Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm Thankful For...

  • This day the Lord has made. Let's all rejoice and be glad in it. 
  • My family. 
  • My friends.
  • The possible thunder storms headed this way. 
  • My co-worker Stephanie for getting me this awesome bracelet.

  • Coffee. Always thankful for coffee.
  • The ability to run again. After nearly a month break, I'm back in the saddle so to speak. It's nice to be running again, although I can tell I lost some of my fitness I had built up from April's 10K. 
  • The new John Mayer album "Born and Raised." I love it more than words can say. Country twangs and all. 
  • Aloe Vera. First sunburn of the summer has been pretty rough. Aloe has been my friend.
  • Getting to meet a whole lot of new people. All this stuff with Asher has allowed me to meet and interact with a ton of people, and I love it. My blue-orange self loves talking and interacting. Plus it's all for a sweet little girl. I'll take it. 
  • Boulevard Bread's double chocolate vegan cookie. If you haven't had one, go get one. It will change your life. (I've had two this week...don't judge.)
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God: The Great Road Map

One week ago today, my life shifted. I found out Asher was going to be put in the hospital for three day (which turned into 5 days) to start her chemo treatments.
That very same day, I made a decision to choose one of two ways my life could go. Since this blog is a reflection of myself and this exact point in my life, I'm about to get real honest.

I had been contemplating making a decision over a difficult dilemma, but when I found out Asher had cancer, the decision became clear.

I had been praying about what to do about my dilemma for a few weeks. All the signs didn't seem clear until I heard the words Ewing's Sarcoma and chemo treatments.

Life is too short to not be doing what God wants you to do. Period. End of story.

Relationships are hard. Long distance relationships are even harder. While I hate that my decision hurt someone deeply, my love for my family and this little girl runs so much deeper. She is my family. Family is home.

I knew I wanted to help Asher, Justin and Susan, but I had no idea I would take on a role like the one I've taken on. And that just goes to show how great our God is. He has the power to put us in the place we need to be, regardless the "decisions" we make to get there.

I am not perfect. I hate that my life journey hurt someone. But I'm not choosing this path. God is choosing my path. I am just a follower. A follower of Christ. So I am at peace with my decision. I realize other people may not understand it, but they are not on my path. And that's ok. God has a path just for them.

I have no idea where my path will take me, and I love that. So for now, I just move forward.  #letgoandletGod

"It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us." Colossians 1:11-12 The Message Bible

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Round One is Over

One of 13 treatments is complete. Asher did amazing. She is such a trooper. Five days in the hospital is not for the faint of heart. Despite the three nightly chemo infusions, she did get to play outside, watch movies and have visitors.
Camp Wannaplay is a legit establishment, and Children's Hospital tries in every way to make the children and their families feel at home. Or as "at home" as one can feel in a hospital.

Sweet girl got to come home yesterday. And she got an awesome pixie haircut.
It only takes 10-14 days until her hair will fall out completely. So Susan and Justin are trying to get her prepared for what is to come. I personally think she will embrace the Bald is Beautiful mantra and rock her bald head. Isn't she absolutely precious?

In other news:

Kathy Thompson, a friend of Susan's, is creating necklaces in honor of the Bit.

Each necklace is handcrafted, and no one necklace is the same. Kathy currently has 10 necklaces made and is selling them for $20 each.

Seventy-five percent of the profit goes directly to the Asher Ray Benefit Fund. The other 25 percent goes to covering cost of the materials.

These necklaces are so pretty. I happen to love them, as does Susan. And we all know Asher loves anything pink and purple.

Since there are only 10 necklaces made as of now, we will be taking orders for necklaces.

If you are interested in ordering a necklace, leave a comment on the this post with your name and how Kathy can contact you. Or e-mail at and I will put you in touch with Kathy. Or find Kathy on Facebook. Or comment on the Brooklyn Project page on Facebook.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I will do my best to get you the information that you need.

