Thursday, May 23, 2019
Andrea was diagnosed with Stage 1 IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) Breast Cancer yesterday.
This news is not what we ever wanted to receive or share, but this cancer is something that will define our year and and is something that Andrea is going to be fighting for some time. We've known for the last 5 years that Andrea had an elevated risk for breast cancer when she did genetic testing that showed she had the BRCA2 gene. Andrea had prophylactic surgery to remove her Fallopian tubes and later her ovaries, which reduced her risk of breast cancer. We actually had been talking just the last couple of weeks as she's been considering a prophylactic mastectomy. That surgery is no longer optional and we have been discussing surgeons and dates for this summer. We don't know everything about the cancer yet, only that it is was fairly localized in her left breast. The small calcifications (0.2cm) were observed during her annual mammogram and all were removed Tuesday during the biopsy. It's unclear if the cancer has moved beyond her breast tissue, we won't know that until after the surgery. We also don't know the hormone receptor status for the cancer, so unclear whether chemo or radiation will be necessary.
Thank you to our friends and family that have already given us love, support, and help through the last week. We love Andrea so much and we are going to take really good care of her, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 6:17 PM
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Paige has been keeping up on her gymnastics all year and has been going for two hours every Wednesday for quite some time. Her gym put on a Spring Fling and we signed Paige up to participate. It was a time for the kids to show some of the different skills they've been working on, and a time for the parents and families to get a good view of the action. Typically, during the week, you can barely see anything in the gym through the window in the waiting room, so it was nice to be up close and see everything.
Paige was actually super nervous about the whole thing. The night before, she got a little emotional about it and said she didn't want to do it. On Saturday morning, we talked to her about why she was nervous and she was feeling much better.
After we arrived, we got some seats and the girls started with a warm-up and stretching, and then all the kids broke up in to small groups and rotated through five stations.
Paige's group did the balance beam, the floor, the tumble track, the vault and ended on the bars.
The kids weren't competing against each other, they were working to get a blue ribbon for each category. Paige got all blue ribbons!
Connor snapped a pic of us with Paige and we got a pic of Paige with her coach and Connor too.
Connor was super cute about Paige and the entire event. I kind of wondered if he would even pay attention much, but he was very present and interested. Before Paige's first event he told us he wanted to go to the bathroom and hide because he was so nervous for Paige he could barely watch. Afterwards, we went to Barbara Jeans for lunch and Connor was talking to Paige about the different girls in her group and he remembered almost all of their names and was talking in detail about how each one did at each station. Paige is lucky to have such a sweet and supportive brother.
We are so proud of you Paige! Keep up the great work!
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 2:52 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2019
On Sunday, after Andrea returned from her Amelia Island, we celebrated Mother's Day. Paige made Mommy a cute purple ceramic bowl at school as well as a card. Connor made Mommy a card, and I got her a card, a new travel purse, and an engraved Yeti cup. We all went to the store in the morning and each of us picked out a bouquet of flowers and I worked with them to cut the flowers and put them in vases. It turned out pretty cute, and we were all happy to have Mommy home since we've been missing her since Sunday.
We had lunch at Cantina Laredo, like we love to do most Sundays, and it was a little crowded for Mother's Day so we sat in a different area, which was nice for a change.
Happy Mother's Day to our wonderful Andrea!
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 4:17 PM
Andrea went to Amelia Island on Thursday, May 9th to play tennis with her JCP friends and to hang out with them for the weekend. On Thursday afternoon they played tennis, then went back to the house they were renting for the evening. On Friday and Saturday morning they had clinics, then in the afternoons they relaxed at the pool. They requested Sal and Luis and the pros did a good job making the tennis fun.
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 4:09 PM
Andrea's out of town with her tennis friends, so I had the kids to myself for the weekend. On Saturday Paige was playing Roblox with her friend Emily and they wanted to get together, so after I got done with my morning tennis we picked Emily up and went to lunch at Trasca. It was fun to chat with Emily and get to know another one of Paige's friends over lunch. We got some spaghetti and pizza and the kids enjoyed mixing all the different soda flavors together.
After lunch we went back to the house and the girls swam. Connor invited Quinn over and they played basketball for a bit and the girls jumped in and played with them too.
We had to take Quinn home by 5, so after we dropped him off we went by Whits for some frozen custard before taking Emily home. She was a good friend with Paige and polite too, she said thank you for lunch and for the ice cream.
Once the kids were home with me we got some things together to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday and then we setup the tent for a campout in the lanai. We'd tried it a couple years ago when Mommy was at another tennis weekend with friends and Paige has been really keen to try it again (http://www.vernonvolumes.com/2017/05/daddy-and-kids-while-mommy-is-away.html). Last time we got rained out, so this time we set up the tent in the lanai under the covered area.
