Wednesday, April 20, 2016


9 weeks after my first Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (don't worry....I can't say it either), I had a second follow-up procedure done today.  I was thankful that I knew what to expect so I was a lot less nervous about the ordeal.  Still~~going under deep sedation always poses a risk (which is why they have you sign on the "sign your life away paper") before they put you under. =)

My last scope showed significant GERD with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (fancy term for having white blood cells in your esophagus, which are not supposed to be there). The picture my Doctor showed me last time was a very ugly throat.  Lots of rings and striations. The EE was probably the most concerning part because on one hand it can be related to GERD, but usually only if the biopsy shows a white blood cell count of less than 15, mine was greater than 30. Then you're talking autoimmune stuff, that really becomes hard to pinpoint. In fact, as of now EE is a highly misunderstood disease. The protocol was to treat me with prilosec for 8 weeks and then scope again to see how things looked.

These past 9 weeks have contained all sorts of fun.  I think I have had almost every side effect from the prilosec that you can have.  The worst thing may have quite possibly been the stinking brain pounding~can't think straight headaches.  The 13 day long one was nothing but a JOY. And of course with GERD you cannot (should not) take the Tylenol "sugar pill" that I could take was absolutely pointless.  I think it just made it worse! Another side effect of taking an H2 blocker is a greater risk of food poisoning. I laughed out loud this morning when my Dr wrote that on the board......seeing as that is what I had last week. When your stomach does not produce acid, there is nothing to help clear out the "bad guys" before they take root and explode in your gut.  OH FUN!!!!

Really, I was not sure what we would find today. I was hopeful that the medicine gave my body time to heal, and that enduring a slew of side effects made a difference, where we needed to see improvement.

My report today:  MUCH IMPROVED WITH NO RINGS OR INFLAMMATION!!!! THANK YOU, LORD!!!! I will not get the results of the latest biopsy for another week or so. I am praying that my EE was solely related to the GERD.

Unfortunately, I still have to remain on an acid reducing medicine for the next year.  I do get to "down-grade" to a little less potent pill. So, now my tummy will make a tiny bit of acid.  =)  Thank God for the little things~right?!

I know that many are going through things way bigger then my tiny little issue. I think this has made me appreciate so much more the days when I feel excellent, but also reflect on those days that I don't feel good~~that many others have hard days too. And just like me, those people have a life that must go on, and things that must get done, and smiles that must be worn.

We persevere, because we have a great and loving God who we can take anything to...because HE already knows!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What if?

It's easier most days to find things to complain about, or ask "why". It's easy to find things that are wrong with the world, or not going the way you want them to go in your own life. It's easy to see the glass as half empty, instead of overflowing.

But what if we were to....

Pause. Give Thanks. First.

Even if the only thing you have to be thankful for today, is in fact that Almighty God gave you another day of life then just be thankful for that. Take a deep breath in, feel that air in your lungs?  It's called life, and God has given you another day of it.  I'll bet though that once you start thinking of things to be thankful for, your list will grow quite quickly.

The hum of the furnace running~thank God for heat.
The whir of the washer going round and round for the 6th load that day~thankful for clothes.
The daughter following me around the house yelling "MOMMY"~thankful for God's gift of children.
Sink full of suds~thankful for dishes~which reminds me to be thankful for cupboards FULL of food.

Often times we do not give thanks for even the smallest of gifts. Reflection is a beautiful thing. It makes our ungrateful and shallow beings find that we too often do not live with a spirit of thankfulness. I know I am guilty of this. I need to be more intentional to live a life with a heart full of gratitude for what the Lord has given because even in the midst of days where I just can't find it.........

Monday, April 27, 2015

You Were Right!

Last weekend Chad stopped for gas when a young 20's something kid walked up to him after reading his license plate {which identifies how many kiddos we have} and said to him "Man, I feel real sorry for you."

If you have ever told me to my face that I was crazy for having so many children, or have thought it {and were nice enough to keep it to yourself}....

YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My entire month of May has just been completely booked by golf, driver's training, late afternoon/evening field trip pick ups, sports physicals, band concerts, well-baby appointment, camping {THANKFUL}, tulip time parades to watch Ethan march {CAN'T WAIT}, end of the year school program.

There is just not enough of me {although many people would say that there is too much of me}. I think I may be hyperventilating!!!

I'll say it for you all because I know what you're thinking...


This is our crazy life, and instead of judging people that have big families I have an idea......just pray for them instead. There is a lot on our plates, and that is even with saying "no" to more, simply because we need to. Pray that the Lord will guide our steps each day, will give us extra patience when our fuses are short. That we will be disciplined well with our time, and yet find moments in each day just to be still. My prayer is that I will remember that there IS more than just trying to make it through the day......

But there's more to this life living and dying
More than just trying to make it through the day
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see
And there's more than this life alone can be...
More to This Life ~ Steven Curtis Chapman

And in all of the craziness that WE are, and life is......people will see JESUS in us............

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Not Good Enough

"All I wanted to do was run up there and rescue him." 17 years ago those were the words someone said to me right after my wedding ceremony. No hugs, no congratulations, no I'm so happy for you both. Only words spoken with such a clear message that I was not, and would not ever be "good enough". I remember standing in the back of the Church being so incredibly happy, yet having been told that, feeling like the wind had been knocked out of my sails just a tiny bit.

I have learned something over these past 17 years, that person was right. I am not good enough~and no matter how much I try to be the most amazing wife I will fail 100% in some way every single day. But something else I have learned is marriage isn't about being perfect, marriage is about being vulnerable, and honest and transparent and ugly. Marriage is about figuring out how to be less of me, more of him. Marriage is about leaping out of an airplane with a parachute on and trusting your partner to know when to pull the cord to open up that chute!

Marriage is hard. Marriage is messy. Marriage is imperfection, quite possibly at its best.

However, marriage is also about the most incredible love I have ever known next to God's love. It about laughter, and incredible joy. It's warm hugs on cold days. It is jumping into the deep end of the pool and treading in the water together. It's figuring out who we are over the years and what matters.

It's faith, in a God that is so much greater then we will ever comprehend or understand. Yet, we choose to trust our entire lives to Him. It's grace given to one another, just as it has been given to us. It's the very picture of forgiveness poured out from our Savior, dying on that cross for us.

It is truly the best thing that has ever, ever happened to me. I am so thankful that I am loved within my imperfections. I would give nothing back, trade nothing, wish for different. I am beyond grateful for my best friend, my soul mate, my partner in this messy thing we call life.

I will love him always~thank you for making the last 17 years forever beautiful.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Graduation Day

I have been in physical therapy since mid November and tonight I "graduated" (mostly because my prescription ran out).  I exceeded my therapists expectations. When I started upon assessment I had absolutely ZERO core muscles and I couldn't even do a sit and reach sit-up. Tonight upon assessment {and after a million crunches} I can do a full sit-up with my hands behind my head. I can also do full side planks {I could only do them with my knees bent before}. I can hold a front plank for over 60 seconds {only could do it for 10 seconds when I started}. The BIGGEST gain though is that I actually have been able to run, not fast, but I ran 1.5 miles without debilitating hip pain.

So, now it's up to me as I have no one to be accountable to, except myself. I need to keep doing my core strength building and my resistance bands for my hip strengthening, pretty much indefinitely.   It is a true struggle to actually make the time for myself and my exercises, my personal self is ALWAYS at the bottom of the list of my million daily tasks to get done, and my princess 13 month old who takes up any and all "extra" of me. By the time I have, more like if I have 30-60 minutes I'm so exhausted I can hardly walk down the stairs to work out!

