"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched-they must be felt with the heart." Hellen Keller

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I am seriously behind in blogging. It isn't because I haven't had the time per say, just not sure what to say. In 16 days from now I will be packing up my kids, my hubby and the whole life I have ever known to move across the state, 9 hours away from the town I have lived in my whole life. Crazy! I can't believe it is happening! It got me thinking about courage, about fear, about what life hands us and how we handle it. Rewind three years ago. I had lived in the same town my whole life, worked the same job for 18 years (since high school) and I hadn't drove anywhere outside of that town by myself EVER. I hadn't done much of anything by myself. Then on September 17th, my whole life changed....my entire world as I had known it was turned upside down...enter the fear. Since that day (in a matter of a year) I have done the following: 1) drove to Dallas all by myself 2) stayed in a hotel all by myself for several days 3) took on my son's case and became his voice when he didn't have one 4) learned more medical jargon and medical procedures than I EVER imagined 5) learned how to insert and operate a feeding tube and on and on and on It is amazing what courage you can have in the face of fear.....what you can be motivated to do when you have no choice. With all that being said I have realized that all this prepared me for this move...for this HUGE life changed. If I had not done all of those things there is no way that I could have gone on to this endeavor. No way at all! As I sat pregnant with my youngest, working at the same job, living in the same town, doing the same thing day in...day out...I could have never imagined that three years later my life would be so different. It is scary, it is exciting. It is exhilarating. I won't lie, some days I wake up scared out of my mind...but most days I look forward to all that is in store. For the first time in years I may have the opportunity to stay at home with my kids...for a while at least. I have never had that opportunity before and I look forward to it. It will all be so different but it is time. God has been preparing me for this, preparing my kids and family as well and everyday I see signs that this is the right thing to do. My next blog will be written from our new home, many, many miles away from here. God bless! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CHANGES

