Tumor. Lovin'.

Several months ago when we found out Mike had a tumor people started playing violins outside our front door. There was an overwhelming amount of unspoken pity for our family, rightfully so. I mean... brain tumor. Just typing is make my stomach twirl in knots. As time went on and information came into play our little family settled in for the process, ate all those yummy treats and meals we got while appreciating the concern and love offered us.

When we walked into church and sat down for the first time after his surgery, I realized we were THAT family. You know the one. Where people watch you walk in and they have horror behind their eyes at the thought of being in your shoes. Then they quietly bow their heads and begin silently praying to God- thanksgiving that it's not their problem to face. I've done it before, I admit it. I caught the eye of a friend across the chapel who tossed me a knowing half grin as if to say 'I wish it wasn't you guys. I'm so sorry.' We wished the same, but nothing can ever be wished away; it turns out.

I did think our family would have at least a decade's break from hardship. The grief of accepting and struggle to learn of my oldest having High Functioning Autism about broken us in half. The same year we were adjusting to life with our third child I was hit hard with severe post partum depression (plus) while Mike (all the while) was traveling for work on weekdays. I thought we had our fill of climbs uphill, both ways, barefoot  in the snow. Nope. Apparently not.

Even still, today I want to tell everyone we're okay. I want to show up to church and hand out fliers. Sign language it to the masses during the opening hymn. Assure and comfort every wrinkled forehead that asks about his brain. You see, as weeks went on he had adrenal failure and we found out most of his pituitary gland was removed with the tumor, it still turns out alright. He will always take hormone supplements and testosterone injections, but it could be worse. I mean, to tell you the honest truth right now I don't think either of us have been happier or closer with one another. Sure, it's mostly due to the fact that Mike now sees me through thick testosterone-colored glasses and can't keep his eyes (or hands) off me. We liken it to the mind of a 16 year old boy seeing porn for the first time. His thrill for me is nonstop and the attention is as if I have become a celebrity overnight.

It also helps that I put on some healthy weight gain by eating my way through the stress. Some of this gain happened to spill generously into the boulder holder area. I like to consider that another of the Lord's tender mercies. Each morning when I get dressed I offer up a wink of thanks. We can now plan on something else to spend his annual bonus on instead of a plastic surgeon!

So don't feel bad for The Fullers. We really ARE doing okay. Better than before, actually. We're kind of like a coupla blissful newlyweds, really. And if you happen to see scratch marks on either of us don't be alarmed. We didn't get a cat,  it's just his synthetic testosterone bringing us closer together.


3rd Grade Liz

When I was in 3rd grade I had my very first head-over-heels crush. His name was, well, to protect his privacy I will call him Arnold. I religiously watched the t.v. show The Wonder Years and this boy was a spitting image of Fred Savage.  Naturally, I determined in my third grade mind that he was going to be my husband. I have no idea if that's a normal thought for little girls, but it was as real to me as the skin on my body that selecting a husband was important work and claiming my own before any other girl could seemed to be an important 3rd grade priority. 

I made it known to everyone that I liked him. I would stare at him all during class and wait for his attention. Somehow I was born with a great deal of self-confidence. Probably about 60% more than I should have, but I know no other way to go about my life than to pretend I am awesome. Sometimes it has led to situations that are not ideal, like in this post, but it has also served me very well in job interviews. So, I just go with it as much as possible. It never once occurred to me that this boy, Arnold, would not like me back. The chance mistakenly never entered my mind. When he didn't write notes back, I assumed he was awe struck by me and speechless. Or maybe he had horrible handwriting? When I finagled his phone number from a friend and called him, it never occurred to me he was choosing to not call me back. I just figured he wasn't allowed to use the phone. Or maybe he  never got my daily messages?

One day we all arrived to our 3rd grade class to find the desks were moved. We all entered the room eagerly to see where our newly assigned seats were, but were instructed to gather around the snack table first. The teacher brought muffins to class so we could be more comfortable with the change. No one really ate the muffins for some reason, but I thought they tasted good and had several. I also  finished 3 of my friends'.  After the snack, we went to find our desks. They were connected in a way to make a giant  U shape so we could all face the teacher in the front of the room.  GUESS who sat directly across from me? Arnold. I KNOW. I know. It was just as exciting as it was to open my Guess watch on Christmas morning.

I did everything I could all day, everyday to get this boy's attention. How my teacher never pulled me aside to teach me a little about grace is beyond me. One day I came up with a clever idea to make absolutely certain he was aware of my affection. I figured it would at least get me a phone call. While the teacher was blathering on about something and all the other children were taking notes and watching her, I was secretly writing on the bottom of my pink high-top Pro-Wing shoes with permanent marker. As soon as it was time to take out our books, I leaned back in my chair and kicked my feet up on my desk like a boss. On the bottom of one shoe in large print read: I  LOVE   and on the other shoe read: ARNOLD.

I kept my feet up on the desk until he noticed. He immediately blushed and a huge smile flashed across his face. My tummy swarmed with happy wiggles.  Though he tried to hold it in, his laughter at the sheer unexpectedness of my display got him chuckling. I knew I had won him over. Big time. No other girl could have thoughts of such a brave thing. For sure he wants to marry me, I thought.

Well, his giggling led to my nervous giggling. My friends were amazed I would do such a thing. And then a curious thing happened that would redden even the most outgoing of spirits. While balancing my bum on the fiberglass seat of my orange chair, a loud fart reverberated off the seat and shot into the air.


It was so loud and high-pitched, there was no hiding it. Nor the source. I quickly pulled my legs off the desk (mostly to avoid more farts- I would have left my feet up there all day to amuse my dear Arnold if it pleased him). I began to sweat from the hysterical laughter that the class (and I) commenced in. No one had to ask 'who was it' because of the way the classroom desks were arranged.  The girl setting to my left was horrified on my behalf and whispered in pity, "Liz, it was all those bran muffins you ate. Don't eat anymore!" I paused my laughing to ask, "What's bran?" The girl on my right couldn't even laugh she felt so bad for me and seemed like she was in pain at all the attention I had drawn to her side of the room. "I would die if that was me," she was bent over hiding, pretended to be looking for something in her desk until the class settled.

The boy never called me. I continued to crush on him the following year, but lost interest in him shortly after.
We crossed paths in a college course and he told me I looked like Liv Tyler! How awesome of a compliment was that? She is WAY hotter than Winnie any day!

To his day, I haven't since touched a bran muffin.  


won't stop

I keep asking him to, but this one. He just won't stop being so dang cute.