Long overdue update
Team Holly family and friends.... My sincere apologies for the lack of posts over the last month. So much has happened .. where to even start? Moving .. Over the last few years, the hot topic between Cory and I has been where we want our kids to go to school. We absolutely love living in the Allen area and the friends we have here. Emma's elementary school has been amazing. But we have been living in somewhat of a false reality. Although it feels like a tight knit community at her elementary school, you easily forget there are almost 20 other elementary schools. Then all of these schools lead to one high school... in fact the largest high school in Texas. Just to give some perspective.. Cory graduated with about 40 in his class and I graduated with around 300. Emma would likely graduate with around 1800. We have struggled because Allen is a highly ranked school and has so much to offer. After a lot of prayer and discussions, we decided to start looking at Lovejoy ISD. It is much smaller and still in our area. The district line is about a 1/2 mile from our house. The problem is that its very hard to get into. The market in this area is absolutely nuts. Starting in Jan/Feb-ish we started really looking hard. Over the next two months we made an offer on two different houses. Honestly neither one felt 100% right, but they would have been awesome to live in. After losing both, we were both very frustrated. To make a long story short, I ended up connecting with a new friend who connected me to a lady who was going to be putting her house on the market in the next few months. Her house was in our dream neighborhood, so it seemed like a LONG shot. We thought there was no way we could get the house in this crazy market. I stayed in touch with the seller and she finally decided mid-May she wanted to put house on the market. She agreed to let us see the house before listing it. The day that we could see it Cory was working so it was all on me :) We prayed that entire week leading up to this day that it would be clear. If this was the house, then there would be no doubt. If this was the house, it wouldn't matter how many others made offers or what they were, it would be ours. So I went to the see house by myself. The second I walked in the door I knew this was the one. I facetimed him and took a lot of pictures. As soon as I left, I went home and we made an offer on the house. Less than 24 hours later, we found out that she decided to take our offer and not list it on the market. Excited doesn't even express our emotions. So very excited. We feel so blessed that we have this chance and the Lord has shown his favor on us. That very day we put our Allen house on the market. Within 24 hours we had a contract on our house. Everything has gone so smoothly and step by step we have gotten confirmation that we are doing the right thing. The house is on an acre lot (which Cory is SOO excited about). The house is smaller as well. I am so excited about downsizing. I love our current house so much, but ever since cancer, I am all about simplifying things. Now that our family is complete we don't need the extra space. Plus, if I am being honest, I am excited about getting a fresh start. I am excited about a change of scenery. Sadly our current house will always be the house that I lived in when I had cancer. I am not living in the past but there will always be certain places, smells or tastes that will forever remind me of that difficult time. The kids are most excited we will be getting a pool. I am excited about the new community we will have. I will miss our neighborhood terribly but it's less than a mile away. Although sadness will come, we are so excited about this next chapter. We are even more excited to see what the Lord will do in the years to come. The best news is that we will be moving into the new house the week of my cancer diagnosis anniversary. A little ironic. Exactly one year later, we will be celebrating a new stage of life. A life that cancer tried to steal away from me. Memories cancer tried to rob me of. We are so thankful and humbled at the gift the Lord is giving us. More exciting news... So the last few posts I have eluded to something that I had been praying about. Well, I can finally announce that I am taking Team Holly to a whole new level. The Team Holly Foundation is finally up and running. We got approval as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. We will now be able to help women in more ways in their fight against ovarian cancer. We will be able to spread more awareness about this horrific silent disease. All of the funds raised and donated will go towards helping women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The first phase of outreach will be the Team Holly Care Bags I have already been doing since December. The second phase of Team Holly efforts will be giving one-time grants to women to provide financial assistance for medical bills, housing, transportation, etc. This second phase will take time to roll out. All in all this whole process stresses me out. BUT, I am fully confident that the Lord laid this on my heart to create, so I am fully confident that He will carry out the plans he designed long ago. He has provided family and friends to join me in my efforts and many more who are waiting to help. It is all so overwhelming. My village. People I love fighting the fight for others just like me. Beauty from ashes. One of my favorite scriptures.. "you intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people". Psalm 50:20 More exciting news from the Team Holly front.... my neighbor next door connected me a lady at Texas Health Presby Dallas. Her name is Erin and she was recently promoted to a new position at the hospital. She is the new Oncology Nurse Navigator for gynecological (women parts) cancer. She is essentially starting an entirely new program from scratch. Her and Cathleen my neighbor met and Cathleen mentioned me to her and the rest is history... we met one day for lunch and had an amazing conversation. I am excited to be able to hopefully help her start a support group at the hospital for women with ovarian cancer.
I am truly amazed at how the Lord keeps providing opportunities to give back. Like the saying goes.. my pain, his gain. Truly. "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you." I Peter 5:10 There are more Team Holly shirts now to help spread awareness. All proceeds go into the foundation. You can order yours here https://www.booster.com/teamhollyfoundation While I was at the hospital, I sneaked over to see some of my very favorites!! Dr. Smith (my OB) and her nurses. Mary (on left) works with her and has been an amazing support system for me since day 1. She hugged me and let me cry on her shoulder. She sent me sweet cards and prayers during my journey. The other nurse is Gladys, one of the triage nurses. She helped schedule my surgery to remove the tumor. She kindly just handed me entire box of kleenex and was so compassionate in her care for me. Then for Dr. Smith, it's always so good to see her. Truly there is not enough words to express my love and gratitude for her. She saved my life. I also think of her often now when I am at work. When I meet a new family with a heart baby or a mom pregnant and just finding out her baby has a heart problem. Such a sickening helpless feeling. It's a horrible position to be in. Much like the position Dr. Smith was in when she had to call me that Thursday morning to tell me I had cancer. I can't even imagine how she felt when she read that report. I can only imagine she felt like she may want to vomit when she had to call me to tell me. But honestly, she did it beautifully and so gracefully. In a way that only she could. So crazy how I have seen her for 13 years now. I randomly picked her based on the providers on my insurance list when I moved to Dallas. The Lord's hand has always been there.
So friends, lots has been going on... and that's not even counting life in general with two busy kiddos and end of year school stuff. We had an amazing, relaxing weekend at the lake last week. My parents and my sister and her family joined us. It was such a good time together away from real life.
I am also back to working out with my CG (Camp Gladiator) family. It has been very humbling being out so long, but it's been amazing. I feel like I can conquer the world now. At least mentally while I am trying not to puke physically. I love my trainers and my friends that support me during the workouts. Such an amazing environment. Best of all, this organization loves Jesus and living a life to honor Him is their mission statement. WOW! June 29th will be a year that I found out about the mass, June 30th will be a year when I had surgery for the first time. Then July 9th will be a year from my cancer diagnosis. I am experiencing so many emotions as these days are approaching. It is crazy that it feels like the past year has flown by. Funny how last July-September I thought I would never get through those long, hard days. What a year. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Please share with all your friends and loved ones the news about the Team Holly Foundation. Anyone can make a tax-deductible donation online from our website or mail in a check. Our website is up and running. It's not 100% but it's there! www.teamhollyfoundation.org Please continue to pray with us... May the Lord's will be done. May he use our willingness to serve for his glory. Jesus, it's all for you. Go team go!!