My how things can change on a dime. I just opened the blog and noticed the pictures of my classroom......Well, what WAS my classroom. I feel like I may never teach. So, now things have changed, immensely. I look back and realize that since February of 2009 my life has been a series of changes, big changes. I feel like I am riding on a roller coaster. In that time I have my lowest of lows...and my highest of highs. Of course, February 2009 is when I found out (shockingly) that I was pregnant with B. Fast forward through a very hard pregnancy, the shocking birth, the 5 month hospital stay and all that encompassed that. I came home with a medically fragile, delayed baby on a feeding tube. We get over that hurdle, we move in a more expensive house. I lose the job I have had for 18 years and Mark has just taken a lower paying job to stay at home more. We have a rough financial year and lots of changes. I work on getting my teaching certificate, fail my test by one question, take a much lower paying job. I finally pass my test, muddle financially through the year and finally get a teaching position (after many interviews and sleepless nights). And now.....drum roll please.... We are moving to the Houston area! Mark got transferred and our house is on the market. Please insert stress here! So I had to turn down my teaching position...which by the way I spent tons of money buying things for teaching. We have limited time to sell our house, find one in the Houston area and get going before schools starts. And, the market here is supposed to be so strong but I have had one whole person come to look at my house. I am starting to freak out. I just keep praying and knowing it is God's will and he has a plan for us. As long as we are together, we are fine. I hate to say it but when I freak out about anything I say, "we have been through so much worse!" Nothing could compare to Bryson's diagnosis and hospitalization at this point. So, as of this Friday I am unemployed....unfamiliar territory for me. I am looking forward to the time with my kids but I also know when I am not busy my mind tends to go nuts thinking about things. I have plans to clean out things and get prepared for the move. I know in my heart of hearts that God truly does have a plan for us. I am so very thankful for my family, for this opportunity to better our future, for the chance to enjoy my kids for a while. We are so very blessed! I ask that if you can please add us to your prayers. This is a big, big move and I would appreciate it! Thanks and I will be back with updates!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Can't believe it has been almost an entire month since I blogged! I sometimes think about shutting down the blog because I am not sure that anyone really reads it. But then I realize that I am so bad about taking pictures and remembering certain details of things that I am glad I keep my blog so that I have a record. Life is so busy, it is hard to remember every, amazing detail. Ok, so let's start off with some exciting news.... Drum Roll Please!................. Can anyone guess what this is???
It is my CLASSROOM! Yah! I got a job teaching kinder! I am so very, very excited! It is nearly all I can think about! Then, occasionally, the fear creeps in and I think, "WAHHHH! I'm gonna be a teacher! WAHHH!" Seriously, I am beyond excited! Now let me tell you about our amazing trip to Dallas! Daddy couldn't come because he was out of town so it was me and my mom and the three smelly boys. They had the best time! I don't believe I have ever eaten so much in my life. I thought to myself, isn't it funny that when you are young your trips revolve around partying or doing crazy things (i.e. roller coasters and concerts and bungee jumping) but once you hit a certain age, or a certain number of children, your trips revolve around EATING. We are definitely at that stage in our lives. LOL! We drove halfway on Thursday night since we didn't want to have to get up SO early on Friday to get to Dallas and we ate at a restaurant in Abilene's called "Belle's Chicken" Oh my goodness, best food I have EVER eaten. I tell people if I am ever stuck on death row, for my last meal, I'm ordering food from Belle's. Homemade fried chicken, homemade yeast rolls, green beans, corn, gravy, potatoes...all served cafeteria style. SO GOOD!!! We drove straight to Children's on Friday and took Bryson to see the train. He loved it!
It was so strange to be a true VISITOR. When we came in they asked us a TON of questions about our health and we had to bathe in hand sanitizer and we were only allowed to go to the train. So strange! I feel like we once had the run of the place. Everyone showed up and they were so happy to see Bryson. He, on the other hand, could not have cared less and didn't understand why people kept kissing and hugging him and taking pictures with him but he was very good and cooperated. I have to say, I am so blessed that he remembers not one thing from Children's or his time there. Seriously, what an incredible blessing! We handed over the check and took pictures and visited. It was short but very sweet! It felt so good to be able to give the money to them. I would give them everything I had if I could. I really wish that I lived there and could volunteer, it is just such an amazing hospital...full of amazing people!
I can't wait to see them all again in the Spring for the picnic!!! Then we headed to Great Wolf Lodge. I love this place but will not stay there on a weekend again. SO BUSY! Friday was much, much better than Saturday. Bryson loved the lobby. It does have a really nice "feel" and lots to look at. He would trot around like he owned the place. He went on and on about how he wanted to go into the waterpark and he lasted a whole........40 minutes. LOL! It was just an overload of the senses and too much water being sprayed and dumped on the head. He doesn't mind being wet but doesn't like water on his head so much. I think he will enjoy it much more next year. Riley LOVED IT! Kory....not so much but he put on a happy face for Riley. He is 16 so I expect it! We played for a while and had a nice dinner at Great Wolf's restaurant.
The next day we swam even more and then we headed out to have some more excitement. We had one heck of a crab feast and it was soooooo good!
We came upon the Grapevine Festival and it was sooo much fun! We didn't have a stroller but it turned out ok because Bryson just ran around and then when we were done he passed SMOOTH out.
Poor kid! But he had so much fun! We all did. We will FOR SURE be going back there!
Saturday night we met with family we haven't seen in FOREVER and had the best time. Bryson has a cousin that is just almost the same age as him, her name is Anzley. They had the biggest time playing and chasing each other. He was so excited to have someone to play with. It amazes me (but I'm not sure why) how much he LOVES to play with other kids. I guess because I don't see him do it a lot but I just don't remember my other kids loving it so much. Probably because they were forced to do it from birth on because of daycare. Anyway, it was such a great time! Here they are together.
The next day was Riley's 11th birthday. He and I got up early and tried to beat the rush to the pool to play for a little while. It was a lot of fun because it was just me and him...we don't get that often enough. I wish I could devote alone time to each child equally and to my hubby as well but that sure doesn't work out that way! Then, guess what we did.....you guessed it....we ate! We pigged out on wings at a place right near TCU. it was sooooooo good!!!!
