Farewell 2016

It should come as no surprise that I am happy to see 2016 come to a close.  I don’t know why it is really significant though as nothing really changes on January 1st, but there is always something exciting about ending a year (especially one that seemed to have more bad moments than good) and beginning a new one.

I am not one to make New Year Resolutions, because truth is, I probably wouldn’t keep them after the 2nd week of January.  But, I am going to change one thing and work on one thing in the new year…..I am going to take better care of myself.  I have learned this year that if I don’t take care of me properly, I can’t take care of Dennis and Hannah well.  Let’s face it, no one is going to take care of me, but me.  So, in the new year I am going to take time out and do some things for myself, so that I will be healthier and happier to take care of the needs of my family.

Here are some of the things I am going to start doing for me:

  • I am going to read more (The Bible and some other good books).
  • I am going to get more Pedicures….do you know the feet are the most abused part of your body?  We need to take care of those toes!
  • I am going to New York City (this trip is already booked, yay)!
  • I am going to insist on one date night a month with my hubby.  This is something we have not done much at all since Hannah was born and I feel like it is time for he and I to take one night a month for US!
  • I am going to exercise more (I already walk and run, but I am going to add in kickboxing, more cardio and weights).
  • I am going to eat healthier…..although, we already eat pretty healthy I am going to try and cut out some of the unhealthy snack type foods and replace them with healthier ones.  I have just one body and I need to take care of it, especially with my age.  In a few short days I will be 45 years old….how did that happen?
  • I am going to try to find one person a month to bless…..perhaps with just a letter and gift card in the mail, or treat to dinner, or to go have a Pedicure with or see a movie.
  • I am going to make it a point to spend more time with family and friends.
  • I am going to try to finish a project I started 2 years ago…..this will be an amazing feat for me!
  • I am going to take time out and “smell the roses” and find things each day to be thankful for even on the bad days.
  • I am never going to be an “optimist” because I am such a “realist” but I am going to try to be more positive and find hope even on the days that feel hopeless.
  • I am going to try to learn to embrace the hardships; knowing that hardships in life build strength, character and perseverance.
  • Above all I am going to work on being kind and humble.  Accepting help when needed and going the extra mile for my family and friends.

My hope and prayer for 2017 is a healing miracle for Hannah, but if that doesn’t happen then my prayer is that no matter what is thrown our way, the Lord will continue to provide our needs, give us strength in our struggles, hope in our circumstances and joy in our sorrows.

Happy New Year to you all and may God bless and keep each one of you in the new year.

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Until next time………….

 

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Choice To Forgive…..

Forgiveness is a choice.  I have had trouble with this for a very long time.  I want others to forgive me when I have wronged them, but I am not usually very quick to forgive when I have been wronged and that is not right.  The hardest part about forgiving those who have wronged you is that you are sitting there waiting for an apology that might never come.  Something I have learned (a hard lesson to get through my thick skull) is that often times you have to forgive without the apology you are waiting for; truly not an easy thing to do.

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Sometimes unforeseen circumstances make you step outside of your comfort zone and do something you swore up and down you would never do.  I will be honest…..I have been extremely hard-headed the past 3 years (okay, my entire life I have been hard-headed, but that isn’t the point, ha) and in a difficult and heart breaking situation.  A situation that drove a huge wedge between me and someone I know.  Lies were told and it not only affected me, but also Dennis and if you know anything about  me, you know you can talk about me until the cows come home but leave my husband and kid alone.  I swore I would NEVER speak to or be in the same room as this person that offended me again.  The past 3 years I haven’t laid eyes on this person and I honestly never really thought about her either.  Completely out-of-sight, out-of-mind.  THEN…..an unforeseen circumstance happened last week and that still small voice of God (that I had ignored for 3 years) that told me to forgive this person without an apology got REALLY loud, like He was yelling at me to do the right thing.  I tried my best to ignore Him and His voice; but last night I couldn’t do it anymore.  When Dennis got home, I left the house and drove to this individual’s door and made peace.

Three years had passed and I truly never thought I would ever see this person again; it just took me that long to accept an apology I was never going to get and forgive anyway.  That is not an easy thing to do.  But, after talking to and being encouraged by 2 people who knew the situation and also Dennis I knew what I needed to do.  It wasn’t for the person who wronged me, it was for me.  Freedom, peace, forgiveness and grace.  I can’t “preach” God’s grace if I don’t extend it myself to others.

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Let me encourage you today…..if someone has wronged you, or you know of a way that you have wronged someone else, extend grace; whether that is forgiving or asking forgiveness.  The freedom and peace it gives you is amazing.  I promise, you won’t regret the decision to do the right thing and what a better time than Christmas to extend grace and peace to others!

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Until next time…….

Mary Did You Know……..

I think the song “Mary Did You Know” is probably my favorite Christmas song.  The words, the message…..it gives me chills to think of the amazing privilege and honor it was to be Mary; knowing that the baby boy she was bringing into this world would be our Savior. What an amazing woman she must have been to be chosen for this important role.

