Monday, May 26, 2014

Feva....

Parky hasn't felt great.
Started slowly......
increasing every day over a weeks time.....

Seemed like a cold.
Looked like a cold.
Had a tiny fever the other day.....
and after a trip to the doc, we all agreed.....it was probably a cold.

Yesterday as he said, "mom....my eyes feel like they are on fire."
I quickly reached for the thermometer...
as I peered down at the result I literally could feel my stomach jump into my throat.....
103 degrees......
It could not be.........
another check.......
it was.

There was a small sense of panic.
He didn't look terrible.
He didn't act like a kid with a fever.....
but there he was, with a fever.


I followed the rules.......I called Denver.
and I swallowed hard as the words came....."take him to the ER."


I have worked so hard to keep him safe.....
the very last thing I wanted to do was march him into an emergency room full of sickness.....

I loaded him up in the car and my stomach was just in knots.....
tied up with thoughts of days passed.....
twisted with memories of what once was.

How many times have I driven Parklen to the hospital?
How many times has he scared me with a fever?
countless.......

It has been 209 days since his transplant..........
We have been home for months......
and no big scares since we moved back.

He had made it this far.....
without an incident.....

But no matter how much time has passed, the memories and the fear of fevers is fresh........
The days spent in the ICU....the moments spent watching him unable to breathe....unable to speak....the minutes and hours worth of waiting during emergency surgeries......
They all started with a fever.

After hours spent in the cold room,
after tons of communication between our home hospital and Denver....
After a dose of IV antibiotics......
After pictures drawn,
movies watched....
After snacks eaten and juice drank.....
We were sent home.....

No certain answers.....

But the little boy, who raced me to the car.......
and giggled all the way,
erased my fears....
and quieted my worries.

We still don't know what caused the fever.....
but today, his temp was normal.

It is so tough to have pieces of your heart walking around in the world.....
to love another bunch of humans more than your own self.....
To realize that very little is actually in your control.
Motherhood is such a gift.....
but on days like yesterday.....it can be heavy.....
It can be hard.

Phinlynn is feeling crummy.......
and I am fighting like crazy to stop the cycle of sickness under this roof.

I am so thankful for the power of prayer.
Thankful for friends who show support in many ways...
thankful for days that remind me of where we came from.
Thankful for quick resolve...
for chocolate,
for coffee.....
I am thankful for Clorox....
for Lysol....

I am thankful for months with no fevers.......
and thankful for today.






I am thankful for a little girl who loves puddles.......
and pictures of her and her daddy.....
even if they have not one thing to do with Fevers.......

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nine years will make you.........jump, jump.

You know how they say that opposites attract?
Its been said time and time again.....
I live it.
Every. Single. Day.......

I am married to someone who is different than me in most every single way.

He lives on the wild side,
I like to play it safe....

He leaves things to chance....
I like to make plans.

He is completely crazy.....
seriously, he is.

We even each other out.....



Devan pulls me up to the top of the cliff,
and I ease him back down to the ground a little.....

With us together the scale is even.....
I cannot imagine my life with out Devan pushing me past my limits....

Last week we had our anniversary......
Devan made plans to take me away......

It is a big deal for me to leave my kids......
It has been years....were talking Parklen was about 2 when I left him for a trip last......
and Parklen got sick while I was away and ended up in the hospital the day after I got back.....

Devan took care of the deets and, for the sake of my sanity.....and for the love of my husband.... I agreed to run away with him.....
...........for the weekend.

Well, most couples might've had relaxation and zen to look forward to on a weekend getaway.....
Devan does not roll that way.

stopping for these donuts.....YUM
He took advantage of our time together and arranged for a giant slice of crazy.....
He set up a little bit of adventure.....
Romance?
Not in the typical way.....

What says I love you like jumping out of a plane?
Nothing.
Nothing expresses anything in the exact same way as jumping (falling) out of an airplane at 18,000 feet above sea level.....nothing.

I would love to tell you that I was totally stoked for the trip.....I wasn't.
I hate heights.....
I hate flying.....
I hate adrenaline.....
and, according to a certain videographer, I must also hate fun.....

but do you know what I love?
Devan......
and because of that, I agreed to give it a shot.
(Not before reading online reviews and safety stats....
and realizing that, they actually take 80 year old people that partake in this wild sport.)