I had to laugh because, of course, Riley dumped chicken wings in his lap. And, his shorts were on inside out. This kid is always a hot mess! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have to remind him to zip his fly EVERY SINGLE MORNING! Anyway, here he is all a mess and we find a bakery to get birthday cupcakes and wouldn't you know it is super fancy, full of super fancy people. And then there is me, in my hat and sunglasses, no makeup, no nothing...and Riley with chicken wing sauce on various parts of his face and splattered all over his inside-out shorts. We are a motley crue! I never deny that! But seriously we had the best weekend! So much fun! I can't wait for more trips. I plan on really enjoying the next few months. I work at my current job until the very end of June, and then in July a short vacation and I start training and decorating my classroom. It will be crunch time and I know my nervousness and anxiety level will be high so I am trying my very best to enjoy right now! Will post more pictures soon. We have a river vacation, a beach vacation and a lake vacation coming up. As you can see, we like water! The truth is we relax more in those situations. We have done plenty of the "OMG, gotta fit it all in vacation!" and we come home exhausted. Vacations are meant to provide relaxation and that is our focus this year! God knows we deserve it! :) Yall have a great summer.....see ya soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ok, so I spoke a little too soon about the air condtioner. It was actually another week before we really had air conditioning. SUCH a nightmare! I had to post a picture of Bryson's fortune from his fortune cookie the other night.
Boy, nothing could be more true! My fortune cookie, on the other hand, was really off!
Um....yea, not gonna happen! The closest I come to sports is "sporting" a hat on the weekends. However back to Bryson's fortune. He is really such a joy in our lives. I cannot tell you how we EVER lived without him. He is so silly and funny and sweet. He likes to hide from me when I come home at lunch and jump out and scare me. He likes to wear his heart cape backwards so that it just looks like a giant bib. He just learned the words "poo poo" and everytime he says it he blushes from head to toe and hides his face. He puts on his dinosaur feet house shoes and goes around the house with his eyes squinted like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" and growls, "I'm MEAN!" When you get up from any seat in the house he runs over and sits there and just grins. And this kid, I swear he has twice as many teeth as a normal person. And he has dimples (just slightly) and they are so cute. I think it looks like he has a lot of teeth because he has such a wide mouth. Everything about the kid is cute...from his dimples to his slightly curled blonde locks. He is such a joy! It is unimaginable that there was ever a time that he might not be with us. Riley is, well, he is a Riley. He is doing great at school. He even got accepted into the gifted and talented program. I am so proud of him. He is avid reader and an avid eater too. He keeps me on my toes! Kory is doing great too. He is, of course, acting like a 16 year old and asking for a fancy, new car and somedays he speaks to me non-stop and other days he doesn't say two words to me. Ahhh, the joys of teenagers. But honestly, when it comes to him, I am so blessed. He is a great kid. I love it because at night all the boys just wrestle and fight and giggle. I love that! I love to watch them together. They love each other so much! Here is a picture of Bryson with his cousin Yubin. He is the newest addition to our family. My brother and his wife adopted him from Korea. He is so cute and full of personality!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I haven't written lately because I don't really have any great news to write about. Things are better than before....we went without air conditioning in the house for two weeks but now have air conditioning and WOW, it is wonderful! I am not sure how we ever lived without it! This past Friday Bryson got really, really sick and I had to take him to the ER in the middle of the night. It was a nightmare! He had strep! They gave him a shot and some antibiotics and he is much better. Bless his heart, he was so sick! And the doctor at the ER was a jackass! I mean here is a kid with a heart condition and sick as a dog and do you know he didn't even listen to his heart or lungs or anything. He was spending far too much time griping at him and saying, "there is no reason for you to be screaming." I wanted to say to him..."he has been through more in his short life than you will EVER know, and he has every damn right to scream!" UGH! So frustrating!
I went today and signed Bryson up for Mother's Day Out for next fall. I am excited and nervous and all those things! I know it will be wonderful for him to be around other kids. He loves to play with other kids! And, he needs the help in speech I think. He grunts a lot instead of talking because we do all the talking for him and we jump at his ever demand. I know we shouldn't but it is really hard not to coddle him after everything he has been through. Plus, I am thinking it would help with using the potty too. Maybe if he sees others using it he will as well. BUT, on the same hand I worry about the GERMS! UGH! I know he needs to build up his immunity but I hate having him be sick and I know that is what is going to happen. It will be great, it will finally give us the "push" to let him be a toddler instead of a baby and it will make him see how other toddlers act as well. I will say that my nephews came in to visit this weekend and Bryson played really well with my nephew who is about 8 months younger. Even when he wasn't feeling good he was sweet and played nice. He doesn't know to be pushy or take things away so much because no one at our house takes away his toys. Mother's Day Out is going to be a huge learning curve for us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have some great memories in the making coming up. We are fixing to be headed to Dallas to take the money that was raised on Bryson's behalf. They are going to give us a tour of the hospital (the new parts) and we will do a check presentation thing and see all of our old doctors and nurses. I am super excited! Then we are going to go to the Great Wolf Lodge for Riley's birthday. Bryson has never been and I know he is going to be soooooo excited! It should be a lot of fun!
Then in May and June the job search starts for me!!!! As you may or may not know, I have my certification and I am ready to teach and so I am going to start applying for jobs for the next school year. I am excited and nervous all at the same time but I know this is the right thing for me. I know it is a stressful job but at the same time such a rewarding job. One teacher gave me the best advice....she said, "some days are stressful, but I never wake up and dread coming to work...I love it and I love the kids!" It will be good! My life has been such a roller coaster for so very long it seems. I sure would like some normalcy, some routine. I had the same job and essentially the same life for 18 years...day in...day out. And I remember complaining that I was bored and I needed a change. Well Lord, I got the point. I am bored no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Yall be good! Love yall!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yea, we are strange...what of it?


