Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

This is how my morning started out yesterday. Boys are so much fun! I love how he went to the drawer and got dishtowels to try and clean up the mess he made. :-)

Here's to hoping today starts out better than yesterday. ;)

Happy Friday, everyone! I love Fridays just as much... okay, more... than Mondays. We have to celebrate the weekend arriving, right?! 

I want to share some of my favorites from the week in two-word fashion. 

Vanilla Chai

 Fancy Glasses

 Furry Face

Sock Flower

Gift Package

Reading Buddies

Game Night

Breakfast Sausage

Little Parrot

Hope you all had a great week and have an even *better* weekend!

Questions for you:

What was one of your favorite things that happened this week?
If you have kids, have they ever gotten into things like Leland does? :-)

Stop over and say hi to these sweet ladies hosting these link-ups if you get a chance, or even better, join in on the fun by posting and linking up too!

Linking up with Erika and her friends again. 

I am also joining April and her group today too.

I haven't joined Lauren in awhile, so I was excited to pop over there today!

And new this week, I am joining September Farm and The Farmer's Wife

Thursday, November 20, 2014


right back in our rental house.

November 7th, our closing date, and the weekend we were planning on moving, has come and gone.

Friends, a house is not yours until you sign your name on that little black line at the very end of the whole process.

It has taken me a couple weeks to update you all on the house situation, because honestly, I was so sad and hanging onto every last hope that we would still get the house.

What happened was the appraisal came back the Sunday of closing week and the house was appraised at less than what we were going to be paying. We, obviously, aren't going to buy a house that is appraised under what we were going to spend. Can I just ask *why* appraisals are done so late in the game?? You can bet that if we find a house we want to buy again, I will be demanding the appraisal right away.

That being said, the entire week our realtor tried to connect with the seller's realtor. They work in the same office, so it's not too tough to pass by each other.

This lady ignored our realtor all week. I think they were trying to play hard ball and hope we would still take the place. But, they were wrong and so rude and unprofessional in our opinion. I feel bad that our realtor had to deal with this situation.

So, as we speak, I am unpacking and reorganizing our rental space.

Back to house hunting *was* the plan. We went and looked at a 6-bedroom house last Friday and we really liked it, just not as much as the house we had put the offer in on.

Since Friday, we have decided to stop house hunting for the time being. This whole situation totally drained me. I had almost the entire house packed and ready to go, not to mention all the emotions that go along with thinking you are moving to your own house again and then having it end and go the total opposite direction.

Joe and I have spent a lot of time talking the past few days and we have other plans and ideas in the back of our mind, so time to just settle in here and pray some more about where God wants us, because clearly He closed the door on buying for the moment. And, you know what, we are absolutely content with that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On, Wisconsin!

Back in September I signed the kids up for a geography fair. We were able to pick a state that we wanted to research and display come November. With our roots being back in Wisconsin, us being Wisconsinites, it was an easy choice for us. :-)
I am bummed the pictures are blurry, but I only had my iPhone there.
The kids knew some things and learned quite a bit more as we gathered information and put together our board.

Wisconsin was the 30th state in the USA. It became a state on May 29, 1848. Wisconsin is from an Indian word, but the origin is uncertain. It could be an Algonquian Indian word that means "long river," a Chippewa/Ojibwa/Anishinabe word, "Ouisconsin," that means "grassy place," or "gathering of the waters." This makes sense because WI is a heavily forested area with plenty of fresh water. 

It is nicknamed "The Badger State" which was because of the lead miners in the 1830s who worked in the Galena, IL mines. These miners lived in caves cut in the hillside that resembled badger dens, thus the miners being referred to as "badgers". 

The capital city is Madison, which we lived close to. The largest city is Milwaukee, where we have some family. 

Some other facts we learned and put on our display: 

  • State Bird: Robin
  • State Flower: Wood Violet
  • State Tree: Sugar Maple
  • State Animal: Badger
  • State Fish: Muskellunge
  • State Insect: Honey bee
  • State Motto: "Forward"
  • State Song: On, Wisconsin!
  • State Beverage: Milk
  • Food: Cheese
  • Major Rivers: Wisconsin, Mississippi, St. Croix, Chippewa
  • Major Lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Winnebago
  • Famous People: Laura Ingalls Wilder {Rylee has been reading the "Little House on the Prairie" books.}
  • The girls located and colored WI on the US map.
  • Drew and cut out the state.
  • Located Wisconsin's neighbors: Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois
  • Colored the state flag
  • Put together a couple USA puzzles
  • We talked about Wisconsin's crops.
  • We also colored a zoo picture. 
We were surprised at the amount of families in the geography fair. Almost all of the states were represented. I am guessing this will turn into an annual event. We would love to pick a different state and do it again next year.
The kids' display.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Truths

Today is a major laundry catch-up day for me, and I have to say this is so true for me:
My heart aches when my babies are sick. :-(

Cafe Bustelo K-Cups?! Was so excited when I spotted these at Target the other day. Had my first one this morning, and it was mmm, mmm, yum!

