Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Morning and The Wreckage

Every Halloween since Olivia was born, I have gotten her a Halloween treat basket. I know it's excessive but it is one of the many things I love about being a mom! I love seeing Olivia's excitement when she looks inside her pumpkin and finds lots of little treats! Here are some pictures from this morning's "Halloween Gift Giving."

And scroll down for pics of the beginnings of Olivia's new room and the wreckage a.k.a our house!




Olivia's new room--we got the bed and nightstand put together last night! It took me about the same amount of time to assemble the nightstand as it did Adam to do the entire bed. (Thanks to IKEA!) Adam said he was just impressed that at 6 months pregnant...I was still willing to get my hands dirty!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Bella and Banjo got spayed and neutered on Monday. I know they were probably hurting but I couldn't resist taking a few photos of them with their "coneheads." How often are beagles just completely calm and still? It was a Kodak moment!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Elissa tagged me on her blog so I am going to "humor" her and write my 7 random things...about me!

1) I am going crazy trying to furnish Olivia's new room. Furniture stores take WAY too long to deliver, not to mention that I am totally impatient!

2) I am already half way done with my X-mas shopping.

3) I am craving a margarita on the rocks with salt made with Patron Tequila. (Can't have that for another 3 months!)

4) I have stopped proof-reading all of my blog posts so I am sure that I have millions of errors.

5) Bella and Banjo got spayed and neutered yesterday and I took some cute pictures of them (with their cones on) and now I can't get them to download.

6) I am addicted to Pottery Barn Kids right now. (See, totally random!)

7) I am in a contest with my office mates for the next 6 weeks and cannot drink sodas! Good for the baby...bad for me! Ugh!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Push-Up Pops

We went to dinner at Chuy's on Tuesday night with the Rossi Family. They have a little girl, Julianna, who is 2 and a newborn baby boy. Olivia and Julianna both had chicken fingers and then got push-up pops for dessert.

I heard Olivia asking Julianna if she wanted to trade ice creams and asked "why?" She showed me her pop, it was empty. She had eaten it all. I looked over at Julianna's pop and it was still half full. What a smart little sugar fiend! She finished hers and was going to trade with her unsuspecting little friend.

Crisis averted...but she is getting very tricky!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things You Should Know...


The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 22,220 new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States in 2005. It ranks fourth as the cause of cancer death in women. About 16,210 women will die of the disease this year.


The exact causes of ovarian cancer are not known. However, studies show that certain factors may increase the chance of developing the disease:

Family history. A mother, daughter or sister of a woman who has had ovarian cancer is at increased risk of developing the cancer themselves. The risk is somewhat less, but still above average, if other relatives have had ovarian cancer. A family history of breast or colon cancer is also tied to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Age. Most ovarian cancers occur in women over the age of 50, with the highest risk in women over 60.

Childbearing. Women who have never had children are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who have had children.

Personal history. Women who have had breast or colon cancer may have an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy. Some evidence suggests that women who use HRT after menopause may have a slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer often shows no obvious signs or symptoms until late in its development. Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

General abdominal discomfort and/or pain (gas, indigestion, pressure, swelling, bloating, cramps)

Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or frequent urination

Loss of appetite

Feeling of fullness even after a light meal

Weight gain or loss with no known reason

Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious conditions. It is important to discuss them with a doctor.

Survival Chances...

The chances of survival from ovarian cancer are better if the cancer is found early. If the cancer is found and treated before it has spread outside the ovary, 95 percent of women will survive at least five years. However, only 25 percent of ovarian cancers are found at this early stage. About 78 percent of all women with ovarian cancer survive at least one year after the cancer is found, and over half survive longer than five years.

Where can you find more information?

American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

New Kids on the Block

Me getting a CD signed by Natasha Beddingfield for Olivia


Lov'in NKOTB!