This is me...crawling into my mom's house via the window because she got locked out of her house. Yes, we are a strange family! We own it....we embrace it! :)


This is what I look like from the other end! I don't normally post pics of myself...or have any for that matter. However this picture was taken at bunco and I actually like it. How often can we say we actually like a picture of ourselves? So I thought I would post it. When I read blogs I am always so curious as to what that person looks like. It helps me to visualize the words better. Sounds strange, I know!

Well our life right now is in complete and utter turmoil. Some I can share....some, not yet. Besides I like to keep you coming back for more!!!!!!!!!!! :)
In the past month our kitchen floor has been flooded and ripped up. And, let me just mention that it looks HORRID! The tile underneath is soooo bad! I can barely stand it! I have rugs EVERYWHERE! Oh, and I can't find anyone to repair it until JUNE!!!!!!
Kory's car broke and the repairs were over $500
We have a mobile home we rent and I went in for the first time in years to find holes in walls and terrible, terrible damage. We had to pay $400 just to have the holes and toilet repaired. The rest we just left! UGH!
Our air conditioner started leaking into one of our closets (thankfully just a closet with jackets and such) and so we had to call the air conditioner repair people and that cost us about 300. We had to tear the ceiling out of the closet as well. Then we find out that the air conditioner isn't just leaking....it is DONE...BROKEN....DEMOLISHED....CONDEMNED! Sooooooo....we have to get a new air conditioner but have to go a week without any air conditioning at all so they can order a new one.
Now, with all this WONDERFUL stuff going on...let's see if we can see the silver lining.....
1) we have survived WAY worse...and our kids are healthy right now...and happy (knock on wood)
2) our insurance is going to cover the kitchen floor and our deductible was a fraction of what I thought it would be
3) Kory's car broke but we noticed it before it got bad and the wheel could have come off because of this particular problem. SUPER SCARY! Oh and the night before we paid for the repairs Mark was able to sell his bow and arrow. (It had been on Craigslist for so long....so it was a Godsend) and that actually paid half of the repairs
4) we have a home warranty and they are going to pay for the ENTIRE AIR CONDITIONER! Wooh! I can't imagine what we would have done if this had not been the case.

