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 :)

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A collection of pictures from our summer ;)

Enjoy!

xo, nikki :)

The Year of the Snake

Sunday was Chinese New Year! Did you celebrate? Growing up my family would always try to celebrate it but somehow we would miss it.

I wanted to hang up decorations and the like but since we had Bentley’s party the day before it wasn’t possible. We didn’t get to watch Kung Fu Panda either. But we did have was a Kung Fu Panda dinner.

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We ate:

Po’s Secret Ingredient Soup (Clear Soup)

Crane’s Egg Rolls (Shrimp Egg Rolls)

Master Shifu’s Dumplings (Pork Dumplings)

Tigress’ Universe Carrots (Raw Carrots)

Mantis and Viper’s Chicken Fried Rice (A “kitchen sink” recipe using leftovers from the fridge)

Monkey’s Secret Stash of Almond Cookies (I added some almond meal to enhance the almond flavor)

The kids quote this part of the movie like crazy!

Don’t tell Monkey! Source: google image search

The Fried Rice and the Almond Cookies were homemade, while the other foods were store bought! There was just not enough time to make it all!! The kids’ favorites were the clear soup, dumplings and cookies… I’m sure you could have guess the last one ;)

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!

Daily Suffering

Time for the next question: daily suffering and pain, watching your children suffer and being powerless to take it away?

I don’t really have a good answer for this one. To be completely honest, I am not a super sensitive mom. This is probably God’s blessing on me. I am sad that Bentley and Marseille have to walk through this but I really don’t think a lot about them suffering or taking it away. I am not trying to be flippant, or uncaring, I really just don’t think about it. Besides giving my children a lot of medicine each day, I really don’t view them or treat them differently. They appear normal and we live each day as I think most normal families do. I don’t dwell on why God has chosen this path for them, and I hope that because I don’t question, they won’t question it either. If anything, I pray that this disease causes them to cling to God quicker than most.

Would I love for them not to suffer? Um, definitely yes! Would I love for them to be healed? I pray for it daily.  If I could take it away I would, but I can’t and no amount of worrying or questioning is going to take it away. God has chosen to bless us with this disease, and I am not saying that sarcastically. I think Laura Story says it wonderfully:

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

~Blessings by Laura Story

I don’t know if this makes any sense! I love my children but God loves them more, more than I ever can or could. I learned from the minute, literally, that Bentley was born that my children are not mine. I have to trust God completely that He knows what is best for Bentley and Marseille and if ARPKD is what is best right now…. bring it! When Danny and I are discouraged in our situation we always come back to the same thing: it could always be worse.

xo, nikki :)

L-O-V-E Celebration :)

Often we treat our guests better than our family. Establishing the habit of treating our family as we would guest will assist us in communicating our love to our family. Extending hospitality to our family allows them to reap the same blessings our guests receive in our home. Also, we are modeling for our children how to honor guests– they learn from our example. Treating our family as guests also reinforces the concept of family first. – Practicing Hospitality

I’m currently in the process of reading Practicing Hospitality and loved the chapter on practicing hospitality to your family :) So, for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make all of them feel special and loved! I always have so much fun making things for all of them. It was a good excuse to use cute paper and glue sticks!
Breakfast: Heart shaped eggs and toast

She loves kisses!!
Abbi made Bentley this cute bow-tie!
We brought these cards to the NICU that Bentley was in and sent some to another NICU.

Lunch: Heart-shaped pb & strawberry jelly
Kids’ dinner: Heart-shaped calzones — they ate by candle light… they love that!
Homemade cinnamon sugar soft pretzels.
Our dinner: steak, potatoes, homemade pretzel garlic knots, She Crab Soup with a heart shaped bread/ cracker, and salad — it was too much food!! It was sooo good :)
Our room :)
I love to decorate the mantle… it’s the only thing it’s really good for!
XxOoOOOx — Our Nacho inspired banner of love!
The large hearts had our names on them :)
Our Valentine Cards
I hope my family felt L-O-V-E-D!!!