Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve

Holy cow, where did 2015 go? This last month especially! Today is it for shopping and running like crazy. My family celebrates with a feast on Christmas Eve so all presents must be wrapped up today. So of course, I wake up with a sore throat. Argh!

I noticed when life gets a bit crazy, I put God on the back burner. How crazy is that? I know, it makes no sense. But I've put down the Advent book and gotten behind. And I really enjoy it! It seems when the days go bonkers I crash into bed and the thoughts of reading or writing just seem like more than I can handle. Like it's stressing me out. When in reality, it would calm my stress and soothe my frayed nerves. And even knowing that, I still roll over and ignore. So that must change today. 

Let's talk about what's going right. Both twins are HOME and snuggling with mommy and daddy. One is on oxygen but both are doing well. This makes me SO HAPPY. I'm not able to see them right now (super sad face) because I can't seem to stay well enough, but I'd rather just see pictures than put them in danger. They are so handsome!! Love being an aunt!! 

Speaking of being an aunt, the two sweet nieces are home. I'm so thankful for the time off this week. Even though I'd missed work with my and family's doctor appointments, I decided to go ahead an take this week off. Best decision ever. 

Macy and her mommy and I visited with Santa. No crowds on a Monday - hooray! The mall has these critters to ride an Macy loved it. Especially loved the fact she got a puppy instead of angry bird. These things are really hilarious. 

We came home and rested, then went on a search for Chtistmas lights!  Picked up her sister on the way and life was good. 

Yesterday Katie helped wrap up my shopping while I kept the girls. We really lived it up with painting projects (gifts), decorated Christmas cookies and read pop-up Chritmas books in bed. And Katie knocked out several hard-to-find gifts for me. Hip Hip Hooray!! 

Macy is really getting into Christmas and I'm soooo glad I'm able to see her excitement firsthand.  This is the first year I've felt excitement about Christmas in a while. We've had a rough three years and this one is tough, too. So make it four. Her sparkle is rubbing off on all of us. :)

So this year, mom is totally down with a very painful tear in her knee. Totally. Down. Dad is pretty much staying close to her but he's got some issues, too. So I'm trying to wrap up their shopping and plan for the Christmas Eve feast. Those parts aren't terribly stressful but point back to the health troubles my parents are seeing. Katie went to the eye doctor in hopes of finding something to help her migraines. She can't keep on like this. And her husband is in immense pain from the multiple surgeries that didn't work. Of course the new parents won't make it this year and I really miss them. So there are some prayer requests in there. 

But we always have blessings, too. Like Dad being able to help mom. And me being able to take off from work. Katie being out of school right now. Those sweet baby boys and their successes. Their mama is also a teacher so she's able to extend her leave time. The great reviews of the classes I taught. It's hot here but at least we aren't buried under snow!! Aaaannnndddd...

We have 7 completed NICU isolette covers for our children's hospital from my church!! So excited! So thankful! We have another sew day in Januaury. And I'm excited to see how it goes. Here are some pics. 

I had a pic of another one but must have deleted it trying to get pics of Macy and Santa. Oops. Those flaps sticking out cover the ends of the isolette. I know it looks weird :) 

Ok this is top secret so do not tell a soul BUT this is what the girls made for their daddy. He's from West Virginia and this is the lyrics from a John Denver that all WV people worship. :) the white states are WV and SC, where home is now. Macy painted the background with three shades of yellow and Aliah did the states and letters. Pretty good, eh? He'll love it. He is going to be so surprised!! 

I suppose I should get moving for the day. Things to do and people to see. Y'all have a very blessed Christmas. Tell Jesus Happy Birthday and thank The Lord for sending His Son to us for our sins. That's Christmas. All this other stuff is fluff. 

Hugs to you all!  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sweating into December

Hello - when did it become normal to have mid-70's weather in December!?! Heaven help it's hot here in SC. No wonder we are all sick. Sheesh.

