Thursday, June 28, 2012

at the moment

                                                                       Source: via Teri Lynn on Pinterest

At the moment I am struggling.
I am grumpier than normal.
I have been harsh towards those who truly only have my best interest in their heart.
I am easily frustrated with those who don't seem to have any compassion. 
I am struggling and I don't like who I am.

Kate's recovery has been an emotional struggle for me.
I was prepared for her to be sad, to be in pain, and to not want to do anything.
I was not prepared for the amount of emotional energy it would take to take care of her.
I was not prepared to battle with her over taking medicine every four hours.
I was not truly emotionally prepared.
Because of this I feel like I have failed her.
And this breaks my heart.

I have struggled all my life with letting people down.
With failing people.
I have done it more times than I can count.
And I am sure I will do it again.
But I hate it.
I hate disappointing people.

I also hate for me ugly side to show.
But oh it's been showing.
And normally it shown to those who I trust and love the most.

I am struggling at times to remind myself to be thankful.
Thankful for my daughter.
Thankful for my husband.
Thankful for our families.
Thankful for those friends who have come by my side and never left.
Thankful for those who have prayed for Kate and are praying for our family affected by the fires.
Thankful for all that I have.

Last night was the first night I really slept in days.
Today is the first morning since Kate's surgery I woke early and have had quiet time.
Yesterday was the day that I realized I need quiet time to read, process, write, and think more than time to workout.
Yesterday I committed to myself a routine that would allow me that needed time.
Yesterday I told myself that it is okay not workout to a set routine, program, etc. every day.
Yesterday I told myself what is important is to take care of myself emotionally and physically.
Yesterday I told myself that I am active and I am strong.
Yesterday I reminded myself that I am working on making healthier eating choices.
Yesterday I realized that I was neglecting my emotional self.
And that has had ugly consequences.
That has left me struggling.

Thank you, friends.
Thank you for the grace and understanding that I don't deserve.
Thank you for coming along my side, keeping me in your thoughts, and covering my family in prayer.
Thank you.

I am struggling.
It's an ugly mess.
But I am seeking to find the beauty in this struggle.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

monday adventures

Since our adventure today will involve the hospital I thought it would be fun to share an adventure we went on a few Mondays ago.

On Memorial Day, Kate and I headed to the Denver Zoo to get a sneak peak at the new Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit. It was an amazing exhibit. If you are ever in the Denver area I highly recommend checking it out.

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monday morning inspiration

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the newest chapter

Today has been quiet. Nothing planned. Nothing scheduled. Quiet. The quiet gives me lots of time to think and process life. This can be a blessing and a curse. During the school year I rarely have moment to process through life and I miss the quiet. But I also allow my thoughts to get carried away and they always tend to wander to those areas of life where I am struggling, worrying, and feeling unsettled. Today my thoughts have lead me to Kate and her upcoming surgery. I have struggled with writing this post and sharing the details. The biggest reason for my struggle is by writing this I have to face the reality of her surgery and the fears that go with it. Most days I'd rather not think about it all and push it aside. Most days I don't want it to consume me. Most days I want to cherish the moment I am in and not worry so much about the unknowns of the future. But today the weight is so heavy that I feel if I share some of the weight might be lifted...


For a while I have debated telling the latest in Kate's medical journey. Most of Kate's medical issues have been fairly minor but at times they seem to be never ending. I feel that once we figure out one thing another issue pops up.

When Kate was seven months old she started having ear infections. At first they were every other month, then every month, and then the infections started not to clear and it would take at least two doses of antibiotics for them to clear. At nineteen months Kate got tubes in her ears and the ear infections disappeared. Everyone said that she would be a different kid at this point. She would be healthy, gain weight, and start to thrive. Well Kate does not follow the path that most take. That winter she started to get respiratory infections. She had RSV and pneumonia. She was always full of mucus. We had her tested for allergies. Nothing. When winter turned to spring she was a sad little girl. Always coughing. In a span of a week we visited the doctor four times. She could not get control of her cough. I could see her working hard to breath, she was having fevers off and on, and one day her lips were an ashy-blue color. Through my persistence she was able to see her own pediatrician who diagnosed her with asthma. That has lead to a daily inhaler. Most days you never notice she has asthma. Most days she is thriving. But when she gets sick she goes down hard. Her asthma flares and she is a sad little girl. But we manage. We get through. This year has been one of the best years for Kate. She has only had one or two colds. None have turned into pneumonia. Her asthma has been well controlled. She has started to really gain weight. She has become a healthy child. Amen.

In the fall Kate's teacher brought up concerns about Kate's speech. I had been having concerns for a while. I knew her speech was not normal, I knew people could not understand her, I knew this was causing her a great deal of frustration. Kate loves to talk and more importantly wants her voice to be heard. I had brought up these concerns before but it had always been determined that it was all developmental and she would grow out of it. But she was still struggling and thankfully I was finally granted a referral for her speech to be evaluated. In her evaluation it was determined she has an open mouth bit that causes her to push her tongue through her teeth when saying certain sounds, she tends to slur her words together, and she rests her tongue down and/or out. We were referred to a speech therapist and the journey began. Speech therapy has been a slow journey. We are now up to three sounds being corrected. Two she can correct out of isolation beautifully. The third she gets about 50% of the time in isolation. She is also learning where her tongue should be placed. Lots of practice holding her tongue in her resting spot. This is only done if she is prompted. Because of where Kate rests her tongue her speech therapist became concerned that she may be doing this because her airway is restricted by her adenoids. She asked me to bring this up at Kate's four year check up with her pediatrician so I did.

