Thursday, October 1, 2015

Goals Updated and Created: October

It's October 1st and Fall is in the air. I truly love this time of year. Despite having to actually clothe my children when we play outside, I enjoy every bit of this season. September seemed to fly by! Perhaps that's one of the reasons why my monthly goals went un-accomplished. I thought I would revisit those and then create some new ones. Last month I wanted to accomplish these:

1. 8 glasses of water a day
2. Limit 2 cups of coffee (what? I can't give up everything!)
3. #50milesinSeptember
4. Regular weekly exercise
5. Lose 5 lbs (Starting weight: 124)

I failed to finish the fifty miles this month. I stopped somewhere in the thirty mile frame. I was struggling because my husband has been working long hours and they don't exactly make a three child running stroller. Anyway, that will change though because I've finally signed my oldest up for preschool. The other goal of 8 glasses of water a day was probably accomplished 75% of the time. It's not hard for me to drink water when I remember. I love it. For October, I have some new goals I hope to accomplish:
  1. Continue with regular exercise and water in addition to completing the October Ab Challenge I created a few years ago. 
  2. Spend an hour (at least) each week working on my writing and publications.
  3. Go to a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or both!
  4. Bake again.
  5. Create fun Halloween costumes.
  6. Take at least four bags of donations to KARM.
I hope each of you enjoy a cup of joe on your porch as the leaves fall around you. I hope you build piles of leaves for your kids to jump in. I hope you dress up on All Hallows Eve and disperse candy or trick-or-treat. I hope your football team makes you happy (unless of course it makes us VOL fans sad). I hope you carve pumpkins and bake apple pies. I hope you climb a mountain and feel God's presence as you look out on all the magnificent colors this time of year brings. Happy Fall, y'all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Ugly Part of Me

I've had people tell me lately that they don't know how I do it all. Between the kids, doctor appointments, school, my business, and exercise, they wonder how I can make it all work. That's flattering, really...but I'm always striving to be honest with you and that's just not accurate. While I try, I do not have it all together. Far from it. I hardly feel afloat most days. My days are filled with appointments I have to be at and I get stressed out just thinking about trying to arrange babysitters for each engagement. It's probably one of my biggest stressors actually. Just once, I'd like to get a babysitter and have nothing to do for someone else. My selfish spirit would like just one day to not have to do anything. To do something fun during the time I have a sitter. Instead, I rush off to another appointment for the kids. As I type this, I'm sitting in group speech. On the way in, I was already worried about the next few weekends that are booked up when my phone rang asking me to schedule a meeting with the school psychologists for Abel. I often wonder what life would be like if Abel didn't have special attention so often. What if we could just register him for preschool like most children? What if he had a Type A mother who flawlessly organized her schedule with ease? One who purposed to do everything possible to get him to talk? What if I thought only of my children and died to myself daily to fulfill God's purpose in my life? I know I'm to have a servant's heart, but it is so hard for me for some reason. I struggle with wanting to help others because I feel like that's all I ever do. I know how ugly that makes me sound. But in this age of social media, when everyone only presents the pretty parts of their lives, I will continue to be open and raw. I struggle. Daily. This season of life is challenging and scary and wonderful. I just hope as I grow older that I remember the good and the bad so I can reach out and help other young mothers who stay home with their children constantly when mine are grown and out the door. I hope I don't forget. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

All Things Fall

Thank you all for your kind words about our new house. We certainly feel at home here, as if we have been here forever. I'll continue to update you as we make changes to the house. It's kind of fun to have small projects that we can do ourselves. We got some great news since I last wrote. We have found renters for our home in Cleveland! What a burden that has been lifted--thanks be to God.
We have been trying to settle in here and enjoy being less busy. Yesterday was one of those very busy days where I had lots of stuff I had to do and places I had to be. One of them was the nursery at church. Periodically, I watch the kiddos in the 18-36 month room. We only had one boy (Abel) in there yesterday and the rest were girls. I was amazed at how quiet the room stayed. Typically it's much rowdier, but as the boys have moved up a class the noise level has gone down. I wonder how much quieter my life might be if I had three girls instead. I'm sure this was probably just a fluke, right? :) Anyway, attempts to minimize the crazy around here have morphed into a bit of a tot school. Google it. I've just been trying to create quick, fun educational activities or play that is structured for the two oldest. It's difficult to be on a strict schedule because of the nature of our weeks revolving around various appointments for Abel. Each day is a bit different. That makes it hard as I have heard and read that the best thing I can do for my children is to create a routine they can find comfort in. Still, we do our best. The kids have been enjoying adding this new element into our daily routine. It makes getting them outside and away from the t.v. much easier. We've been learning about the current season we're in and all things Fall. I'm in my element. It's truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome to the Farm

