Saturday, February 27, 2010

Grandpa's Five Star Hotel

I just posted an update on my dad's blog and wanted to go ahead and include it here as well.

I was able to visit Dad last night for a few minutes after his bone marrow transplant. He was doing very well (considering all that his body had been through that day)! I took my three-year-old son, Austin, to the hospital for the first time tonight. Since children are not allowed near Dad's room, Austin stayed in the family lounge with Grandma while I visited Grandpa.

As we walked into the family lounge, Austin immediately noticed a game of checkers on the table and a huge t.v. on the wall. Can we watch t.v.? Austin asked Grandma as soon as she walked in the room. "Of course," Grandma said. After my short visit with my Dad, I went to pick up Austin in the family lounge and noticed his tongue was a surprising shade of green.

"Grandma and I found a green ice pop in the freezer!" Austin told me elated.

On the way down to the main lobby, I allowed Austin to push all of the elevator buttons. As we walked out into the parking garage, Austin looked up at me, "Mom, this is an awesome hotel that Grandpa is staying in!"

So, dad, although you might not think so at times, the combination of checkers, t.v., green ice pops and elevator buttons has Austin rating your "hotel" with five stars!

We love you!

Here are some pictures of Dad in his five star hotel.

Adam, Dad, and Emily on Dad's "rest day"

Mom's "suite" for the next three weeks

Dad holding his special gift from Sharon (Adam's wife)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Speed Boats - Part 2


As we looked at the speed boats from afar, Austin had trouble containing his excitement. "Look at those boats, dad!" He exclaimed with pure joy. As James filled out the paperwork, Austin ran over to the life vests. "Mom, hurry, I need a life jacket!" He yelled.

But allowed me to take plenty of pictures!

With life vests safely buckled, Austin walked up to the speed boat instructor. "Do these boats go fast or slow?" He asked with all seriousness. "Um..." I could tell that the instructor was hesitating. "Both." (Safe answer, instructor man. Safe answer.)

Austin asked the boat manager several questions about his safety before he said "yes" to the trip.  Austin is my cautious boy!

Austin, however, was not done with his questioning. "Are these boats loud or soft?" And before the instructor man could give another safe answer to my son, "Mr. Start the engines of the speed boats" decided to show off a little and rev the engines for the small speed boat my son would be riding.

(Not a good response, "Mr. Start the engines of the speed boat man." Not a good response at all.)

After hearing the roar of the engine, Austin decided that speed boat riding was no longer for him. He burst into tears and ran up the boat ramp back towards my arms. "I Don't Want To Ride Those Boats Anymore!" He stated firmly. "I don't want to ride!"

"It's okay, Austin." James and I both tried to explain. "You don't have to go fast. Daddy is a safe driver. If you don't like it you can come right back."

Austin just stood there crying. "I don't want to go!"

I looked at James. "I know that he is going to love it if he will just go." I sadly replied. "He is going to have so much fun. How do we convince him that it's okay?"

We finally convinced Austin to just sit in the boat - then, just take a picture in the boat, then, just feel what it is like to go slow in the boat.


Before he knew it, James floated away from the boat dock and out into the lake. Austin looked up with huge tear filled eyes. "Daddy, this isn't bad at all!" He exclaimed.

As they finished their tour of the lake and came back to the dock, I saw Austin grinning from ear to ear. "Mom, I saw the D*sney Castle, and we went by a hotel, and we went out and saw other boats, and we went over a wake, and we went bump, bump, bump, and it was so much fun."

safely back at the dock.

As we took off our life vests, Austin looked at me, "Mom, can we do that again sometime?"


I feel like I have been introduced to the speed boats this year. I have been presented with some life issues and my first response is to ask God. "Okay, Lord, is this ride going to be fast (scary) or slow and calm?"

And I know his response. "Both."

I find out news and I want to know all the answers. I want to be assured of my safety before making any decisions about joining in on this ride. Suddenly in the background, I hear the roar of the engine, and I suddenly realize that the ride is going to be loud. Scary at times. Wild. Not even necessarily safe.

