Saturday, December 31, 2011

12.31.11 - Christmas recap and Plans for a New Year

Our Christmas was so wonderful...having all of our family here at once was a huge blessing, and this being the first Christmas Liam knew what it was, it made it even more fun and special.  Christmas Eve, we spent the day with at my parents house with Gigi (my grandma), Aunt Coco, and my brother and his family traveled in from Florida.   Liam loved all of his "pesants" and got lots of trucks and puzzles, which are his favorite things right now.

Awaiting patiently to open "pesants"

Stocking gifts!

Magnet loading truck from Gigi

Playing with their new toys!

Liam loved all the pesants...including the trucks for the twins!


Dog piling on Uncle Brett
Hugs from Gigi

Liam loves all his new jammies!!
LOVE all of their expressions in this cute!!

We had a full house here for Christmas day with Dustin's family.  His sister and her family traveled in from D.C. with Liam's newest cousin Ella, and his other sister and family came over, along with his dad and cousin.  His grandmother and younger sister were also here for a couple days before.  Liam was blessed with more toys, puzzles and games.  Needless to say, there was lots of fun happening and lots of cooking going on in the kitchen for the big dinner that night.  Although some of us came down with a cold virus (myself and Liam included), it was overall a wonderful time! 
Christmas morning!

Cousin Ella's first Christmas!

Liam's new cash register from Mimi and Babaw

More puzzles!

Abacus... mathematician in training!

Christmas sweater and Hot Wheels toys =)

Full it!

Love this picture...Liam is being silly with Grandpa, trying to drive his car on his head!

Nanny with her grand and great-grands
Liam and Ella...He just adored sweet!!

Got a chance to take some family photos

On a side note...Liam's cough from the cold we had is still lingering, so we are probably going to call the Dr. Verma (cardio) on Monday to see if we need to re-schedule his cath.  I've been nebulizing 4 x per day for over a week, and it doesn't seem to be helping the cough much.  And, our pulmonologist's office was closed this past week for the break, so took Liam to the pedi on Tuesday, and thankfully she said he looked great, sats were 98 (4 hours out from nebulizing) and she said his lungs sounded clear, so no wheezing or pneumonia.  I am most likely going to follow up with pulmonology this coming week to see what else we can do to get him in shape for the cath.

With each new year, I tend to compile a small list in my head of things I would like to accomplish and see fulfilled and come to pass.  Rarely, however, do I ever write these "resolutions" down.  So this year I am going to write them here, to share, but also to have some form of accountability as well.  So here I go!

I mentioned a couple months back that we had some big changes coming up.  Dustin and I have been pursuing a ministry called Apartment Life (CARES Team).  We plan to rent out our house and move into an apartment community to serve.  We are excited about this opportunity that God has placed us in and are prayerfully waiting for the ministry to find us a community for us.  We were accepted into the program back in October, and after the first community they had for us did not work out, they are actively seeking out another location for us.  We prayerfully considered this opportunity mainly to help lessen our financial burdens, but also to be in a position to serve others in our daily life.  We are actually very much looking forward to down-sizing into a smaller space and being closer to our church (as the ministry seeks to place you within 10 miles of your church, and now we live about 25 miles away).  We are really excited to see the awesome ways God will use this time to grow us spiritually and together as a family.  Needless to say, we expect 2012 to be a year of many new adventures for us!

Health and Nutrition
Probably related to my watching too many food documentaries, I have been slowly trying to guide our family to better nutrition.  My goal for this next year includes doing more of the same, but more strictly for myself.  There just seems to be so many benefits to eating right and the preventative measures your diet can have against a vast array of illnesses and "symptoms".  We have been so focused on calories this past year with Liam and his growth, that healthy food choices have not been priority for us, and I'm going to try to shift us to more healthy eating. 

Spend more time with family, make more of an effort to see my friends and build those relationships.  Invest in others.  I am also really hoping to join a play group when we move and involve Liam in more play dates and outings with other kids his age.
You all know I love being crafty and doing my artsy things =)  This year I am hoping to expand my Etsy shop with some new ideas and possibly even host monthly craft brunches.  I have been blessed with lots of positive feedback and encouragement from family and friends and would love to continue to work in my passion and grow this as a business.

Hopefully we will be scaling down soon, so getting organized for a much smaller space will be crucial to my sanity!  Sometimes I just let things gets way out of control and then get overwhelmed at having to clean things up. I feel like staying organized will actually free up more time to spend with family and friends.  I need to start investing time into relationships instead of constantly feeling like I have way too much to do around here.

