Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

It’s been a trying year. We’ve had many obstacles, many changes, and many trials. Even so, we have SO MUCH to be thankful for and I’m definitely reminded of that!

As always, I’m so very grateful for my family: for Zach and our kids. They make my life so happy and I  know that I’m so blessed to have them. I’m also grateful for our extended families. I feel fortunate that we have so many people who love us and are there for us. Family truly is a blessing.

I’m thankful for our home, our clothes, our food, the many needs that we have filled way more abundantly than is necessary.

This year though, I have some new thankfuls.

I’m thankful for our health. I know that this is something I’ve taken for granted. We’ve had a lot of medical issues this year – lots of sicknesses for all members of our family, as well as Reed’s cyst. We have had MANY trips to Arkansas Children’s Hospital this year, and we have at least 3-4 more, possibly more, depending on how Reed’s next surgery goes. Every time I’ve walked through the doors, I have had to fight back tears. While the situation with Reed has been tough on us, I am SO thankful that he is dealing with an issue where we know that eventually, he WILL be healed. I know that as we’ve been relatively healthy, I’ve not been as thankful for it as I should be, but that is no more.

I’m also thankful for my job. Not only does it pay it our bills, but it provides us with wonderful medical insurance. Our coverage is not changing with these new healthcare laws, nor are our premiums going up by hundreds of dollars. I just feel so thankful to work for a company that provides top notch benefits to its employees.

I’m thankful for trials. Like i said earlier, this hasn’t been an easy year for us. It has felt like we’ve had one things on top of another go wrong, in so many many different aspects of our life. However, I feel like I’ve really grown in my faith during this time.

I’m thankful for seasons, particularly seasons in life. I think if we had all good all the time, then we wouldn’t learn to truly appreciate it. I’m thankful though that we aren’t always in a season of toughness because who would enjoy that?!

I am very thankful that I have so many blessings in my life. I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve and I’m really trying to remember to be thankful for those things I often take for granted!

I wish you and your families a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Seven years!

Seven years ago today I married my best friend! It has been by far one of the happiest days of my life!wedding2

It feels like the past seven years have passed in the blink of an eye. There are hard days, of course, but I can truly say I love Zach more today than I ever have. I have SO much admiration and respect for the man that he is. He is a dedicated and loving husband and father, and he is an incredible educator who makes a difference each and every day of his life.  IMG_2218

Zach, you are my very best friend and I love starting and ending each day next to you. Thank you for the way you make me feel like the most important person in the world and for your amazing devotion to me and our children. We have endured many ups and downs over the last seven years and no matter what comes our way, you are always my rock. You make me laugh, you drive me crazy, and I love you like no one else! Thank you for loving me in spite of all my quirks. Here’s to many many more years together!edwards family (65 of 68)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday!

I’m linking up today to share my five on Friday!

 

1. So, I mentioned in my last post that we had some family photos made last weekend. We’d never used this photographer before, but she has a new fan!!! Our photos turned out so well and she was FAST! We had the photos done Sunday afternoon and they were ready on Wednesday! This is one of my favorite photos of the kids!edwards family (57 of 68)

2. I usually decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. This year we will be traveling, and won’t be back until Sunday. Because Thanksgiving is so late this year, when we get home it will be December. If I don’t do it this weekend, it will be so close to Christmas and we won’t get to enjoy it much. So, this weekend it is.

3. Tuesday evening while Zach was at gymnastics with Ava, I was at home trying to cook dinner. Reed was whining and wanting attention so I gave him a pan filled with ice and water to “cook”. He loved it! He kept licking the spatula saying “Mmm! This is good!”IMG_3749

4.  I’m looking forward to December and the Christmas activities we have planned. We have a few traditions we do every year and I’m excited for those, as are the kids. Ava is already talking about a few of the things! Reed is excited when we see Christmas lights already out and I love seeing their excitement over this season.

5. Work and home life are SO SO busy right now, that I pretty much work, come home, get things ready for the next day and then shut down because my mind and body are SO tired. How sad is it that I had to probably sit for an hour to come up with these five topics. I was very seriously considering a Three on Friday post. ha! I’m thankful that next week will come with a couple days off, even though we’ll be traveling. I’m in desperate need of a break!

