Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Girls Florida Trip - Year Two

Hey everyone!  After a successful girls trip last year, my mom and I decided to try it again!!

We headed out on Friday afternoon around 1pm.  I hadn't been feeling well the past few days but I was determined to get this trip in.  My mom's friend Lana (she went with us last year) didn't have enough of us last year so she decided to join us again this year.  Can you tell we were a little excited!!  Joanna on the other hand, doesn't know that her life is getting ready to be rocked - mommy leaving her!!

We drove quite a bit and stopped about 5 hours from Daytona.  We arrived at our destination on Saturday at around 1pm and headed straight for the beach.

This was the first sunset we saw in words!!

Can I just say "what a different a year makes".  Last year I was so nervous about my girls around the pool but this year, after many lessons, they don't even need belts!  They are fish!!

We haven't spent as much time at the beach but we did get some quality beach time.  They found baby jellyfish.  Last year was a crab, this year is jellyfish babies.  They were able to pick them up and play with them.  The lifeguard told us they didn't sting so they were all over it.

So Lana decided she would paint the girls fingernails.  Needless to say, the 6 nail polishes for $4.99 aren't the best quality so all of the polish came off the next day.  So you guessed it, the girls made her paint them again.

There's a great place to eat down here that has cajun peel and eat shrimp.  We have been there every other day and I will say, the shrimp gets better each time we go there.   90% of the pictures we try taking of Kenlee, her eyes are shut!

My girls playing with a new friend.  This year they really were very outgoing and comfortable with meeting new friends.

(getting ready to head out shopping!!)

(she's starting to get the hang of picture taking)

(see the rainbow in the background?)

(yes, we are at the shrimp place again!!)

We we have two more days left on our vacation.  The time has really went fast but I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to make these wonderful memories with my children.

More pictures soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two years ago...

Two years ago...

Instead of going straight to Rebecca's room, I head over to UC to give Joanna her first bottle!  I can't believe how far she's come.  While this is supposed to be a celebration, I feel guilty that I'm not with Rebecca.  I know how sick she is and I really should be with her but I just can't miss this time with Joanna.  Before my guilt eats away at me, I decide this is where I need to be at this moment.

Joanna did a great job - I'm so proud of her and on a high that that seems far and few between these days.  I know her taking a bottle means we are another step closer to going home.

As I walk into Rebecca's unit, I feel an an uneasiness. Our favorite attending is on today - the one who admitted Rebecca to the CVICU.
I assume my favorite place - laying beside her in our big adult bed, taking in every part of her.  Watching her breath, listening to the sounds of the machines, begging God to heal her with everything I have.

Why is He not listening?  What have I done that's so bad that He would make my daughter suffer like she is?  Am I not believing with everything in my heart that He can heal her, is that why He's not - because I've had thoughts that she may not make it.  My mind is buzzing with thoughts and questions.

Around lunch time the attending doctor wants to meet with Brandon and I.  I know what they are going to say, same thing we've heard before with another attending who wanted to talk with us.  I become defensive.  I'm sick of hearing how she's not going to get better and that we need to consider letting her go.  If they really stepped back away from their professional role and got into their parenting role, they would see that what they are asking me to do is unimaginable.  A parent should never have to make a decision to let their child go.  Why can't they just leave us alone and see that God will heal her, we just have to give Him time to do it when He sees fit.

Reluctant to leave my daughters side, I go to the meeting to please the doctors.  I'm not really listening to anything they are saying.  I don't care what they have to say - they are talking time away from me, precious time that I want with my daughter.  Meeting is over thank goodness so I can go back to her.

Neither Brandon nor I talk about what was just discussed.  I know he is giving me time to process things.  Finally he asks me what my thoughts are.  Now I'm ticked.  Why would he even ask me what my thoughts are.  Does he not remember any of the talks we have had before...I'm not letting my daughter go.  God WILL heal her and we need to let Him do that. I love my daughter too much to let her go.

An hour or so passes and nothing is discussed. While Rebecca and I are lying there, "Temporary Home" comes on the radio.  A voice starts talking to me.  Its telling me that its ok to let her go. That letting her go would be the bravest thing a parent could do.  God was telling me that me letting her go IS part of His plan.  This is not our home but just a temporary home until we are called to be with Jesus.

Here I am, holding my precious Rebecca watching her take her last breath.  I can't even describe the heartbreak I feel.  My chest is so heavy, I feel like I can't catch my breath.  Its a pain I've never felt before.  I don't know whether I'm going to survive this brokenness I feel.

This is what I replay over and over in my mind on this day.  I remember the weather, what I was wearing, and the pain is still so raw. I went out to the cemetery and made up a new array of flowers for her grave.  I was able to be out there with her for about an hour today, again just letting my mind be consumed with my memories of her.

