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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

an autumn hayride

We went to Karsen's school this past Friday night for a annual Autumn hayride. It was so much fun. They had a bonfire, hot chocolate and krispy kreme donuts. Yes, yes and yes!

Dylan complained about us "forcing him" to return back to his old Elementary school, but he ended up having a blast too. He ran into alot of other kids that were also forced to return and he had a great time! He rode the hayride several times.

Karsen wanted to find a few of her friends when we got there.

We also hit up the Book Fair! After she found a few of her friends we took our turn on the hayride. Once we were on the ride.....I saw something very interesting. I have heard of this "one boy" that all the girls are crazy over! This one boy that is supposedly super cute and the one boy in the whole entire school that is a dreamboat. Mr. Fourth Grade Hottie. Do you think it is a coincidence that Karsen somehow ended up sitting beside him on the hayride? Is it me or do they both look awfully tickled to have ended up on the same bale of hay?

Hmmmmm.......My smartphone captured the evidence.  Oh my. Could it be......young love? Here's my blurred proof.

Awwww. <3 Oh my....

Monday, October 24, 2011

a big, big change

Karsen has been patiently waiting for this day. We have been counting down since March. Finally, she got her braces. I don't know about you, but after I recovered from the fact that she truly is looking like a pre-teen lately....I had to admit that the braces totally suited her. :) And since then....it has been terribly difficult impossible for her to walk by any reflective surface without stopping and smiling. Really, really BIG. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011


a dozen years?
When did that happen and where have I been?
You have gone from being our first born to towering over your Momma
in the blink of an eye.

Happy 12th birthday to Dylan!

Thank you for being so sweet, sensitive and tender hearted.
You always know when I need an extra hug or a sweet smile.

When you smile really big your eyebrows dance
and your sky blue eyes melt my heart.

You still love all things super hero.
Currently you are obsessed with Batman
Kinda like when you were four years old.

You love the Joker, specifically.
That's your costume plans for this Halloween in fact.

You really are in between right now.
Sometimes you want to make believe

And in the next moment you are having a pre-teen fit.
When you are way too cool for your "old" parents.

You love to eat.
My daily challenge is to keep you from starving to death.
I must be doing a pretty OK job as you weight more than me now.
Your feet are huge- only one size smaller than Daddy's!

It seems like just yesterday you started your first day of school.

You have grown up so fast. You were the happiest of babies.

and you have always been a sweet big brother.

Wanting to play with Karsen from Day 1. Teaching her big brother things

like how to share her swing. :) You two have always gotten along so well.
Thank you for not torturing your sister. And teaching her how to be sweet instead.

You have always had a mind of your own
and you truly do march to the beat of your own drum.
(For example: You decided to "Change things up this year"
and paid the $5.00 fee to change the background of your school picture
to green. WOW. Yes, you said you had a surprise for me
and I truly was surprised. P.S. Don't ever do that again.
Love, Mom)

Dylan, Aug 2011
7th grade
Dear Dylan
I hope you always know that the day you were born
was one the happiest days of my life.
Thank you for being you! Thank you for being original,
and full of life. You taught me so much about love and life
as a young mother. Along the way, we both kinda grew up together. 

Happy Birthday, Dylan!
We love you!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

a heavy heart

I am so sorry I have been quiet lately. I have alot to say, but no energy to put it into words. I am emotionally exhausted. Torn between two worlds right now. Feeling helpless. Wishing I could make things all better. Knowing all I can do is pray.

My sister, Suzanne, is 8 days post-op from a major surgery. She is currently in Baltimore, MD, recovering from complete abdominal wall repair. I know I have talked about this a bit here on my blog. As a reminder, she was born with a congenital birth defect of the abdominal wall called gastroschisis.

This last surgery was her 15th. She had major complications after her 14th surgery 12 years ago. In short, it never fully healed and she has been dealing with two openings in her stomach for the past 12 years. This most recent surgery was one that UNC and Duke University hospitals opted NOT to do due to the level of complexity and the (I quote) "a great possibility of making a bad situation much worse". I went with her to Johns Hopkins Hopsital this past May for a 3rd opinion. They agreed to push ahead and operate this Fall. She was happy, relieved, reluctant, and scared. But she decided to go ahead and let them operate.

She had her surgery on Thursday, October 6th, and what was thought to likely be a 14-18 hour surgery lasted only 9 hours. She was amazed when she woke up to find that it was still Thursday.

Her next few days were a blur of pain, fever, pain, nausea and pain. She started out with 6 tubes in various locations of her body right after surgery.

She is now at day 8 post-op of what was thought to be a 7-14 day hospitalization. She is now down to 3 tubes. That's sounds like progress, however she is still not out of the weeds. She has had several setbacks. Today the big concern was the tube on the right side of her abdomen is having increased, foul output. Her abdomen and back have also started swelling, and are red and sore to touch. THIS IS NOT GOOD. Going back into surgery at this point would be devastating.

I am asking for prayer. She is so strong and tough. She has barely complained through all of this. Our whole family was able to go there last weekend, but this weekend I sit here in Ohio wishing I could be there with her, wishing I could help, wishing I could do something.....

Please pray that this new issue resolves without surgery. Please pray that the mega-antibiotics they started take care of this. Please pray that the TPN (nutrition through IVs) gives her strength to fight through this. Please pray that she has complete healing. Please pray that her new abdominal wall holds strong and does cause any lung issues as well. This is new territory for her and new territory for her surgical team as they decide how to proceed. Please pray for wisdom for them. Please pray for my Mom as well who has been there with her 24-7 through all of this. I know she is exhausted.

My sister is my best friend, one of the few people I talk to every single day. She was the strong one who moved in with us, when Chris moved to VA and then to OH two years ago for his new job.

She was my rock then, and right now I wish I could be her's right now.  She supported us through one of the toughest times in our lives. The last few days she has been too weak to talk on the phone, and I miss her so much. My heart is so heavy knowing what she has already been through and that she still has alot of fighting left to do. If anyone can do it, I know she can.

Please pray that she has a better day tomorrow...and the next day and the next. I will keep you posted.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Things have been busy around here lately. Here's a recap with pics compliments of my smartphone. :)

Dylan has been doing his usual. Listening to music. Likely Weird Al Yankovic. (Yes, he loves him.) Lately, Dylan has been to middle school football games. Has adjusted nicely to the 7th grade. I just bought him more blue jeans-we went up to size 18 slim (seriously!?), and is just two weeks shy of turning 12.

Lately Karsen has been having a blast in the 4th grade. She started back taking gymnastics lessons last week and is getting ready for her first piano recital. She was also selected to sing a solo in the upcoming Veterans Day memorial program at school. She loves her jeggings, and she is terribly excited about Fall and Winter coming! Her latest obession is weaving, and lately she's been doing that quite a bit.

Lately, (and basically ever since I married him), Chris has been so thoughful. He knows I have been burning the candle at both ends, and lately he has been helping out so much around the house. I caught him vacuuming the other day. Without my asking. On a school night. Enough said. Love <3

That's just a little bit of what we've been up to around here lately!

Deciduous Heather