That’s all I’ve got! Have a happy weekend!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The last week

I guess that until things settle a little, once a week posts may be all I can muster. Things are just so hectic right now. i don’t want to give up recording memories. I’m incredibly busy at work right now and when I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer.

Last week we had to work on Ava’s homework – disguising a turkey. This was our third year to do one and she said she wanted to make a gymnast turkey. Well. Mama had no clue how to do that so I started thinking about what we could use that we already had at home. The kids were snacking on popcorn and I remembered we had some boxes left from party favors from Ava’s birthday. BINGO! Popcorn turkey was born!IMG_3676

Ava had school pictures this week. While she was getting ready that morning, Reed showed us how he planned to smile. IMG_3691

Ava let me snap a picture of her that morning before we left and Reed decided he wanted to jump in one with her!IMG_3699IMG_3698

Some mornings when Reed doesn’t want me to put him in the car he runs to the door to have his picture taken. This particular morning he wanted to take a picture with his milk.  IMG_3709

Saturday afternoon Reed did NOT want to nap. It was a struggle to get him down and he was adamant that he was not tired (even though he was). After a morning outside, he had some major curlies going on.  IMG_3719

Yesterday we had a quick mini session to get some family photos and Reed wanted to smile before we left. (too bad it didn’t carry over into the session). IMG_3733

It  was SUPER windy during our photos and it was also 82 degrees! Crazy weather! You can see that Ava’s hair had been blown all over! IMG_3734

Our weekend ended before it even started. I’m looking forward to some time off next week for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reed is thankful..

Last week I walked into Reed’s classroom to drop him off and saw all the kids’ handprints hanging from their show off wire. I asked Reed where his was and they told me that they were making them into turkeys and had asked them what they were thankful for. As I’m looking at all the handprints, most of the kids papers had that they were thankful for mommy and/or daddy. Reed’s?

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His teacher told me they didn’t quite get what thankful meant so they were asking them what their favorite thing was. I’ve asked Reed several times what he is thankful for and every time, it’s cookies! :) At least he’s honest, right???

Monday, November 11, 2013

Time keeps on moving

There’s really not a lot to report here. We get through the weekend, start back to work and school on Monday. We come home, have dinner, get things ready for dinner and take care of everything that needs to be done, and go to bed to get up and start all over again.

It’s easy to get lost in it all sometimes, but these moments are the ones I live for. IMG_3549

Reed has been feeling pretty good, minus the fact that we have to clean his chin each night. His wound is still draining, and it’s very painful for him when we touch it, but we gotta do it. I just hope he can stay this well til surgery. I can also see his two year molars right under his gums. I am hoping those come through very soon!  IMG_3565

He also is getting really into Christmas. He loves when we go in a store and see all the Christmas things out. He ooooooohhs and ahhhhhhs and says, “MAMA! LOOK!”. He also likes his “Missmas” clothes, which is why he is already sporting some Missmas jammies. :)

Zach had to be gone Tuesday evening so I’d lined up some help for that evening so I didn’t have to take Reed to gymnastics with us. Unfortunately before we made it to gymnastics, Ava had come down with a fever. She had told me on the way to school that her eyes were burning, but I didn’t really know what that meant. Her fever was mild though and as soon as I got some tylenol in her, it went away. She perked up majorly and was fine the next day. She said her teeth hurt too so I think she may have had some sinus stuff going on. Let me say, 2013 has not been kind to our family in the way of health. I know kids get sick, but this was the 8th different illness Ava had this year. I guess I need to document what all we’ve had this year so that one day I can look back and laugh (maybe).