Thank you for all of the emails, phone calls, texts, and messages we received.  You will never know how much it means to know that she is not forgotten.  I want you to know that I did get them but really wasn't up to responding.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm so bad at this stuff!

I know I said I would be good at this blog thing but as you all can tell - I'm not.  I'm sorry yet again for not having posted anything since Christmas.  Life gets to going and time just gets away from me.  So I felt it was time to share what's been going on in our lives...

Missing Teeth - Katelyn has loss 2 teeth so far.  This is a picture of the missing first tooth.  She pulled it out herself (because mom doesn't do teeth) and then she started screaming!  The 2nd tooth, she twisted until it came out. There wasn't as much screaming as the first one.

Girl Scout Cookie Time!! - This was our first year selling girl scout cookies and boy was it a lot of work.  Thanks to the help of my sister Kerry, my mom, and my dad - Katelyn sold over 230 boxes of cookies.  As a troop we set up cookie booths at local stores to sell more.  She had a great time and was able to get her own tent and flashlight as her prize for selling so many cookies.

Sewing Projects - I have been loving my new sewing/embroidery machine.  Here are a few items I've made.

Rebecca and Joanna's birthday - March 28
Joanna loves Yo Gabba Gabba so that is the theme we went with this year.  Yes, I made the dress she is wearing.  That is her favorite character Brobbie, but we pronounce it "Robbie"!  She had a great time and we are so thankful for all of the family members that were able to come.  It is so great to celebrate this life that doctors said would not be here!!

The day wouldn't be complete without going to see our other little girl on her special day.  We let off 2 balloons this year and enjoyed our time there.  It's hard to explain the emotions I go through on their birthday.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  How I was rolled away from my husband without time to say goodbye and not knowing if I would ever see him again; seeing my girls for the first time; thinking after I was out of surgery and in recovery that I was going to die because I kept forgetting to breath and the O2 monitors kept going off (come to find out I had a little touch of pneumonia); and their birthday night having the doctors come into our room and telling us that Joanna's vent settings were maxed out and they only had one thing left to try.  Nobody was sure it would work but we needed to give consent for them to give our daughter a poisonous gas that could cause her to have brain bleeds but may help her breathe.  Then going to her bedside and giving her a name that night because I couldn't let my daughter die without a name.
All of these memories come flooding back on top of the grief I feel for my little girl who should be celebrating her birthday with us but isn't, and the joy that I feel for being able to raise Joanna.

Katelyn's sports!! - She keeps us busy that's for sure.  I always give the girls an option to sign up for things but once they start they can't quit until the season is over.  Then if they decide that wasn't for them that's fine and we know not to sign up for that again.  She loved cheerleading so I can safely say she was most likely going to do that one again.  
Spring Break - Brandon and I have decided that we are going to take our kids to every state before their 18.  So why not start BIG!  We took them to California this year.  I can say that this is the first vacation that I actually wanted to come back home before it was over.  Don't get me wrong, we had a great time but it was too much to take three kids across the county.  And to make matters worse, we were flying out on Friday evening and Kenlee wakes up Thursday night/Friday morning puking!!  Flights went well for the most part, and nobody else got sick and Kenlee didn't puke again.  We went to Muir Woods, Disney a couple days, drove around LA, spent a few days in San Diego and traveled around a rainy San Franscisco.  Here are some pictures from the trip.

Easter - Joanna had a blast at Easter this year.  It was so fun to watch her!  I also made Alexis's dress in the picture below - so easy, can't wait to make one for me!!

Daddy/Daughter Girl Scout Prom - Katelyn asked her Daddy to go to the prom with her.  They went out for supper beforehand and then danced the night away.  They had a great time.  I still remember when I went to the Girl Scout Prom with my dad!  She will never forget this night with her Daddy.

Ok so I'm not going to promise anything but I will try and update more often than I do now.  Thanks for reading!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

To start the season off, Kenlee had a Christmas program.  Does my kid look like a giant?

Bryan, Ashley, Deacon, and Finley came in town for Christmas.  We had a special guest show up this year again!  The kids thought that was the best thing ever.  Katelyn is really into Santa this year.  On the way home she was so sure that she heard the reindeer bells!!

Katelyn has been into weddings and people getting married lately.  Aunt Brandi won the best present award.  She didn't want to take this off and asked if she could wear it the next day to church.

 So I made the girls outfits and hair accessories this year for Christmas.  I loved loved loved making them.

My sister came in after Christmas to spend a few days with us from Fort Collins, CO.  It was great having her here.  I think we probably stressed her out a bit but we had a great time.

My family is crazy!!