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!


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.

Apple picking with friends
Biltmore’s fall garden
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!

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 :)


A collection of pictures from our summer ;)


xo, nikki :)


This post is shamefully overdue, but I’m not going to make excuses of why I haven’t blogged in a while because I only have one: I haven’t felt like it.  That is the truth. My health has been the main reason I have not felt like it. So, instead of using this blog to “complain” about how I feel or the lack of feeling, I just stopped blogging. I was so tired and hormonal that the last thing on my mind was keeping up with the blog.  Which isn’t really fair because that is how many of you find out about the on goings of the kids. (Btw, I am doing much better now. I have cut a lot of stuff out of my diet and working out regularly to help manage stress.) Time is also factor, but you can make time for things, right? So, putting that aside I would like to update you on our life… if you are still interested ;)

The summer has gone by way too fast, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being overly excited about this upcoming fall. I am turning 30 and my old soul is so excited!! I actually had the thought, ‘Wow! I am going to be 40 is 10 years. That is so cool!’ I know, I know… I’m weird. Any way, back to this summer. I feel like we just survived.

-We had my grandparents, my parents and my sister come by in the late spring, which was a lot of fun.

-It rained most of the summer, so we didn’t get out too much.

-My dad came back through for business and celebrated Marseille’s 4th birthday. Yup! No babies here! I cannot believe that she is four. She woke up on here birthday and said, “I’m four, I am not 3 a-n-y-m-o-r-e!!” Went to the Children’s Museum for her birthday.

-Danny’s parents made a day trip here to have a birthday dinner with us for Marseille.

-I went paddleboarding… If I lived near water, I would want one sooooo badly. I loved it!!

-The kids went to FL with my parents and Danny went to Chicago for business and I had a wonderful stay-cation.

– We too various hiking and picnic trips. Especially trips to the Biltmore.

– Brought the kids to the train fountain downtown and let them play in it.

-My sister came for a quick visit before heading back to FL

– Went to the zoo as much as we could, and fed the ducks and ducklings a couple times too.

-We did the summer reading program again, but the baseball game got rained out… not sure if I am going to do the library one anymore.

-We had a few doctor appointments early on in the summer and everything is looking good.

-We started homeschooling the last week of August. The kids are loving it, and I am loving the structure in our day.

-We just had a family vacation for just the 4 of us. It has been 3 years since we have done that and it was fun! We went to Charleston, and ended the week with a couple days in Charlotte, so the kiddos could hang out with their grandparents. Danny and I went to Carowinds for the day.

And now, we are at the present moment! I’m sure that I am forgetting stuff… but that is what happens when you wait so long to post!! I will try to get some pictures together and post them later a long with some news that needs another post… no we are not pregnant!

xo, nikki :)


We had a wonderful weekend enjoying our risen Savior and his creation! Besides spring springing, other things have sprung too!!

Marseille had been looking forward to holding baby A
pass by biltmore
We did a quick drive by the Biltmore house.
playing on grounds
Playing games at the Biltmore Village and farm
Spring has sprung! I love the colors of these tulips!
Bentley loving the tractor
Bentley loving the tractor
Marseille was equally excited!
Marseille was equally excited!
good ole family picture
Family shot!
Bentley and his friend D looking dapper!
Bentley and his friend D looking dapper!
Easter dessert! Hazelnut-Mocha Meringue Cake... it was wonderful!
Easter dessert! Hazelnut-Mocha Meringue Cake… it was wonderful!
Marseille's second hair cut
Marseille’s second hair cut
She likes it!
She likes it!

Danny’s aunt passed away on Friday, which was very hard on several accounts. Mostly, because she is gone, but also because for about the past two months I have been planning a HUGE surprise for Danny. HUGE. Well I had to spring my secret early due to funeral plans. Ugh. Doesn’t that sound horrible?! But it was reality. When Danny told me that he was going to put in for time off even though we didn’t know the exact day of the funeral. I had to reveal that I had called his work and took time off for him next week (this week). Then I slipped and said we are going on an airplane so this is something that we really can’t change. Danny was shocked. He was so surprised and excited! I knew that night I was going to have to tell him everything because he would be unbearable… guessing and hinting. So when he walked through the door, that evening I told him that we were going to NYC to attend a conference for parents and care givers of children with ARPKD. He was amazed and excited. I was very excited and relieved to not hide my excitement anymore! He has never been to NYC before and the conference ends on Sunday, which happens to be his birthday!

So, there is the long and short of it! This Thursday, we are headed to NYC to learn more about ARPKD and CHF and to do lots of networking…. plus see NYC!!! Please pray that it would be a great time and that we would learn lots and make connections plus that the weather would be good also safe travels. Thank you so much!!

Besides the death of Danny’s aunt, we had a WONDERFUL weekend! We visited the Biltmore, had Easter service with our church family, lunch with friends that in our eyes are family and Marseille and I got haircuts! There was much talking, laughing and silliness. I imagine one day, we will be doing lots of that with our Savior! Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins and victoriously rising again to bring us back to God! I hope that all of you enjoyed your weekend too!!

xo, nikki :)

ps- Could you also pray for Danny’s family, his Aunt’s memorial and burial is this Tuesday and Wednesday? Thanks again!!

A Couple of Funnies

Bentley got sick almost two weeks ago, and it had the trickle effect through the family. Bentley got well, but is now sick again. Which means we are all still sick! Though, it is not fun, we are thankful that we really haven’t had any sickness all winter until now. We almost made it!

So, needless to say, not much has been going on around here besides watching more movies and reading books. Since I don’t have more of an update, I figured I tell you some of the funny things that have been said this weekend!

Bentley: (praying in circles the first night he was really sick) Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins. Help me to obey, share and love. God help me to obey, and um to obey, share and love. Help me o-b-eee-yyyy….. and shaaarrrreee …. and loooovvvvee. Help me to obey. Amen.


Bentley: (upon being told that we were going to watch Tangled) Uggg. I can only watch movies with guns in it!

(at dinner time, while the movie was still running) Umm. Are you going to pause it…. for Marseille. (sheepish grin)


Marseille: (wearing her Snow White costume carrying a basket ball in Bentley’s knight helmet like a basket) Who wants an apple?

Me: I want a bite! (I take a bite and pretend to fall asleep. She has never seen Snow White)

Marseille: That’s adorable!


Marseille: I love marshmallows, you can call me Marshmallow! (We’ve seen The Lorax, one too many times!)

There have been more, but I can’t remember them because I didn’t write them down right away. Hope you are staying well!

xo, nikki :)