Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Small update...

Thanks everybody for being so kind :) It really is a blessing to have so many people that care about us.

This update is pretty insignificant, but a bunch of people have asked to know anything new when we know. Our echocardiogram is scheduled for Monday, and after a talk this afternoon with my brilliant neurologist aunt, I now know that is NOT the same as an EKG, although we may need one of those as well. An echocardiogram is basically an ultra-sound of the heart. Also gleaned from my convo with Aunt Mia, cyanosis is actually just the name for Briella's skin (fingers) turning blue, not a disease. The discoloration is probably caused by a problem in either her blood, her lungs, or her heart. Since her blood work and chest x-ray came back fine, that (probably) eliminates blood and lungs. So Monday we begin the investigation of a heart issue. Still no closer to knowing what is actually going on, but at least I understand what we do know better :)

Feeling a lot better about everything today. I think my struggle over the speech issue with West was mostly do to finding out within an hour of hearing about what's going on with Briella. I really am actually looking forward to getting the help he needs, and trusting that we will be able to take care of things. And God knows how everything will turn out with Sis. He's taken us through so many trials in the past few years, and each one has given us another opportunity to grow as people, closer as a couple and family, and closer to God. Even if all that comes of this is a greater appreciation for my precious children and another opportunity to learn to trust my heavenly Father, I'm thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I love my children. And I want to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy, happy, and successful. But there are times the burden of love for them weighs heavy. Over the past and next few weeks my children have had (or will have) an appointment for croup for Sis, trips to the dentist for both, follow up vaccinations for West, allergy testing for Briella, speech and language pathology testing for West, and x-rays, blood work, and an up-coming echocardiogram to see if Briella has Cyanosis.

The last two are what concern me most at this moment. We expected, and I thought I was prepared for Westly's preschool teacher to let us know he is behind in speech. But hearing it today, even though his teacher was very delicate and kind in bringing it up, was hard. At home I had seen so much improvement since he started preschool, I guess I had hoped that between being at school and working with him at home we were succeeding in helping him. It's hard to not question if I've done a good job as his mom if his teacher can't understand at least 50% of what he is trying to communicate. Especially since Paul and I were either advanced or on track with speaking at his age, so Westly should have been pre-disposed to success. The creeping thought is, "If I had done a good job".

During our visit for croup with Briella the doctor became concerned with some blue discoloration we have been noticing in her hands and lips, particularly after she wakes up or when she is cold. We had to put my poor baby through a blood draw and chest x-ray (if you haven't done this- VERY scary and uncomfortable for infants), and today we scheduled an echocardiogram up at Doernbecher's. If that isn't a name to strike fear into the heart of a parent, I don't know what is. The doctor is worried she may have Cyanosis. I don't know all the details yet, but it is a condition where her blood pressure is too low and can be dangerous. The doctor wasn't clear on what we do if she tests positive, but my research online leans toward surgery. Scary.

I know God loves my children more than I do, I know he created them the way they are, and I know that every trial is for a reason. But I also know that as a mother I'm having trouble giving these issues up to God. I'm struggling to trust instead of worry. And the weight of all of these important doctor visits on top of our already hectic schedule is getting hard to bear. I would covet your prayers on these ones.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Letting go

Hello I'm back! Thoughtful and a little teary this morning, so if you're not in the mood for musings, I advise clicking back to your blogger dashboard :)

Letting go this week.
Today I'm taking my baby to see his preschool class for the first time, and even though he keeps telling me "You no be sad Mama, ok?" and I promise I won't be, I'm feeling it this morning. To carry a life for 9 months, and then to hold him and put everything you have into being his mother for the next 3 years is such a precious blessing, but watching that little life walk into a stage of life where I am not directly caring for him 24/7 is hard! What if his teacher doesn't treat him right, what if the other kids are mean, what if he learns to act in ways I don't want him to? I know for the most part these thoughts are silly, but the knowing doesn't make them leave my mommy heart.

Sara Denny and Emily Puckett, my "8th graders", are going to high school now. Out of my d-team forever (unless the sky falls and we decide to work with high-schoolers ;) Over this last year I watched both of these girls go from quiet to crazy fun leaders of our group. For the first time the Cause was split by school rather than by grade, and rather than pout because they weren't with their friends anymore, they stepped up to the plate and set an awesome example of how older girls should treat the younger in our little Cause family. They are the coolest 14 year olds I know and I am so proud of them :) But now off they go, and I can't help worrying a little- what if the teachers don't treat them right, what if the other kids are mean, what if they learn to act in ways that will hurt them... these worries are even sillier now than they were with Westly, but I do wish I could still be there with them every week, not as a mommy this time but as an older sister and friend.

And Beth. My sweet friend, my older sister and role model. We had our first staff meeting of the year last night, and I found myself tearing time and again, wishing I could just talk to her. She served so faithfully for so many years with the cause kids, starting at the same age I did, and I want so badly to do the same. She has moved on too, graduated for the last time. And I'm not in the least worried about her, because God can watch her better than I can.

And I know it's the same with my girls and my boy. He's with them as surely as He's with dear Beth, and what's more, there are so many wonderful believers waiting to walk with them through these next phases of life! So for now I am going to trust my Father, pray for my loved ones, and step forward in faith. He's walked with me every step so far, and He is good.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Anniversary Bliss!

Four years with the most wise, loving, and fun man I've ever met!

Thank you my forever Favorite!
 No one loves me like you...

