{finding joy in the unexpected life}

Secret Sisters

I am so excited about the Secret Sisters Ministry at our church. My prayer life has already drastically changed! I cannot wait to reveal my sister next year :) It has been so fun being apart of the team that put this together and I’m looking forward to being apart for as long as I can!! If you don’t know what Secret Sisters is, basically you get paired with another lady from the church and you pray for and encourage them secretly for a year. Each month you write an encouraging letter, but you can give gifts as well. I was excited to hear that my grandma does this at her church too! It has been fun to see the table on Sunday mornings filled with letters and gifts! The kids have enjoyed being involved with the idea of Secret Sisters :)

xo, nikki :)

Merci Beaucoup!

bookpictureThank you so much who ever sent this to me! I am so grateful.

It arrived yesterday afternoon and I started reading it this morning!

xo, nikki :)

 

It’s a new year and a “new” me

I think I tripped and fell into this year and I’m still struggling to get up. It has been the weirdest transition for me. Normally, I am all about setting up goals for the coming year and am so excited to have a fresh start. But this year, I was not ready for it. I had no time to think about anything. I woke up and it was a new year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still excited about it being a new year but frankly, I am still trying to process last year.

For me last year had many highlights, but it came with a lot of health issues and some major healing. It’s was probably the hardest year of my life but the year that has given me the most freedom. The hardest times produce some major growth, right? In a nut shell, taking soy, dairy, corn and gluten out of my diet made me feel better than I ever had in my entire life. My hands didn’t swell or ache, my feet didn’t cramp, my skin cleared up and wasn’t itchy. I could actually think clearly and had energy to make it through the day. I could tolerate the sound of my children’s voices and not have crazy outburst of anger. All of these are reasons for me to stay away from my food intolerance until my body heals. I would workout and sweat a bunch and feel amazing, so I also need to find out why my body was so stressed.  I couldn’t figure it out. Nothing in my life had changed and I felt like I had a good grasp on our day to day life. One of the major blessings of the year was that the kids were stable. I realized that that was “the problem”, like having stable kids should be a problem! It was like being in the eye of the storm,  I was inside the calm and could see the chaos around me.

In late October, one of my friends had a baby and he was in the PICU, I was actually able to visit him without feeling overwhelmed. I felt useful in the situation because I could understand what my friend was going through. Thankfully, he was healed and released quickly. But then it set in their baby was well and mine were not. Most likely they would not get better, but actually it was going to possibly get worse. It made me feel very lonely because I could relate to my friend but I had no one that could relate to me. It made me wish that I had not given away my copy of  Hearing Jesus Speaking into Your Sorrow. Shortly after these thoughts, by now it was November, I had a dream about Bentley not surviving his kidney transplant and what my life was like after him. I woke up very upset but didn’t know what to do with such a dream.  A few days after the dream, during a book study with some of the fabulous (I sincerely mean that) women in our church, we were talking about how Jesus wept for the injustice of sin and sickness. Then it dawned on me. I had never once cried about the kids diagnosis.  There was so much to do and get done that I didn’t think about processing it. I trusted God with the situation and so I felt that there was no reason to cry. Well, after 4 years of carrying all that internally my body was breaking. It couldn’t handle it anymore. Let’s just say I had to compose myself for the rest of that book study and lost it a couple days after. I cried on and off for a good week and then I felt like a brand new person. I literally felt 20 lbs lighter! I have never felt angry or questioned, anxious at times because of the waiting, but trusted that this is best for our family and that is God’s amazing grace on me.

Since this healing, I have had two dreams about Bentley having his transplants. One I am laying in the hospital bed with him reading and the other I was doing yoga in the room for him (funny, huh?) But I realize that these dreams, are so kind of God. I don’t see the dream when he doesn’t survive as a nightmare but rather as God coming along side of me and saying, “We can do this, it’s going to be okay.” And I believe that it’s true because no matter the outcome God is still God. He is good and he is loving. I cherish these dreams because they have seriously caused me not to be fearful of the transplants when they come.

So, with all that going on right before the bubonic plague the kids and I had at Thanksgiving, then hustle and bustle of Christmas, it is no wonder that I have not had time to focus on the new year. I am still recovering from the last one. I really have one goal for 2014 and it is to relish life. I want to enjoy every moment. I want more out of life; more fun, more memories, more living, more flossing, more crafting, more painting, more French studies, more friendships, more yoga, more reading, more love, more God. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us! As always, thanks for reading!!

xo, nikki :)

GI and other stuff

We had our GI appointment on November 7th and it was the first time that this Dr. was pleased with their height and weight. Whew. So we are on now back to yearly appointments, which has never really been able to pan out but that’s okay. We’ll take it!

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October was a busy month for us. Every weekend was filled with something! We had my birthday party, a church picnic, Danny’s parents came for a quick visit, apple picking, and a trip to the Biltmore. Marseille also got stitches on her cheek after falling into her bunk bed railing.

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Apple picking with friends

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Biltmore’s fall garden

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Crazy lady

November has been equally busy but with mostly sickness though. We are in the middle of a tough virus right now. Besides that, we are all decorated for Christmas because we are going to be away for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Danny was really brave and even put lights on the outside of the house. I have been a busy bee knitting and crocheting  Christmas presents  :) We are ready to enjoy the holidays!

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Our pretty home

xo, nikki :)

Turning 30 and all that jazz

Well, the day finally came and went. I am thirty! I had the thought, “Wow! in 10 years I am going to be 40!” Gosh, that is a lot of life lived. It all seems so neat to me. I had a little birthday party, Midnight in Paris themed. I made all sorts of French goodies and we dressed in our favorite time periods. We all had a lot of fun. On my actual birthday, I wore a tutu and enjoyed the day!

closeupoffoodtable DSC_1007 DSC_1058xo, nikki :)

 

Exciting news :)

Yesterday, we had a nephrology appointment and all is well. Whew! I have begun taking the kids’ blood pressure at home manually, so I was curious to see how I was doing. My collection of readings seems in line with the office’s, so I was happy. Though, I did not bring in my numbers because I am not confident enough doing it, that I didn’t want to be discouraged. Any way, we figured out that Marseille’s diastolic numbers can tend to be a little low, which could explain why she complains of headaches a lot and gets tired so easily.  Yes, I know this is not really exciting news… We are going to continue monitoring until December and then decide what steps need to be taken next.

Okay now onto the exciting news… in June the kids had to get echo-cardiograms. Due to their high blood pressure, we want to make sure that there is not damage to their hearts. It has been two years since their last echo and the results of those confirmed that Bentley had thickening tissue on his left ventricle. But since careful monitoring of his blood pressure and medications… plus God’s kindness, Bentley’s heart has healed and it is soft and normal again! I was so excited to hear that news. Marseille’s heart is still normal, so I was grateful to hear she still does not have any damage. I tried to explain to Bentley, that God has used medicine and the doctors to heal his heart and he was so confused. Considering, he had no idea that there was anything wrong!

Also, while we were out running errands, two people actually apologized to the kids when they guessed at the kids age. Our kids get noticed everywhere they go, so being told that they are “so small for their age” and trying to convince people that they are the age that the kids say they are is not easy task. Especially, when the kids are right there! Well, this can be very frustrating to me because I do not want them to be self-conscious of their size, which they have begun to notice on their own.  I was so grateful when the two woman that asked their age, where kind enough to correct themselves to the kids when they made comments about their size and age. For me, that was pretty exciting too!

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Well, that is our big news! Hope we didn’t let you down!

xo, nikki :)

A collection of pictures from our summer ;)

Enjoy!

xo, nikki :)