Aromas

January 29, 2011

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Fun girls’ day out with Karen! [She’s my mother-in-law if you haven’t figured that out yet]. Karen was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in December, had a total hysterectomy before New Year’s and is feeling much better these days. However, her doctors are recommending just to be safe that she undergo radiation and chemo this spring (the hair loss kind :( ) This has all been pretty hard on her, so I’m doing my best to be a good friend!

Today we went out driving in the countryside (Karen’s favorite pastime!)

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And oogled over beautiful houses that we want to own

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Then we went for pedicures!

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We had some troubles with the hot water – the hot water heater seemed to have been overworked! My water was warm, Karen’s was cold. We finally were able to get some hot water from another source and our feet didn’t go cold.

I went with a silver kick today!

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You would have laughed at the length of time we spent discussing what to do for dinner.

  • Bison burgers
  • Bean burgers
  • Spaghetti
  • Pizza
  • Burgers out
  • Moroccan place nearby
  • Fancy dinner out
  • Sandwich dinner out
  • Take out
  • Take out pizza

After our pedicures Karen proclaimed that she didn’t feel much for cooking so we decided to hop on over to the Moroccan place, Aromas, for what was supposed to be a light dinner.

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We started with some red…

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Shared a salad to start (that’s roasted eggplant on top!)

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Nibbled on bread

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And each ordered a tantalizing Moroccan Tagine

Lamb Sausage over Baby Lentils for Karen

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And Tiger Shrimp over White Bean Cassoulet for me!

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They were both outstanding!

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Our quest for an anything-but-light dinner tempted us with a tiny roasted pistachio dessert similar to baklava

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The white puddle is actually a yogurt sauce! It was great! [And doesn’t it look a little like a piece of pot roast!?]

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And a decaf coffee! Not quite the light dinner we had planned : )

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After dinner we went back to Karen’s and I helped her set up her new laptop (She just ordered a new one because her old one is over 5 years old and she needs to be able to do bakery bookkeeping efficiently!)

Turns out the laptop screen was SHOT! We waited for a long time for it to boot up with no luck. Then I spent 2 hours on the phone with HP support pretending I was Karen Monson. FINALLY I spoke with a person who could replace it for me. Not fun at all!! I was hoping to be setting her up all organized on her new machine.

I guess the earth really does want me to unplug today!!

***

Matt’s been in the air all day -

Missoula –> Denver

Denver –> Dulles

Dulles –> Cville

His final flight should be taking off soon – and the four of us are headed back out to pick him up!

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria January 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I’ve said it before, but your relationship with Karen is just lovely.

We Greeks call that pot-roast looking pastry ‘kataifi’. So delicious!

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2 Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks January 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Ooh, I have never been out for Moroccan food before. How fun to get a glimpse of it! Roasted eggplant on top of salad is a great idea.

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3 Nancy~The Wife of a Dairyman January 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

What a great daughter-in-law you are:) Hope all goes well with Karen in the spring..please tell her I’ll keep her in my prayers:)

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4 Baking 'n' Books January 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm

You guys have such sophisticated tastes! …I would have went for the pizza…;)

I need to go out to a restaurant to eat some time….would it be so bad (or sad) to go alone I wonder?

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5 Emily January 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

You’re such a great daughter-in-law, Karen is one lucky lady to have your support (thoughts and prayers are with her for her chemo and recovery). Aromas looks wonderful (checked out the website) glad you both enjoyed a little decadence today!

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6 cathyb@brightbakes January 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I couldn’t get past that first picture…they are SUCH a welcome shot of color in my bleak and winter white Wisconsin world! Thanks for sharing…I can’t wait for spring…and my very own tulips!
love,
cathy b.

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7 Hannah January 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

At least you have someone to talk to abotu dinner plans! Those longwinded conversations always just take place in my head :P

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8 Brie @ Brie Fit January 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Aww, I wish my mother-in-law lived closer so we could have a relationship like yours and Karen’s! She has such a kind face, I will be sending my best vibes for quick healing her way!

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9 Christine @What The Front Door??!! January 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm

You *are* a great daughter-in-law! I had totally not figured out that she was your MIL. How cute. Love the pedi. A pedi would have made my perfect Saturday even better. (<- is that possible???)

