer and chemo who willingly schleps in her wig so that she can provide some chortles for us church folk and break up our work day a little.


And now do you want to see something really, really scary?

Are you sure?

Okay.  You asked for it.



Steve went and grabbed his guitar as soon as Cindy and I informed him (between hysterical giggles) that the wig made him look like an aging country/rock star.


I’m sincerely sorry for any nightmares these pictures may cause you.


The End.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Manteo Stroll

Before getting into today’s post, let me just mention that tomorrow’s post will feature pictures of Steve and I like you have never seen us before.

Trust me on that.

Okay.  So now that I’ve got your curiosity up, let’s move right along!

A few mornings ago, I got out early and snapped a few pictures of Manteo in all its quaint and colorful glory.

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I hope you enjoyed your Manteo stroll!


Lisa from Georgia said,  “To what picture is Diane referring? Maybe the 7th graders I teach have finally eaten through my brain, but I could not for the life of me find the picture. Oh, and I LOVE the jumping pictures. They are so good and I must say that is some impressive height!”

Lisa, First of all let me say that I admire your good grammar in saying, '”To what picture is Diane referring?”  instead of “What picture is Diane referring to?”  Very impressive! 

I think Diane was referring to the third picture down in  this post.

Jmckemie said,Do not want to add a down side but just thought since many people read this blog, a reminder that most people think that hair donated to Locks of Love goes almost exclusively to children or others with who have suffered loss of hair due to cancer treatment. Truth is, it rarely does. They specifically market to people who have permanent hair loss, mostly due to alopecia and other diseases. While they are a great organization and serve a much needed and unique demographic, if someone specifically wants their donated hair to go to a cancer patient, and in particular a younger cancer victim, they should check out some of the other organizations such as Wigs 4 Kids or Hugs U Wear. So glad we live in a world where people have the option of making a donation like this - one that will truly make a difference in someone's life, regardless of why there is hair loss; and so grateful for people like Sarah who make the choice to give such a wonderful gift.”

I have to say that if all comments were this gracious and well written in pointing out facts I may have overlooked, this world would be a better place! Thanks for the info you shared; I really wasn’t aware of those statistics and am glad you provided some alternatives for those who are interested in donating hair.

Rachel said, “If you don't mind my asking, why did you and your doctor opt to not do chemo? Was it because the cancer cells were extremely concentrated to one spot only and therefore almost no risk of it spreading?”

Rachel, great question!  Yes, that is exactly the reason there was so chemo recommended; the cancer was contained and completely removed through surgery.  Also, the doctor took into consideration my family history which is clear of breast cancer on my mother’s side.

Sarah asked, “How on earth do you manage to keep the slugs and snails off those hostas?  Here in England the leaves are always chewed into lacework unless you put a lot of poison pellets down, and with a dog you wouldn't want to do that!”

Sarah, I am ashamed to admit I have no idea what you’re talking about;  I wouldn’t know a Hosta if it bit me on the nose! It could be that since the shrubs were just put in, that the slugs and snails haven’t found them yet.  I agree with you though; we definitely wouldn’t want to put down poison pellets with a doggie in the area!

Mary H said, “You have the prettiest house and shrubs. How is Snowy? I though maybe he would be poking around during the shrubbing. Miss seeing that little guy.”

Mary, Snowy continues to look and act like a rejuvenated puppy.   We’re coming up on almost a year since he almost died from his liver issues and every day I see him, I am amazed all over again that a dog who was that sick is doing so incredibly well.  We are grateful.

Lisa from Georgia said,  “Oh, Becky I just love her new "do"!! What a blessing to get a haircut! As you know from my own Sarah's story, we too had the loss of hair. My other daughter Marin (who never knew her sister) and I have donated our own hair a few times to this worthy cause in memory of our Sarah. In the next month or so she will be donating again (I really hate long hair and taking care of it) and we will donate in honor of your Sarah's 16th birthday, one we prayed she would get to celebrate not so very long ago. I am encouraged every time I read this blog that your Sarah is continuing to win the battle against that awful cancer. I continue to pray for a cure for all the children still suffering, I pray for parents, like us, whose babies have gone to be with Jesus and I rejoice for your Sarah as she is one of a very few who has survived so many years. What a reminder of God's faithfulness!!”