24 hours until he whisks me away to Sisters Oregon for a weekend of childless anniversary bliss! More to come on that later (if I have time for taking photos ;) 

Friday, August 5, 2011


......I'm here to report I lied. I guess I'm just not ready for a home tour yet, because posting about it has held about zero fun for me.
So I haven't.
That probably makes me a bad blogger. But, since this blog is really about what I want to write about, I don't care!

What I DO want to write about today is (in my opinion) pretty fabulous, though!!!
We painted our house yesterday on the outside! 
Here is a before photo of our old, drab, and very tired looking little home.
Kind of pitiful, huh?
Yesterday, we pressure washed, painted the trim and garage, removed the ugly storm door, and hung a super cute house ornament. 
The result?

I seriously get a little giggly whenever I look at the before and afters!
The best part? This project cost us $30 total. We had a bucket of paint in the garage leftover from the previous owners, all we bought was the star. Obviously, there is still work to be done; planting in the flower bed under the window, and completely replacing our super weedy lawn in the next year or two (and then actually watering it), but I feel proud to own this home now :) 
For today, that is all I have to say.
But how about one more seriously cute photo for the road?

Friday, July 22, 2011

$3 Topiary Trees

I had a lot of fun with this project! When I set up my new TV stand I knew I needed something on either side of the TV. To take away from the TV-ish-ness of all it all. Anyhoo...
I've always thought topiary trees darling around the house, so I set out for my local Craft Warehouse to begin channeling my inner moss ball.  (Wow, Ash, feeling a little weird today?
Imagine my surprise and delight when I found the perfect balls on sale for $3 a piece! 
And I'm just saying, if you are at all interested in this little projecto, hustle on down there- they are clearing out their Spring stock. Or wait another year. Up to you.
I decided to use some mason jars I had for the pots, but if you have none check out Goodwill.
 $.29 ea. Seriously. 
 Next I poked around our local stick emporium (aka my yard) for some sturdy little trunks. West helped me fill in dirt around the stick. So much fun to include the littles :D
I trimmed them down to size with clippers, and then attempted to carve points.
 After a little trial and error, I found clippers are good for the basic point and taking off any nubs that could hinder the moss ball, but you'll need some sand paper before it will come together smoothly.
 I used a shish-kabob stick to give myself a little opening to work with. Whatever you've got on hand will work though.
Push the stick into the hole you've prepped and you are through with the "tough" part!

I felt like the jars were a little plain on their own so I tied some scraps of fabric around the middle and then decided to add a bow around the neck. I'm thinking some spanish moss would look great around the base of the "tree".

Two pieces of scrapbooking paper glued around a toothpick. I call this Westly's bird as much because he loves it as because he's already destroyed twice :/

The finished product :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Living Room

 Hello again! 
I thought I'd start the home photo tour with the living room- it's the nerve center of our little home and I've just finished a week of getting busy with the projects in there ;)

I've surprised even myself by taking not only a before picture of our living room, but an entire video!!!
Check out the big room two weeks after we moved in.
(And on the day of West's b-day party, no less!)

Now before I reveal the entire room as it is now, I wanted to walk through my recent projects. 
Hence, this photo of a very functional, yet very brown desk. This was a wedding gift from a friend, so I've hesitated until now to alter it...

....but no more!!! If you remember from the video, a little wooden cabinet, paired with white Billy bookcases were our old entertainment center. Wasn't working for me. So I worked with it.

I can't tell you how good it feels to get something right in this house!
This feels like me. Well, like us ;)

Tomorrow (or the day after) I'm planning to post a short tutorial on how I made my little topiary trees for $3 each! So easy, and sooooo easy on the budget!!! 
Stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time to Share!!!

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be sharing what lies inside my new home with y'all! 
My plan is to tour room by room, starting with before photos/ individual projects, and finishing each with a full room with a reveal! There are a few rooms that aren't yet complete, so I will be sharing photos of my plans for now :)

See to you soon!

Briella's Birthday!

We celebrated Briella's Birthday this past Saturday!!! 
The definite highlight of the day was Briella deciding it was time to walk, right in front of the grandparents! What a good little girl :)

I found a darling cupcake kit that inspired the decorations for our little family party :)

...and was up until 4am the night before making tissue-paper pom-poms!
Exhausting, but fun and worth it :)

She loved the balloon my parents brought!


Matchy-wachy sisters!!!

Lighting the candle!

Excited about that cake!!! 

 Such a clean and dainty little eater!!! 

Unlike someone I know on his first birthday...
Hahaha :)
 And believe it or not, things haven't changed much!!!


This little piggy bank was a gift from her Great-Grandma Grace. Years ago she found it at the coast and kept it for her future great-granddaughter! What a precious gift!

This Dr. Suess board-book got a bit of a maker-over!!! Check out the title- my super creative Aunt Mia replaced the faces of the characters inside with photos of family members! So fun :)  

I can't believe it's been a whole year since she was born!!!
Happy Birthday my sweet Briella Rose!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th Fun and Photos :)

I'm a little late, but our 4th was such an awesome day I had to share about it :) We woke up early to make the most of one of Paul's rare weekdays off, and drove to the coast for breakfast!
We visited our old favorite, The Wildflower Grill, just as you enter Lincoln City.

Then hit the beach for some fun in the AMAZING weather that day!

Then home we went for some naps, before celebrating with my family that night, and watching the show at Creekside.
It was a lovely day :)