Lets talk about the drive to the facility.....
I entered many different emotions....
fear,
anger,
fear,
fear,
fear.....
I was crying my eyes out.

Then we arrived and checked in,
more crying.

We waited for our turn....
cry,
cry,
cry......

I cried more that day than any in recent history.....
The weather caused a lot of delays and so I was allotted extra cry time.....

As we loaded the plane, I quickly realized that they were seating me directly in the front of everyone else on the plane......the closest to the door......
The realization hit me like a ton of bricks,
I would be the first one to "jump" out.....
fear.
I looked back at Devan who was seated at the back of the plane and had a moment of complete apprehension and panic......
before I could back out the plane was in the sky.......
We soared higher and higher and my panic rose with the altitude.....
My legs were shaking uncontrollably....
My stomach, in knots.....
My mind........racing.

Jumping out of that plane was the absolute scariest physical thing I have ever done.

I barely remember the moment that began the free fall....
but that's what can happen when you hit the sky and begin falling at 130 mph.....
The brisk air takes your breath away.....
it is loud,
and it feels as though you might be floating.....
There isn't a steep feeling in your gut like you would think....
You don't feel like you are falling......
but you are....
Your cheeks make friends with your ears,
your eyes scramble to study your surroundings.
And, if you are like me.......your hands find a doggy paddle position and you begin to "swim" through the air.............(I am such a dork.....I cannot even look cool when I am doing something risky)

When the parachute makes its way out of the pack, the beauty begins....
It feels like you are just enjoying a nice stroll through the air.....
it is quiet.
and it feels as though you are the only human in the world......well except for the guy that is attached to your back....


As I landed safely on the ground I could not help but love my husband just a little more.....

For being so crazy....
For bypassing the normal romantic gestures....
and soaring me high above the earth to experience something that I would never have done had it been up to me.......

The rest of the weekend was amazing.....
Eating, laughing and just enjoying the company of one another.....
There is something completely wonderful about stepping back into the role of being "just" a wife, for a time.........

The kids were taken care of and loved while we were away......
and the time we had was needed, appreciated and will be remembered FOREVER.






This is us after our jump


 xoxoxoxo


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our marriage.....


I was young......
20 years old......
10 years ago this week..........
Working in my hometown and living on my own......
Thought I had all I needed......
That's when I met the man of my dreams....

Tall,
dark
and handsome......

Quiet,
funny
and smart.......

Strong,
adventurous
and just a little bit crazy......

Life moved pretty quickly from that moment on......
We were rarely apart.....

Three months after the day we met he asked me to be his wife.....
I didn't see it coming....
He surprised me with his every word.....
as he asked me to spend forever with him.....

I was so young....
with big dreams.

I imagine I was thinking merely of happiness and bliss.....
I said yes........
We were getting married.....

I had a hard time believing that someone like him wanted to be my husband...
but he did.
He had swept me off of my feet.....

The wedding planning commenced and within  9 months...... we got hitched....

It took just a couple of years before hardship started to head our way.....
but since then, it seems to never have stopped.

I would love to tell you that our marriage has been happy and free....
that we never fight and we never make mistakes......
but that just isn't the case.

We have spent our time together fighting......
fighting with each other,
fighting with circumstances.....
 for our marriage.....
not easy, but always worth it.

We have had attacks year after year, month after month.....
sometimes seemingly, moment after moment....
and we have stuck together.....

We have survived........
bad decisions,
terrible choices,
job loss,
friend loss,
loss,
a sick child,
financial distress,
mean words,
anger,
infidelity,
and difficulty.....

We have lived.......
happiness,
joy,
faith,
births....
triumphs,
fun,

I have spent time wondering if that 20 year old girl from so long ago really knew what she was doing when she said yes.....What she would think if she could have seen where her decision would take her....

I know that Devan has spent time wondering if asking that young girl to share his life with him was worth it.....

No matter which way I turn,
whichever direction I flip it.....
my answer is always yes.....
I may have been naive......
might not have had a clue what a marriage required.....
but some how,
in some way........
I chose the right way to go......