Are you done Christmas shopping? If you are, please lie to me and tell me you aren't. I have no idea when I'll fit it all in. Tomorrow I'm starting my day at UrgentCare  for the third time, trying to battle this sinus, coughing, ear ache thing. Finished my antibiotics and steroids for the beginnings of pneumonia. But I'm thinking it didn't get the job done. Ugh. With something every night this week, I'm trying to juggle it all and not get sicker :)

I'm very excited for one event this week - the church sew-a-thon to make NICU isolette covers! One lay in the church - very dear family friend- hand sewed a cover and gave it to us on Sunday. It's already at the hospital in use. They were so excited! I have three more that need to get up there, too.  Imagine your baby being in the hospital during the Christmas holidays and someone brings a beautiful cover for your baby for no other reason than your baby is loved. I pray these covers not only help the babies but God uses them to touch the very hearts of their parents.  

See the flap turned over? It covers the ends. The black fabric makes it dark in the isolette and the quilting muffles noise, to help recreate the womb. 

I had to make one funky! 

Wow that is wrinkly!! Flannel doesn't like To stay crisp. 

Anyway, I'm excited to see where it leads. You know I'll keep you posted. 

How are our twins doing? One is home from the hospital and over 6 lbs.!! One is still there and he's over 5 lbs. So thankful for every success. Little miracles. Little fighters!! I can't tell you how excited I am for my brother and sister-in-law. They are going to be such wonderful parents. This is their hopes and dreams coming true. 

One of the floor quilts before I sewed it all together. 

I did gift the floor quilts at the shower on my mom's side. I saw one of them in a picture being used. Hooray! 

Random pics time: Macy and I made cupcakes :) 

And we had a slumber party! 

Me and the boss' dog, Bentley. 

Macy and a swing of cousins at the family Christmas get together this weekend. Crazy hot weather.

My stray kittens that hang out on my porch. And I feed them. Which I'm not sure If that allows them to be called strays anymore?

Macy and me after Thanksgiving. :) I hate the black circles, wow! But I've been sick a while.

We have seen blessings, y'all. The baby boys- what a huge blessing!! Katie has seen some pretty big challenges but she said she feels The Lord carrying her through it. Mom is down with a bad knee but the wheels are moving quicker than anticipated. MRI was Friday and we get results Wednesday. My job has been very understanding of days off for myself and to help the family juggle appointments. My classes (trainings) that I've been teaching are getting great feedback. So thankful! Lots of good. 

Ok I've totally rambled on about nothing and everything. I'm hoping you are doing well, that your heart is in the right place to welcome Christmas (I'm still working in this), and you know the love of God, greater than anything we can comprehend. 

Thanks for listening :)  Off to bed - night! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Countdown to Thanksgiving

It's Monday morning, crazy early. Another sleepless morning so another blog post!

Life is rocking along. I think we've had so many things happen we are pre-programmed to expect the worst. But seriously, we are doing ok! So thankful. 

Speaking of thankful, I started back listing things I was thankful for each day because I needed to focus on the blessings instead of the bad. I've done pretty good. Here are a few: 

Clay met Katie and I at the hospital so we could visit with the boys. I'm crazy about them. And they are continuing to grow - Liam is over 4 pounds and Kellan is over 3! Please keep them in your prayers. 

Macy's glasses are working! She had an eye exam and her vision is improving. So thankful - so so so thankful!! 

The beautiful fall around here. I have really enjoyed the colors and crisp air. Most of the leaves are gone so when you do find a tree with brilliant colors it's a treat. 

I've taken several days off from work to play with Macy, work on the house, sew, shop for fabric, etc. It was very needed. 

Mom made isolette covers for the twins and the need for more was very apparent. The ladies at church have really taken to this project and want to have folks meet at the church and sew up several to donate to the NICU! I'm so excited! And I have finished my first one. 

The backing is dark to block light. I used prequilted fabric to avoid using batting but the quilting helps muffle noise. The outside is cute to brighten up mommy and daddy's visit :)  I pray God blesses this project and makes it successful. It will greatly impact families in the NICU. 

As I'm flipping through my journal, I'm reading back over the verses I wrote down :

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 

Psalm 30:12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. Oh Lord my God; I will give thanks to You forever. 

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 

Good stuff. 

Ok photo time. 

My siblings and I at the hospitail visiting the boys. My brother - the new Daddy!

Macy and I made cookies! She surprised me with how well she did in the kitchen. So much fun!

AH made the basketball team! Number 33 - we are ready to cheer her on!  Go girl, get out there and hustle!

Macy and the Salvation Army Red Kettle. The volunteer let her ring the bell afterwards. Gotta teach them young about giving back!