We set up the tent, blew up the air mattress, and got our pillows and a night light all setup, then we crowded in the tiny tent together. It was super hot at first and we had one of our most powerful fans blowing on us, but we were not very comfortable. We read a chapter out of one of Paige's books, then we all fell asleep. Around midnight Connor woke up and was hot and uncomfortable so he went in to his bed. I woke up a few hundred times from the weird animal noises outside, from Paige rolling around and kicking me, and from being too hot at first and then around 2am being too cold. I'd thought about going in around 3am, but Paige was sound asleep and I didn't want to leave her out in the tent alone, so I stayed out until she woke up around 7:15. Paige enjoyed it and I'm glad we were able to accomplish our campout this time around.
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 8:15 AM
Sunday, April 28, 2019
On Saturday, we celebrated Paige's birthday a little early, along with her friends Maddie and Abby. Andrea picked up some goodies for her from Allie's cakes, and we got her some balloons and decorations for the inside and around the pool. We've been remodeling the outdoor kitchen, and while it's not completely finished, we were able to schedule it so most of the important stuff was wrapped up in time for the party. Before Paige's friends showed up, we took a few pictures of Paige with her decorations and cake.
Maddie showed up first and they got dressed in their swimsuits right away and jumped in the pool. Abby showed up a little later, and the three of them played and swam all afternoon together. Connor got in for a little while with them and they all had fun with the inflatables and pool toys.
For dinner we had Papa John's pizza and then we cut Paige's cake and sampled all of the goodies.
After dinner, we cleaned up everything and the kids played upstairs in Paige's room. They had a really fun time with all of Paige's toys and they put together a cute little sleeping area on the floor made out of sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. As we expected, it took the girls a long time to fall asleep. Well after midnight I finally got them to lie down and after I got them to lie still with their eyes closed for a few minutes and sang some bedtime songs, they all fell asleep.
Paige enjoyed her day so much. Abby and Maddie are both such sweet girls and good friends to Paige. All three got along the entire time and we are happy that Paige was able to celebrate her birthday with them. Happy birthday Paige!
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 6:52 PM
Andrea set up a golf lesson for the kids in the neighborhood on Saturday morning. When she brought them in that morning she decided she would participate too and the three of them learned some golf basics and got to practice hitting some balls. They all had a lot of fun with the lesson and did pretty well for their first time out.
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 6:26 PM
This past week was the last week for Connor's middle school tennis season. Andrea took our camera to the practice on Wednesday so she could get a picture of the Landrum White team all together.
On Thursday Connor played line 1 doubles with Liam against a very hard team. They went in to a tiebreak and managed to win it.
Later in the week we got the final standings of the season and Connor's team tied the Landrum Black team with exactly 242 points overall, tied for second place behind the Landrum Blue team. We think Connor enjoyed being part of a school team and it was fun to go to his games and cheer him on. We're proud of Connor and his team for an awesome season!
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 4:08 PM
Sunday, April 21, 2019
On Saturday we left in the morning for Amelia Island to spend the day at the Ritz. We stopped by Marche Burette on the way through Amelia Island for lunch and then arrived at the Ritz, hoping for an early checkin. Unfortunately our room wasn't ready so we wandered around the property to see what was going on. For the Easter weekend, they had all kinds of fun family stuff setup. By the pool we got some cute balloons, Paige got her face painted, and the four of us were drawn as cartoons playing tennis together.
At three there was an animal show in a conference room and we got to see a bunch of lizards, turtles, snakes and an alligator. Paige was excited to get her hands on all the creatures and she got to be very involved in the show. Connor pet the alligator when the host brought it around, and he also volunteered to be one of the seven kids that held the big albino python.
After our room was ready we lounged around a bit and then went back to Marche Burette for steak out for dinner. Unfortunately there was quite a long wait, but we eventually got seated in a nice spot outside where it wasn't too windy.
We got two big honking 36 oz steaks. It was quite a bit of work chopping them up and working around the bone and fatty areas. While we all got enough to eat, I think next time we'll get different steaks to share since these were quite a bit of work.
That evening we went to bed and were woken up at 12:30 by our smoke alarm shrieking. We stumbled out of bed, got dressed, and then realized it was only our room that had an alarm going off. We called the front desk and they said they'd send someone up. We had to wait in the hallway since the alarm was so unbearably loud. They removed the smoke alarm and we were able to get back to sleep eventually.
In the morning we went to the indoor pool to swim for a while. I roughed the kids up and threw them around for a while and then they played and raced together in the pool. It's been pretty hot out, but unfortunately this weekend was a bit cold and windy, so the indoor pool was a great option to have available.
We enjoyed our visit, happy birthday to our special lady Andrea!
Posted by Shawn Vernon at 3:14 PM