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10 Kiran January 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I’m so glad that you & Matt are very close with Karen during her trying times. There’s nothing like having a family close by. It’s tough for us, but glad that you all are amazing! :) welcome home Matt!

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11 Stephanie@Thorns Have Roses January 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I bet Matt truly appreciates the amount of dedication you put into being a good friend and daughter in law to him mother. You’re a very special person!

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12 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Those tulips are beautiful! They’re my mom’s favorite- I try to get them every year for her birthday at the beginning of the month, but I have a hard time finding them that early!

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13 Camille January 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I am in love with that house!

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14 Erin January 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Hi Kath! I have read your blog for a long time, almost right after you started. Anyway, I wanted to give some encouragement for Karen. My MIL had the same diagnosis last year, went through one round of chemo and then had the full hysterectomy. She is now going through her last three treatments and is in better spirits than she has been in a long time!

There is a ton of hope and positivity for her final diagnosis. I tell her a lot the as long as she is positive, she will get positive. I have a feeling that Karen will go into this with a lot of positivity and everything will be fine!

Love the blog and hope to get in touch next time I am in Charlottesville(one of my all time favorite towns!)

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15 KathEats January 29, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Thanks Erin :)

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16 Toronto Girl West January 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Can you believe I have been reading all this time and never realized that Karen was your MIL?

It looks like you had an extra lovely day – what a great girl you are! :)

As for the cancer – I’m sorry. :( I will be praying for Karen and a speedy recovery. Because as I said on twitter tonight, I believe in miracles . . . big and small!

God Bless!

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17 Ida January 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about Karen’s diagnosis. How awful. But it sounds like she is in good hands with you and Matt.

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18 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn January 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I am so, so sorry. When I was in eighth grade, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and lymphoma. She went through a year of chemotherapy and radiation, and losing her hair was one of the most painful parts of the entire treatment for us as a family. You can’t always see the cancer inside, but when it takes away something as important to a woman as her hair, it is incredibly painful for everyone. Karen and yourself will be in my prayers! God bless! xoxox

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19 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats January 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm

What a great dinner. Hope Karen gets her laptop replaced soon!

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20 sarah (sarah learns) January 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

karen is lucky to have such a great daughter-in-law! and it also seems like you are quite lucky to have such a sweet mother-in-law! i hope you and matt have a wonderful reunion! it looks like the bears are just as excited to see him as you are. :)

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21 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

so sorry about her laptop and the COLD pedicure water…..ewww, that’s awful! I need it to be warm and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Cute shade of silver on your toes!

And I am so glad that Karen seems to be doing so well!
:)

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22 Sana January 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I have been having soo many issues with HP! They make you wait sooo long that you have no chioce but to yell at them!

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23 Emily January 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I’m sure you’re so happy for Matt to be home! Be safe driving to pick him up :) And- best wishes to Karen.

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24 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) January 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

So sorry to hear about Karen going through radiation! But she is surrounded by love and positivity that will help get her through it and 100% healthy before she knows it. And hair? It always grows back. Wigs can be quite stylish, ask Dolly! :D

Your dinner looks wonderful! I love both dishes and probably would have ordered the shrimp, just like you did. Yum!!

And yes, it DOES look like a piece of pot roast! haha :)

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25 kate January 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I was reading that list and thinking how delicious Moroccan sounded! Good choice!

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26 Josie @ Skinny Way Of Life January 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

you have such a lovely relationship your MIL : ) I wish I could say the same, mine just complains alot : / I wish she had the internet so she can take a lesson from karen who appears to always have the most genuine smile and in great spirits. She will be in my thoughts and prayers through all this!

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27 Justeen @ Blissful Baking January 30, 2011 at 12:00 am

Sounds like you had a lovely day with Karen :) and your Moroccan dinner looks scrumptious! I went to a Mocorron restaurant once in high school and remember that it was so much fun – we sat on cushions around low tables and attempted eating with our hands! There was even a belly dancer for entertainment!

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28 Angela (the lady loves to eat) January 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

Your relationship with you MIL is really great! My Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and she did chemo, radiation, double mastectomy, and it was really difficult for all of us but my sister and I where her support team the through the entire thing and she had such a positive attitude throughout the entire process and I really think that was what helped the most. She is now 2 years cancer free! The best thing you can do is be the for her and you are doing a great job of that!