"I don't want to ride anymore!" I cry - and I try to run back to the safety of what life used to look like.

And I know his response. "You are going to understand after you finish the ride. You are going to see beautiful sights, but you have to step on in order to ride. You have to trust me. I know what is best for you. I want you to enjoy this journey of life - I want you to live life to the full. At times it will be rough and at other times smooth. But you will come back to the dock - someday - with understanding.

At this moment, right now, I am just stepping into the boat. Trusting the driver.

Thoughts as my Dad starts Chemo...

If I inherited anything from my father, it is the great love of books. Shortly after my brother, Adam, left for college; mom turned his old bedroom into a home office for dad. A true library. I always loved coming home for trips and just staring at the bookshelves. What should I read this trip? I would wonder as I stood in front of the huge bookshelves covering every wall. Now that I am living at home, I have the advantage of Dad's library close at hand at all times.

My favorite part of Dad's library, however, is the personal touches added to each and every book. As I child, I remember dad always "turning in early" to go to his room and read. As I grew, I would continue to find him in bed with a book, ruler, and pen on his lap. As dad finds passages in books that are memorable, he uses a ruler to very carefully and perfectly underline the page. Now as an adult, I find these markings precious insights into my dad's heart. As I read an underlined passage, I wonder why it stood out to my father - and I find myself drawn to read all the underlined passages first.

This morning, I picked up dad's copy of "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul. I am savoring both Sproul's insights and my dad's underlining. The book is adding so much to my current study of Isaiah.

"What set a prophet of Israel apart from all other men was the sacred auspices of his call. His call was not from men. He could not apply for the job. He had to be selected - chosen directly and immediately by God. And the call was sovereign; it could not be refused." - Sproul

I feel like much of my life has been "chosen by God" as of late - definitely not chosen by me! In my own life, I am struggling with the call of holiness even in the midst of personal pain.

My dad entered the hospital yesterday for chemotherapy. Over the next three days, he will receive six months worth of chemo to take his body to nothing. He will have the bone marrow transplant on Friday. Did he sign up for cancer? Absolutely not. Yet again, God in His sovereignty allowed this to happen to dad at this time. John Piper wrote an article (shortly after his own cancer diagnosis) called "Don't waste your cancer." I have heard Dad repeatedly mention this phrase to his friends during long phone calls. "I believe that God has lessons for me to learn only through cancer." I will hear Dad say. "I don't want to waste my cancer. There are lessons I will learn only through this process."

What sets us apart from all other men (and women) is our call. Our specific life circumstances that cannot be changed - or chosen - or refused. The only thing that we control is our response - will we allow our calling to change us - to become more holy?

We join you, God, in our desire to become like you... Holy... but we would also love for this process to be as pain-free and quick as possible! (Can you tell that I am still completely human while striving to be Christ-like?)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Speed Boats - Part 1

This past weekend; James, Austin and I had a wonderful time in the Orlando area. On Saturday, I met the entire, extended Q clan at the Mt. Dora flea market. Immediately after locking my camera in the trunk and walking to the entrance, I realized that I had made a huge mistake. I have no photo evidence of our trip to one of the largest flea markets in America. Wow! I would have had some great pictures! Just imagine Austin and I sipping on lemonade walking among hundreds of aisles of antiques and "special" finds! Even though we didn't buy anything, we had a wonderful family weekend and I cannot wait to go back next year for some awesome photos!

We spent the night at a fun Orlando resort and woke up Sunday morning eager to spend the day together. Austin (as a result of television marketing called commercials) was determined to see Rainforest Cafe, Orlando! Thank you for advertising on Nick Jr. and Sprout. My son was determined that the Rainforest cafe would be filled with toys and treats - especially for him.

What the rainforest cafe did not consider, however, was my son's aversion to any loud noise - as soon as the thunder began - Austin made a bee line for the door. Although we spent a total of 23 seconds within the (very well-advertised) restaurant, these were the first words out of my son's mouth when we dropped him off at preschool this morning,

"Mrs. Songingbird (a close representation of our preschool director's real name - and the term Austin calls her), I GOT TO GO TO THE RAINFOREST CAFE THIS WEEKEND!"