More to come. Be looking for updates.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Two Major Things: Treatment and Donations

Asher's Treatment
Treatment starts tomorrow morning at Children's Hospital. It will last three days. Asher will be administered her first round of chemotherapy. 

I think it's safe to say we are all nervous and scared. But we need to gather our strength. Collectively we are stronger together. Our prayers are stronger together. This child needs your prayers. This family needs your prayers. 

"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought." James 1:5-7 The Message Bible

Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought that Asher remain strong and courageous during her first treatment. Ask the Father that Justin and Susan have the strength to endure their daughter's plight. Ask that all our prayers for this child and her family be heard. And ask for Him to show us all the good within this bad. 

Just please pray. Please. 

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 The Message Bible

Special thank you goes out to Robin Harris and Donna Mahfouz for opening the Asher Ray Benefit Fund at BancorpSouth. 

We welcome you to go to any BancorpSouth location to made a donation to the Asher Ray Benefit Fund. Any donation no matter the size will help Asher and her family. To find a BancorpSouth location in your area, go here. 

If you do not live in an area with access to BancorpSouth and you want to make a donation, please e-mail me at or find me on Facebook. I will work something out with you. 

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who sent me an e-mail or Facebook message with ideas and different things like that. I can't wait to get the ball rolling on all your awesome ideas. 

So I leave you with this: 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NIV

Send up some prayers. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Heartfelt Thank You


I mean it's really all I can say. WOW. I am in awe of you. The amount of love and support shown to Asher, Susan and Justin, as well as everyone else in the family, is completely overwhelming in a good way. THANK YOU SO MUCH. There are not enough words in the English vocabulary to express the gratitude we feel toward you.
I know this little lady thanks you, too.

After I hit publish on the Thursday's post, I had no idea the impact that post would have. It's been viewed 2,204 times. And it's been shared on and off Facebook and Twitter so many times that I lost count. It's been printed out and mailed to various places. Read in church services.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm glad you realize how special this child is and the gravity of the battle she has begun.

Yesterday was a tough day for us. It was Day One of Battle Ewing's. Now her port is in place, and her bone marrow biopsy is complete. And now we wait. Wait two to three days. The results of the biopsy will finalize the doctor's treatment plan. I've been praying hard that this is the point Asher will catch a break. Sweet girl needs a break.

While at the hospital, Susan received an amazing gift. Pocket pebbles. A small butterfly pebble with an A on it to remind us to say prayers for Asher. I picked purple because it's Asher and my second favorite color. I fiddled with this all morning, and it helped ease my nerves...I think it helped ease a lot of people's nerves.

Over the weekend, Susan, Justin and Asher took family photos. Y'all. They are awesome photos.

The gallery is open so everyone can view and share their favorite photos of Asher. All you have to do is click the link above to see all the photos. 

I, as well as other people, have had a lot of questions regarding fundraising and donations. I'm so happy to hear of the eagerness to give and serve this little girl and her family. But I ask you kindly to please wait. 

Susan and Justin are going through major life changes right now to help Asher. And they need a minute to breathe and adjust to what's been happening. It's been a whirlwind. 

Having said that, it does not mean we don't want your help and support. WE DO NEED YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT. But one step at a time. First thing we are doing is setting up an account to funnel donations. Once we get it in place, we can move on the planning fundraisers and doing all the stuff we want to do. 

I know everyone is in total action mode. I am, too. But we have to get our ducks in a row so we can do this right. We all want to help the Bit. We all want to alleviate stress. We all want to ease the financial burden. And we will do all those things. Just please have patience and sit tight while we get things in order to do all those things. 

I am officially unofficially the fundraising/marketing/PR guru throughout this process. Susan and Justin need to focus on taking care of their sick child so I volunteered to help ease the stresses of planning and organizing fundraisers and the like. 

Now having said that, I will need help. I am only one person. I can do somethings, but I realize I can't do everything. If you are interested in helping me in anyway, please e-mail me at or message me on Facebook. If you have my phone number, please call me. 