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29 Angela (the lady loves to eat) January 30, 2011 at 12:19 am

I should have proof read that! Lol! I think it’s time for bed!

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30 Sarah January 30, 2011 at 1:22 am

I’m glad you had a fun day with Karen AND that you were able to troubleshoot with HP. The dessert really does look like pot roast. Scary.

Enjoy Matt!

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31 Yena January 30, 2011 at 2:17 am

Oo, I love Moroccan food – your dishes looks great!

The bears holding the sign = too adorable!

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32 Gill (snaxandthecity) January 30, 2011 at 3:55 am

what a lovely photo of those flowers! it sounds like you’re being a very good friend to Karen :)

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33 Maureen January 30, 2011 at 6:52 am

Sounds like you had a mostly lovely day (except for the laptop debacle). It seems like you and Karen have a very special relationship. How wonderful! My best wishes are with her!

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34 Liz January 30, 2011 at 7:26 am

Hi Kath,

I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for several years now. Don’t usually post, but hearing the news about Karen’s cancer I felt like I should. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago and just finished ten months that included a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. I write because now that I’m on the other side, I want folks facing a similar diagnosis or treatment to know that they will get through it and it will be okay. Losing my hair was *really* hard, but now it’s finally coming back! I’m also sending the link for a great resource for beautiful scarves for women suffering from hair loss. They’re not cheap, but they’re really well made and I got loads of compliments on them for the five months or so that I wore them. Here’s the link:

http://www.4women.com/

I will keep all of you in my thoughts.

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35 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 9:09 am

Thanks Liz. So glad you’re doing well!

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36 Jean January 30, 2011 at 7:34 am

Kath, I think of Karen every day when I read you and wonder how’s she’s doing. Thanks for keeping us up to date. As far as the computer…just give up on HP and go Mac. You can’t beat a MacBook Pro. Frankly, even the MacMini is better than the best PC. (However, the question is if your accounting program is available for Mac.)

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37 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

Sorry I’m a windows girl!

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38 Stacy @ The Girl with the Pug Tattoo January 30, 2011 at 7:44 am

Karen may have already heard about this program from her oncologist, but the American Cancer Society offers a program called Look Good Feel Better that helps with wigs, skin care during chemo, scarves, and the emotions that go with it. If you call the 1-800 # for ACS she could find out if there are classes near C-ville.

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39 Liz January 30, 2011 at 8:31 am

I did one of those classes and it was a big help!

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40 Amy January 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

I want to second this! I have a friend who had cancer when she was 18, and she says Look Good Feel Better was a real help to her.

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41 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

I will pass this along!

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42 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 30, 2011 at 7:57 am

Thtat dinner looks amazing! I’m so glad you had a fun time doing a girls night with Karen!

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43 AJ @ Flowing to Fifty January 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

Dinner looks amazing (esp. the bread and casseroles!). There should be lots of red wine and lovely meals before Karen’s challenge begins. And a new laptop is going to be great when she’s feeling under the weather. Sending positive/zen/healing vibes Karen’s way…….

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44 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 30, 2011 at 8:03 am

I love that you and Karen do so much together. What a great mother in law/daughter in law relationship you gals have. That is so important.

The dinner looks ah-mazing, by the way. :D

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45 Simply Life January 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

oh I love that you and Karen spent this time together!

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46 Katie January 30, 2011 at 8:26 am

Hi Kath!

Tell Karen that she is a strong and beautiful woman and that I am thinking of her, and that she has the best smile ever, great pic of her! Glad you girls had a fun day but boo for the computer issues : p I really hope you got that all settled, that is a pain : p

Im hoping Matt made it home safe and you have a great day! : )

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47 Jess (Sweet Potato) January 30, 2011 at 8:32 am

Oh that house is amazing. I often dream of houses like that…

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48 Maria @ The Fitted Apron January 30, 2011 at 8:47 am

Aww, the bears are so cute. Welcome home Kanz.