The faith that was woven into my being as a child was there.....
and has been since.....
the knowledge that nothing worth having ever comes for free.....
that hard work pays off.....
and that saying forever should mean forever.
no matter what.

The vision of growing old with the same person who got down on one knee....
the man who held my hand into motherhood.....
the guy who has been next to me as I have grown from a girl to a woman......
that's worth fighting for.

There is something to be said about enduring hard times....
holding tight as your ship blasts through the storms.....
the calm waters are much more peaceful when you know what the waves feel like....

Where would we be if our road had been smooth?
I have no idea.....

But I know that there is nothing that can tear us apart.
because.....
we have already lived through some of the worst....
and not just lived through.....
we came out of the other side.....
still holding hands.

I have learned so much through our marriage....
about us,
about faith,
about life...
about myself....

I have learned that God really can bring you through any storm.....
I have learned that love is an action, and a choice.....that you have to make every day.....
that companionship is deeper than mere feelings.....

I cannot say what our anniversary feels like for Devan....
but I can say that for me, it feels like a step towards forever.....

Some years I look back at the climb we've had and cannot believe we are still in one piece......
other years I look back and feel like the climb has gone by far too quickly......

Some times I look back to that young girl......
I see her smile at her future husband.....
I can still feel her butterflies,
and her heart flutter with a touch of her cheek.....
and I thank God every day that that girl said yes......
because the life she would have missed could never compare to whatever else is out there....

I thank God for the husband I have.....
for the time we have lived..........together.

I thank Him for the lessons we have learned,
for the triumphs we have seen.

I cannot help but be thankful for the people and things that have tried to knock us down......
because.........here we stand......
and we are strong.

Happy anniversary to my one and only.....
9 years as husband and wife.....
ten years as best friends.....
and as long as there is breath in my lungs.....many years to come......

Thank you for loving me,
thank you for making me laugh......
and for wiping my tears....
Thank you for our amazing children.....
Thank you for seeing me through the tough times....
for seeing my beauty when the ugly was much more vivid.
Thank you for challenging me to be my best, even when I would have settled for less.....
Thank you for trusting God.
Thank you for sharing your life with me.....

Love you.





Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day...........



 My Mother's day began in the best way possible......
The small voice of my seven year old whispering, "Get up mom.....your Mother's Day breakfast is served...."
I walked to the table to find a plate of food next to a note written on a napkin.....
     "I love you mom I hope you enjoy this breakfast."

He had made me a hand written card that he gave me last night because it was, "Mother's Day Eve..."
The card contained a list of thanks for things I do.....and words of love.  It also contained a wad of cash from his piggy bank.... he smiled as I took out the money and said, "I couldn't go get you a present but I wanted to give you what I had......"

Seriously?!?!?!
This kid melts my heart.

Can you believe his heart?

He is so giving......

He is so amazingly pure in his intentions.....
and he was so incredibly excited about Mother's Day....
He just wanted to make me feel special, and he most certainly did.

A friend said to me today, "I think Mother's Day takes a new meaning after hard times- more than cards and flowers. I think something deep down knows the truth and honor of motherhood, and the soul celebrates."
  This is so true......and there is no amount of flattery, gifts or cards that could take the place of time spent with the people who make me a mom and the deep down knowledge that these tiny humans appreciate me.....love me and make me a better person.
There is something to be said about pain.....something that I will never stop saying.....it makes you see things often overlooked.....it makes you find joy in the small things.....






Today was just another day....sprinkled with just a little extra glitter....
We cleaned, we played, we had things to do....Devan had to study.....We had meals, medicine, and every day life going on.....
But I like to think..... that in this house, every day is Mother's Day....because every day I am a mother.....and every day I wake up and decide to be a mother.....not for recognition, not for praise, for cards or for flowers....but because there is nothing more deeply fulfilling than the position of Mom....
and these children make life worth living, even if they never said "thank you." Even if they never realized a thing I did for them.....I would do it any way......

I love being their mom.
I love the tiny moments woven into the chaos.....the ones that make me catch my breath....
the split seconds when I feel like my insides will burst....
I love the moments when I sit down at the end of the day....exhausted and worn....and I reflect over the day and know that I would not have it any other way.




Success is not measured by college degrees, or money made....
it isn't calculated by the clothes you wear or the car you drive.....