I want to hear everyone's ideas. I want everyone who wants to be involved to be involved. We need everyone. So if you have an idea for an event or something you'd like to do, please let me know. We want this fundraising process to accommodate Susan, Justin and Asher. We want them to reap all the benefits with little stress. 

Like I said, please feel free to contact me. My plan is to talk everything over with Susan and Justin and plan events around Asher's chemo treatments. 

What events or fundraisers do you want to do?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Calling All Prayer Warriors: #prayforAsher

This is Asher.
She is my three year old cousin and diva princess extraordinaire.But this little lady is about to face some rough times, as will her family and anyone who's ever met this extremely bright and vibrant child.

Asher was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma yesterday. Ewing's is a rare bone cancer that forms small tumors on parts of a bone. In most cases, it stays localized in one area. But Asher's has metastasized to other areas of her body.
So today starts this sweet girl's journey, along with her family, into the toughest fight of her life. But let me tell you something about this kid. She's got a serious willpower. She is as hard-headed as they come. She's a fighter by nature. I mean she does have some Adamson in her. And we Adamsons are fighters when it comes to certain things.

This child has the biggest imagination and biggest heart of any child I know. She is super smart and catches on to every little thing, even the minor details. She's truly exquisite. She has a creative mind, and she talks like adult. 3 going on 23. Not even kidding.
 We, as a family, are deeply pained that she must hone her fighting skills at such a young age. And we all hate the idleness that comes with waiting and the lack of control we have over the entire situation. But this child is about to teach us all something very important. She knows she is sick, but her spirits have not diminished. In fact if I hadn't told she was sick, you'd never know it. She still bounces off the walls and screams at the top of her lungs. And it's the most glorious, shrill sound. I think we are all cherishing her good humor right now.

But she is about to teach us something. Patience. Love. Understanding. Friendship. Courage. Calm in the chaos. The ability to see what's most important in life. Everyone that knows this child or knows someone who knows her is about to be affected by her.
So here is my request: Please pray for Asher. Pray for her complete healing. The ability for her body to accept the rigorous treatment plan. The ability for the family to cope and deal through bad days and cherish and love the good days. Pray for her doctors and nurses. That they know how to treat her and what she needs to make a full recovery. Just pray. He will hear us all. And He will heal her.

In addition to my request, if you'd like to help out in a different way, Arkansas Children's Hospital has a Miracle Maker program to support the hospital and its patients on a monthly giving plan. Or you can make a one time donation. For more information about these things, go here. I'm also thinking about doing local fundraisers to help ease the family's financial stresses that are soon to add up. More on that, as I get more information and plan said events.

Thank you so much for letting me share this with you. I'll update you throughout the process. But until then, I leave you with this.

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 The Message Bible #prayforAsher

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sounds Like I Feel

I've been listening to the same song for three days. I don't really know why, other than it's how I feel right now.
"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" has been my go-to song for the past few days. The solo part sounds like I feel. If you can't understand that, I'm sorry. Just go with it. It's the most ridiculous sound I've heard in a long time. And I've heard it a million times...even live once. It was glorious.

And this version is my favorite. Listen. Promise you will listen.

In other news, I made a wreath for my mom for Mother's Day. It's pretty. I like.

It's amazing what can happen with burlap, fake flowers and a wooden letter. Do you like?

I think it's very elegant. And I'm thinking my door needs one, too.

Tell me something good. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Foot in Front of the Other: Running for Beginners

In celebration of my one year running anniversary on Friday, I'm writing this post in hopes of everyone turning over new leaves to hit the pavement.

You say "I want to run." But you don't know what to do to get started. What gear do I need? What plan should I follow? Should I run with or without someone? How fast and how far should I go? All of these are legitimate questions, which I will do my best to answer.

"I want to run, but I don't know what to do to get started."