Lastly, my desire for 2012 is to have a servant's heart.  Dustin and I both feel God has placed on our heart's an unquestionable desire to serve...more so to live in a posture of servant hood, daily.   This next year is in God's hands and we are fully trusting Him to guide our family for His purpose.  God bless everyone for a healthy and happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I know, I'm a little late, but I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  We've had a truly WONDERFUL week filled with lots of family time, and I just have to say we are just SO so so very blessed.  Almost all of our family (both mine and Dustin's) were here for the Christmas and we had the best time and a full house!  Needless to say, I've been unplugged from everything and have a lot of catching up to do!  But for now, a few pictures of our week, with many more to come!

Liam and cousins Josh and Ryan sporting the Christmas pajamas!

Cousin Ella's first Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12.21.11 - Quick Update

We are spending some wonderful time with family, so have been busy enjoying this Christmas week!  Just wanted to post that Liam's heart cath is scheduled for Monday, January 9 at 2:00.  We are praying they will not need any intervention, but if they that it will be successful in lowering his pressures.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12.13.11 - What's in your boxes?

I love Christmastime.  And I love to shop online =)  For two reasons: A) It's usually a lot cheaper and B) They ship it directly to your doorstep and no battling germ-i-ness at the stores or pouting over unstocked shelves.  This week has been busy on our doorstep, so I'd thought I'd share just exactly the types of things you'll find in our boxes...

Box #1 - A true blessing...

Icing Smiles, an organization that provides cakes and bakery treats to families of chronically ill children, sent us a little Christmas treat of cookies, compliments of Lochel's Bakery.  Are the cookies adorable?  And delicious, I might add!  What a blessings to get an unexpected box of goodies - Thank you so much Icing Smiles!!

Box #2 - Christmas Cards...with a little Etsy on the side...

As I do each year, I am hand making our Christmas cards.  Normally each year, something on our card was embellished, put together or brought together by something I ordered off Etsy.  I LOVE ordering from Etsy shops.  It is always so fun to see how unique the packaging is and just how much thought, care and great customer service goes into every order for these owners.  This year, I ordered our envelopes from a cute shop called StraightHome.  Actually, I was googling kraft envelopes to get the cheapest price, and wouldn't you know, this shop had the best deal around?  I just received the package today, and I was very pleased!  Cute packaging and a free sample greeting card!  Don't think I would've gotten that deal at Office Depot =)

Box #3 - Trying something new...

This box wasn't quite as fun to order, but was a necessity in this household.  Because of Liam's swallowing function, he has to drink from a valved (or slower flow), straw sippy cup.  This has become more challenging as he is now older, has lots of teeth and likes to bite down on his said straws, causing his straw cups to wear out MUCH faster than usual.  AND, the kind we currently use, Nuby, does not just sell the "straw" part separately, but rather as a set with the whole lid....ugh.  So in an attempt to find a more "biter-friendly", older toddler straw sippy cup, I found this new cup, CamelBak, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  You HAVE to bite down on it to drink, so I'm hoping not only is it conducive to how Liam drinks, it must be made for that kind of wear-and-tear.  You can also see from the picture, I am anticipating some getting used to with the new cup, and thus had to order some replacement parts for the old ones.  I'm praying the new cup works out!

Box #4 - Toys for my toddler...

Did anyone else get the memo about the 50% off sale Amazon recently did on Melissa and Doug toys?  I'm SO glad I did, because I had this Pound and Roll Tower picked out for quite some time.  It has been recommended by a few sites I follow for helping with motor skills and it seems to be very age appropriate.  Plus, I order this great set of Pattern Blocks also.  Love Melissa and Doug....And for 50% off, makes for some easy Christmas shopping!

Box #5 - Materials for Homemade gifts...

Can't give away too much here, but I can say it involves making something for some little ones that are coming to visit for Christmas.  I'll link it after they open their gifts, since I want it to be a surprise for their parents too! ;)

As you can see it's bustling around here as usual.  We've been enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the season and are very much looking forward to the upcoming weeks of visiting with family!  And I couldn't leave you guys with out some recent pictures of our little man, so here's a few...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12.7.11 - This is how you boogie...and some Martha moments

First, for a little entertaining video....I am not sure where he picked this up, but my 3 nieces stayed over this past weekend and got a kick out of Liam "boogieing".  I thought it was too cute not to share!

