Our Florida Trip + Hating Cancer

We spent the long Memorial Day weekend in Florida with my family! I’ll break it down to the top 5 highlights…

Highlight #1: Baby Beckett!  Lindsey, Ryan, Jackson & Baby Beckett spent all weekend with us and I seriously could not get enough newborn snuggles. Beckett is the most perfect little babe and was the center of attention all weekend long…

 Look who it is…my brother Ian!

Highlight #2: Family Pool Day! We had the most perfect pool day filled with sunshine, mimosas, fights over the red squirt gun and pouring cups and cups of water out of the pool.

 Uncle Nick never misses a party. Always a fun time!

Highlight #3: Saturday Steak Dinner Tradition: Dad perfectly cooked us all steaks on Saturday, a Sandroni family tradition.

Highlight #4: Besties + Babies!  I got to see 4 out of 5 of my Orlando bridesmaids while I was home which is pretty freaking awesome. My sister and I went over to Ashley’s house to meet her sweet little baby girl! Afterwards, my besties Shannon & Staci came over to hang out and drink chardonnay.

Highlight #5: Despite being on the outs with the Big Man, going to church with my dad was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

And that was a wrap on Florida! Caroline and I will be returning in a few weeks to spend more time with dad. Then I’ll return with Thomas next. We’re rotating kids and family flights so we can affordably take as many trips down as possible! Let the countdown to the next trip begin!


For those of you who came for the cute baby pictures and highlight reel, you can go ahead and click out of the rest of this post. I may get a little angry…you’ve been warned…

An update on dad

For those of you who asked about my dad, he’s hanging in there. I don’t think anything can really prepare you for watching your parent battle cancer. Although I receive the daily reports from my sister and my mom on chemo updates, blood tests, scan results, additional health issues and more, it still sends a shock wave through my body when I walk through the door at home and see my dad in his very fragile and hazy state. 

It’s hard for him to get up from the couch now and he only does it out of necessity. He exclusively uses a walker, but for longer distances he needs a wheelchair. However, he pushed himself hard while we were there. I know it takes more out of him than he let on but the first day he sat by the pool with us for a little bit to watch the grandbabies splash around. The next day he grilled steaks. The following day he made it to church for the first time in awhile. And on our last day he sat on the front porch with us for a bit before we left for the airport.

While we were there I tried to stay strong in front of dad and not break down into hysterical sobs every time I held his hand on the couch. I found myself trying to memorize what his hands felt like, record his voice in my head and remember his warm brown eyes, which thankfully he gave me.

One night after we put the kids to bed dad asked us to shave his head. Matt was brave enough to raise his hand, for which I was so grateful, and he did it with the most graceful and perfect humor during the too quiet moments. But inside I wanted to die as I stood on the sidelines silently vacillating between extreme sadness and intense rage with each stroke of the clippers running through his thinning brown hair.

So yeah, cancer sucks and I wish I had a more positive update to share, but we’re dealing with real life. And it’s hard. Like harder than anything I’ve ever been through…and I’ve had a mastectomy and been told my child is blind.

So if you wouldn’t mind, please continue to say a prayer for dad (and mom too while you’re at it).


  1. June Pope
    May 31, 2017 / 3:44 am

    I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers daily now. I hope you'll let go of some of your anger. It's so unproductive. It might even get in the way of making a wonderful memory in the coming months and years. Try if you can to go to your God and tell him how you feel. He is always listening and never punishes. Keep that relationship strong because you will need Him in time. Teach your children how to pray, there's no time like the present. Even when you forsake Him, He will never leave your side.

  2. Chelsey S
    May 31, 2017 / 4:00 am

    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers! It's tough to watch one of your parents go through being diagnosed with cancer. I'm glad you are able to go to Florida to spend time with your dad!

  3. Hilary
    May 31, 2017 / 4:49 am

    Christina, there are no words. I will be praying.

  4. Annie's Aprons
    May 31, 2017 / 9:32 am

    Always praying for you my friend! Cancer sucks! Right now both of my husband's parents have been battling with cancer. My father in-law had one of his kidneys removed and just the other day they found a mass in the one remaining. It's like really? Really? What the hell? Will continue to pray for your whole family.

  5. Melanie Reilly
    May 31, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing about your dad. It sounds perfectly reasonable to be angry with God. It's not fair. I'm praying for your dad now. That though it seems unlikely, there would be healing for him. That he'd have more strength and energy. I'm praying that he'll feel an immense comfort and peace and joy from the Lord, that he'd know how much God loves him and cares for him. Praying for your mom and you and your siblings to feel such comfort and peace as well.

  6. Rachel Emily
    May 31, 2017 / 11:01 am

    And you and your siblings and the rest of your family. I can't imagine what you are going through. Sending prayers now.

  7. Michele McFadden
    May 31, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Struggling with breast cancer myself and you are right, it sucks! Your dad, you, and your family are in my prayers. Hang in there ��

  8. Amanda
    May 31, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Praying for you and your family, Christina! You are such a strong, positive influence in all of our lives, but I know this isn't easy!