Please Don't Go Girl


Monday, October 20, 2008

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

I have some really fun pictures from the NKOTB concert this past weekend but thought the following pictures were WAY more important. These are photos from my mother's burial. I just received them over the weekend. In addition, I got a call from the Dallas/Ft.Worth chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition this morning. The lady that I spoke with explained how the National Headquarters of the NOCC was recently moved to Dallas and how donations go to raise awareness about the disease and to help raise money for research. The research will eventually (and hopefully soon) be used to develop a testing method for ovarian cancer. She explained that deaths from breast cancer started declining drastically when it was determined that the mammogram test could be used to spot cancer early on. There is not currently a similar test for ovarian cancer. We also talked about the national recognition that breast cancer awareness month is receiving. (Which is absolutely AWESOME!) But how many of you knew that September was ovarian cancer awareness month? Wouldn't it be great for ovarian cancer awareness to get the same attention and recognition?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why We Should All "Stand Up To Cancer"

Mom with Elissa & Reagan, August 15, 2008

Mom & Me, September 6, 2008

Olivia, Mom & Me, September 15, 2008

These pictures may seem graphic, but they are real. This is how fast cancer can take over someone's body. It is sad, but very true.

I have launched a star for my mom through the Stand Up for Cancer website ( You can go onto the site, view the star, and make a $1 donation to her name (Amanda Olivia Fink) in order to help support the cause.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Las Vegas R & R

My friend Josh took me to Las Vegas the weekend after my mother's funeral for a little R & R. Josh's parents treated Josh, Amy, and me to an awesome weekend. We saw the Cirque du Soleil show "O", had massages and pedicures, did a lot of shopping (mainly window shopping) and celebrated Josh's birthday at Table 10 (one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants). It was so nice to getaway and just think about "nothing!" Unfortunately, my camera was not working, so I only have a couple of photos taken from my cell phone. The picture quality is poor, but the trip was so great that they are worth sharing!

Amy and me on the gondola ride at the Venetian.

Josh and his niece, Jenna, on the same gondola ride. We were being serenaded!

This is just a random picture in the Venetian (our hotel). I thought the view was really cool!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Several people have asked about what I said at my mother's funeral. So I thought I would post:

A little over a year ago, I sat by my mother's side as she was prepped for what was to be a rountine hysterectomy. 8 hours later I stood at her bedside, holding her hand, as I explained to her that she had cancer.

A little over a month ago, I came home to Dallas to take my mother to what should have been a routine chemo treatment. This time, I sat at her bedside as her doctor explained that her cancer had spread and that she had about 2 days to live. As many of you know, she did not live 2 days but 34.

Her battle with cancer was not an easy one. I heard her talking to herself on more than one occasion saying "be strong girl, you can do it." I have found those words to be encouraging in the days since my mother passed away. She would not want to see her children defeated or given up.

My mother fought cancer the way she did not because she was afraid of dying, but because she loved living. Her family, friends, colleagues and students were her reasons for living, but most importantly, she fought because she was our mother and a nana. She loved me, Elissa, Brian, Olivia, and Reagan more than anything else. She fought for us.

My mother was a crusader of hope and a child of Christ and I have no doubt that she is with him now.

She taught me that all good teachers challenge their students, so in honor of her, I pose this challenge to all of you gathered here today: We can leave this place sad and broken or we can leave today rejoicing my mother's life and her triumphs over cancer and death. Whatever your struggles may be, whether today, tomorrow, or days and days from now: I encourage you all to remember her words, "Be strong, you can do it!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Olivia's Night Out

These photos are from a month ago, but Olivia had so much fun hanging out with "the girls" that I had to share.

Olivia, Ella, Avery & Logan

Drake-the luckiest boy on the block. A 4:1 ratio-even if one if the girls is his cousin!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cancerversary Photos

These are some photos that I took over the last year. The last picture was taken on August 2, year after my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. You will see how great she looks. It is hard to believe that just 12 days later, she was told that she would die.

This photo was taken in the hospital at about 4 a.m. after her hysterectomy on August 2, 2007. She had known that she had cancer for about 7 hours, but the anaesthesia was just wearing off and she really knew what was happening. Still smiling.

And then she danced...

Christmas 2007...Olivia made no mention of the fact that Nana had no hair!

MLK weekend 2008...We had so much fun playing with Nana's hats and wigs.

February 2008...The wig was not mom's favorite. It was just too much hair, I think!

Bald is Beautiful! Olivia didn't mind at all.

This photo was taken in mid-July 2008. Mom knew she had 2 new tumors but had not been told whether they were cancer or not. She had a feeling that they were.

August 2, 2008. We took Olivia to the Circus and then Elissa & Reagan joined us for a trip to the American Girl store and dinner in their cafe. What a way to celebrate a cancerversary!

There are a couple of more pictures that I would like to post documenting Olivia's time with mom in her last days. I have not downloaded those yet, but these seemed appropriate considering the "Cancerversary" story of the last month!