Nothing Like a Little Perspective

Ya'll, I have so much I need to share. So many thoughts in my mind, things that are happening around here, pictures, etc. Time has been a precious commodity this week so a post of that nature may not actually happen. 

But my dear friend Katie was featured in this Texas Children's Hospital video today and I cannot help but share with you. As a friend, she is incredibly precious to me --- I don't know that I could have made it sanely through Q's journey without her. Her faith, love, generosity, and grace through the most difficult circumstances continues to inspire me. There is this one picture that I always think back to - Katie is laying on the gurney, about to be wheeled into surgery to deliver sweet Caroline at just 29 weeks, knowing that because of her health issues, she will be under full sedation and not even be aware of her first child's birth.

But there is Katie and Ryan - with huge smiles on their faces on that gurney. Ready to face the world. Ready to face whatever was coming their way. To me, their smiles show their incredible faith. I am sure, like us all, that under those smiles, was also an incredible amount of worry. But as Katie has lived her whole life, she chooses optimism. She chooses love. She chooses faith and God, above all else. 

I love this video because it's so true to them - every ounce. Quinn's BFF, Caroline, is a testament to prayers, miracles, and outstanding care from the doctors and nurses at Texas Children's Hospital. I am absolutely convinced, that without TCH, that Quinn would not have such a positive prognosis for her life. And Caroline is absolutely in that same sentiment --- our babies were cared for by the best in the business. Oh, my - thank you, God. Thank you for these precious babies, who really are not so much babies anymore, but full on toddlers, thanks to the marvels of the medical world --- and truly, the marvels of the God we serve. 

I am not asking you to donate or take action after this video. I am simply asking that you watch it and pray that you feel as moved as I did. Pray for all of the sweet babies struggling for life right now. And hug your little ones and loved ones ever much closer tonight. Life is indeed, precious.

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Random Weekly Update

It's almost 11:00 p.m. - way past my usual bedtime - but I had a late dinner with a girlfriend of mine and sleep is escaping me at the moment. So of course it's the perfect time to bore you with details of our happenings around here. You're welcome in advance.

1. We are on week 2 or 3 of no Mother's Day Out and I can definitely say I am missing it. Please don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but I also loved the break we had from each other. I think it goes both ways too. So we are trying to figure out what to do with our summer. Luckily, we've been pretty busy with house showings, some playdates, mandatory errand running, so it hasn't been too bad. But I will say, this is the time when I wish we lived closer to family or to free help I could call on --- I would LOVE to be able to take the kids to the splash pad, zoo, or even just our local park by myself, but it's just not possible. At their age, they sprint in literally two different directions, and I just can't take the chance. If they were further apart in age, I think it would be doable. Right now, not so much. Heck, I can barely get both of them out of the car and walk them into the Little Gym without having one try to undo the death grip I have on his/her hand and trying to avoid slamming somebody's head with the car door.

2. This one is a back up to number 1 - my child - let's call her Quinn for fun, is soooooo over the stroller. OVER. Like cries like a maniac, thrashes about, throws shoes and bows everywhere, whenever she has to go in it. There was a lovely moment in time where if we had a few hours to kill, we could at least go stroll the mall or our local outdoor shopping area and all was right with the world. Not so much anymore. Ninja girl can figure out how to get both of her straps off and then she is just literally hanging by a thread in the stroller. Ughhh. She has to be out of the stroller AND help push it to be happy. Have you ever tried to carry a toddler in a position where she can navigate a double stroller with one baby happily sitting in it and a blank spot beside him where the other baby should be? Yeah. Super fun.