In case I don't post again until after Thanksgiving- y'all have a great holiday and truly take time to give thanks!  <3

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sweet dreams?

Another sleepless night in SC. Blogging helped before so maybe again? (Haha I managed to bore myself I sleep!!) Night before last I messed my schedule all up by falling asleep crazy early by accident. Then I was awake from 11:30 pm - 2 ish am. Ugh.

I haven't been perfect but I have been keeping with the five things I'm thankful for each day. Here are a few:
- the twins are continuing to do good and grow. Liam is over 3 lbs and Kellan is over 2 lbs. so many people are touched by these little fighters. Love them. 
- Mom and I spent time shopping today and she got a great start to Christmas - and a lot of WOW deals. 
- Roger had two follow up appointments and both specialists - cardio and ent - have given him good news! Yay! 
- The family met up at Panera to celebrate Angela's birthday and it was just a great family time. 
- Macy is doing really well about wearing her glasses. Not sure if it's helping but at least she is doing her part. 
- God really worked out some drama at work and I'm so thankful for it! 
- We are getting a cost of living raise backdated to July and I'm very thankful. It will help with Christmas and hopefully help me breathe easier month to month. 
- An old high school friend I haven't seen in 2+ years stopped by on Halloween with her five children! Glad I bought candy this year! 
- Another friend is having a GIRL! :)

I think I may try this as part of Macy's Christmas. I think it's genius. 

Macy and her mommy at our front porch picnic after Katie came home from visiting the hospital. Hope those days are over for a while. 

Angela at the Panera birthday party and Macy. Mae was allll about Aunt LaLa ad Uncle Clay. I thought this was the sweetest picture. 

Her first involvement with Jack-o-lanterns. Lol. Not sure she was digging on it at first but ended up very enthusiastic. 

Here is Milli from Umizoomi. Yes, I know you haven't heard of it. She loves this tv show and thankfully mom can sew. The red ribbons on the hood are ponytails. See? 

Anyway, one last terrible pic of my cat, Smudge, and me on the porch tonight. 

He was wild and I've managed to tame him to the point I can pick him up and pet him. Awwww...

Ok there are your random pics for a while. :) since it's now 4:30 maybe I can roll over a sleep some more! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Late Night

Another night of early rising - three something in the morning. Should have never picked up my phone. It surely doesn't help me want to go back to sleep. Instead I find myself pinning dozens of quilt patterns and playing Words With Friends.

As I was surfing the web instead on sleeping tonight, I found this post on Instagram. She left this on someone else's page-I don't know either of them but I liked it: 

Another family member is back in the hospital. Been there since Wednesday night. We are pretty worn out and we are all lacking sleep. We are tired of being tired and tired of being so worried. Our preacher came by the hospital and read Psalm 42 & 43 to us and it just seemed to fit us. The writer is suffering deeply from something and cries out to God. As my preacher said - it reminds me of y'all with the years of suffering you have had. He said while we may not understand it today - or ever - God is with us. 

Here is Psalm 43:  

I don't know - maybe it will help someone else out there. 

The preacher made me smile - he's trying hard to encourage us but with medical issue after issue after issue - it's hard to explain why people are allowed to suffer. So he said several times - keep hope and look at the success with the babies. ;) 

And we are SO THANKFUL for their progress!! I miss seeing my sweet nephews so much. The hospital Is about an hour away and I am required to have one of their parents with me to visit. Just difficult to schedule. But they are doing well and are handsome little fighters. 

I've had some Macy time as it's her daddy in the hospital. She is struggling with the emotions of not having her parents with her much and not understanding all the tension. Please pray for all these situations. 

Slumber party at MawMaw and PawPaw's house!!! For both of us! 

Sweet nieces at a local produce stand. I tried getting Christmas Card pics but had little luck. These smiles are beautiful though. 

Volleyball season wrapped up a last week and we are very proud of AH and her team. They improved over last year tremendously! 

Let's not discuss how much she's grown. Sniff sniff 

Preschool field trip. Seems someone loved the stick horse so MawMaw is making her one. 

Yesterday after Mommy got home from the hospital we had a front porch picnic. Macy was so glad to see her Mommy. She cried when we left to go up there. This evening when Katie came home after work and then the hospital, Macy grabbed her in a huge hug and said, "We are back together again!" So hard to juggle all life has put on their plates right now and know where to be and what balls not to drop. So tough.