I've had some disappointing efforts on my part lately...I'm writing them below, not to "woe is me", but rather to remind myself that I cannot do it all, and yes, somethings sadly go by the wayside (which I do believe is God's timely plan and purpose)...In a way I'm seeking forgiveness, for taking on the pride of perfectionism and also for busyness. I'm humbled by how much I rely on God and HIS direction daily for this life of mine, and how I need to remember, above all else, to SEEK HIM daily to receive His direction...

My Craft Brunch this Saturday was a hit!  Disappointment #1 - Sadly, again, I did not get any pictures....Ugh, I keep forgetting to take them and it was a BUSY morning preparing and then helping everyone with instructions and such.  I was very disappointed in myself because all the ladies got some GREAT results out of the crafts we did.  In fact, everyone loved it so much, I may start doing a Craft Brunch once every couple months or so!  It was so much fun!  I'm going to try to get some pictures that I know some ladies took on their phones and see if I can post about it on my other blog.

This weekend was also the big race for Dustin.  The Dallas White Rock Half-Marathon was Sunday and it was poor running weather to say the least...bitter cold and pouring rain the entire race.  He still managed to run a great race (which, we didn't even go to watch the weather was so bad).  Disappointment #2 - I'm sad to say that I didn't get everything organized this year to fund raise for the Heart Foundation and Team Liam.   Honestly, it was hard thinking about asking everyone again this year for monetary donations when I know how strapped a lot of people are.  All I can say is I would encourage everyone to take time this year to donate something, whether it be time, goods or money, to a cause.  Think about what's important to you and your family and support something.  Every little bit helps, even if it's not directly related to a fundraising effort!  

My RAK Advent calendar will be put on hold until next year.  I just didn't have enough time to get it done.  Although, we will still be planning some "kindness" activities (hopefully!) the calendar took a back seat to many other things going on. 

It's a hard time of year to remember what's truly important.  So MANY things trying to battle for our attention, I guess I'm feeling a lot like Martha recently, but so longing to be a MARY.  Thank you Lord, for your forgiveness and for a clean slate whenever we request one from You.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41

Friday, December 2, 2011

12.2.11 - The verdict is in...

Well, it was overall a good appointment.  However, there will be a heart cath in our near future :(.  Liam's left pulmonary atery's pressure has increased from 30 (in April) to 60 and to be cautious with the pressure in his conduit (which looks great by the way, no stenosis found - PRAISE GOD!) he wants to see what's going on and see if maybe ballooning will help get the pressures lower.  This is more a preventative measure to preserve the conduit. So he said we can schedule it early January after the holidays.  Thankfully, praising God, no surgery should be required.  Amen!

The tube decision....We still need to wait and think on it.  Dr. suggested if we aren't in a hurry to get it out (well I've been in a hurry since April! Ha!) we should probably wait until the results from the cath come back, just to play it safe...We will most likely keep it in until that time....I'm a little bummed, but thankful we will have it should he need it.  If you'll remember after his last surgery last December, he was unable to swallow anything for a few weeks and on total tube feeds during that time, so we are very cautious in taking it out if any procedures are on the horizon.

I feel like the Lord really prepared me for this appointment.  Seems to be the season of patience in our family right now, so this fits with that theme very well!  We are just praising God the conduit is clear and that more invasive procedures are not needed at this time.  Thank you all for your prayers today, with the peace I felt with the news, I could definitely feel them!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

12.1.11 - All over the place

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We visited family down in San Antonio and had a blast.  In fact, we were so busy having fun with everyone, that we forgot to even break out the camera!  So, no Thanksgiving pics for us this year. 

It's been a crazy busy week for us...mainly me.  I am hosting my first Craft Brunch this weekend so I've been shopping and cleaning away to prepare!  It's going to be so much fun and I'm really excited about it.  I am making most of my Christmas gifts this year and learned many of my friends were very interested in my crafting ventures lately, so I decided, why not have all my girls over, enjoy brunch and mimosas, and get crafty?  Sounds like a good time to me!  In fact, to get an early start, I posted my recipe for Sugar Scrub, plus some free printable tags I designed at my art blog.   Feel free to check it out!

Liam has his cardiology appointment tomorrow...I am anxious to say the least.  I have asked several people (including family) to feel the thrill in Liam's chest and they all confirmed that it was strange...However, a close heart momma reassured me this doesn't necessarily mean intervention will be necessary or immediate, but it does mean there may be some of the "s" word going on.  I don't even like to say it.  But, I am trying to stay positive and believe God is greater than all of this, and that we will have a GREAT report tomorrow!  AND, hopefully tomorrow evening we can get a shot of a TUBE FREE TUMMY!!  Icing on the cake!  Our appointments in the morning, so expect a post by early afternoon!!