My Hunter took today off too so that I could have more of his help. I am going to miss him tomorrow when he has to head back to work but am so thankful for these two days he gave me.

Speaking of his help, I need to give you all an update on our moving situation soon. 

When I got out of the shower this morning, he said to me, "You put on that stinky lotion, didn't you?" He hates this stuff, while I on the other hand, love how it makes my skin so very soft. To keep using it or not... such a dilemma. ;)

Hotel stays are much cheaper than hospital stays. Leland continues to become the most expensive child ever, haha! :-)

That's all I have today. 

Comment below with one truth on your Tuesday. I would love to hear. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

MIMM // So Much Love & Support

Happppy Monday!

You all know how much I love Mondays! It's the fresh, new week full of goals and plans that excites me! After Friday's heavy post, I wanted to lighten things back up around here and share some very marvelous happenings from my weekend. Thanks for all the love and support you sent my way after reading my son's story; it means a lot to us.

  • Rylee wrote her first email during typing class on Friday. It was adorable and sweet. She sent it off to her grandma and papa and was thrilled to get a response back that night.
  • Pizza and movie night to officially kick off our weekend! It was Willow's choice. Frozen was a perfect pick with the frigid temps we had going on.
  • Dance party! Every Friday night after the movie finishes and the music is playing, we get up and dance around the living room as a family. I love that picture of Joe twirling Rylee and the happiness that is shining across her entire face. They love their dad so much.
  • After the kids were in bed, My Hunter and I snuggled up and watched two episodes of Hart of Dixie. I am loving our little date nights in. We have to take any time we can get. :-)

  • My good friend, Becky, showed up Saturday afternoon with a vanilla latte for me and stayed and chatted for awhile. Just what I needed! Love her! <3 She also brought some new books for the kids; she knows how to spoil them. 
  • A couple weeks ago I bought this new bench at our local craft fair. My Hunter and I finally brought it in last night. We are testing it out by the front door, and I think I am going to love it there. It will be nice to have a place to sit and take your shoes off and on before coming all the way in the house.


  • The kids have been sick this weekend. Willow ended up with croup, and now Rylee has it. We weren't able to leave the house at all on Sunday, so Becky stopped over again with her daughter and brought us two plates of homemade zucchini bars. Yum!
  • My Hunter got a buck in the morning. More meat for our freezer!
  • Since the kids were down and out, they weren't able to go to AWANA either. Instead I made chili and cornbread and everyone snuggled up on the couch to watch Hercules before bed. It was perfect.
And, now the most MARVELOUS news... Joe took off work today to stay home and help me and let me have some time off. I married a wonderful and supportive man. <3

Thank you to Katie for hosting this fun link-up every single Monday. It is such a positive way to reflect on the events from the weekend and start a new week.
I am also linking up with someone new today, Bianna over at B Loved Boston. Excited to be joining her too!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

INSANITY // Week 7 Plan & Report

Well I have taken a couple weeks off from working out and spent that time focusing on things here at home. I can't lie, it was nice; it was just what I needed. This was the most time I have taken off from exercising in two years, so it was a big deal for me. 

Now it's time to get back to INSANITY and finish this program. I am down to two weeks left. Here is what my schedule for this week looks like:

I am looking forward to doing the fit test on Monday to see if I can beat the numbers from my last one. I will share the results for sure afterwards.

It's also time to get back to planning out our meals. No more living out of boxes. I need to slowly unpack things and get food back in our pantry so that my kids are living off of more than just cereal.

Month two of INSANITY is much harder, but it's not impossible. If you work hard and follow the plan and eating for month one, it totally prepares you for this more intense month. I have been sweating so much more and at points my muscles are burning like crazy, but I work on pushing through until I can't do another rep. I have found I have to self-talk and tell myself that I can do this, remind myself how badly I want this, and although I get tired, I think about the results I want and how worth it it will all be when I get there.

Normally I like to have my meal plan all set by today, but I didn't get it done yesterday so that's on my agenda this afternoon. Hoping I have time to get some food prep done as well. It makes my week so much easier when I can have some things ready to go. 

For now, I am off to make my Shakeology and get the family ready for church. I love Sundays... family day!

Hope you all have a great one too!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Leland's Story

"How did you know?" This is the one question Joe and I have been asked over and over again the past few weeks. Today is World Diabetes Day, and I thought it would be timely to share Leland's diagnosis story.