SOOOOO, with all that being said...yes, man, things are tough right now but it could be so much worse. And with that being said I would like to send mad prayers to all my friends and family in Dallas. They had some really horrific tornadoes and storms up there recently! So sad! I was so glad no one was hurt! God is good, ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If you can't find us we are HERE







Every. single. day......I say that with both zest and disappointment. The zest is because YES, we love to be outside every evening. The weather is great and it is a great form of exercise for my otherwise lazy family. However, mama works ALL day and mama is tired when she comes home and mama has to still cook and clean and bath a dirty toddler and on and on and on. I guess what I am saying is it would be better if we could go outside for say......30 minutes and then all smile and skip inside. But no, it goes more like this.....I come in the door....Bryson starts whining and saying "shoes, shoes, shoes" OVER AND OVER. I take him outside and everyone else goes and we play. HOURS later I drag a screaming, kicking toddler inside...a toddler that smells like a big pile of dirt. Just not the magic this mama dreams of! That kid LOVES to be outside. I have never had a kid love being outside as much as he does. However we have the perfect location with a circle drive and in a cul de sac so I am happy for that. Last night I thought I was going to get away from taking him outside...that by some chance he just "forgot". However five minutes after coming home I hear him standing at the door but this time instead of shouting "shoes" (cause he already had them on) he was yelling, "Amy, Amy, Amy!" OMG! He heard Riley call me that and so he does it sometimes too. I had to laugh! These children are gonna drive me mad! :)
Oh and while everyone else plays, THIS is what I do!



Yea, I am creative like that! We are having a water shortage so I am helping out!


And when Bryson is not begging to go outside, he is begging to go somewhere. The kid wants to GO! When he gets ready, he brings me my purse...and my shoes. These are the shoes he brought me last weekend. LOL




The kid is crazy! Speaking of crazy, we had this living in our house for a week.


Yea, a week! Don't ask me why we thought it would be a good idea. Kory was wanting a ferret really, really bad so I let him get one and I swear I have NEVER seen such a messy, disgusting animal in all my life! WOW! You could have an elephant in your house and the mess would be less. She just hated being in a cage so she destroyed everything in it every day. There was goo and God knows what in that cage at the end of the day. So one day, I told Kory (about three days in), "you know this is a trial period and if you want to get rid of her we can." He stated that she was ok, give him a few days. Two days later he called me and said, "I sold her, Mom, you won't believe what all she has done in that cage!" Wow, that was quick! LOL! I was never so glad to get rid of an animal in my life!

Anyway, enough excitement for now! We have plenty, trust me. We have to get our kitchen floor redone, we are selling a mobile home, and on and on and on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm tired! Oh, and I have to get ready to go outside! :) Love yall!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break







I guess I have been on a blogging hiatus. Seems like lately if it has not been one thing...it is another. Anyway, we had spring break last week and aside from our dishwasher leaking and ruining our kitchen floor. Epic fail! But we decided to leave town anyway and head to the big town of San Antonio. It was fun but I learned a lesson...don't go to San Antonio during spring break...everyone else had the same idea! Actually I am beginning to think that traveling during Spring Break to anywhere is a bad idea. I forget that the entire state of Texas has the same time off. Oh well! It was fun anyway.

We started off by heading to the Alamo. Riley has been dying to see the Alamo!








That night we had dinner with family we have not seen in FOREVER. It was great!


The next day we ventured on to Fiesta Texas. It was fun but sooooo crowded! Bryson wanted to ride everything. lol!
















Needless to say, we wore someone OUT! But it took two full days of going NON-STOP for that to happen. This kid who was suspected of having problems with his energy level has enough energy for 50 people!!!!!!!!

