Hug your momma.

On this day 3 years ago, I hugged my momma. I hugged her and told her I loved her while she was staring into my eyes. Something I should not have been able to do. When the doctors where loosing faith God showed up. He saved her. After 10 longs days my mother was awake and responsive. She looked dead in my eyes and said “I love you”. Just hours before, I was crying and begging her to come back to me. Praying with every fiber in my being that she would live. People, regardless of circumstance, love your parents. You may never agree with their choices or their lifestyle. You may think you always have the answers. You may genuinely believe they don’t deserve your time but they are the reason you are alive and reading this right now. Hug your momma. Hold her. Smell her hair, kiss her cheek, and love her. You never know when that opportunity will be gone. You don’t have to like them but you need to love them. I am so grateful for the past 3 years. It hasn’t been easy but she was and is a fighter. Against all odds, she made it. I believe without a shadow of doubt she heard me and she knew we still needed her here. Not many people know the whole story, but I kept telling her nothing was stronger than the love between a mother and daughter. Somewhere, in there was my mother and I wasn’t going home without her. Time has passed but I can tell you this,  everytime I pass that hospital, and everytime I see my mother I live it all over again. It hasn’t gotten easier but it keeps me humble. If you’re reading this, hug your momma.

ARDS- Know the signs. Get informed.
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Time Hopping….Updates.

Seeing his small face and sweet smile is like taking a sledge hammer to the walls I’ve built. I have learned not to get your hopes up. To be optimistic. To pray. To believe. To never give up. To hold on and to stay strong, but never make an assumption. Life changes so quickly.

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People say all the time “I don’t know how you do it”. Truth is, I don’t have a choice. This is life for me. For us. Waking up, packing up, loading up, and driving. Only to wait and hope that they may know something new. It has become the norm in my life. Not easy, just normal. Chance was very young when he got his diagnosis. Things have just kept moving after that. Not to say life hasn’t been amazing but it just kept going. Life has a way of doing that. You wake up one day and it’s been four years. Familiar with the app “time hop”? Me too. Just this morning a picture from three years ago came up and it was of Chance. Small, still had baby fat on his cheeks, eating a donut in the hotel room the night before a surgery. It’s weird how that happens. Seeing something and going back in time. I remember each doctors appointment. Each visit, and every surgery. I try to push certain things into the back of my mind. Not as though they haven’t happened, but to make it less heart breaking. With each trip, and each surgery he becomes more agitated, more upset. It gets harder.

 

We are looking at number 15 in the very near future. It was supposed to be on the 29th of December, but it has been postponed until they get the new machines in. To give an update of all recent events, we’ve ran into some other seemingly “small” issues. After several kids in his class came down with the flu, the instant he ran a fever went to the local ER. No flu, no strep, everything was normal. A chest x-ray showed us a small lesion in his lung. Of course the first question was “how did this happen?” followed by “what do we do now?”. The answer was simple, find another doctor to answer them and so, we where on the road again. This time we found ourselves in Pensacola at the Numours Childrens Hospital.

 

 

 

Hands down, the most family oriented hospital I’ve ever been too. We felt safe and comfortable the moment we opened the car door. After meeting the doctor and running several tests, we where told that the “lesion” is easier explained as a hole. We where home bound. Happy, and hopeful that two weeks of medicine and a follow up would show that it is gone or at least shrinking. Fast forward, that’s been a month ago. Just got the call yesterday that it (the hole) is still there. I’m unaware of any details other than “it is still there”. They’ve asked that we come back. I’ll be leaving Sunday afternoon to make the drive back out. Obviously, I’m unsure of where that leaves us.

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Once these new findings are discussed we are still looking at the surgery for the 13th of January. In some way I feel like we’ve made no progress, other times I feel like we’re making leaps and bounds. There are so many new findings in the medical world every day. They have come up with a new treatment option and seem optimistic and genuinely hopeful that this will make a difference. Still no word on a “CURE” but hey, progress is progress. I appreciate all of the love, support, and prayers that have been sent up for Chance, and for us as a family. I ask you to continue your thoughts and prayers as we move forward in our journey.