3. Honestly, I get confused as to what I put on facebook, what I publish on here, or what I tell people. Social media woes. So if I repeat myself, forgive me. I do believe I've said that our house was on the market, and I am pretty sure I mentioned we had an offer the other day. Anyway, we have the coolest story behind the offer and we are just praying like crazy that it goes through. We were getting super, super discouraged as we kept showing the house and seemingly having no results. And then about 2 weeks ago on Memorial Day weekend a couple walked through and loved the place. I will write more on their story later, but long story short, if all goes as planned, we will close at the end of June and then we have a lease back for 90 days (yes, NINETY DAYS!) for a crazy low amount to give us time to figure out what we are going to do. And yes, we still don't know what we are going to do. We thought we were going to build but now we are having second thoughts. Thankfully our earnest money on that house is 100% refundable so we won't be out anything until they break ground. So now we are looking at other homes in the area to really do our homework and see where we want to end up. Our plan is that this new house will be our 10-15 year house. The house our kids are virtually raised in. To make a long term decision like that is just kinda blowing my mind at the moment and I have been all sorts of stressed out and have the break outs on my face to prove it. But like someone told me the other day, what a great problem to have. Yes, these are not exactly third world problems and I thank that person for returning me to planet earth and reality.

4. Following #3, yes, our long term plan is to stay in Houston. Five years ago, I was plotting ways of how I could get us to Dallas (where I grew up). But now, this is HOME. Not to say that I don't desperately miss my mom or wish she could be closer to see her grandbabies grow up, or that I don't wish I lived within minutes of some of my dearest friends whom I love and cherish. But as the years have passed here, we've really been immensely blessed with an awesome support system here. I recently had surgery and I can't tell you the number of ways our family was loved on, by people bringing meals, calling, offering to watch our kids, etc. We have an amazing church home, Matt's job is great, and I have made incredible friends that I am beyond blessed by. Besides the fact that we live in a swamp where the sheer brutality of the heat and humidity drives me to the brink of insanity, I actually really like it here. Surprise, surprise. 

5. I still have yet to blog about the kids' birthday party, so that's the next post coming. I swore up, down, and sideways that I was not going to make a big deal of their 2nd birthday and for a moment in time, we weren't even going to have a party. But I started thinking about all of the amazing people who supported us endlessly during Q's surgery and recovery and I just felt it was a disservice not to at least not attempt to thank them for everything they did for us. So yes, we had a party. And it was FANTASTIC. So glad we did it - and I learned an important lesson. Last year I sweated every last detail of their 1st birthday party and started planning months in advance. And guess what? It was a good party, but can I say I even really enjoyed it? Not really. I was just too stressed. This year, given my medical circumstances and then the last minute decision to even host a party, we planned all of it in less than 3 weeks --- and guess what? It was the most fun I've had in a long time. No, it wasn't Pintrest perfect and it was less than fancy. But we had great company, good food, and best of all, the kids had a blast. So pictures and post to come soon!

So now that I have tortured you enough with my random thoughts and happenings of the week, I'll sign off. : ) Hope all of you are having  a blessed and wonderful week. If you made it this far, congrats.

In Him,

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Car Wash Phobia?

My car has been screaming for a car wash, oh, probably for the last 3 months or so. I rarely pay for a car wash because Matt would rather do it than pay the money. But we've been so busy on the weekends with showings, house hunting, birthdays, etc that car washing hasn't been a priority. The other day we had a showing so of course we had to clear out of the house. Showings are becoming expensive because every time we have to leave, I end up at Target or HEB or worse, the mall. We need this offer to close soon so I can get our bank account back on track. 

Anyway, I decided to head to the car wash to kill some time and also because I was too lazy to get the kids out of the car, into the stroller, hear them scream in some store, reload them, and then unload them at home. the Texas heat is starting to get to me and I think we may end up in drive thrus the rest of the summer. 

However, never did I expect that the car wash would be a frightening experience for them. I naively thought they would think it was cool, like a giant bathtub or something. Apparently all the pounding water, sounds, and brushes against the windows scared my little bugs. And since we were stuck and there was nothing I could do to make the fear go away, I did what any awesome mom would do. 

I recorded it. (Yet actually in the video I apparently had a flashback to 1986 and said I was "taping it". Who remembers the last time they "taped" anything???) 