At Kate's four year check up I brought up the concern about her adenoids. Kate's doctor was also concerned about how hoarse Kate sounded. She thought Kate might have acid reflux and referred us on to an ENT. I was a nervous reck walking into the ENT appointment. I knew surgery could be in her future and I could not/did not want to process that thought. Needless to say the appointment was one of the worse appointments I had ever been to. It worse than having her scratch tested for allergies. The doctor attempted to remove her tubes that were sitting in her ear canal (on the outside of her ear drums.) Kate was screaming in pain. Then to check the hoarse issue Kate was scoped through the nose. She was not sedated, I held her in my lap, the nurse pinned her head against my shoulder. Kate screamed and I cried. It was one of the worse things I have experienced as a mother ever. The scope determined that she did have acid reflux and she had nodes on her vocal cords. This is due to how she is using her vocal cords to talk (and scream.) This can be corrected through speech therapy. The ENT felt that her tonsils and adenoids were not causing any major airway obstruction. The doctor felt that Kate might have gotten into the habit of being an open mouth breather due to all the respiratory issues she had earlier in her young life. Just to make sure there was not obstruction going on the ENT ordered a sleep study. For a night Kate was hooked up to a pulse-ox machine at home. It was fairly easy. When I watched the numbers her O2 levels stayed steady and in the mid-90. I thought we aced the test. A few days later I got a phone call from one of the nurses from the ENT office letting me know that the test revealed that Kate did have some sleep apnea and obstruction in her breathing at night. This meant that she would need to have her tonsils and adenoids out. Ugh. Gracefully they allowed me to wait and schedule the surgery in the summer.

So here we are. Kate is scheduled to have surgery around 8:30 am next Monday, June 18th. The surgery take about an hour, we will spend three to four hours in recovery, and then her recovery will continue at home. Full recovery will take three to four weeks. She is under no circumstances allowed to have any type of crunchy food for three weeks. She is will have very limited activity the first week and then gradually allow her to build her activity level as she feels up to it.

My biggest fear at the moment is the recovery process at home. If she nicks one of the scabs and causes any bleeding she has to go back to the OR to have it stopped. It makes want to jump off the crazy end and only feed her mushy, soft, food for three weeks. But that reaction would cause major weight loss, which would easily put Kate back under 30 pounds. It will be a tricky balance that I very nervous about it. Right now I am determined to take it one step, one hour at a time. Surprisingly I am not nervous about her going under anesthesia. She will be having the same type of anesthesia she had when she had her tubes put in. So that makes me feel a little better. I know I will be a nervous reck the morning of surgery. I will be putting on my brave face while waiting with her pre-op and fall to pieces the minute she is taken back. I am as prepared as I can be.


I know what Kate will be going through in these next couple weeks is truly minor compared to what other children and families have been through. I know there are moms and dads who wish their only troubles and worries are the ones I am facing at this minute. My prayers are with these children and these families.


Regardless of the outcome of all of this I know Kate will be okay. She will be okay here on earth. And if God has other plans for her she will be okay in His home.

I am so thankful for those who have been praying and sending positive thoughts during this journey. This is not a journey I want for Kate, myself, and Eric. But this is our journey and this is our life with Kate. As I was talking one day with a girlfriend of mine I told her I was not bitter about this newest chapter. I know there is a story to tell. Maybe by telling Kate's story another family will find comfort and know that the troubles they are facing with their own child will be okay.

So here it is the newest story, the newest chapter in Kate's life. Prayers and good thoughts are always welcome.

And thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting. Thank you for being my strength when I am weak. Thank you.

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wordless wednesday

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Monday, June 11, 2012

monday adventures: the south platte river

Mondays are our only day on the calendar this summer that does not have something scheduled on a weekly basis. I have decided to make Mondays the day we seek out an adventure, do something different from our day-to-day routine, and document it along the way. It is also a great way to explore different areas of city and try out new things.

This week we explored a stretch of the South Platte River. We started out at REI, got a snack at Starbucks, and walked along the trail towards the Children's Museum. We stopped and played at the playground by the museum before heading back to the car. Once we got back to the car Kate declared, "Boy, that was a long adventure!" A long, fun, adventure!

I edited all these photos using Lightroom 4. I am in love with Lightroom. For a girl who has a nice camera with a standard lens I feel like my photos come out looking like a professional's (or at least closer than before.) I am still learning and exploring but looking forward to becoming a Lightroom ninja by the end of the summer.

What adventures do you hope to take this summer?
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monday morning inspiration

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Thursday, June 7, 2012



Listening to The Nadas's Dancing Lucinda.

Catching up on my favorite blogs.

Pondering how I can make every moment of this summer count.

Recalling summers of the past.

Still learning all the short cuts on a Mac.

Trying not to get too worked up on Kate's upcoming surgery (more on that soon.)

Hoping the sun stays out so I can read in the backyard later this afternoon.

Wondering what I should have for lunch.

Enjoying the quiet.

Thinking about editing some photos and planning some blog posts.

Loving my new Mac.

Thankful my broken kitchen faucet was an easy fix.

Wondering when the feeling that is summer will finally sink in.

Missing my Riley-Girl.

Thinking of fun summertime activities to do as a family.

Wondering when my first hike will take place.

Trying to be intentional about spending time with those I love and hold dear to my heart.

Think I should start a to-do list.

Need to pay some bills.

Proud of myself for already working out this morning.


What are you currently doing?

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