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 :)

A collection of pictures from our summer ;)

Enjoy!

xo, nikki :)

Summer?!

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 :)

New Decor

During our stay-cation, we decided that we wanted to fix up our place a little bit! We had tons of ideas but were limited due to time and money. Like our normal fashion, we shopped for four days and did all the projects in one day. Hopefully, we won’t do that again.

 

After the new year, we went to Goodwill to find all sorts of frames for the guest room. I wanted to make it travel themed and wanted to make a wall gallery of pictures and things that we have been given. We love way that it turned out.

We had so much fun decorating. We have had the same decorations since we got married, so it was exciting to get some new things and re-purpose others. I have a couple more things that I want to do, so hopefully I’ll remember to take before pictures!!

xo, nikki

Sorry, little blog…

Yes, I have been neglecting you. I’m back now and want to be waaayyyy more consistent.

So, it’s almost Feburary, you may be thinking “What in the heck have you been doing since October?” You probably didn’t say that but I’ll imagine that you did :)

Friends, we have done too much. We’ve done way  too much for comfort, too much busyness, just plain too much. I have felt like that since we went to the beach at the end of the summer.  To some this might not seem like a lot, but for our family it was.

October- I went to NJ, NYC and NY and had a fabulous time. I could not have asked for a better trip! The kids went to Charlotte. Danny got quite a few things done around the house while we were gone. A week long trip takes a week to get ready for and a week to re-coup from.

November- In the beginning of the month we were still trying to get back on track. I had little projects here and there. Then we spent a week preparing for my family to come for Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, the kids and I went to my parents new place in FL. Danny came and stayed the following weekend. We also got to see my Uncle and his family, which was an added bonus.

December- We came back from FL, and had Danny’s work party. The next week, I had two Christmas parties and a girls night out.  Then that weekend we had a stay-cation for our anniversary. We hit every thrift store in the upstate up to Asheville, NC. It was a lot of fun. Danny took off work, so we had 5 days together. The house got a makeover, specifically our bedroom :) Which then brings us to the weekend before Christmas, we went to Atlanta and came home Christmas Eve. We like waking up on Christmas Day in our home :) Danny’s parents stopped in for Christmas and had dinner with us, as they made their way back from Atlanta.

Confused…

I am too! Oh, and sprinkle in 4 doctor appointments, an ultrasound, and bloodwork too! Their nephrologist believes that since they are progressing so slowly that transplants will not happen for another 5 to 7 years, if at all!! What a blessing! We know that this isn’t a guarantee  but it is exciting all the same! The next round of appointments will not start until the end of Feburary.

We hope that you are looking forward to the new year too!!

xo, nikki :)

ps- enjoy the pictures from October until Christmas!

An empty home!

Well, after about 8 weeks of having a friend and my sister living with us… our house is extremely quiet!
For about 5.5 weeks we had a grad student from Maryland living with us. S was a great house guest and Bentley loved her. Hopefully she and her husband will be lifelong friends!

Then my sister came for a little over 2.5 weeks. Bentley misses his Aunt B. and so do I! We had a great time with her! The time went by so fast, I think it’s because we did so much stuff! On her last day here we had a photo shoot done with Erin Drago Photography. It was a blast. I’ll the pictures once there in!

Bentley keeps asking about both of you, S and B!!