I saw a “glimpse” of Mary today in my own child.  Weird statement, right?  Let me explain:

Today, we were blessed by some amazing friends at First Baptist Church.  The Children’s Pastor, Chad, The Children’s Choir Director, Teri, her husband Brian, their teenage son Ty and our friends Mike and Allison came to our home this morning after Sunday School.  Yes, they skipped church to BE church for us!  Isn’t that AMAZING?  Anyway, they wanted to celebrate Jesus’ birthday with Hannah so we had a “Happy Birthday Jesus Party.”  They brought us an amazing dinner from Cracker Barrel, a birthday cake for Jesus, presents for Hannah and all the props and costumes for us to re-enact the birth of Jesus.  Guess who played Mary?  Chad had bought Hannah a new Mary costume and a baby doll…..he was upset he couldn’t find a boy baby, but we pretended that the baby was a boy and we re-enacted the Christmas story with Wise Men, Shepard’s, Angels, Joseph and of course, baby Jesus.  Chad gave us all scripts that he had written and Hannah sat at the manger holding baby Jesus dressed in her Mary costume and absolutely smiled in awe the entire time (especially when Mrs. Teri started singing because her voice is that of an angel and Hannah loves music).  But, something else I noticed as Hannah wrapped baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, she held him close and tight.  She was so gentle and so loving.  She stroked and kissed him on his head many times.  It gave me a glimpse into the real Mary and the way she must have held Jesus so tight, taking such loving care of Him knowing the role He would be asked to play so early in His life; the sacrifice He would be asked to give…..His life, for you and for me.  Oh the joy, the heartache, the sacrifice, the love and the responsibility she must have felt the moment God told her that she would be the Mother of Jesus……I cannot even begin to fathom her thoughts or feelings.

All dressed up like Mary

All dressed up like Mary

But, as we re-enacted the incredibly well-written and even slightly humorous script that Chad wrote I watched my little girl, who earlier had been a puddle of tears, smile sweetly, lovingly and happily as she played the role of Mary so beautifully.  She was so happy and content for the first time in a long time to just sit still, holding the baby Jesus and listen to the story of His birth.  God was present in my home today…..I felt Him…..I felt His love, His grace, His mercy, His strength and HIS PRESENCE.  All because a few people felt the Lord telling them to do this for Hannah and me.  What a sacrificial gift they gave us today.  They sacrificed their time to minister to and bless us.

Loving on "baby Jesus"

Loving on “baby Jesus” 

Thank you Chad, Teri, Brian, Ty, Mike and Allison for being the hands and feet of Jesus and not just “playing church” but “BEING church.”  There is a huge difference.  Today……was a really good day because of you all.

God's gifts to us today.....I promised no pictures in costume! HA!

God’s gifts to us today…..I promised no pictures in costume! HA!

For those who have never heard the song “Mary Did You Know,” here are the lyrics…..read them…..they truly are beautiful!

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Until next time……..

Our Godsend

I know I have been missing in action on my blog lately but I just haven’t had the words nor the time to really sit down and blog.  Today, though, I am making the time.  I want to tell you about one of the biggest blessings in our life…..Our Godsend.

Her name is Lyndsay.  I have literally known her all of her life.  She comes from one of the sweetest families on the planet with the most loving and giving hearts.  I will be honest, I have always looked at Lyndsay as “little Lyndsay.”  It wasn’t until March or April of this year that it really dawned on me that she was no longer a little girl and when I found out from a friend of mine that Lyndsay was looking for babysitting jobs, I thought…..”well let me see if she would be interested in helping with Hannah some.”  Honestly thinking there was no way she would want the responsibility that comes with taking care of Hannah.  Much to my surprise she jumped at the chance.  Another really “God-thing” in it all is that when we moved into our new home, Lyndsay only lives 5 minutes away…..before she lived about 30 minutes away.  So, she started doing some babysitting for us.  A few hours here, a few hours there.  Then, I slowly started showing her about medications, bath and bedtime routines and the next thing you know…..she is literally staying here while Dennis and I go out-of-town.  Okay, if you know me, that is HUGE!  Lyndsay is homeschooled so she is available during the daytime hours which is when I need her a lot.  Another great thing is so often she is available with very short notice.

I have literally used her this week like crazy; even at the last-minute on Wednesday when I needed to help Dennis and his sister out with their dad.  What a blessing to have someone to call on and never worry that she can’t handle whatever Hannah throws at her.  Today, she came over this morning and went with me to have some testing done with Hannah.  Hannah has lots of anxiety in the car.  She literally stresses herself out so bad that she throws herself into a seizure.  It happened last week going over the Dames Point bridge and there was nothing I could do.  You see, Hannah has low sodium (which we are trying to figure out why, hence the testing for today) and low sodium can mess with your blood pressure and can lessen the seizure threshold.  She also has adrenal insufficiency (and we feel that has gotten much worse and waiting to do more testing on it as well).  With adrenal insufficiency, your adrenals don’t produce the cortisol that your body needs to function properly, especially during stressful situations.  In adrenal insufficiency or failure, it appears to look like low-blood sugar…..you get lethargic, pale, nauseous, irritable, etc. but what it is, is that the cortisol is not enough to cover the stress your body feels, hence literally making yourself sick.  This happens every.single.time we get in the car to go somewhere with Hannah, she stresses out to the point her adrenals don’t cover her and she gets sick.  All that to say, I asked Lyndsay if she would go with me today, which she willingly did and without fail, Hannah got real sick acting.  Lyndsay climbed from the front seat into the back and took such good care of Hannah, even fed her french fries to bring her sodium up so that she didn’t pass out or have a seizure.