  • Honestly, you don't really need anything to get started. Just get off the couch and start. Walking out the door will always be the hardest part. Dust off your tennis shoes from college, put on a ratty old t-shirt and comfortable shorts and get outside to run. It's not about what you look like, it's about how you feel. If you feel like you should be exercising, honor that feeling and go exercise. You don't need anything special to start running. In fact, I highly advise you to try it before you buy any significant running gear because the costs add up. So really we could just stop here...but that wouldn't be much fun. So let's keep going. 
"What gear do I need?"
  • Get fitted for running shoes. I will preach this til the day I die. Shoes are the most important piece of running gear. They protect your feet. The options of running shoes are endless, and it can be overwhelming to figure out the best shoe for you. So go to a running store. Yes, a running store. Little Rock has two: Easy Runner and Go! Running. Seriously, the people who work there will analyze your foot as it hits the pavement, and they will fit you for a shoe based on what your feet do as you run. You will drop some serious change for a good pair of running shoes, but look at it as an investment in the sport and an investment in yourself. Get fitted for shoes. It's an absolute must. 
  • The Garmin 305 Running Watch with GPS changed my running life. This watch keeps up with your time, distance, best pace, average pace and calories burned. It also monitors your heart rate, and you can set it up for biking as well. This is the second piece of gear I would tell you to invest in. Garmin makes all different kinds of running watches, as does Nike and others. You can also get some pretty good apps to keep up with your time and pace so look into those, too.
  • If you want to invest in clothes, get moisture wicking clothes. The fabric will pull the moisture away from your body and help keep you cool (or warm) and dry.You don't have to spend a lot of money, although you might find yourself dropping cash on cute running shorts or a nice pair of socks. 
  • SPIbelt - If you are a weirdo-paranoid freak like me, I have to carry my phone and keys with me on every run. The SPIbelt will hold your phone, keys and any other thing you think you need to carry with you. 
"What plan should I follow?"
  • Starting out you don't really need a full plan to follow, just go run. My advice to new runners is start slow. Walk and incorporate running. You have to build up to running miles, otherwise you will shock your body. I used the Couch to 5K app on my phone to help me build up to running three miles. If you don't want to get an app,  warm up with a 5 minute brisk walk, just run for a minute and walk for two minutes for a totally of 20 minutes with a 5 minute cool down walk. Always stretch before and after. 
"Should I run with or without someone?"
  • Totally up to you. If you want to go on this journey alone, that is totally fine. If you are the type of person who needs accountability, I would suggest finding a running buddy. I like running with and without people. Some days it's better to be alone. Other days, I feel like I need someone there for extra motivation. If you get the nagging feeling like you should run but don't really want to, call someone and ask them to go with you. You will never regret a good jog.
"How far and how fast should I go?"
  • The number one rookie mistake: Starting out too fast and too far. You want to run three miles. Cool. But work up to that. Start out slow. Alternate walking and jogging. Don't sprint, jog. If you start to feel funny (like you're going to pass out or keel over), stop and walk for a minute or two. Listen to your body. 
  • Starting out too fast with a distance goal that is too far for you in the beginning will not have you feeling good about running. There is a possibility that you won't have fun with it, and the whole point is to have fun while trying something new. I'm not saying every day will be rainbows and sunshine while you run because it won't. Some days will really suck. And you may have more than one sucky day in a row. But don't give up. Once you get the feeling of a good run, you will run through the bad ones to get to those good ones. I promise it's worth it. 
Additional things:
  • Try to drink a lot of water and eat right. What you put into your body is the fuel you run on. So be aware of what you're eating and drinking, and take note of how it affects your body and your running. 
  • Sign up for a race. This is a sure fire way to motivate you to keep running. But remember to start slow. Sign up for a 5K, and work your way up to a 10k, then half marathon if that's what you want to do.
  • Remember the reason you started running, and keep it at the forefront of your mind. Always remember why you are running. Once you forget the reason behind your running, you won't want to do it. 
Who wants to run? 