The last day we stopped at the zoo. I don't have pictures of that day really cause it was sooo crowded that we got there early and literally RAN through the entire thing so that we could make it through before it was wall-to-wall people. NUTS! Anyway, all in all, a fun trip! But I did enjoy being home the tail end of the week to do some stuff around the house and relax a little. Bryson enjoyed the time too. the weather was beautiful and so we spent a lot of time outside which he loves. OMG, this kid would LIVE outside. He screams and screams when we go in. In fact, I made him come in and get a bath and he refused to take his shoes off because he thought we were going back outside. He is so funny! Here is he doing "yard work". LOL!

video

Before we left for San Antonio we had the Bryson Young benefit. The event was put together by the Number One Stunnas...a motorcycle group. They ride "crotch rockets" and my, oh my what an amazing group of people! Honestly! Such great people! This is a group of individuals who don't even know us and got together to raise funds for our beautiful baby boy. The turn out was great but the weather was awful. It was very cold so we would be outside for a little bit and then back in again. They had a bbq, donations were taken, they had a 50/50 draw and so much more. They were able to raise $1000. Can you believe! I was so stunned! Every penny will be going to Children's hospital in Dallas. We want to use it for a moral boosting picnic for the staff but we aren't sure what we are going to do quite yet. Anyway, I am so humbled by everyone's generosity. And, the reason the entire thing started was because of a classmate of Riley's named Marina. What an amazing girl! She mentioned it to her uncle, he is in the motorcycle group. He started the logistics and the whole family took part. In the end Marina wrote a speech and said it front of everyone. I was soooo proud of her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You think I can talk Riley into asking her to marry him!? LOL! Anyway, I will let you know when we take the money to Dallas and see our great group of doctors and nurses yet again! Check out the pics of the benefit below!







Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Segments


Bryson wearing ALL of his beads of courage!

Bryson helping me at the store!



After reading so many blogs for such a long time something occured to me....parents of children who are "fragile" or have been "fragile" live their lives in segments. Everyones segments differs. My segments are six month segments. Some people's segments are much shorter, some are longer. Cancer parents live their life from scan to scan. Parents of children who have passed live their life from angelversary to angelversary. Heart parents live their live from one cardiologist appointment to the next. We had our appointment in February and in the weeks leading up I feel the anxiety, the fear....and the closer it gets...the more anxiety I get. Then we go to the appointment, we *hopefully* get a good report and I breathe again. I feel the weight lifted off of my shoulders and then we laugh and play and wait for the next appointment, and hope for the best. It is awful that any parent has to live this way and I never understood it until Bryson was born. I never understood the pure agony and hell of WAITING. Waiting on surgery, waiting on labs, waiting on xrays, waiting on a doctor. I swear that time in a hospital CRAWLS! I have never seen anything like it! When I think about it my life segments when Bryson was born were super short, and fast and furious. What a roller coaster ride! Now.....we are kind of coasting. I feel the wind in my hair and I like it. I can do six months! Its a cake walk in comparison! :)
Oh and before I go, here are some cute Bryson stories. The kid is the biggest ham ever. I read on a blog the other day (I know, your shocked! Admit it) where a mother has a son who has had several heart procedures. She said he was kind of rotten and tempermental. She stated that his therapist said it was because he was a "celebrated child". I LOVE THAT! Bryson fits that to a tee!!!!!!!! So now I tell my mom, "remember, he is c squared!" He is so rotten. He is so happy when I get home. He shows off and is silly and he LOVES to say NO! So me and the kids ask him questiosn all night long and he always yells NO!
"Bryson, do you love mom?"
NO
"Bryson, do you love puppies?"
NO
"Bryson, do you know where babies come from?"
NO
"Bryson do you want 50% more cash back?"
NO
"Bryson, do you want a cookie?"
ALRIGHT (again, he doesn't say yes, he says Alright but I SWEAR it sounds like he is saying Hawaii!) I am gonna film it so you all can hear. So I always end up with my last question, which is...
"Bryson, where do you want to vacation this year?"
HAWAII
:) :) LOL!!