At any rate, this was the result. Sad, yes. 

Funny as well? I'm not gonna lie, yep.

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On Your 2nd Birthday...

June 3, 2012

Dearest Ryan and Quinn,

Today you are TWO! Two years old. No longer babies but full-fledged toddlers. It doesn't seem possible that two years have already passed. At this time, two years ago, I was finally getting settled in my room at St. Luke's with Ryan in my arms and Quinn in the NICU. Groggy, disoriented, sick as a dog, but absolutely thrilled that y'all were finally here...safe and sound.

 It's been quite the journey these past two years to say the least.

Tons of highs, a few lows, and a little bit of a bumpy ride --- but worth every single second.

Your daddy and I don't remember what life was like before you both arrived. We know we probably slept a bit more and worried a bit less, but oh, how sweet and full our days are now. We feel incredibly blessed that God chose YOU specifically for us. We both thank Him every day for the two of you --- we are so undeserving of the Grace He passed onto us.

R&Q, you make me smile every day. What fun it is to see you learn new things, new words, or new "tricks"! I won't sugar coat it all --- some days are tough, very tough. As would be expected with two toddlers who are curious about EVERYTHING and want into EVERYTHING. I am not always the best mom - I lose my patience, I may yell or get overly frustrated, but never, ever for a single second, doubt my love for you. It is beyond measure.

Ry, you are just my sweet, sweet little boy. Your smile is infectious and your personality is so charming. You are a huge flirt with the ladies :) and you melt hearts with those baby blues. You crack me up on a regular basis --- either with your passionate guitar playing, your "Ryan & Mom" games, or just being silly with Max. You have such a sensitive spirit and even at 2, you still must have your cuddles. Thank goodness for that!!! Right now you are loving your books and are all about letters --- every letter that you see, you must point it out and usually you call anything an "A" or an "O". I am thinking you may be the reader in the family - you have the most patience to sit down and read quietly or play on your Leapfrog laptop to "practice" your letters. Precious. You love all things Mickey, any type of music, and you just generally my all-around go with the flow kid. I love you, Ry Guy, with all my heart. May God continue to bless you as you grow into your 2nd year of life. I can't wait to see what He has in store for you this year!

Quinnie, my beautiful baby girl. You are still just as fiesty at two as you have been since the day you arrived. You have survived so much this year --- two open heart surgeries, multiple hospital stays, pain we can't even fathom, and even heart failure --- and through it all you have maintained your zest and love of life. God sure knew what He was doing when He gave you that amazing spirit. And you are sweet as pie too. Randomly throughout the day, even if I have just put you in time out for the fifth time, you will come up to me and just wrap those chubby little arms around my legs and give me a big squeeze. It's those cuddles out of the blue that make me catch my breath and I'm almost brought to tears. You are for sure Mommy's helper and Miss Independent --- the times you get the most frustrated are just when you want to do things yourself, whether it's throwing away the trash, climbing up into your booster chair, or putting on your shoes. You are scary smart and pretty much understand everything we say and will repeat it back constantly. Yikes! : )  Q, you are my precious angel. I thank God every day that you continue to grow and thrive despite all the odds. He has big plans for you --- I can't wait to see them unfold.

I could write pages and pages about you two and what characters you are. Y'all may have been born within 30 seconds of each other, but you are very much individuals - and I love it! The differences you have are astounding, but make each of you so unique and special. And yet, despite your differences, you are incredibly close and share a bond that is fascinating to see. I pray as you continue to grow that your love for each other as siblings and friends also blossoms.

Ryan and Quinn, thank you for the last two years. Thank you for your patience with us as we stumble along this parenting path. We've learned so much about ourselves and unconditional love since you've been here. You have changed our lives 200% for the better. Our lives will never be the same and thank God for that. And thank God for you. Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet monkeys. May you always know how much you are loved and adored.

In His Precious Name,



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