It was weeks ago that I promised a tour of our new nest, wasn't it? You know how it is. Life gets busy, messy and it's easy to put it off after watching HGTV or seeing your picture perfect Instagram photos of your home since there's a ton of stuff we want to do here, but you know what? None of that matters. We love it here despite the work we plan to do when we can afford it. We love it because we wake up every day and can sit in relative silence on the porch with coffee and Bible in hand and literally see how God has provided for us when we trust in Him. Having two mortgages is scary...but my husband felt God was leading us home and here we are. We love it here because our boys fill the rooms with joyful noise (or sometimes just awful noise, let's be honest). We love it here because of the room to roam. We love being within 9 minutes of all our families. We love it for many reasons. Here are a few more:

1. We live on a working chestnut tree farm. We can walk outside and enjoy chestnuts from the trees or cherry tomatoes that the previous owner planted. We look forward to a major garden overhaul this spring.

Would you like some? $10 will get you seven pounds packaged in an official First Fruits Farm bag. They're pretty good. I had never tasted one until I moved here. I actually like them raw even more than I do cooked, but that requires more work to get to the good stuff. I'll have to type a whole other post about what I've learned thus far on farming chestnuts.

2. We love the outdoor space. There's a large front porch that I've lovingly decorated with some colorful pieces and I'm loving the brisk Fall mornings outside as I sit and watch the fog lift and the sun rise. In the back of the house, there's a large fire pit that we haven't broken in yet and a brand new play set plopped down on the four acres of playroom for the boys (Thanks Lolly and Pop!).

3. There are four bedrooms and all people sleep in their own beds and well, that's glorious.

4. There's plenty of storage for all my Christmas decorations!

5. Lastly, I have created a Harry Potter room! I might have lost some of you on that one. I'll rephrase- I made a reading/writing/prayer room for this mama. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's such a cool, tiny place for me to relax at the end of the day. With space enough for only a twin size mattress, it's a cozy place for just me. Plus it's under the stairs- just like HP.
We are delighted to be here. Our proximity to the Interstate makes travel to Jordan's job and Abel's therapy much easier for us. We are settling in, as we always do, for the long haul. This time we hope to break the record of longest we've stayed in one house. One and a half years is the new time to beat. Think we'll do it?

Thursday, September 3, 2015


It's funny what you do when you're avoiding packing a little boy's hospital bag. Paint your nails. Scrub the floor. Unnecessary activities. Whatever takes your mind away from lovingly choosing suitable hospital toys or folding tiny, fresh smelling t-shirts that you might not even ever put on him because his head dressing will be so big and his head so sore due to the surgery he will be there to have. I don't ever want to get used to this feeling. I don't want to have to do this anymore- sending my baby off into the hands of mostly strangers. If we have spoken in the last few days, I'm sure you could tell my thoughts are everywhere. The one thing that bothers me most about this surgery as opposed to all the others is that there is seemingly nothing happy about it. Hope is powerful and all the other surgeries provided that. Hopefully he can hear. Hopefully his nerve isn't damaged. Hopefully he is a candidate for cochlear implants. Hopefully the surgery goes well and he can start his hearing journey. Hopefully this infection will clear up. Hopefully they'll save the implant. The hope in regard to his hearing is gone with this surgery today. When he comes out of surgery, he will have been drilled on, poked, and prodded and for what? The hope is that the infection can have a chance to heal when the implant is out. The surgeon disclosed today that he fears the nerve is too damaged to reimplant again. He could try and he wants to do so, but we won't know if it worked until after a new implant is put in his perfect little head. Another surgery potentially. One that might not work. Our case is the cochlear implant community's worst nightmare and I'm sick thinking of that sweet, curly headed little kid having more hurdles to climb. He's a climber, though unlike his mama. I wish you could have seen him scaling his hospital crib while we were waiting on the OR to open up. I've never seen anything like it. My two year old was climbing better than I ever could. We need to get this boy in a climbing gym! I'm left in the waiting room now with my thoughts of him. I know God has his hand on him. I feel your prayers. I'll check in soon.