  9. Audrey Dawkins
    May 31, 2017 / 11:43 am

    To have the roles reverse when your parents are the the trenches of treatments is one of the most humbling experiences. Praying for peace for your family

  10. Erin Barnes
    May 31, 2017 / 11:57 am

    I'm very sorry that you had to write this post. It being back flashbacks and reminds me of the little things I wish I had done(such as recorded my mom's voice). But you are absolutely doing an amazing job and don't think for one minute that your dad isn't proud! I know we've talked a little bit about this via email, but still. I'm so sorry.

  11. Melissa
    May 31, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Praying for you and your family. I never comment on posts, but recently lost my best friend to lung cancer and wish I had had the courage (and time…it happened too fast) to encourage her to do a suggestion from another friend so her two little kids could remember her voice. My other good friend asked her Dad to record himself reading a Christmas kid story. Now every year, she says it is their favorite Christmas story. Hard to hear her Dad's voice, of course, but she loves that her kids (and she) can hear his voice speaking to them. Lots of love and prayers. Cancer sure does suck.

  12. Katie
    May 31, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Sending prayers for peace and strength for you and your family, Christina.

  13. Lindsay Latimer
    May 31, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Continued prayers for your dad and family. You're allowed to feel angry about this!

  14. Sarah Brooke
    May 31, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    I am so sorry, Christina. I am praying for your family. You have every right to be angry. Cancer sucks. Hang in there xoxo

  15. Adrienne at Bentley, Like the Car
    May 31, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    I'm very glad you had an enjoyable trip with your family. I would definitely follow the advice listed above and have your Dad record stories for you and your kiddos. You are absolutely normal to feel angry about this situation and are in my prayers.

  16. Kathleen
    May 31, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I am so sorry to read this. Cancer totally sucks. I am glad y'all had a glad visit. Soak them up and keep doing them!! Y'all will be in my thoughts.

  17. Brandi
    May 31, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Praying for you and your family. Others have suggested but wanted to as well, there are books you can record their voice as they read. Thanks for sharing your stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. http://www.hallmark.com/gifts/books/recordable-storybooks/all-the-ways-i-love-you-recordable-storybook-1KOB1097.html?mc=T_S_G_PLA_M+-+Books+-+PersonalizedBrand+PLA+-+Books+-+Personalized+-+1C1&gclid=CjwKEAjw07nJBRDG_tvshefHhWQSJABRcE-Z0j0GaHWGLfIFtLCobZ4RSvTE5Wx8vrPU2J4yrdjK5hoCjpbw_wcB

  18. Kelly
    May 31, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Sending all the love and prayers your way. I can only imagine how hard it must be. I'm so grateful he was able to do the things he could this trip — I'm sure it lifted his spirits to see you and those sweet grandbabies.

  19. Caley-Jade Rosenberg
    May 31, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Oh friend, I cannot hold back the tears reading your post! So bittersweet – so much joy found in the weekend but yet so much sadness too! I am so sorry and will continue to pray for you all x

  20. Toni :O)
    May 31, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Looks like you had lots of fun mixed with some sadness. I'm so sorry you are having to travel this road. I have a good friend battling ovarian cancer. It's so hard and scary. Many prayers ???????? and virtual hugs (( )) (( )) (( )) being sent for strength and support. ?

  21. Angela
    May 31, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    I'm so sorry Christina. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. Emily Clark
    May 31, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Praying for the whole fam

  23. Laura Wyatt
    May 31, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Love love love you! I'm so sorry y'all are going through this. Always here and praying for y'all every day.

  24. violinista
    May 31, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    No words can make the uncertainty, fear and sadness disappear during a time like this, so I won't even try. But know you're not alone; I wouldn't have been able to empathize even 3 months ago with your situation, but sadly, I've become a member of the Parent-Who-Has-Cancer-Club recently myself. It sure does suck. I will be praying for you and your family, for comfort and grace.

  25. Brooke
    May 31, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Just wanted to offer (hugs) & prayers.

  26. Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld
    May 31, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    You have been through so much and it just sucks that you are having to deal with this. You have every right to be absolutely pissed. You and your family are in my constant prayers, Christina.

  27. Lauren
    May 31, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Absolutely sending up a prayer for your family. Cancer sucks.

  28. Traci Hutton
    May 31, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Your Dad and family are in my prayers ~

  29. Owen Davis @ Davis Duo
    May 31, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    You guys are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. It is so sad and unfair that y'all are having to go through this. Cancer seriously sucks

  30. Jo
    May 31, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    You continue to handle what life throws at you with grace and strength friend, keeping your family in my prayers. xo

  31. Traci
    May 31, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Hate to hear there isn't better news but please know I'm praying for ALL of you.