It's amazing the things you take for granted in life, like exercising without being in constant pain. Or even just being able to exercise in will to do it is there~it's my ability that's lacking!! I can sit around and blame my shallow hip sockets, or my dislocated hips at birth, or the fact that how they corrected them as told by my orthopedic Doctor has been proven not to work {nice to know that NOW}. Or, I can do what he told me to do~get those muscles, ligaments, tendons strengthened to hold my hip joint in the socket so I can run~~and hopefully prevent a hip replacement surgery for many, many years. It's nice to hear an orthopedic Doctor tell you that running has been very good for you and that we were created to run.

I HAVE to do this now, for me.........WHY is it so hard to get this through my head??

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Where did it go? This past year, 12 months; 52 weeks; 365 days. How can I blink and be here? I inhaled and upon exhaling an entire year came and went.

One look at the number of blog posts I made in 2014 compared to other years you can tell this past year must have been quite something!  Indeed it was. Life with a little princess who somehow managed to steal the hearts of every single person living under this roof!

You know that saying "sugar and spice make everything nice"....Ellery is a little heavy on the spice!! ;-)  Her brothers and daddy would probably disagree with me and say she's 98% sugar!!  She has been an absolute JOY and really so much fun. She has also been a BIG challenge and at times to say she is high maintenance is quite the understatement.  She is child number six, but many times has left me feeling like she is my first. A year later and quite frankly I still don't have her figured out!! =)  I absolutely LOVE being her mommy ~ I am grateful to God for giving me a daughter. Twelve months later it still is weird at times to say that word, see pink in her closet and try to figure out just how those outfits with tights and fancy diaper cover things go!!  =)

Just as a diamond is formed under very high heat and extreme pressure, so sometimes are the Lord's most beautiful answers to the heart cries of His children. Each one of us in our family know that when we see Ellery, touch her, hug her,snuggle her we are holding a tangible and most beautiful gift. All life is so very precious and such a miracle, but when you endure the loss of a baby and then another, and then another you tend to love more than you thought possible the ones that the Lord lets you meet this side of eternity. That may seem a little over the edge for some people to understand, but I see it within the walls of my home every single day.  Indeed it is a beautiful picture that if we can love someone that much, oh how much more does our Heavenly Father love us?!!

Thank you for celebrating the beautiful moments along the way this year with our little princess.

Happy Birthday Sweet Ellery

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Just Today

Sometimes days are absolutely overwhelming and I wonder how in the world I could have ever even thought I could handle having another baby.  Many times recently the words "you're nuts" have echoed in my mind. I haven't had a date with my husband in over 7 months. I feel like I miss 1/2 of the conversations my kids attempt to have with me, because I am always doing something that requires the other 1/2 of my attention. Did I mention the calendar for this month?? Something on it every single day. The lack of sleep makes my brain foggy and my fuse short some days. My almost 40 something body is achy, wrinkly and definitely pudgy in places it was not before. I am unable to run, which is something I miss deeply. My house at best resembles a store after a black Friday crowd has busted through the doors and picked up items only to set them down right where they DON'T belong.

BUT THEN I JUST LOOK AT HER. Yes, this beautiful reminder that after the sorrow and heartache of 3 miscarriages the Lord BLESSED our family with another baby. He most certainly did not have to answer the cries of our hearts in this way~but HE did. THAT makes my heart sing!! With HIS help, I can do this!!!

So, today (because that's as much as I can see) I will take each moment as it comes. I will reheat my coffee a dozen times. I will overlook the mountains of laundry, the dust bunnies accumulating in the corners. The dirty dishes stacked in my sink, pleading for me to scrub them. I will do what I can, with what time I have, but I WON'T miss out on the precious moments with the gifts (all 6 of them) that God has entrusted to me.

Lord, help me remember and to see that you are right in the middle of all things today. The joys, the tears. You know my strengths, you know my weakness. You see my struggles and walk right along side of me. Forgive me for not giving you the credit you deserve. My life is completely yours~many times I forget that and attempt to "own it" myself. I forget that I have you as my best friend, my comforter, my healer. Help me to find you and see you in ways that could only be YOU. Forgive me when I don't live this life you have blessed me with in the way that I should. Thank you for saving me and giving me so, so much. May I use this day to worship and honor you, in all that I do.