Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Cole's team lost a few games towards the end of the season but, they still had the best record of the league, and that meant their last game was for the city championship title. The team that won would give the head coach complete control of the all-star team. So, needless to say, this game was a big deal and very intense.

For some reason I got this random idea to make signs for the boys to hang up on the dugout. I always thought it was so cool when the cheerleaders made signs for our volleyball games so, I went out on a limb and just did it. I also hoped that it would make the boys feel like they were big time ballers and give them the extra "oomph" they needed to win.
I have to admit...The signs do look pretty stinkin' cool.
All of the kids AND the parents loved them...Cool points for me. Sweet! One of the coaches brought donuts and juice for the boys to chow on before the game since it was bright and early on a Saturday morning. Haven't you heard that a sugar high makes you hit the ball farther?This was an impromptu meeting towards the end of the game in the middle of the field to rally the boys together to pull out the win.This video is fairly long but, it was a really good game and I tried to capture as much of it as I could. I spent hours uploading it and then editing each individual clip to shorten it. It has been watched so many times by all of the kids and their parents so, it was definitely worth it. Since this was in June, I have since forgotten the final score but I do know that Cole's team WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! It's unbelievable how your heart can get pumping watching a bunch of 8 year olds...Boy was it exciting!

I'd say winning the championship is pretty awesome for Cole's very first year of baseball. Can't wait for the next season!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Cole really turned it on and finally got out of his hitting slump the last few games of the season. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that Nathan could finally be there again. Cole probably would have been on fire the entire season if he hadn't been distracted with his daddy's surgeries but, we all did the best we could with the hand we were dealt.

This was their first LOSS :(. Even though Cole did better, the all star kids didn't. Thus the undefeated streak was broken.

I don't remember the score to this game but, it was a good game and they WON.

I don't remember the score to this one either but, they LOST due to lots of sloppy errors :(. The coach actually made them run after the game because of it.

They WON this game 11-8 which meant their next game would be for the city championship. Yay!

"You can do it, Cole. Keep your eye on the ball and wait for your pitch."

Monday, August 16, 2010


*I'm well aware that most everyone that reads this blog already knows what has happened by learning it through family or Facebook since I'm nearly 3 months behind on postings but, I wanted to continue saving a record of events anyway.

May 24, 2010...Just 3 weeks after Nathan's first surgery he had to have another surgery to remove the rest of his thyroid due to the unfortunate fact that cancer was found.

I'm finally forcing myself to write about the surgery 2 1/2 months after it happened because I guess I just haven't wanted to relive it. For the most part, everything went according to plan but I just got ridiculously busy with the kids' activities. And because I had to pick up the slack with Nathan being out of commission, no surprise, the blog went on the back burner while our lives kept going non-stop.

Much to the dismay of our mothers, Nathan and I chose to go through this surgery on our own and not burden any family members with all that goes along with making a long distance trip. Plus, we were already very familiar with the doctor and knew what to expect with the surgery and recovery process. It was a difficult choice and quite honestly a hard pill for some to swallow but, we felt like the 10 hour journey just wasn't worth it for anyone.

The night before Nathan's surgery I posted this picture and a status update (which I rarely do) on Facebook. Everyone's comments that followed that night and throughout the surgery day meant so much to us so, I thought I'd put them on here to help document it all.
Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Nathan's incision has healed up nicely, but unfortunately it will be sliced open tomorrow for more surgery. He's having the other thyroid removed because cancer was found. He has thyroid cancer, and tomorrow things will change for him forever.

Angela Rasberry Roberts- Oh Nikki! I am so sorry and cannot imagine the emotions you are feeling right now. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks, Angela!

Linda Mol McCallum- Nikki-my mom has survived thyroid cancer. This was forty yrs ago. She is now 75. Keep your chin up sweetie! We will all be praying for him and you. Please keep us posted.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks, Linda...I will pass that on to Nathan.

Jonathan Mccallum- nikki, tell nate my thoughts are with me if you need ya...

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks, Jonathan...Will do!

Kristen Karlsen- I also have a close friend that survived it. We will pray for him. Hugs to u hon!!

Shelly Andrews Moore- Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Nate everything will be ok just trust in God.

Sharron Lucky- Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way.

Brittany Pippen Arlitt- praying for you guys!

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks to all of you for the kind words! The surgery recovery is difficult, but the hard part will be adjusting to medication that is required for the rest of his life.

Lyndsey Newton- My stomach is in my throat as I read your post. Please know that I am sincerely praying for Nathan and for you and your family. Is there anything you need or that I can do? I know that sounds stupid coming from miles away, but please let me know. You know I am a night owl if you ever need to talk. Love you girl--hang in there friend.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thank you so much, Lyndsey! Just knowing that you care so much and are thinking of us is very helpful!