A friend suggested I focus more on the positive. And there are positives!!! 

The sweet twins are getting stronger and have so many wonderful people praying for them. 

My dad got to meet his grandsons and introduce himself as Pop :) 

The support from our pastor, our church family, definitely our family and so many friends and friends of friends that we'll never know - thank you!!

S'mores with the family around the fire pit and eating too many marshmallows! 

The days have been beautiful, allowing us to enjoy the outdoors and Macy has been swinging her heart out. 

I'm so thankful I was able to attend AH's last game of the season, even though it was on an Election Day. God worked that one out! 

Every time my brother calls mom about a baby update, I can tell it just touches her heart. She's totally invested into her grandsons and hearing news is important to her. So glad Clay is keeping in good touch with her. 

A dear friend won her court case. Yay!! 

Rogers very life was in danger but the doctors were able to turn things around. Great nurses and doctors in the ICU, too! They deserve a lot of respect. 

My workplace has been so good about letting me off to take the day shift at the hospital with no guilt. They've texted and checked on us, too. 

Wow. An hour later and I'm wrapping this up. Y'all thanks for letting this be a place I can download emotions. It's hard to find someone to talk to when everyone around you is living it, too. 

Thanks for your prayers. :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Name them before you forget them

Morning y'all.  It's another night of waking up at 3:30 am and being unable to go back to sleep. Dad called before 6 am because he saw my house lit up on his way to breakfast with the boys. ;)  

We've had a few more bits of tough news this week. I won't say bad because it may all be overcome simply through medicine. Mom had been concerned about Macy's vision and took her to the elementary school she retired from for a vision and hearing test. Hearing was good, vision not-so-much. Took her to the pediatrician who basically said - we don't do eye tests on three-year-olds so we'll refer you. As a side note here: it's amazing how little doctors know about their community. He had no idea if there was a pediatric optomistrist in our area and flabbergasted that it was requested. Thank heavens for the nurse who knew the answer and got us referred to a great doctor. 

Mom took her to the eye appointment. Pretty much immediately mom knew something serious was up. Both sides of Macy's family has Marfans. Marfans impacts connective tissue - most frequently eyes and heart. Macy is only seeing out of a small portion of her eyes right now. She'll have to head back to the dr for a more thorough checkup for heart issues. She's getting special glasses that will hopefully retrain her brain concerning her eyes, but if that doesn't work, she's headed to Duke for eye surgery. *DEEP BREATH* I'm sure you can try to imagine Katie's reaction to hearing this about her baby girl. But let me tell you about this doctor. The fact she has heard of Marfans is impressive. The fact she sent my sister her cell phone number with instructions to call at nine so she could explain everything - WHOA. This lady rocks. And let me say here: thank you, Lord, for placing this lady in our lives. I give Him all the credit for making it happen. 

My family is pretty familiar with Marfans because we assume our dad has it, and all three of us kids have signs but haven't been tested. Don't want that not covered by insurance as a pre-existing condition. It can be bad ma'am-a-jama stuff. 

That was Wednesday. 

Thursday, my brother and his wife were told both of their micro-preemie baby boys have heart murmurs. Things have been going really well for the boys so this was a toughie. Granted, you knew there would be setbacks along this path. Anyway, this is a common issue in preemies and they are trying to address it with meds, too. However, if that doesn't work, it's surgery for the little fellas, too. 

In the midst of all this, I realized I let all the negative news in our lives dominate my very well-being. My heart, my soul, my health. It's like everything in me is weighted down with sacks of heavy boulders I'm desperately trying to carry everywhere I go. So last night I vowed to make a change. 

In my prayer journal, I will start with five things I'm thankful for- Five Blessings. Because I know if you get out of the habit of being thankful, you can't even see your blessings anymore. 

Last nights blessings: 
1. The doctors found this heart issue with Liam and Kellan, are familiar with it and know how to treat it. 

2. The Lord led us to a wonderful eye doctor for Macy, who believes in supporting her patients- even at nine o'clock at night! 

