HaPpY BiRtHdAy to ME!!!!

As Thanksgiving {and my Birthday} comes to a close and I listen to the quiet house I am about to fall asleep knowing what a blessed life God has given me. 

31 years on this earth. I am a daughter to an amazing mama, sister to my very best friend, I married an amazing man, gained a great family, and I have been blessed with 4 of the funniest, most entertaining, wildest bunch of youngins’ a mama could ever ask for (by far my greatest accomplishment in my 31 years). 


I spent the first 15 years trying to figure out what Gods purpose was for me and I have spent the last 15 living out his perfect plan. It hasn’t always been roses and cupcakes but I couldn’t imagine a day without the Lord by my side. 

31 years as an eccentric, often loud, sometimes obnoxious, always procrastinating, slightly addicted to coffee, goofy, rarely serious gal. 

I am blessed today to have another year…. as a teenager I often feared that another year may not come. I worried that I would not live to be married or have children … I lived in a sad lonely world, and only when I walked into a church in the Spring of 2000 did I finally understand what I had been missing all those years.

God has been so good to me I can not complain. 

Thank you to everyone that has called, texted and sent me sweet messages through social media, I truly have the best family and friends.

I was able to spend the day with my loves eating way too much food, what more could a girl ask for. 

Here’s to 31 more years of blessings.

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Thanksgiving

Yesterday we took Braxton to his yearly visit to the Survivorship Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  YEARLY! He is perfect and healthy and he is ready to eat Nana’s noodles on Thursday.

He Survived. Unless you have had to face the thought that there was a possibility he might NOT survive, this might not mean the same thing to you.

We walked down the long corridor past the Hematology/Oncology Clinic where we once spent so much time. We walked past the elevators that lead to the 5th floor were he “camped” for weeks at a time. Where spent 3 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmas’.

As we passed by the Clinic I peered through the frosted glass to see other children waiting to go back for blood draws, scary sticks, yucky medicines, port accessing, and so many other things that children should never have to face. But the scary truth is they do and sometimes, they don’t survive.

My heart hurts for them, in a way that only a mama of a “CK” understands. Only a mama that has watched them scream and cry in fear, only a mama that has watched them cling to life in their sickest of days, only a mama that has dealt with “roid rage” in a toddler and watched them throw up uncontrollably while doing the simplest of activities. I know how blessed we are.

As Thanksgiving draws nearer, I think back to 7 years ago, to being in quarantine shortly after diagnoses. I think back to how lonely and disconnected we felt from our family because his immune system could not handle visitors. I think back to all the Thanksgivings we went down to a lobby to get Thanksgiving dinner in a take out box, all while dragging an IV pole and a squirmy, gowned up and masked up 3 year old along. I remember.

So, as I walked out of the hospital with my healthy boy, I prayed for the sweet boy that waved to us from behind that mask in the clinic and I thanked God for another Thanksgiving with my boy.

Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning when you are truly thankful for more than the turkey and the stuffing. Our favorite part is TRAVELING to family, it’s laughing about all the happenings of life, it’s listening to the kids run up and down the stairs, it’s listening to the giggles from the toy room, it’s packing “explorer bags” for the boys to take off into the woods, it’s making memories. I am so thankful and so blessed beyond measure. I have everything that I could ever want and need and for that I am most thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Thankful for the trials He’s put me through

Today I am thankful for the trials that He has put me through.

I know that I would not be where I am today had I never overcome those trials.

I am thankful for the day that I stepped into an Apostolic church, and felt that wonderful presence of the Holy Ghost.

I now understand that 15 years ago He knew what I would face and what I would need as I walked this journey.

7 years ago, on November 10, 2009, we sat in a hospital room at Brenner Children’s Hospital with Braxton, unsure of what was wrong with our very sick little boy.

It was raining, I was 20 weeks pregnant with Zoe and we were scared, so very very scared of the uncertainty of the situation.

The doctors (because just one isn’t scary enough they had to send in 4) walked in overly somber and told us that our sweet 2 year old had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. CANCER!

At that moment, the world around us stopped. Cancer,  such a final word.