By the time we get to Friday, we’re all really happy!!!    IMG_3600

On Saturday, Zach had to be gone all day for a school function. He left at 7:00 and didn’t get home until almost 8:00. So instead of hanging around the house all day driving each other bonkers, I loaded up the kids and we headed up to NWA to see Stephen, Leslie and Caroline. Before we left, I was getting Ava ready and when I put her bow in her hair, Reed told me he needed the orange one.  IMG_3607

Ava loved meeting Caroline! She was like a little mommy! She was very attentive to her and wanted to help. She helped rock her to sleep and if she heard her squawk she ran right over to her! IMG_3612

Aunt Sarah enjoyed some baby snuggles too. It’s been way too long since I’ve just gotten to sit and hold a sleeping bebe!!! IMG_3633

We knew since we’d been gone all day Saturday that we had lots of stuff to do on Sunday, so we woke up early and went to church at 8:00. (disclaimer: Yes, Ava is wearing the same thing two days in a row. Yes, I washed it. Gotta get use out of our holiday wear and since we wear uniforms during the week, the weekend is where’s it at!)

These two were sleepy before church, but happy! IMG_3646 

We came home after and worked on the house, did some projects, took naps (the lucky ones did anyway), and then had to get ready for a late afternoon birthday party of one of Ava’s classmates. His parents own a restaurant and they had a cooking party. It was so cute! They got to decorate their own cupcakes and they all had so much fun! IMG_3656IMG_3664

It was a great weekend! We had fun, got a lot done, and enjoyed our time. As always, it was over way too fast and before I know it, we’ll be doing it all over again!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happenings at our house

Last week was supposed to be a little quieter at our house. And then life happened. Nothing bad, just made it a little busier than anticipated.

Zach was busy with a tryout on Monday night so it was just me and the kiddos. After dinner and baths, Reed occupied himself with his colors. He loves coloring! IMG_3257

On Monday, I also took my car to get the oil changed. I got a call that afternoon with “well, you need some things done.” Those things came to a total of $1,200. ::gulp:: Unfortunately, they weren’t really things you want to neglect. We knew I needed two new tires, the battery was testing bad, I needed new rear brakes, and my water pump was leaking. Seeing as how I was driving to LR Friday by myself and knowing we have some traveling coming up, we decided to do it all minus the water pump. Then I decided I might as well just do it all and set up an appointment for Wednesday. Truthfully, I don’t think we’ve replaced the rear brakes once, and I truly cannot remember if we’ve put in a battery (i’m sure we have), since we got the car 7 years ago. We’ve been fortunate not to have to put a lot of money into it. I’m hoping these maintenance things are all we have to deal with.

Well, Wednesday afternoon they called me and said that they had done everything, except the water pump. They’d gotten it in, but when they opened the box, the pump inside didn’t match the pump that was ordered. It was mis-boxed and they asked if they could keep my car overnight. So Zach had to come pick all of us up and on the way home, Reed played with Zach’s hat. IMG_3273

We had a pretty quiet weekend. We did some stuff around the house. My latest hobby is making wreaths. I’ve made a few and worked on some this weekend for a couple friends. I love how this one turned out!IMG_3522

I was a little worried about the kids adjusting to the time change, but so far, they’ve done really well. They sat down in the chair and watched a show on Sunday morning. So sweet.IMG_3492 

Another thing we did this weekend was have some awesome toast! Friday afternoon my grandma gave me a loaf of her homemade bread. I’m not sure my kids have ever had it, and I told Ava we should make toast with it, because honestly, it’s the best toast. She fell in love. Reed liked it too. He calls my grandma “Tay” so when they asked for breakfast, they asked for Tay Toast. haha   IMG_3497 

Finally, our friend and old neighbor Katie, has started a business. She does party decor and also personalized clothing. You can find her shop, Trendy Biscuit, here.  She gifted Ava with this adorable winter dress and we took some photos for her. Ava cracked me up in some of them! She is so different in all of the photos – funny how she can turn it on and off!!IMG_3503 IMG_3513 IMG_3514IMG_0259-2IMG_0268-2IMG_0272-2    She kills me throwing deuces in this last one. This is truly her personality!! :)

Aren’t you happy I let you in on our riveting, exciting days?! :) haha! Truly, I love the every day memories and more than once I’ve looked back to remember something, so for now, the daily life posts will continue!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reed’s follow up at ACH

Friday Reed had a follow up appointment at ACH. About a month ago was when he had the discharge coming from his incision, and after we saw them, they wanted to see us back in a month to check on things and see how everything was going.