September 27th... this is a day I will remember forever. I sat cradling my sick son on the E.R. bed when Dr. Tom walked in, pulled up a chair beside us, sat down, looked in my eyes and said, "Leland has type 1 diabetes and your life is never going to be the same; it's changed forever." 

He was right. It isn't the same, and neither are we. 

Let me back up and try to explain all that led up to Saturday, September 27, 2014.

Trying to recall the first day I noticed Leland sick and the many days after that are a blur. I remember bits and pieces, but most of it just feels as though this was a dream, a dream I wish I could wake up from and have everything be the way it was before.

Leland had been sick for a few weeks. Just saying this out in the open makes me feel like a bad mother. I mean, who lets their child sick that long without trying to get better answers? I remember talking on the phone to friends and family and letting them know how Leland was but adding, and truly believing, it was just a cold or maybe his two-year molars coming in.

The biggest thing I noticed was that he was urinating a ton more. I was having to wash his bedding every morning. After doing this repeatedly I decided enough was enough and I started going in his room 5 or 6 times throughout the night to change his diaper to prevent his sheets being soaked through by the time morning came. I would go in right before Joe and I went to bed, then again anytime I woke up to go to the bathroom, and I just told my body to wake up throughout the night.

He was also extremely thirsty during this time. I mean *extremely*. To the point where I just felt like I couldn't give him enough water and he was still chugging it all day long. We would hand him his cup, and he would take it, put it up to his lips and drink without stopping until every drop was gone.

I really didn't think this was normal, and I remember mentioning it to my friend. She told me her son went through a stage like that too. She suggested doubling up his diapers at night and he would soon outgrow this. I have two older daughters who never went through anything like this, so at that moment I just thought this must be a boy thing and left it at that. 

I remember Leland being so tired and weak during these few weeks. He would wake up and just want to be held by me. He would fall asleep often in my arms. 

On the morning of Monday, September 22nd, I had Leland in laying on his bedroom floor. He had just woken up for the day, and I had taken off his pajamas and was changing his diaper. That was the first moment where I looked at him and noticed he was a lot thinner. I grabbed my phone, snapped a picture of Leland laying there, texted it to Joe and then called him right away. I asked him what he thought, how he thought Leland looked. I also mentioned that his breath was really smelling and had been for a few days. We decided we needed to get him in to the doctor. Maybe it's strep or maybe he is getting an ear infection like he did last time he had teeth come in. I called the pediatric clinic and they said they could get him in the next morning. 

That night, I headed out to my friend's to help her peel the three gallon buckets of apples she had sitting in her kitchen. My phone beeped. I picked it up to see a text from Joe saying that he had just given Leland some pain medicine {for the teething we thought was going on} and we chuckled because the picture Joe got of him made it look like he was drunk. 

Tuesday morning I took Leland in for his appointment. This is where I failed as his mom. My brain was set on the fact that this had to be an ear infection and I didn't mention any of the other symptoms we had going on - the increased urination and thirst, the sweet-smelling breath - none of them. I have no idea why. I just told the doctor what I thought was going on. He checked his ears, and sure enough he had an infection. A bad one. 

Well, there we have it. Problem solved. That's what had been going on. And I went home feeling horrible that I waited that long to get him in. 

The next moment I remember is that Thursday, sitting at Classical Conversations with my girls, holding Leland thinking it was just so unlike him to sit in my arms for the entire three hours of class, not moving, not making much sound. Shouldn't the antibiotics have kicked in by now? 

Thursday evening we had home group over at the Holston's. He seemed okay. He got up from my lap and played a little bit. On the drive home that night, a new symptom occurred, he threw up all over himself in his carseat. That was the weirdest thing. I remember thinking he must have the flu and now I had just exposed him to everyone at home group. I remember praying nobody else would get sick.

We got home, and I had the girls start getting ready for bed. I sat down on the couch, put Leland in my lap, covered him up with his blanket and turned on Hart of Dixie. I didn't want to put him to bed in case he ended up getting sick to his stomach again. Sure enough, he threw up shortly after. I picked up the phone and called a friend I was supposed to get together with on Friday and told her I wouldn't be able to now because Leland was sick. I told her maybe we could chat Saturday and then meet-up on Monday.

Friday he didn't throw up any more, but he was extremely lethargic, weak, and not Leland. I could see it in his face. We drove a half a mile down the road from our house so I could take some fall pictures of the kids in the outfits their aunt just sent. I remember looking at those once I uploaded them to my computer later that day thinking that Leland just didn't look like himself. These are the last pictures we have where he isn't a 'diabetic'. Looking at these pictures, it was a whole different world, a world that didn't include needles, insulin, and the worry that is now.

This leads us up to Saturday morning, September 27, the day we will never forget. Joe had just gotten home with Rylee. They had been out hunting early that morning. Willow and I had cartoons on and Leland was in my lap, not moving, going in and out of sleep. 