Not only were we going through this surgery on our own but, we were also having to pay a babysitter to watch the kids for the first time. Imagine that at 6 and 8 yrs old. I asked the girl that Brooke rides horses with if she could help us out, and she was sweet as could be...Even when she mentioned $40-$50 for her fee. Say what?!?!?! The kids were so excited that she was watching them all day. Karley even picked them up from the hospital and took them with her to get her senior pictures done. She's such a doll even if she did cost me a pretty penny.

More thoughtful Facebook comments...

Brittany Pippen Arlitt- Phil. 4:6-7

"Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel"

God is in control, trust Him!! Praying for you as the rock of your family right now!!

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thank you so much, Brittany! Nathan was able to read it before he went back, and I know he really appreciated it!

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- We've been at the hospital since 9:30. Nathan's surgery was scheduled for 11:00 and now they say the doctor won't even be up here until 11:30. I guess that means everything will be running way behind. Great.

Lyndsey Newton- hang in there girl. I am thinking about y'all.

Julie Gilmore Harding- I'll be praying that everything goes well.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks Lyndsey and Julie!

The nurse previously told me that Nathan's doctor would allow me to go back and sit with him while in pre-op even though the surgery center's policy disagreed, but the staff still wouldn't let me...I figured that would happen. I wasn't about to make a fuss about it especially when other families in the waiting room were having to follow the same rules. However, once the doctor called and said he was running behind at another hospital, they let me go back there. Yay!
Nathan said he was so relieved to see me when I walked in there. They had already given him some medicine to make him sleepy but, I was so glad that I could at least just sit there with him. Before he dozed off, he grabbed me and quietly whispered, "You're so awesome." Awww...Melt my heart! All I was doing was taking care of my family the best I could...Nothing special. He's definitely the awesome one with his ability to endure all that his body has been put through and make it look like it's not that big of a deal.
Nikki Crittenden McCallum- The doctor ended up getting here 50 minutes late. Now everything is at least an hour behind. What a little punk! I think the surgery is halfway done now though.

Bosco Womack- We are anxiously awaiting the results! You guys are in our prayers! -Garalee

Sonny Strumila- Keep me updated. Kim told me this morning.

Once Nathan was wheeled away and I was shuffled back to the waiting room, everything seemed to fly by faster than expected. I think the fact that I was constantly answering phone calls, texting, emailing, and facebooking on mine AND Nathan's phone had a great deal to do with it. Gotta give props to our iPhones for that!

I couldn't believe how quickly they came and got me to talk with the doctor either. I remember him telling me that the incision "zipped" open a little farther than he wanted. Say what?! I was a little shocked for two reasons...1 because he just said zipped in reference to my husband's throat, and 2 because I had jokingly started calling Nathan zippy after the first surgery when he said his scar looked like a zipper. Sometimes you just have to find the humor in tough situations.
Even more thoughtful Facebook comments...

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- The surgery is done, I've talked with the doctor, and I'm sitting with him now. The dr said his recovery is going to be much worse than the last time since he's had two major surgeries so close together...Now the really hard part starts. So much patience and strength from all of us will be needed.

Glenda Page- Remember Nathan in prayer!

Jeff Costello- uncle nate is tough he will make it!!!

Lyndsey Newton- Definitely praying for strength, patience and understanding....hang in there.

Anthony Botos- We're praying for you! Hang in there

Brian Wilson- We are keeping your family in our prayers. Keep me up to date on how he is

Shannon Price Wayland- Prayers coming your way...hang in there!

Gena Crittenden- Thinking about you and praying for you...

Roberta Sheffield- Will pray for all of you!

Summer Grace Galindo- thinking of all of you and praying for your family! thanks for the updates!!

Meghan 'Pettit' Crouch- we've been thinking about you all--Nathan is in our prayers!

Noel Lucky Brucker- Many love and prayers from all of us...Rest in the strength of the Great Healer. Give him a big hug from us!

DeJuana Crittenden- So much love coming your way from the home front. Praying that God will wrap you all in his comforting arms.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thank you so much to everyone for thinking of our family during Nathan's surgery. It means so very much to us to know how much you all care...It really does!!!

Sharron Lucky- We are all praying for all of you!

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks, Aunt Sharron!
Shannon Price Wayland- Looks good....funny I didn't get stitches or have a drain tube. I was just glued shut.... I was scared to death that I was going to leak anything every time I took a drink (:

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- What?!?!?! No stitches??? I'm sure glue makes for a much better scar. We must not have the major medical advancements or know how that your doctor did. It's straight up country here.

DeJuana Crittenden- Poor baby! So sorry Nate. It really looks a lot better than I thought it would. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a vertical incision. It will get better eventually, and the scar will turn white. Prayers for good news next week. Love you so much.

Nikki Crittenden McCallum- Thanks, Mom. Even though he's not feeling much better, it does at least look a little better each day.

Meghan 'Pettit' Crouch- poor nathan! hope this one heals quickly for him!

Noel Lucky Brucker You'll look back at that scar in 50 years with a smile and remember a fine battle scar - Many prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery!

Austen Ford- Thinkin' about ya'll a lot bro!