Our appointment was 10:45 so we headed out around 7:45. Reed was excited to watch TV in mama’s car. haha!IMG_3426 

We got to the hospital and checked in and thankfully didn’t have a long wait in the waiting room, like the last time I had to take him and we waited an hour. They called us back. Since all of this has happened, Reed has gotten very clingy in doctor’s offices. Once we’re in the exam rooms, he doesn’t want down, doesn’t want to play, and just wants to be held. So we tried to occupy a little time by taking some selfies.IMG_3452 

The doctor came in and asked how everything had been going. I told him we check the incision site daily and that it really had been looking so much better. He came over and asked to take a look, and the second Reed leaned his head back, my heart sank. Along the incision, about the size of watermelon seed, was a bubble filled with green stuff. I looked at the doctor and said, “that was not there last night.” He said that these things can be tricky and he needed to see what it was. So, I held Reed down, and he squeezed it, kind of like popping a pimple. He said it was very helpful for him to see what was coming out of it.

Well, my friends, the cyst is back. I really wasn’t expecting that. I truly thought this would be a quick in and out appointment. I really am not surprised that it’s back, but I AM surprised at how quickly it’s returned. It’s been two months from surgery. The doctor said he really feels it’s best to get 3-4 months past his original surgery. This gives the cyst matter a chance to form a more compact mass that’s easier to remove. He sent us home with a prescription for an antibiotic. If we notice the scar starting to get puffy or red, we can fill it to ward off the prescription. We also have contact info for a nurse there that we can use to text or email pictures so they can treat us without having to drive down there. So, those are positives. Right now, he’s scheduled for surgery again on December 30th. He wanted us to wait until mid-December or early January, and I didn’t want him to be miserable for Christmas, so we’ll do it the Monday after.

Some specific prayer requests:

- For Reed to not be in any pain

- For Reed to remain free from infections until his surgery

- That this surgery will be the last one he needs (I asked his doctor once what was the most number of times he’d had to operate on one of these cases, and he said he had one patient that needed SEVEN surgeries.)

Thank you to each of you who has supported us on this journey. While Friday left me feeling defeated, I’m grateful for a number of things. I’m grateful that bubble of gunk showed up while we were there. I’m glad it wasn’t next week after we’d already been. I’m also grateful that even though it may take a while, this IS fixable. He WILL be well – it’s just a question of when. I appreciate everyone who has loved on our family through this process and ask that you continue praying for our sweet boy as we prepare for another operation.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween has come and gone. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go with Reed since he wasn’t crazy about his costume!

He didn’t wear it for Trunk or Treat and any time we would bring it up he would shake his head and say, “No, I don’t. I don’t like it.” Okay. Got it dude.

Ava got to wear her costume to school for her Halloween party and as I got her ready, we asked Reed if he wanted to try his on. Cue the tears.

So here was Ava at school!IMG_3288

I thought maybe if I got Reed a different costume, he would be more happy about wearing it. I went to Target at lunch time and found a robot costume. There is a Mickey Mouse episode he loves, where Goofy builds a robot called Goofbot. Goofbot is a very beloved person in our home, so I thought maybe we could just call him Goofbot and that he would wear it then. So he was really excited about the robot costume. Until I tried to put it on him.

At this point I decided it wasn’t worth it. He was obviously upset and terrified so I wasn’t going to force it. As I got Ava dressed for trick or treating, I started putting her makeup on. Well, Reed decided he wanted make up. I told him if he wanted makeup he needed to have a costume too. Zach came and talked to him and was able to get him to put his costume pants on. He resisted a little for the shirt, but we finally got him in his original costume! And then we did his makeup.

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Once we got going, Reed LOVED trick or treating! He decided his favorite part was knocking on doors. We’d get to a house with the light on and he’d say “I need knock knock.” There were even a few houses where someone was already there and he would stand there and shriek because he was made he couldn’t knock. Silly boy. IMG_3407

I know the kids enjoy Halloween and I love watching them have fun but it’s not necessarily up there for my favorite holidays. I’m always a little relieved to see it go! ;) Ava has started talking about her costume for next year already. I think we have a little time. I’m glad Reed gave in and participated because they sure did look cute together!

The Edwards Family

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