Well done, marketing department. Well done. My son was thrilled over his 23 seconds of time in your restaurant!

After leaving Downtown Disney, James and I decided to spend the day touring D*sney for free. We rode the monorail, the ferry boats, the buses... toured hotels, walked the boardwalk - and thoroughly enjoyed our day! On our honeymoon (almost seven years ago!) James and I rented a small speed boat from the Grand Florid*an Hotel. This is by far one of our favorite honeymoon memories. We decided that it was time for Austin to experience the speed boats.

At the Grand Floridian, we wanted Austin to experience one of our favorite Disney moments - the speed boats.

To Be Continued...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Very Full!

We have had a very full... very fun... family-filled weekend.

That I cannot wait to tell you all about.

But for now, this little one and I need to go to bed early!

Is it Austin or stitch???

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Best Friends

Austin (3) and Andrew (4) are not only cousins, they are very best friends. Last week, Austin and I spent a week out of town. Every day, Austin asked, "Mom, when are we going back to see Andrew?" On Friday, they saw each other for the first time (in a week) at school! Austin was jumping up and down. Andrew ran to his classroom door.

"Are you coming over today?" Andrew asked.

"Sure!" Austin exclaimed, "Or you can come over to my house!"

"Okay!!!" shouted Andrew. "Well, I'll see you soon on the playground!"

The school director says that Austin and Andrew play together every day on the playground - waiting for each other - looking out for one another - just being boys... together.

Yesterday, since it was a school holiday, I decided to take the boys somewhere fun. They chose putt putt golfing.

As they sat on a bench waiting for their turn (the place was packed for President's Day!), the years flashed before my eyes and suddenly I pictured them as little 80 year old men playing golf together.

Perhaps my dad's upcoming bone marrow transplant (Feb. 23) is making me way too nostalgic... but can't you just picture them... eighty years from now - sitting on the bench... holding their golf clubs.


So, Austin, how is that golf swing today?


Oh... just fine... how about yours?


Good... Good. After golf - do you want to grab lunch?

Sure, your house or mine?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Love. Valentine's Day 2010.

Love is patient


Love is kind


Love does not envy, Love does not boast. Love is not proud.


Love is not rude. It is not self-seeking.


Love is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.


Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices in the truth.


Love always protects. Always trusts. Always hopes. Always perseveres.


Love never fails.

I am so grateful for such precious reminders of love this Valentine's Day, 2010!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Best of Times

There is nothing in the world like family.

My dad and his brother, Chuck.

(Austin, Uncle Chuck, my cousin, David, Aunt Diane, and Andrew)

(Megan and Sharon)

(Andrew and my dad having an important discussion - probably about t-ball)

(and Dad seems surprised by the news!)

I think that my favorite moments happen in our living room as we all sit around holding new babies, listening to Andrew and Austin, and just being together. There is nothing like family.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To Cheer Us Up

It has been a busy week at the Bugg house!

My sister and I have been helping my dad update his blog on a daily basis - which I enjoy to no end! Dad, you are very clever and very good at updating daily! So, if you aren't finding enough updates on this site - make sure you visit my dad at

We had a wonderful visit with my Uncle Chuck, Aunt Diane, and cousin, David. I have pictures to share with you soon that are on my camera! A visit with this "Bugg" side of the family always includes great food and even better conversation. We always sit around the living room listening to stories and laughing until we cry. This trip, however, also included a three-year-old and a four-year-old flying around the house on bicycles (yes, Grandma lets the boys ride their bikes in the house!) and two three month old baby girls! We are outgrowing my mom's living room!!!

My uncle has a new book on leadership hitting the shelves soon and my aunt never ceases to amaze me with her listening ear and kind heart. I am honored to be their niece. On Monday, as I picked the boys up from school, I explained to the boys that our company had to leave. "Oh, no!" Austin cried from the backseat. "That is the saddest thing I have heard all day!"

I agree, Austin!

So, to cheer us both up - here is a picture that I found while perusing my computer this afternoon that brought a huge smile to my face!

Austin in February two years ago!

new snail2