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Perfection is overrated.

I have learned that life isn’t about getting it “perfect” but maybe living in the small instant that comes before perfect. After all, it’s more fun anyway.

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I’ve always taken 100 pictures to make sure I get just the right one. This morning when I found the last one was perfect, I backed up to that one above. It just seemed…..perfect. It captured the true essence that is my wild children. The world we live in creates this idea that everyone and everything should be a certain way at all times. I just have to disagree. Sometimes when you’re rushing out of the door to get to point B and the kids are already complaining that their shoes are too tight or the other one is taking their hair down and you are just about to snap before you can put the kids in the car in that moment, laugh. Yes, just laugh because no amount of screaming will make you feel quite as good. (Trust me)

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Photos tell a story and hold memories that often change over years. The one thing that stays the same is the photo itself. Nothing has brought me more joys and rewards than motherhood. I’m learning to live perfectly imperfect with a family perfect for me.

Do your children “live” where they live?

I’m curious how many people allow their children to actually live in their home.

If you come to my house, you will quickly realize that it isn’t spotless. I ask that you be understanding and see that I would rather lay in Chances’ floor reading books with him or CG’s room playing dolls. I grew up where everything had a place and you kept it all together, all the time. My kids? Well, by now you can probably guess that I’m a little more relaxed in that department. Sometimes, I just like to sit and watch them play. Wherever it may be.

If you can’t accept that two little people live here and share their toys with everyone, scattering them through the house, you wouldn’t make good company for us.

Why is it that the kitchen is the one place that can be cleaned 10 times a day and still be dirty? I am 90% finished cleaning our house yet random dishes make their way to the sink and clutter seems to migrate to the kitchen table. Where is it coming from???? I love a clean house, but I absolutely detest giving up time with my kids to clean it!

Legos, doll clothes, and puzzle pieces are among the most popular items this week. It can be challenging finding the balance between allowing your children to play freely and creating boundaries.

Children have their entire lives to have someone stand over them and dictate. I believe in cleanliness and teaching them to cleanup but this is their house. This is their home and they have the right to enjoy it like everyone else. I don’t tell my husband to play games on his phone in our room and practice his “duck calling” in his shed. He doesn’t tell me to read my kindle in our room so why should I confine our children to theirs?

Learning from the little people.

I’ve spent countless hours learning. Some in high school, some in college, and a lot in books. Funny, I’ve learned more as a teacher (to my own children) than as a student. Sometimes children have a way of showing you the things you never realized before or things you simply forgot. When your children speak, listen. You’re never too old to learn something and you will never know it all.

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If I could dance with my father again.

Throughout life you will find that as people come and go, some never really leave. I was thirteen years old when he passed away. He was and is still the greatest man I ever knew. My popa. In my mind he was the most honest, loving, and caring person to ever walk the earth. He was my knight in shining armor, my Prince charming, he was my hero. Actually, he still is my hero. He served for his country would have proudly done it again. He spent his days hunting and fishing before diabetes ultimately took his site. We spent our afternoons building things in the shed and making messes for my Nanny to clean up. He may have been set in his ways but I can’t recall a time he ever told me no.

To know him was to love him. He was the first man in my life, and set the bar pretty high for what a man should be. I know most kids enjoy spending time with their grandparents, but he was far more than just a “popa” to me. There was an unspoken bond between the two us. I remember asking one time “how could ever get married?!?!? There will be no dad to give me away!” He gave me this silly face and said “well, I wasn’t going to let just anybody take you off! Figure I’ll meet him first and I might let him have you.” I knew from that moment on, he would fulfill any “daddy duty” we encountered.

Sadly, he never made it to wedding day. To honor him, his photo was with us at the arch my husband and I exchanged our vows under. My actual father and I dedicated the “father-daughter” dance at my wedding to him. It was an extremely emotional moment for everyone, but I know that for every second that passed, he was with me. I was able to dance with home again (so to speak). That was the song played. Today he is weighing heavily on my mind and I hope that everyday since he has passed he’s been proud of who I am and who I am becoming.

 

To my popa, my hero, this one’s for you.