"Love" Posts :: Houston Moms Blog

Honestly, I don't know if anyone reads this thing anymore but I do like to update it every now and again with my Houston Moms Blog posts, if nothing else than for posterity :) It has been a ROUGH few weeks around the C Household, multiple sicknesses {flu, strep, sinus infections, and double ear infections}- I love the wonderful weather we can experience in January and February in Houston but it's a KILLER on the body with 50 degree swing in temperatures every day. That said, I am praying we are all on the mend. This week is jam packed and I need to be on my a-game.

Last week I shared two posts with the Houston Moms Blog readers :: one was a totally spontaneous, super sarcastic post about The Bachelor {total guilty pleasure here} and the other had been planned for quite awhile - the story of our marriage. It's quite possibly my most transparent sharing to date and I was scared to death at the reactions I would get. Mercifully, every one was so kind and encouraging with a lot of people saying "Me too!" Whew. Someone asked me why I feel compelled to be open about our struggles. The only succinct reason I can come up with is that simply I feel called to. Our story is not in vain and if it helps one person feel not alone, then it's worth it. I believe God gave me a tiny voice to share for a reason if that makes sense at all. Anyway, the two posts couldn't be more different :) If you want to check them out, see below!

{Big thanks to my sweet friend Jenn, fellow HMB contributor for the starting point on this one!}

Hope y'all have a great week!

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Family Pictures 2014

Per usual we took our annual family pictures this past December. I am convinced that if I didn't force these upon the family that I would rarely appear in a picture with my kids :) That said, it's not exactly my favorite thing to do --- I completely overthink, overdress, and overstress. But I am always thrilled when I get the images back and then thank God that I don't have to do it again for 364 more days. Ha! 

But if I am going to do pictures, it's a huge treat to have Kendra take them. Sadly she moved away this past May and I have missed her so much. But when she posted the two dates she would be back this year to take photos in Houston, I jumped on it. Literally - like in 2 minutes. Even if it was a brief time, it was SO good to see my sweet friend again. She loves my kids so much and they love "Aunt Kendra" too! Kendra, I love you and thank you for capturing literally thousands of images over the past 4 1/2 years. It's an incredible gift to us, just as you are to me. {To see Kendra's post & a sweet message today click here}

Here are a "few" of my favorite (hey, she sent me 100, it's hard to whittle it down!!!)

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Friday Favorites!

I always read Erika, Andrea and Narci's Friday Favorites but I've never linked up. However, the kids are still sleeping, we have a lazy morning, and my work is almost done for the week - so why not?

1. Girl's Trip to Fredericksburg :: Y'all. I am still on a total high from a trip to Fredericksburg with my 2 BFF's. We've literally tried to plan this for years but someone was always pregnant, nursing, in the hospital, taking care of a kid in the hospital, the list goes on and on. Finally the stars aligned and we had the best.weekend.ever. Seriously. Late dinner Friday with wine (of course), then we shopped and hit up the wineries all day Saturday, followed by another delicious dinner. We were in no rush to get back so we laid around in our PJ's on Sunday morning for a couple of hours, had a late breakfast and then finally departed. The trip was so good for my soul. And as well as I thought I knew my girls, spending 48 hours together allowed us to get to know each other even better. It's a God-given friendship and we are already planning for our trip next November!

2. Boots and Vest weather :: Houston NEVER gets this cold, this early in the season. But since I've had vests, scarves, and new boots taunting me in the closet ever since Nordy's anniversary sale, I couldn't be happier that it's cold. Matt now knows my new uniform is a combination of those items plus leggings. Heaven! If you haven't gotten your hands on these JCrew Factory puffer vests, you really should. They have still have the tweed one, plus they've added some other colors from the last time I checked the site. Dang it. {P.S. The tweed is not on sale, but the other colors are marked down significantly. Jump on it! They are the perfect weight to keep you warm but not sweat your booty off indoors} Oh, and we can't leave out the blardigan - best.sweater.blanket.ever. I don't know why it took me a year to purchase this but it is a dream. I know Chelsea over at The Perfect Catch totally is nodding her head in agreement, right Chels? We share a deep love of all things scarf, vest, and Pinterest Told Me To approved :)

3. Boot socks :: I finally got my hands on some adorable boot socks. I love the added flair. I went with a more classic lace pair like this {although I bought mine in Fredericksburg} So cute!

4. Christmas Shopping :: Matt and I are bound and determined to finish Christmas shopping by December 1st. This would be a huge accomplishment considering I was THAT mom at the toy store last year on Christmas Eve. I want to sit back and enjoy this season. The twins are super excited and at 4 1/2 they are at the perfect age to really "get" it. Cannot.wait. Santa has already scooped up a few things and we're making a dent in the rest of our family/friend list. Yay! And again I could not be more thankful for Amazon prime :)

5. Advent Devotional Calendar :: And we can't forget the true reason of the season. One of my fellow Houston Moms Blog contributors, Becky, created this wonderful Sacred Christmas Advent Calendar. It arrived this week in the mail and I was so excited to share it with Matt. We plan on doing it together in the evenings for a little quiet time versus playing on facebook or the iPad. Thanks, Becky! I highly recommend the calendar especially after seeing it in person - but hurry, only about 7 more days to get it before Advent begins. You can order it here and for $20.00, I think it's a BARGAIN.