Anyone want to run with me on my one year running anniversary on Friday? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Big News

I passed my thesis proposal defense.
That satisfactory check mark means I can now "officially" being my thesis. But in reality I started writing it over a year ago. I have two of the three chapters complete...somewhat. Some things will have to be added to beef them up to thesis status and make them coherent, but I feel like a million bucks knowing that I am approved and ready to being this new chapter in my life.

Tomorrow night is my last class ever. I will never sit in another classroom or turn in homework weekly ever again. The thesis will be done on my own time so I'm the only one accountable for that. So who wants to help me get it done...Just kidding.

Now let me tell you a story: We have absolutely no food to make a meal in our house. The roommate, Chelsey and I ate worse than college freshmen last night.

My dinner included: popcorn, edamame, raisins and a peanut butter and jelly thin bagel. News flash: That is not a meal. Not even a little bit. Clearly I'm starving. I am going to the store today. I have to go. The cabinets are bare.

So I'm going to fix that before I go home. I will have food in my cabinets, and all the dishes will be out of my sink by the end of the day.

In preparation for half marathon training, I have got to clean up my eating routine. And I have got to start running again. Hopefully I will be able to do that at the beginning of the week. I'm going to get all my ducks in a row for that this week. Maybe pick up some new running shorts or a tank top...Cause I need to buy more stuff.

I was asked by the lovely Paige from Approaching Joy (BTW show Paige some love and check out her blog. She is pretty awesome, and she is also a fellow Arkansas girl.) to write up a post about running tips for beginners after I wrote the Running and Learning post. So now that my life is slowing down considerably, I will finally be able to write the beginner running post I've wanted to write for so long. So be on the lookout for that tomorrow.

Tell me something good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Waiting for Summer

In exactly 5 hours, I will be defending my thesis proposal to my graduate committee. I am so nervous. The possibilities of what they will say about my work are endless. And this is just the beginning. Remember it's just the proposal. They have the power to make me change anything about it that they see fit. Yeah, I know. The gravity of the situation is upon us, or I should say me.

But besides that major thing happening today, I do have some good news to share with you.
Critical Methods paper is complete.

Let's recap the semester so you know exactly what I put myself through:

  • 27 page, 9,373 word original research paper
  • Nine page thesis proposal
  • Four books 
  • Four book critiques
  • Seven text book chapters
  • Seven chapter synopses
  • Six assignments
  • Seven online posts
  • Approximately 10 scholarly articles for online post submissions
And now you know why I'm officially crazy. School will do that to you. It will.

To help with my paper writing over the weekend, I bought myself some happy little daisies. And I moved them from my desk to my chair by the window as I did various school activities over the last few days. They are still so beautiful and happy. 

I've raised half my goal amount for St. Jude's half marathon. If you want to donate to the cause, just go right here and leave any amount that you like. Small donations are welcome...meaning just cause other people donated $100 doesn't mean you have to do that. 

I absolutely need these blush woven shoes. Absolutely NEED them. 

Ok, so after today's thesis defense...Who's taking me out for a drink? Any takers?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Tornado Life

School is crazy. Absolutely insane. My life is like a great big tornado throwing me from one place to another and then back again. So. Not. Cool. 

Take a look at what I'm dealing with right now.
Two MAJOR things happen next week. And I'm trying to prepare for both of them. Holy cows! I'm scared to death about both things. Prayers are much needed.

But on a BIG, more exciting note, I signed up for St. Jude's half marathon yesterday.
And I became a St. Jude's Hero. Basically I will be fundraising for St. Jude's during my training period leading up to the race.Visit my Heros page, and make a donation. Every little bit helps. And it all goes to help pay for families who can't pay for cancer treatments for their children.

I've got a lot going on. So just stay with me. I'll be back to my regular scheduled posts as soon as school calms down enough where I can breathe. T-minus 8 days and counting.

Sidenote: The Little Rock Farmers Market is amazing. Go there. Get the locally grown strawberries.
It will be unlike any strawberry you've ever had. So delicious. But don't eat them all at I almost did. 

Have a great week! Happy Hump Day!

Tell me something good.