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49 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

I love it when you guys call him Kanz :)

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50 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 30, 2011 at 8:47 am

I hope that when I get married I have a relationship with my MIL like you do with Karen! You guys always seem to have so much fun together. :D

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51 Kori January 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

The first picture of the flowers is absolutely stunning! I love that you and Karen have such a wonderful relationship and that you were both able to enjoy a relaxing day together. The food looks so delicious, and the dessert does look like a slice of pot roast! Please tell Karen that I sincerely wish her all of the best and a quick recovery. She’s strong, so she’ll perservere over the darn cancer. Welcome home to Matt!

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52 Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

What a nice day you and Karen had.. how stressful it has to be for her.

The Moroccan meal looks amazing!

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53 Amy January 30, 2011 at 9:01 am

Oh no the hair loss kind :-( My mom had hair-loss chemo about a year and a half ago (she even wore a wig to my wedding). It’s disconcerting to say the least, but when her hair comes back it will be even more beautiful. (It’s true!) I know how hard it is to have a family member with cancer but it does get better and it will make you stronger as a family. Hang in there, and please tell Karen all your readers are thinking of her!

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54 Kelly January 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

I’ve heard such great things about Moroccan food but have never tried it. Looks delicious!

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55 michelle January 30, 2011 at 9:25 am

I love when a meal turns out different than you planned- both good and bad. Mine last night was horrid and as much as it was a fail, I had a blast!

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56 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

that’s hilarious how that dessert looks like pot roast! i’d still eat it anyway…anything like baklava has me sold :)

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57 Katie January 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

Kath,

When you announced that Karen was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, I felt my heart drop a little, because any cancer diagnosis – regardless of the prognosis – is life altering. My mom, my best friend, my rock was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer this week. We won’t know for another week and a half whether it’s spread. I’m praying everyday that it hasn’t. Unfortunately though, her cancer must be treated with chemo right from the start. She, too, isn’t taking it that well. Not sure why I wanted to share. Perhaps, it’s the newness of it all. But just wanted to say that Karen will be in my thoughts. And thank you (and Matt and Karen) for sharing!!

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58 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

You mom will be in our thoughts as well Katie <3

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59 Anne @ butter and bear January 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

You are such a great daughter-in-law! As a mom to two boys, I can only hope that my future daughters-in law while be as kind:-)

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60 Katie @ peacebeme January 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

Moroccan food is my fave! I love their mint tea as well. My dream is to go to Morocco, but they also have amazing Moroccan food in the south of France.

I love to drive in the country and look at amazing houses too.

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61 MaryBe@AccidentallyVegan January 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

Karen is so beautiful!
I love coffee in glass mugs

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62 Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) January 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

Oh! What a fun day with Karen! It looks like you guys had a grand time.

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63 stacey-healthylife January 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

What a fun dinner, your right about dessert looking like pot roast. :) Glad Karen’s doing well and hope her spirits stay up.

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64 Emily @ One Sweet Vegan January 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love that you took her driving in the countryside. How sweet and thoughtful of you. It sounds like a fun girls’ day (minuts the 2-hour call).

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65 Mara @ What's for Dinner? January 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

Look how lovely your photos are!! Sounds like you had a great day :)

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66 M January 30, 2011 at 11:30 am

Karen is so beautiful, she is absolutely glowing. What a lovely family you have!

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67 Kathy @ newlywedindc January 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

It’s so nice that you get along so well with your mother-in-law. You’re both really lucky to have such a great relationship!

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68 janet January 30, 2011 at 11:53 am

fairly new to your blog but….i love love love it! thank you for sharing your beautiful life and you very yummy food!
janet

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69 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

Welcome!!

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70 Paula January 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I feel for your mother in law. My father has kidney cancer and has had his kidney removed, part of his lung, a tumor in his back that cracked a vertebrae, a tumor that broke his arm and a tumor removed from his brain. Cancer is nasty. My father did the chemo and it kicked his ass. He is now in radiation in hopes of stopping or slowing the tumors. Prayers to you MIN

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71 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

So sorry to hear that Paula. He’s in our thoughts as well

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72 Allison @ Happy Tales January 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Aw, I love how closer you are with your mother in law, Karen. My mom has been through that, so I know how important it is to have girl time… we always do that when I go home to visit :)

Also! I wanted to let you know that I wrote a “how-to” post on how to create a Christmas Ornament with your Pup on my blog today. I felt very *Kath* writing it, as I feel like it would be something you would do! Just wanted to share in the case you wanted to check it out sometime :)

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73 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm
74 Ellie@fitforthesoul January 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Hehe you and Karen remind me alot of my bf’s mom and me! :) Of course, you have your special bond, and we do too~but she was the one who took me to my first ped like 5 months ago! We had so much fun! I hope you have an awesome day Kath~ And Karen seems so healthy amen!