I never expected we would face that, but we knew that God was in control …. I don’t know how anyone faces these trials in life without Jesus. I don’t know how they go through it without family, and a Pastor and church family. From the very beginning Braxton was blessed with AMAZING doctors both at Brenner’s and then after our move, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

I recently started following an adult on social media that is under going grueling chemo treatments and I get emotional sometimes as she talks about the side effects and how her body is feeling, and to think that a baby went through those same feelings unable to tell us what was going on, it makes my heart hurt all over again.

We love to tell Braxton that from coast to coast we had people praying for him. While I would never wish this horrible sickness on anyone, I am grateful today that God put us through the fire only to prove that He was with us all along. Today our faith is stronger, and we believe in the power of prayer more than ever.

Braxton is a walking testimony. A MIRACLE!

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All around the house and the hospital room I had scriptures placed and these were 2 of my favorites…

1 Corinthians 10:13 “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Job 23:10 says “But he knoweth the way that I take:  when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

 

Some days, I do sit back as a mama, I don’t understand why my baby had to get so sick. Along this journey I watched as other mama’s held their babies for the last time. I watched as other children endured far worse effects of the chemo and radiation. I watched my little boy so sick that he couldn’t walk and barely had the energy to talk. I watched him suffer through medications that made him horribly sick. I mastered holding a vomit bucket while driving down the road. We learned to occupy our time while quarantined in a small hospital room for a week and 2 weeks at a time. We spent 3 Christmases and 3 Thanksgiving’s and birthdays in the hospital. We visited with Zoe in waiting rooms before she went back to stay with Papaw and Nana for the weeks we were in the hospital. We learned to sleep through IV beeps and early morning checks. We learned medical  terminology and how to calculate an ANC. We learned the signs of anemia and we knew when a fever was coming. We understand long waits in the ER and midnight runs. We know the effects of steroids and what “roid rage” looks like in a 2 year old.  We watched him undergo countless spinal taps, countless moments of being placed under sedation. And, through it all, he NEVER complained. Not once!

Today we watch as he memorizes scriptures and sings for Jesus. We watch as he soars in his classroom at school and we watch as he GROWS into a healthy young man. We watch as he smiles, and builds Legos, plays with his friends, and we watch as he sleeps comfortably in his bed at night. We know that he has great things ahead of him in the future. And he has an awesome testimony that one day he will fully understand. For now I will make sure to shout it from the roof tops.

I know that at 2 he felt Jesus with him in the room, he felt the prayers of God’s people, and that is what allowed him to be OK.

January is 4 years of remission. And today we don’t mope in sadness for the diagnoses we rejoice for the VICTORY!

We pray for the families that are still facing this monster, we pray for their strength and courage. There is a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. And through it all He was with us. Today we are thankful for the trial, because today we all have a testimony

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It’s NOVEMBER

 It’s finally November!!!

My very favorite month… my birthday month!!!! 

Because it’s my birthday month I did a giveaway in my shop The Barbers Wife and Co check out my Instagram page @thebarberswifeandco for a chance to win this sign >>> 

Halloween night was an adventure …. I believe I dislike this “holiday” more and more every year BUT seeing the excitement in my kids faces…. priceless! 

Nothing says manners like teaching our kids to walk up to strangers houses dressed as imposters and beg for candy…. ok you can hear the sarcasm, right???!!


10 minutes before we left Zoe came in holding her costume, with the saddest eyes and said “you can fix it, right?”  

I took this now completely destroyed costume that is all of 3 days old and after making telling her there was just no way she could go trick or treating now and enjoying her moment of panic (because she didn’t follow instructions leading up to the costume conundrum) I whipped out the trusty sewing machine and SAVED THE DAY!!!!!! 

So we were off to meet up with our trick or treating posey! One of the joys of small town living is moments like this when you can walk the whole town with a huge group, have a hot dog and punch at the fire department and see tons of people you know… it’s literally like living in Stars Hollow {pardon the Gilmore Girls reference}. 

So all was good when it was finished the kids went home and crashed and I proceeded to go through the candy and take the parent tax and it was HIGH this year for pain and suffering!  

November is going to be amazing I just know it!  Cause it’s my birthday month and birthdays are amazing!!!