Success is measured by the life you live and the lives you share.....
It is calculated by laughs and tears......
It is sitting down in silence and having so many memories from one single day that your mind nearly bursts at the seams each and every night.....






Success is the ability to appreciate the simple.
To know that always working toward tomorrow robs you of today.....
Seeing that simplicity is life in it's richest form.....
That tender moments can be found beneath the ceiling of a blanket tent.....and over shared peanut butter ice-cream...

I am more thankful on this day than I have ever been on any Mother's Day before.....
for about a billion reasons.....
For lessons learned....
For life....
For healing....
For children....
For doctors....
For sleepless nights....
For whispers in the dark.....







I am thankful for the realization that not one single day is enough to celebrate motherhood....
and I am thankful for a 7 year old son...who has shown me with his kindness and generosity......that even though there is piles and piles worth of failures....my efforts are not in vein......it has happened in some way or another...my children are amazing.....
and Thank God for that.

I hope that every mother had an amazing day....
that they have found their own groove in motherhood.....
that they realize, that even if not one person acknowledges one thing that they do.....God sees.
and He is the only audience that really matters. :)
That they don't compare themselves to another......but to the woman they were the day before.....
Happy Mother's Day!!!


*disclaimer.....yes I returned his money to his piggy bank. :)



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Denver tripin' it

The two littlest littles and I just returned from a trip to Denver......
It was rather quick.
A couple of appointments spread over a couple of days is an easy task.....




Would you like a cracker?!?!?!?

It isn't enough that the staff at Brent's Place took care of us through the entire Bone Marrow Transplant.......even before then and after....until we were able to return home.....
but they continue to care for our family once a month when we return for appointments.





They offered gifts and celebration for Phinlynn and Parklen's birthdays.
Seriously?!?!?
This place still amazes me with their generosity.

A super duper Super Hero cake........cape and all.



The kids were thrilled to see their friends....to have other humans to interact with was needed....
I don't mind the interaction either....;)

Parklen's appointments went well......
He looks good, outside and blood wise....
his counts are slowly rising......and he is traveling the road toward completion.
There is still much time between now and then, but every good report is a cause for celebration.

While in Denver I had the opportunity to see a mother.....
one whose daughter was one of Parklen's favorite gals in the hospital.
She would walk by his door during his admission.....when Parklen was on isolation and had little opportunity for interaction.....she would walk on by....smiling and waving and Parklen would do the same......She often made Parklen want to get up out of bed and venture to the door for a little bit of socialization......always through glass....
This mother and her family moved in to the apartment next to ours on Christmas eve.....and were still there when we ventured home.....
Last week, this mother watched as her beautiful daughter lost her fight.......
This precious child passed away.....

When I saw this fellow mom, this woman.....I felt an astounding sense of peace oozing from her being.....as she spoke and told me of the pain that her baby had faced....as she recounted the struggle...she still smiled.  "There was nothing else they could do....and she is in a better place...."

My heart hurts for this family, and yet I find myself so thankful for encounters like this......
thankful for moments that keep me tied into the world of pain that comes with sick children......I always wonder what sort of things I would find stressful....or complain about had I not entered into the world of which I live......

What kind of things would get me down?  Spilled milk, missed appointments, meetings, burnt dinners, chaos, the like?

I thank God that He puts in my path these people that are living a true pain......a deep loss that I cannot even begin to grasp....because these people.....these parents, put into perspective this life....and everything in it.  Parklen is doing better....its true, but all of his pain would be wasted if I forgot about it.....if I only looked at what we have today I could never appreciate all of the little gifts....the small moments that are tied with ribbon and presented to me as his mother......

Can you be thankful?
Can you smile through pain?
Can you remember this mother and her family?
Can you think about them before you find reason to complain?
I know that I will never forget them.....their memory will sit next to the ones of other families that have crossed my path who have lost their children.....
The moms and the dads who go to sleep at night with out their babies......the parents who know the deepest pain......
and my prayer is to never, ever.......forget them.
To always remember.....
To always be thankful.....
 I think it is so important to be reminded of this time and time again.....because the flow of life can get us down....our busyness can suck us into a place where little things seem big....and blessings blend into our worries.....