  32. Lauren Honeycutt
    May 31, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Sending you SO many prayers!

  33. Lauren Litaker
    May 31, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    Christina,Cancer sucks. I watched my grandmother suffer through a horrible battle and there are just no words to describe the devastation someone feels as they see a loved one wither away. Four month ago I lost my dad out of the blue too. I know that each of our battles are deeply personal and unique, but I wanted to share what God is teaching me in my suffering. He's shown me that Jesus himself learned his obedience through suffering. That he too lost his earthly father at a young age. That disappointment isn't proof that God is withholding good things from us, but instead it's His way of leading us home. That the enemy's favorite entry point is through our disappointments but to strip out the cause of our disappointments would also rob us of the glorious hope of where we are headed. That the angst of disappointment in everything on this side of eternity must be present so we will long for God himself. I want God to fix everything, to make it better or give me a reason why. But what if fixing and repairing isn't what God has in mind? What if instead, God desires to make something completely brand now, right now, no matter how shattered our circumstances may seem. It's okay to be angry with God, and I pray that one day you will find His peace again and know that He has never forsaken you. The song 'Oh My Soul' by Casting Crowns speaks so well to my heart right now and I hope it does for you too.

  34. Abbi Hearne
    May 31, 2017 / 5:05 pm

    Praying for your dad <3 Thank you for being real with your updates (no sugar coasting). Cancer sucks and I'm so sorry you're having to see that first hand in someone you love 🙁

  35. Deirdre Anderson
    May 31, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Prayers for your you, your Dad & Mom and the rest of your family. xo

  36. Tsrobin
    May 31, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    Prayers for you and your family.

  37. Lauren Bryson
    May 31, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Covering your family in prayers for healing, comfort, peace…

  38. Leslie Lukens Martin
    May 31, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    Your strength amazes me. Hang in there, girl! Love that you're soaking up every moment you can and making precious memories! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family.

  39. Jordan - Queen of LA!
    May 31, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Christina I am so sorry. I am not Christian but will be praying for you anyway. I hope it's okay if I share a Jewish prayer that I have been finding a lot of comfort in lately. Blessed are you Lord our God King of the Universe, the Good and the Doer of Good. I hope your family finds strength and comfort in each other. I will be thinking about all of you.

  40. Laura Darling
    May 31, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Oh Christina, my heart breaks to read those words. I will keep praying for your whole family.

  41. Susan Halvatzis
    June 1, 2017 / 1:11 am


  42. rox
    June 1, 2017 / 2:02 am

    I'm so sorry to hear this latest update, Christina. We are still fortunate that mom has beat uterine cancer….for now. I dread the day if / when the doctors tell us it's back. Cancer is such a HORRIBLE, MISERABLE disease. Why are we spending tons of money on space exploration instead of curing cancer? Anyone? Anyone?!? Praying for your dad, your family, and for you, especially. I ask myself oftentimes – why do bad things happen to good people? So hard to understand. I wish I had an answer. Hang in there.

  43. Shayna @ The Fancy Yancey
    June 1, 2017 / 2:09 am

    Oh Christina… I am so sorry to hear this news about your dad. I know too well how much cancer sucks & how awful it is watching a parent battle it. I know it is not easy but, praise God you are able to have these moments with him. I will keep your family in my thoughts & prayers.

  44. Elizabeth | The Lovely Latte
    June 1, 2017 / 3:07 am

    Prayers for you and your family. We unfortunately know the pain of experiencing a parent's battle with cancer and I have no advice to make it an easier path to walk but you all will certainly be in our prayers. I am so glad you have the gift of time to spend with your dad and to take your children for visits. This is something we didn't have with our daughter. Sending love and prayers for your family.

  45. Lace Bern
    June 1, 2017 / 8:19 am

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  46. jen
    June 1, 2017 / 11:25 am

    Oh, Christina. I read your post through sobs. I am so sorry. I'm praying for your beautiful family. Sending love from Mt Holly…

  47. Kate
    June 1, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. xxx

  48. Alex M-S @ Whitehall & Rose
    June 1, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    I can't at all imagine what you're going through. I don't know how you continue to do all that you do on a daily basis while also dealing with this reality. I am in awe of you. Always thinking of and praying for you and your family. xo

  49. mremcher
    June 1, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    Praying for your dad and your family. Cancer is such a horrible illness. He's a tough man and will get through this. Keep the faith. God is holding all of you in his arms.

  50. Bvanevera7
    June 1, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Sending you lots of love to your entire family … cancer does SUCK.

  51. Lauren {at} Life.Love.Lauren
    June 3, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Praying for you and your beautiful family!

  52. Sara
    June 7, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Cancer definitely sucks! Prayers to you and your family that you will be surrounded by love and support throughout this journey. And that you get to spend as much time with your Dad as possible!

  53. emily
    June 11, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Keeping your sweet family in my prayers <3 I'm so sorry your Dad is going through this. How wonderful that he has such a loving family and you all got to spend this time together xx

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