Sharron Lucky- I'm just a grateful a doctor made that scar and not someone trying to steal your wallet. Many prayers sent your way...

DeJuana Crittenden- And now he has the rest of the smiley face after the second surgery. Sorry, Nate. Just glad all the cutting is over, and the offensive thing is out. Praying you'll get stronger every day. Love you!

Nathan McCallum- Thanks everyone. Each day it's getting better.


As you can imagine, Nathan was in tremendous pain when he woke up the day after the surgery. I felt so bad for him. He just wanted to sleep and not move an inch but, he had to get the drainage tube removed. That was actually extremely painful because of how it was wrapped and twisted around in his neck.

More pain meds, please!
The second day after surgery Nathan got a special delivery all the way from St. Johns, Michigan. It was from the guy that he worked with for a while in Texas and actually requested to transfer to Michigan in place of Nathan a few years ago. What a nice guy!
This picture was taken just 4 days after surgery. Amazing how quickly it started looking better.
We knew that Nathan still had a possibility of taking the radiation pill to kill off any remaining cancer cells but, at least he won't need any more thyroid surgeries...Cause he doesn't have any thyroid left to work on. Thyroid medication started the very next morning after surgery, and he will need take a pill every morning for the rest of his life. A few adjustments to the dosage will be made here and there according to his test results and how his body is reacting to the medicine but, hopefully, it will be fairly painless process....Poor guy has been through enough already.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


A few months back I wrote about how I missed the Texas bluebonnets and said I would put up some cornball cotton pictures later...Well, later has finally come. I actually did half of this post back in November but took my sweet time adding to it.

Wait a cotton pickin' minute!
What does that mean anyway? Does it take an entire minute to pick one stalk of cotton? Or was it a way of using foul language back in the day because picking cotton was miserably hard work?
Every day we are reminded of how country this area is that we live in. Our neighborhood is surrounded by cotton, corn, and wheat fields. Actually, there is a huge Cotton brand factory here so I guess that's why there are cotton fields placed randomly all over town.
It cracks me up at the amount of people that have four wheelers and camouflage designs on their vehicles. I started snapping pictures here and there a few months ago just so you could see how ridiculous it is. There must be some car detailing shop that makes a boat load of money on these car decorations.

I didn't even include pictures of cars with camo interiors on their seats...Because getting that close could appear slightly stalkerish...And I only observe from a distance :)

These are right by our house.
These guys actually fix up four wheelers and conveniently test drive them in our cul-de-sac when the kids are trying to go to sleep. Sometimes I just want to chunk rocks at their noggins while they're revving the engines extra loud. And they have a coordinating minnow boat that often sits out on the street. Needless to say, they really annoy me.
Yes, I admit it, I take pictures while driving down the road. But not ALL of them...I let many go on by without a snapshot.And I also do drive-bys in store parking lots. It takes skill to NOT get noticed.These dudes work for Nathan. This is only a couple of several in their parking lot. Remember a while back when I said we're surrounded by rednecks and then said I was just kidding? I really wasn't...I think the photos are more than enough evidence to speak for themselves.
What's worse is that when we went to Texas for Christmas, Nathan's older brother mentioned that he wanted to get those camo decals for his truck. Nathan and I both looked at each other with super wide eyes and were both thinking OH...MY...GOSH!!! Ahhhahahaha!!! His brother would fit in perfectly here!

They have the same parents, were raised the same way in the same household, but are soooo very different in practically everything they do. Strange how that works out sometimes, huh?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

GAME 10 & 11 & SUCH

*Yes, I know I'm 2 1/2 months off...oh well :) The clips from Cole's games are still fun to watch though.


This was the first big district game against a difficult team. The team we played was the one that beat our coach's team in the championship last year. So, no surprise, the topic of beating the Chick-fil-A team came up quite often in the coach's speeches to the kids. I was shocked at how many people from both teams came out to watch the game. It was actually awesome to hear everyone cheering for all the kids. This was also the first game where I started taking tons more videos of the whole game instead of mostly just Cole. I figured the parents would like to see it. It was a great game and we WON 9-5...And everyone was beyond pumped!


Nathan's company had their annual work party at the Family Fun Center again...Mini golf, bowling lanes, arcade games, go karts, laser tag, and a roller skating rink. Most of the time, Nathan was stuck doing boss-man things like mingling with all the employees and taking cheesy photos but, he managed to bowl one game with us. Cole also had a baseball game right after and it was really hot outside so, I didn't let the kids do too much...Which they didn't appreciate very much.

I absolutely LOVE this picture!!!

Before this baseball game even started, one of the moms yelled out how great my video was (I emailed a link to all the parents). I was glad that she appreciated what I did but, it also meant that my videos would be expected from then on out. Awwww man...I like doing it but, watching the game through a digital camera and then spending hours loading and editing the clips are a LOT of work. I love having a visual memory of the games though so, of course, I continued to live up to the expectations.

It was steamy outside, but a very intense game. Lots of runs scored due to lots of errors from both teams but, we pulled out a 19-14 win.