Happy Friday, everyone! Or as it is known in my house, "Sushi Friday!"

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(Please note :: I did not receive any compensation for the links above. They are just products I own and love!)


Closing the Door :: The Mourning of No More Children

I'm over at Houston Moms Blog talking about the myriad of emotions that comes with closing the door to having more kiddos. It was probably one of my most transparent and honest posts to date --- and thus I was extremely nervous to put all of that out there. But people could not have been more kind with their comments and so many people related to those emotions. What a relief and a big "whew"! It's always great to know you aren't alone in the crazy :) Here's a little excerpt::

My child-bearing years are over.
It has taken me months to begin to process this realization. Longer than that to even write about it. If I ramble, forgive.
Right before the twins turned three, the blanket of exhaustion fog began to lift, and I saw we could actually do life – like go places {happily}, do normal things like hit up the grocery, and be on our own for extended periods of time. And in that moment, it also brought the question of “Well, one more?
And I thought through that. Like all the time. And came to the conclusion that these two sweet ones were enough for me.
Thank y'all for reading!!! It means so much.

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Scarf Swap 2014

A few weeks ago, my sweet friend Chelsea (and fellow Houston Moms Blog contributor) over at the Perfect Catch blog put out a call for a Scarf Swap 2014. Since I'm pretty sure my fall/winter uniform is going to mainly consist of scarves, skinny jeans, and boots, I jumped right on that train. 

{Gahhh, for some reason my link up button isn't cooperating this morning. I'll try again this afternoon!}

And oh my goodness, I'm so glad I did. I got the SWEETEST scarf partner, Katie @ The Perks blog. {You really need to check out her blog too - she has some yummy recipes on there that have made my way into my meal plans for the next few weeks.} 

Anyway, she totally outdid herself. I am into everything buffalo check these days, so you can imagine my excitement when my package showed up. {Chels may have put a bug in her ear, too - just guessing :) } PLUS, she sent the sweetest package of "Thinking of You" notes, Juicy Couture nail polish in Treat, and little containers of Halloween play-doh for my kids. Katie, THANK YOU!!!! Loved everything and can't wait to rock the buffalo scarf when it drops another 10 degrees. If I can wait that long :)

Thanks for hosting, Chelsea! I'm thinking there has to be a spring equivalent to a scarf so we can do this all over again in a few months. Too fun!

Happy Scarf Day!

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Quinn Cardio Update, Edition 785

I am beginning to accept that at this season in our lives, regular blogging just isn't going to happen. There are just not enough hours in the day, and that's ok. I still read my favorite bloggers regularly and get my "dose" in the a.m. But as for me throwing out any sort of content, it's beyond my energy level. 

That being said, there are definitely a few things that I still want to make sure I document, if nothing but for posterity's sake. One of those things is all things cardio-related for Quinn. That being said, I am so grateful to God that I've had nothing to report for 8-9 months. (If you follow me on facebook, you probably already know this update - my apologies for repeat content).

This past Monday we had her cardiology check up. Basically a full work up of EKG, chest x-ray, echo, consult with our cardiologist and more. 

Y'all. I just can't explain what I feel before these appointments. 

The uneasiness always sets in a few days before. I feel it in every fiber, every bone, and with every breath that I take. It can easily consume my thoughts if I don't consciously push them away. I see this child almost every waking minute and I know she's a walking, talking, crazy miracle. But what lies beneath?

We never know.

After a fun and inspirational morning at iBloom (more on that at a later date, but dang, what a blessing in my life this year), the twins and I headed out for lunch and then met Daddy for the Ryan drop off so I could attend the appointment with Quinn.

And like always, this child just blew me away with her grace, her smiles, her laughter, and NO TEARS. She seriously is just about the best patient I've seen. I don't openly brag much about my kids, but man, I am so proud of her tenacious spirit. It's beyond anything I could ever be.

Per usual, she was absolutely still during her lengthy echo (about 50 minutes long) and never cried out one time, even when I knew she was getting hungry and tired. We finally saw the doctor after about 2 1/2 hours and received wonderful news.

While her heart still looks "bad", and parts are "bad", it's still working GREAT for her. She is clinically doing wonderfully and developmentally tracking well. I could hardly hold back tears when the cardiologist told us that we earned another 9 month "hall pass". It was answered prayers.

See, the thing is, at some point the "bad" won't work "great". It will begin to weaken her heart and necessitate multiple repairs, including stenting out her pulmonary arteries to increase oxygen flow, replacing her Pulmonary Valve (right now only done in the U.S. with open heart surgery), and perhaps a few other things to assist her right ventricle.

And we don't know when the "bad" will come.

But we cannot focus on that. I have to continually remind myself of that, otherwise I would be gripped in absolute fear all of the time. And that would do my children (or my husband, or me for that matter) any favors. So today, we take the victory. One step, one appointment at a time. And thankfully and hopefully, the next one is a long NINE months away. Time to keep steppin' on.

P.S. This past month, we also celebrated the three year anniversary of Quinn's two open heart surgeries, or her "new heart days" as we call it. Three years? I don't even know how that is possible. In one instance, it seems like a lifetime - almost like it happened to someone else. And then the next, I can be brought back to those emotions, the smell of the hospital, the ding of the elevator, the swishing sound of the respirator, and the pumping of the ventilator. Oh my, little girl. You've come so far. 

Love to you all, 

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