Lisa, as always, your attitude  both blesses me and humbles me.  The fact that you can so graciously leave comments rejoicing in Sarah’s milestones and successes when your own Sarah didn’t survive her cancer is just really incredible.

We would be honored to have you donate hair in honor of our princess.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Happy Edition

Before we get started, let me just mention that this particular
Wedding Wednesday just happens to fall on the 30th anniversary of the day Steve
asked me to marry him. So without this important day, there would have been no Nathan,
and therefore no Nathan and Meagan,
and therefore no Wedding Wednesday!

I’m so very glad he asked and so very glad I said yes.)


Welcome to this week’s Wedding Wednesday!  
(Insert small pause here for a moment of Wedding Wednesday Woo-Hooing.) 

Let’s get things started with The Guy Collage . . .

Pro Pics

. . . and The Shoe Collage.


And then we’ll move on to The Guys Plus Bride Collage . . .


. . . and The Gals Collage.


(Are we having fun yet?)

Jumping pictures always make me smile. Or at least they do as long as someone else is doing the jumping.
I’m sure that Sheri would join me in giving thanks that there are no pictorial wedding traditions
requiring mothers of the bride and groom to leap.  Up.  Into The Air. 
Speaking for myself, it would not be pretty. 

Just sayin.’




The “Let’s Pretend To Kiss the Bride” pose is always fun and the expression on Meagan’s face
perfectly captures her sparkling, dramatic personality.

And may I just say once more how much I absolutely love the marvelous detailing of her dress?
So whimsically elegant and so perfectly her.




This picture wonderfully captures Nathan’s fun-lovin’ personality.


And this one is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  I have so many memories (and pictures) of Nathan throwing
his head back in exactly this way as he laughed--even as a little boy.
It brings a smile to my mama heart to see such joy on my sweet son’s face.


Thanks, Meagan, for being the woman who makes my son so very happy.
I know that his heart is safe with you.


(Photography by Kristen and Chris Czuchra, from Ozark, AL.)


There are quite a few comments/questions that have have come in over the past week or so.  I’ll finish answering the rest of them tomorrow but wanted to include the wedding-related ones today.

Lisa from Georgia asked, “Is there a video of the processional with that wonderful song?”

Lisa, Meagan wants us to wait and watch the wedding videos for the first time with them. So when Nathan and Meagan come here for Christmas, we’ll have a chance to do that. After that point, I am hoping to post a few short video moments from the wedding, including the one of the processional and the song.

Jodi said, “I was just looking at the pictures one more time (I am feeling so very sad, and thought they would make me smile) and the 4th one from the bottom.......could those two really be old enough to drink wine? LOL!.”

Jodi, sorry you were feeling sad when you wrote this and hope that the pictures made you smile!  As for the communion photo you referenced, the  “wine” was actually grape juice since the Hawley/Smith clans are non-drinkers.

Mrs. Pam said, “Those were fun photos.  I remember when Meagan surprised Nathan, and I think that he had an inkling she was there because her shampoo was in the bathroom. is that right? Soooo, after the first official date, did they only date each other? and when did they know that they were destined for each other?”

Mrs. Pam, you have a good memory!   As for the first part of your question, here is the infamous picture of the shampoo bottles that almost gave away Meagan’s surprise visit.  (This was about  three years ago.)  Nathan walked into the bathroom and thought, “Hmmm. Why are there two sets of girl products in here instead of just Sarah’s?”

Fortunately, Meagan made her appearance about 2 minutes later, so he didn’t have long to be suspicious.


And as for the second part of your question, you can read this older post which sort of sums up their friendship-turned-to-dating process.

Diane said, “Beautiful pictures, very creative. Beautiful bride and handsome groom. In the bridal photo, was Meagan sitting on the floor in the picture looking down on her? Love her bouquet and dress!”

Diane—Meagan answered this one for you in the comments area.  I posted it again here just to be sure you saw it.

Yes I was sitting on the ground for that one picture. However, I was in a "clean" spot with a sheet under my dress so it would not be dirty for the big day 
Meagan :)

And this final comment isn’t really a question, but it made me happy so I’m posting it.