I cannot say enough about Lyndsay or her family.  I just feel so blessed to have a young lady who is available and willing to care for Hannah.  She truly loves my little girl and I thank God everyday for the blessing she is to us.  Our Godsend……

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We love you Lyndsay!  Thank you for always taking care of our sweet girl!  You are like a daughter to Dennis and me and we are so grateful for you!

Until next time………

No Words and I Feel Like A Failure

I haven’t had words……well, I take that back.  I have had words but none that anyone wants to hear as they would be compounded into a rant so big that my computer might explode as I type said rant so ferociously on my keyboard.  The past few weeks have been……DIFFICULT to say the least.  Hannah is in a flare, most likely brought on from stress.  She is full of anxiety and that anxiety builds to the point where she truly stresses herself out.  Unfortunately, for sometime now (about 2 years) she has had adrenal insufficiency and when she stresses out, her adrenals do not produce enough cortisol to give her the “stress coverage” that she needs to handle stress.  So, when she stresses to the point of a flare lots of things happen.  She gets horrific insomnia, her seizure activity increases, she is lethargic, pale, nauseous, irritable, withholds her bowels and even her pee (thus leading to accidents which means being in pull-ups 24/7).  She has no energy, severely depressed and her OCD and tics increase horribly.  Let’s not even talk about the aggression and the scars I have to prove that I am her favorite target!

I will admit, I am in “failure mode.”  Where everything I do or say feels like a failure.  To the point where at times I have wondered why God even allowed me to become a mom, as I don’t seem to be doing any of this well.  I see other mom’s out there with multiple children, special needs children, chronically ill children and they seem to be doing this mom and wife thing so much better than I do.  They truly seem to embrace their life; no matter how difficult it is and trust me I know people who have it worse than me.  I just seem to fail miserably.  Perhaps they do too, they just don’t show and tell that part of their life.  I just wish I knew one person who didn’t seem to have it all together and was a “hot mess” like me!  HA!

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I have admitted to a few people that the day is coming I am going to need help.  I know it.  I see it.  I am trying to accept it.  Hannah is becoming too much for me to handle physically.  It is easier when Dennis is around but he can’t be here all the time.  I mean someone has to bring home an income and pay the bills!  Sad thing is, we can’t get approved for any help.  It isn’t for lack of trying.  Insurance has denied therapies, treatments, home health care, nursing care, medications……things that our Pediatrician sees we need and insurance just DENIES, DENIES, DENIES!  We have just applied for Medwaiver.  It is the one thing we can apply for that isn’t based on income.  Problem is, the waiting list is 7-10 YEARS!  Medwaiver would purchase pull-ups, pay for therapies, medications, respite care, etc., but you have to be on the waiting list for years before you can get some help.  There is a way you can apply for crisis intervention and we will do that, but it isn’t guaranteed.

Each day with Hannah seems to get harder than the day before.  When she is in a flare, she is very difficult for me to handle alone.  When not in a flare, I can handle her for the most part but just stress can trigger a flare and you never know when one is coming or how long it will last.  The shortest flare she has had has been 4 weeks and the longest at one time was 12 weeks.  It is just hard.  We do have some good moments that I cherish even when flaring but they are truly few and far between.  Funny thing is, I can catch her in a good moment with a smile on her face one minute and 5 minutes later she is raging or in a puddle of tears on the floor.  It truly is that quick……there are days I watch her go from depressed to angry to manic to happy and back again over and over!

I honestly don’t know why I am typing all this out……I think I just needed to get it out before I lose my mind.  I told Dennis that one day he will be visiting me in a padded cell and when he does visit me, just don’t forget to bring me wine!  HA!  I guess today triggered this in me as it has been a rollercoaster that ended up in her having a seizure in the car on the way home from a few errands we ran.

As always, your prayers for us are coveted.  I will divulge that Hannah is having some new and different physical symptoms and we will be going through some testing later this month to figure out what is going on.  I am concerned, as one of the new issues is pretty critical.  We need to fix it but we need to figure out the underlying cause for it first, hence the testing coming up.

I know God will continue to carry us, but at this moment I just feel like a BIG MOM/WIFE/FRIEND/DAUGHTER/SISTER FAILURE!  There are days where I barely get my “have-to’s” done and there are days where Hannah gets her iPad way too much….oh, and we eat lots of spaghetti, cause you know that is easy to cook….does not make for a happy husband, as that is his least favorite food!  UGH!  Tonight, Chick-fil-a to the rescue thanks to Steve Zona!

Okay, there is my sad, depressed, complaining, whining, heartbroken, failure of a blog today……maybe it is a good thing I haven’t had the words to blog because this is the way they sound right now!

Oh and Merry Christmas!  HA!

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Until next time……..