Friday, April 28, 2017

My heart's not ready for this

Ready or not...we move tomorrow.  Those words haven't quite sunk in, yet whenever I say them I feel a knife in my heart with a wave of nausea.  It doesn't feel real.  Yet the tears I've shed today and the fact that the truck is arriving tomorrow, tell me it is.

Our house just doesn't work for us anymore.  We have a son who is handicapped beyond what we ever expected, and having a three-story house with no bedrooms on the main floor just doesn't work.  Plain and simple.  So last fall we put the house for sale, thinking we would take advantage of the hot market - and also thinking it would sell very quickly.  Fast forward to March of this year when we had finally taken the house OFF the market to focus on Braxton's surgery and recovery, and BAM - that's when the house sold.

We don't know ultimately where we want to build, or where God wants us.  But we still have to live somewhere, so we bought a small house that we will squeeze into for now.  And we will wait on the Lord.

But here's the thing.  I'm not sad because we aren't sure where we're going to build.  I trust that God will reveal that to us at just the right time.  And it's no big deal that we're going to "downsize" for a while (we're talking about 60% smaller).  I'm actually looking forward to the "challenge" of living closely for a while, and a season of simplifying.

It's the dreams.  Or, I should say, the lost dreams that I'm grieving.

Five and a half years ago we were busting at the seams of our house with five kids, and would dream about a bigger house.  Maybe something with an extra bedroom, or a bonus room.  We had a baby living in our room with nowhere to go, so any extra space would be nice.  Then God blew our socks off.  We got TWO extra bedrooms.  An office.  A bonus room.  A gym.  A formal dining room.  It was more than we ever dreamed.  It was our dream home.

We put blood, sweat and tears into the yard.  We dreamed about growing our own food - which we did.  We planted trees.  Lots and lots of trees, and couldn't wait for them to get big enough for a hammock (they did) and maybe a tire swing and a tree house.  We even drew plans with the boys for their tree house and talked about building it.  I envisioned Braxton running around the yard, and me sitting on a bench while watching him play.  I saw Coral sliding down the slide.  Emma even talked about wanting to get married in our yard.

The inside of the house was finally coming together.  There were some things about it that weren't perfect, but we were making it our own.  The big main-floor remodel we did brought so much natural light in, and gave us beautiful built-ins in the dining room.  The master bathroom remodel turned out so nice that I still love walking into it.  And then.  I gave birth in our house.

This week has been crazy, and I have barely had any time to pack.  But today, as I found myself alone, packing in the quiet, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. (I finally had to crank some 90's music to pick me up - Beastie Boys, anyone?)  I am a naturally sentimental person - but letting go of this house feels like letting go of so many dreams.  Even though I know it is the right thing to do.

But I can't help but feel sad - and even a little angry - that this had to happen.

I trust God, He knows what's best, but my heart's not ready for this.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I packed up Braxton's bottles last night and gave them to Brian to take home from the hospital.  We had switched hospital rooms, and as I was moving the bottles it dawned on me that I won't need them.  Maybe not ever again.

Braxton had another surgery yesterday.  His second in two weeks.  Over the last couple of months, and especially the last couple weeks, it has become obvious that it is not safe for Braxton to eat (drink - he's been 100% bottle fed) with his mouth.  We knew that he was aspirating, which is why he had the surgery two weeks ago.  We had his tonsils and adenoids removed, a laryngeal cleft repaired, and general airway lasering and clean-up to try and correct the asperating.  But a follow-up swallow study this week showed that he is still asperating - possibly even more.  So we needed to do something to make it safe for Braxton to eat.

Yesterday Braxton had a Nissen Fundoplication, and a G-tube placed.

This was the hardest decision we've had to make about Braxton's care.  Not because it was the most serious issue he's faced.  But because there were options.  It wasn't clear-cut.  We had to educate ourselves.  Weigh risks and rewards.  I interviewed everyone I came across and could think of who might have insight.  Ultimately, we heard what we kind of wanted to hear, when the doctor said, "your son NEEDS this".

As I packed up those bottles, I realized I was packing up a period of Braxton's life, and that it was signaling a new period in his life.  It could have been sad, but it really wasn't.  I've had incredible peace the last few days since we've made our decision.  And I am hopeful that this is opening up a new chapter of growth and development and good things for Braxton.

I am also thankful that I thought to snap a quick picture right before he finished his last bottle.  (sorry I can't figure out how to add the picture from my ipad. If you're on instagram you've seen it already.)

Good things are coming.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Catch-Up

I have so many things I want to blog about from our summer.  But sadly, our iMac crashed last week, taking our hard drive and our pictures with it.  We believe we will be able to restore the lost data (please, Lord) for about the price of a small car.  I would sell an organ, though, to get the last 18-months of pictures back. 

Side note:  don't procrastinate on backing up your data...even if you believe you have an unbreakable Mac.

Here are some bullet points that I want to touch on from the past few months.

-  Our summer started off slow, as we were done with school around May 23rd and the weather had not yet consistently warmed up.

-  I started a job at the end of June.  I work for my dad's magazine publishing company, from home, as much or little as I want.  It's a pretty great arrangement.

-  I started training for a half-marathon, that I will be running in October.  Brian is doing it too - yay!

-  We had three amazing camping trips with friends.

-  Emma, Isaiah and Noah took swimming lessons and did so great.  I was completely amazed at their progress over four weeks.

-  Braxton started wearing Thera Togs.  It's therapy grade compression clothing that helps stimulate his muscles and helps him work on controlling his movements. 

-  Braxton finally cut his first tooth at the end of August - a top molar!  He has since cut another molar, and just this morning, his lower front tooth.

We finally started the new school year late last week, and are still getting used to our new schedule.  We have some new activities I am super excited about, like horseback riding and violin lessons. 

I can't wait to get my computer and all my pictures back so I can get back to some regular blogging. 

Happy Fall!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

August Camping Trip

What a fun weekend we just had!  Some friends invited us to go camping, so at the last minute we packed up and headed out for a long weekend.  We thought we were meeting them at a campground on a lake.  But, the campground was full and our friends set up camp - in the wilderness - on the river.

I'm not gonna lie...I was a bit nervous about not having a bathroom.  But, I put on my big-girl panties and got over it.  And it was so much fun!

Biniam had to work so he stayed home, but the rest of the kids were excited.

The nice drive up the mountain.

We got stopped for some road construction so I got a nice picture of the river.

The kids quickly made themselves at home in our little oasis.

Our home away from home.

Setting up the fly-fishing gear.

The beautiful scenery.

Intently watching the fishing from shore.

My fly-fishing lesson:  learning how to cast.

I started getting the hang of it!

It's a rough life.

Working on his survival skills.

My little book-worm.

Heading out on an exploration.

There were huckleberries galore!

The water moved just enough to not be stagnant, but was slow enough for the kids to safely play.

Sweet Braxton even had a great time!

We apparently intruded on some deer, and they let us know by constantly circling our camp.  That bright spot in the bushes in the center of this photo is "Rosie" the deer.

Noah was content to just sit on this rock and ponder life.

Up a few miles from our camp was a beautiful meadow that the kids got to explore.

Such great family memories, and good times with friends!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thursday, July 05, 2012

4th of July Photo Dump

 Our neighborhood may be small....but we know how to do the 4th!