3. My cousin's abdominal mass (10 lbs!) was NOT cancer!!! Huge cheer!!!! 

4. The Lord has given Clay & Angela and huge network of supporters praying for them and their sons. 

5. The Lord provided my mom a friend in one of her sister-in-laws when she needed one. It's been a huge blessing because she's trying to deal with all these issues, too. 

I'm going back to the basics, count your blessings and name them one by one. 

Yup. This is a long wordy post. Sorry about that. Sometimes I just need to unload it somewhere. 

You know, I think we may need to check! I mean, it couldn't hurt, right? Ok y'all, I'm heading into work. Gotta try to get Macy a minions Halloween bucket from Mcdonalds today. :)  I mean, yeah it does seem like the world is crumbling beneath my feet, but you still gotta have priorities!! *wink*  thanks for your prayers! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Heaven Help.

No really. After the weekend we've put in here on the hill, I'm hoping God's plan is to turn this around and pour on some sunshine. Literally and figuratively.

Thursday, I taught my morning class but knew I wasn't feeling right. It ended at noon and by 12:30 I knew - I had to go home and it had to be now. I have never left with another class on the way but I had no choice. I fell asleep driving home, scared the stuffings out of me!, and the minute I walked in the door I was sick sick sick. All day. Half the night. Fever. Chills. Sweats. Sick. Sick. Sick. 

My back, oh my gosh it hurt. I thought it had to be a kidney infection. Went to urgent care when they opened on Friday morning but no one could explain my back. Today, sickness is over and my back still hurts. Sucks. 

Dad was sick last night, same symptoms as me with body aches thrown in. 102 fever. ER visit this morning at 9 am. Left at 2 pm with "it must be a viral thing."  Got home and it really kicked in like I had. Except Dad is almost 70 so it's hitting him harder. 

Yeah I'm taking off tomorrow to rest up a little more and make sure I don't pass this to everyone in the office with an election coming up. They seem to appreciate it ;)

The babies seem to be doing well for their size. I tell you, I adore the sweet boys and could watch them for hours. They are so incredibly perfectly formed. I often think of God's craftsmanship as He knitted them in the womb. So amazing. I love to see them stretch and wiggle and wave and blow bubbles. When Kellan yawned, it absolutely delighted me. I pray both boys will make it through and become fierce warriors in God's army. I feel like they have big plans ahead of them. I don't share pictures to respect my brother and sister-in-laws privacy. I feel that is right. You'll just hve to take my word on it that they are HANDSOME. 

I know this is blurry but- mom and I ran into the Princesses at the children's hospital. Another recorded a message to Macy but it's on moms phone. She is going to freak out! And we get a pic of mom with these princesses, too ;) so gla there are groups that do this for the kids. 

I know this is a rambling mess. I feel like a rambling mess. If anyone has the solution to just feeling totally overwhelmed, please share. I could use it. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pure Love.

This weekend my sister-in-law brought two amazingly beautiful baby boys into this world. It's been a very difficult pregnancy but she has been so strong and fought for her babies every step of the way.

So Sunday morning at 12:03 am, two handsome boys entered this great big earth. Liam is 2 lbs 9 oz and Kellan is 1 lb 13 oz. they have a long road ahead and you know we would appreciate your prayers. 

Here I am visiting with Liam. These boys are so cute. And already showing personality!  So cool. 

Ok y'all, don't spill the beans on this ... I've been working on floor quilts for each boy. Here is one - the very first quilt top I've ever made. It's backed in flannel so this side can go face down and the baby will have soft fleece to play on. 

Here is the second, not backed yet but will be soon. This is a brick pattern and I really like it. May do this for Macy, just make it bigger. These are 40 x 40. 

The next photos show a gift I mailed to a friend in Columbia who is expecting.  

I just realized the completed photos are on my camera so these don't show the buttons. Oh well. You get the idea: burp cloth and matching bib. I've really enjoyed my sewing machine lately and wonder if I should try to sell these things. I don't know - we'll wait and see.  

(She is so cute!!) 
This is the week before the massive floods hit SC. I live in the upstate and while we were due 10" of rain, we got no were near that. The system stayed south of us and pummeled Columbia. That place is in a mess. I promise you, no one in Columbia has flood insurance. I just can't imagine what some are enduring. Please pray. 

I'm off to read some in Isaiah and wrap up my night :) thanks for your prayers! Night night! 
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