Anonymous said, “Hey! First of all, I just wanted to say that I have never met you and you do not know me but I found your blog through a friend and your family is absolutely beautiful. You can tell that you enjoy being around each other and it just blesses my heart. Secondly, there have been few Wednesday lately where I have not at some point during my day though "Oh! It is wedding Wednesday" Thanks for letting us in on your joy!”


Monday, October 31, 2011

Hair. Cutting It. Giving It. Losing It.

Last Thursday, Sarah walked into a certain building in lovely downtown Manteo. . .


itsroyalty collage

. . . and asked a particular lady to do a particular job.


Can you possibly guess what that job was?  (This is a tough question, I know.)


Yep!  Sarah got numerous inches of hair cut off!   She then donated that hair to Locks of Love, an organization that’s especially close to her spunky, formerly bald, cancer-surviving self.

As opposed to what happened to her ten years ago, this time our 16-year old princess decided to lose a bunch of hair on purpose.


As Sarah was getting her ‘do done, we couldn’t help notice another vaguely familiar customer in the shop who was acting sort of . . . um . . . strange.  In defense of this vaguely familiar, oddly-acting customer’s slightly unorthodox behavior, I will mention there was no one else in the salon at the time, so plopping down on the couch for a wee catnap was an okay thing to do. Plus, Linda goes to our church so she knows her pastor can be occasionally quirky. (The reason Steve was there at all was because he was next in line for the scissors.)


But anyway. Back to Sarah, the star of this story. 

After some snipping and some swooshing . . .


. . .  she ended up with this, a look which I absolutely love.


Sarah’s hair has enough natural wave in it (inherited from her Grandma Campbell) that it took just a little mousse and about five minutes of scrunching with her head flipped upside down to get this look.



When she got home, she flattened it out just a tad so it looks more like this now. Very, very cute, either way.


As you may notice, Snowy decided to invite himself into the showing off the haircut photo, which is convenient because I was just about to mention him!


And just why am I mentioning Sir Snowy Studmuffin Smith?  Because today is his twelfth birthday! It’s hard for me to believe we have had him that long. Sarah always says she really doesn’t have any memories without Snowy in them; as you can probably imagine, the two of them are inseparable

We are so grateful to have had this white, fluffy, goofy, smile-inducing creature in our lives for all these years. And if you’re wondering what he’s doing in this picture, he’s singing Happy Birthday to himself.  (We have raised him to be quite the self sufficient poochie.)


In other news . . .

Today I’ll be making the 5-hour round trip to Greenville with Cindy, a friend from church who is having her first round of chemo following her recent double mastectomy.  Cindy’s 30-something daughter went through surgery, chemo and reconstruction a year ago and just recently had further surgery when the cancer recurred in her lung.  These are two brave, spunky ladies and I am honored to get to go along today and be a vehicle driver, a hand holder, a spirits-lifter, a prayer offer-er, a chocolate-procurer, and a friend.

This is also a sojourn of thanksgiving for me because it reminds that I could very easily be the one in that chemo chair instead of Cindy. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to go through that part of breast cancer treatment, and even more grateful that I’ve been given the chance to support someone who is going through it.   

Cindy has already gotten her hair cut short in preparation for her coming hair loss. As I’ve talked to her about losing her hair, it has brought back so clearly the memory of the day when Sarah’s long, blonde curls started falling out after her first round of chemo. I’ll never forget the tears in her eyes as she stood in the hospital bathroom with hair all over the floor and said,  “Mommy, can a girl be pretty when she’s bald?”

Yes, sweetie.  She sure can.    (And Snowy sure doesn’t seem to care about hair or the lack thereof.)



All those old memories made Sarah’s  recent donation to Locks of Love all the more joyous and meaningful because she was able to return the favor and give a gift to someone else coming down the line. Also, those old experiences with her (and of course, my own diagnosis), provide me with a deeper layer of understanding and empathy as I prepare to support Cindy today and in the days to come.

So, yep.  This is a blog about hair—cutting it, giving it, losing it, and learning so many lessons of life in the process.