The next thing I remember is looking up at Joe, who was over at the table putting breakfast on for the girls and saying, "Do you think he is breathing funny?" Had he been breathing like this all morning and I just now noticed? What was going on? 

I asked Joe, "Do you think I should call your mom and just see?"  

I dialed Laurie and as soon as she picked up I said, "I'm sorry to call now because I know you are getting ready for the baby shower, but Leland is having a hard time breathing and I don't know what's going on."

She could hear him through the phone. She just said, "Get him in to urgent care right now. There is a virus going around and this is one of the symptoms."

I grabbed my purse, Leland, and a blanket. I kissed Joe good-bye and told him I would be back shortly. 

When we got in the urgent care room, it was packed. I didn't see anyone at the counter so I squeezed on the bench between a couple and another guy. After a little bit, the guy on my right said, "How long has he been breathing like that?"

He noticed. Of course he noticed. Why wouldn't he? This was serious.

Once I saw the receptionist come out, I went up and sat in the chair in front of her. She was taking her time finishing up the paperwork from the people that were just before us, all the while with me thinking, "Can't she hear him struggling to breath? Why isn't she moving faster?" 

She took down our information and then the nurse popped out from the back. She told us it was going to be a two-hour wait. I had tears in my eyes as I went and sat back down in the waiting area. Today I ask why I didn't demand getting in right then and there. Thankfully the nurse stepped out a few minutes later saying, "Bring him back here. I heard how he is breathing and we need to get him in right away."

She took all his vitals and everything showed up fine. His oxygen levels were just fine, which totally confused me. The doctor came in and started asking questions. He said we needed to get us over to E.R. for blood work. 

They got us over there and on a bed, which is when I took this video of Leland. I now know that he was in a state called ketoacidosis. If we would have waited any longer, Leland would not be here with us today. The next step was a coma and/or death. 

I have beat myself up for letting him get to that point. I am his mother and I should have gotten this taken care of sooner. My MIL has told me over and over again that it wasn't my fault and that it is extremely rare for someone Leland's age to get type 1 diabetes. She said most families don't get their child in until they are in that state. 

Now looking back, I see the symptoms he had and see it was all clearly pointing right at the fact that he has type 1 diabetes, but while I was in the moment, I had no idea, absolutely none. 

From that moment, there were lots of tubes, which is no big deal for him, he was born prematurely, and has spent a lot of his young life in hospitals.

They moved us up to a room in the children's wing of the hospital. This is where we stayed for three days to get Leland stable and to educate Joe and I on how to now take care of him and his diabetes so that we can give him the best and longest life possible. 
Here we are 6 weeks later and I am no less scared. I cry a lot. I cried while sitting with the doctor yesterday at Leland's appointment. I worry about how my girls will handle all this crying I have going on. My doctor turned to them as the tears were rolling down my face and said, "You know what your mom is doing right now?"

The girls shook their heads no. 

"She is crying love tears. Those are good tears. Those are the tears she cries because she loves and cares so much about each of you."

Love tears. She hit it right on the head and in that moment I was so grateful she explained that to my girls. My girls are going to be okay.

I am not the same person I was before this diagnosis. I feel it. I 100% know it. My husband sees it, and my friends have mentioned it. I know I will never be the same again. I am getting better everyday at answering people, lying and saying I am okay.

The truth is, I don't feel okay all the time. I feel like I am just barely holding my head above the water. I am so scared. The reality and enormity of this situation feels as though it is swallowing me whole at times. Leland's diabetes does not stop. It does not matter if it is 2 AM or Christmas or his birthday. We can be sick or exhausted or Leland can be running away from me because he doesn't want another shot. I no longer can do one single thing or go any one place without asking myself how this will affect Leland. I have the time drilled in my head from the last injection I gave him. My eyes don't leave him when there is food around. I am constantly doing math in my head, figuring out his carbs, thinking about what his last BG was, paying attention to if he has been running around outside more with his sisters. His numbers have been so high lately and all that causes me to think about is his future. Will he lose his eyesight, the feeling in his limbs, will he have kidney failure or heart disease? This is just a glimpse of what is playing in my head over and over daily.

I don't want this to sound like I am complaining in the least. I'm not. I just want to be real with this situation so that if one of you ever finds yourself here you know you are not alone. I want you to be aware of these symptoms in case this ever crosses your path, you can hopefully get it diagnosed sooner than we were able to.

I know God has this, and I know that I just need to give it all up to Him, but I am not there yet. Would it be easier if I were? Definitely, but shortly after Leland was diagnosed, I was mad. There is a bigger picture and I may never know what that is. But I need to just trust God, and I am slowly trying to get back there.

In the meantime, I am going to continue learning how to take the best care of my son and love him because he is here with us.