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75 Jess @ atasteofconfidence January 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

you and those bears are so cute!

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76 bitt January 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

just wondering if Karen has heard of Kris Carr and the website crazy sexy life?

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77 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I don’t think she has?

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78 M January 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I just bought her new book CRAZY SEXY DIET and I am enjoying it -I think is is #6 on MY Times bestseller list! Does Karen have a bday coming soon?
This is not about her cancer story ,but it has great info about giet and wellness (and
Gena from Choosing Raw has recipes in it!)

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79 Erica January 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Oh my goodness, yes! Kris is amazing!

http://www.crazysexycancer.com/

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80 Maria January 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Those tulips are lovely and I love the relationship you have with your mom-in law :) I dig your pedicure but it reminds me of the fact I bought a bottle of silver polish during the holidays which I loved but only after two wears, I lost the bottle :(

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81 Erica January 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I was wondering if chemo and/or radiation was going to be part of Karen’s protocol. Bummer that she has to do it. BUT, here are some positives that I gained after chemo:

1. It is MUCH cooler with no hair.
2. How many chances does a girl have in her lifetime to literally “start all over and do it again”?!
3. You don’t have to shave your legs!!!
4. You save a fortune on shampoo.
5. The getting ready time is so much easier in the mornings!
6. Your perspective changes to where you realize what’s really important and you stop wasting time doing things you don’t LOVE.
7. You find out just how STRONG YOU REALLY ARE.

Karen,
You are going to be just fine. I know the shock of the hair loss is a biggie…my hair was long and blonde when my oncologist told me that I was going to lose it. And I did…every single hair. It wasn’t fun, but it was totally doable. We told our kids that as my hair falls out that means mommy’s cancer is dying. It means that the medicine I’m taking (chemo) to make sure the cancer never comes back makes my hair fall out, but that’s it’s no big deal, it will grow back. In my mind, it was a small price to pay to be healthy. So remember that hair falling out = chemo is working!
Chemotherapy and radition is no party, but it isn’t as horrid as you’ve probably heard either. I didn’t get sick NOT ONE TIME during my year of treatment. You have the thoughts and prayers of many, including this SURVIVOR, to push you forward. You can do this, Karen. You’ve got this. (((hugs)))
Love, Erica
“Don’t be afraid, just believe.” Mark 5:36

**Thanks, Kath, for letting me take over this comment for Karen <3 She is so blessed to have you as amazing daughter-in-law. xo

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82 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Thanks so much Erica! I’ve passed this on to Karen to read :) So glad you are doing well!

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83 Megan January 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

My aunt went through the hair loss kind of chemo and while it was terrible that she had to go through it, it was also a bit liberating. Since she lost all her hair when it did come back she stopped coloring her hair and just went with her gray hair. The great thing is she looks fantastic now with her gray hair! Hopefully Karen, (I just realized my aunt and her have the same name!) will come out of chemo with something positive as well. :)

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84 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

: )

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85 Christin@purplebirdblog January 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Loving that silver polish!!

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86 Chelsea January 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm

You are an incredible person! Also, thanks for this awesome blog!!

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87 KathEats January 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Thanks :)

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88 Carol January 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

I know I’m a little late to commenting, but I hope the best for Karen. My mother has a friend with intestinal cancer who’s undergone chemo treatments for almost 2 years now (treatments are every other week). They go on walks together every day with exception of when the friend needs to stay home to recover from the treatments. It’s just so good for you to be there for your MIL. In fact, I hope that, if I ever get married, I’ll have a similar relationship to my future mother-in-law just like you do with Karen. Stay strong for Karen.

Oh, and I pretend to be my mother ALL. THE. TIME. for Tech support or any billing issues. I think it’s just easier for parents’ to hand over these issues to us kids. :)

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