Monday, August 31, 2015

September Goals

Nearly two months have passed since I've dusted off this ole keyboard and sat down to write something other than research papers or status updates (that I know you all sit around waiting on and thinking: wonder what Kace is doing/thinking/feeling right now). Maybe that's why I don't blog as much as I used to. I know very few of you care and I'm talking to myself a lot, but there's always been something to that for me (I sound crazy, don't I?). From the time I could form sentences on paper, I've had a journal of some sort. I need to write like I need to bathe. It's good for me and when it's not happening, I feel icky. It doesn't even have to be something I'm proud of. The words just need to be out. 
The past few months have been so busy. For the record, I don't love busy. Many changes have been made. I finished my Master's degree- finally! I'm proud that I stuck with it and worked hard. I kept my 4.0 while raising three beautiful boys. I remember when I had Kinley, I was finishing a research paper in the hospital. I continued to work on it through many moves and finished it the day we closed on our second home we've owned. Yes, we moved again. This time, we're here to stay. Surely. Hopefully. We've been here a week and it feels like we've just always been here. It's nice. Home. Finally. I'll give you a virtual tour soon, but I logged in today to get my butt in gear (I can hear my four year old saying, "We don't say butt. We say bottom" in my ear right now). Merit turned one year old and he's nursing a lot less. I've been focusing on school and not me. We've been moving and therefore eating a lot of crap ("We don't say that word, Mom"). I've got all kinds of excuses, but I've gained weight and I'm ready to run it off (and keep it off) again. I know the importance of accountability and public goals so I'm making my declaration here now. I want my body to feel strong and capable again. 

1. 8 glasses of water a day
2. Limit 2 cups of coffee (what? I can't give up everything!)
3. #50milesinSeptember
4. Regular weekly exercise
5. Lose 5 lbs (Starting weight: 124)

Every September I make a goal of logging at least fifty miles. I even did it last year at around one month postpartum! It just helps me to get back into the swing of things after indulging toward the end of the summer. I call it "Fall Back into Fitness" because I'm a dork. Anyway, inevitably I have some  folks who want to join me. You are welcome to do so! Walk, run, or crawl them- I don't care. Just get out there and get active with me!

If you want to follow along with my progress, look me up on Instagram by using my #mrskgetsfit or checking out my profile (ksjd22). I'll also periodically update here, too. Let's get fit, friends!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Lord is good to all {an update of Abel's Ears}

The bible verse I've been working on helping Kinley to learn this week is Psalm 145:9-
"The Lord is good to all..." 
The way I get a three year old to memorize scripture is repetition. Over and over, we both recite it. The Lord is good to all. The Lord is good to all. The Lord is good to all. Even to me when I don't deserve it. Even to my family. Even to my sweet middle child. Even when it doesn't feel like it. The Lord is good to all.
I'm glad I had that truth fresh in my heart and mind. Yesterday, I had an appointment at Vandy again as a follow up for Abel. Infections, hospitalizations, and trouble just weren't on my mind. I was having faith and truly believing he would be released. Finally. After ten months.
Instead, after ten months of struggling with this aggressive infection, the surgeon has decided to take his implant out. Obviously, this is nightmare scenario in the cochlear implant community. As he told me the news, doctors gathered in the room with somber faces expecting to console, I suppose. I held it together. Inside my heart, it feels like a devastating blow, though. How silly it is to mourn a foreign object placed into my child's head! It isn't even working. Why should it matter? It's just the point of it all. Another surgery is on the horizon. My child has been put under more times than all of my extended family members put together. More than I can count on two hands. I've gotten to know the back of his precious little head as I strap him into the small umbrella stroller and push him from appointment to appointment. I know his curly tendrils and how they curve around the cords and headpieces he wears daily to help him hear. His head has two "ears" not one. Still, soon he will go under anesthesia again and his right cochlear implant will be removed along with his adenoids and (Lord willing) this nasty infection.
A thousand thoughts go through my mind every day. I wish we had never put it in. I'm so glad we had this surgery. I need more chocolate. Et cetera. I never quite considered how I would feel with this news. The answer is sad, but focused on the future. It's a setback, for sure. The surgeon says the infection seems to be nestled in the internal piece of equipment. He is hoping the nerve is not damaged so that once this infection is history, he can re-implant making him bi-lateral again. I don't even want to think about that right now.
I appreciate your prayers for him. Despite this ever-present problem, he is doing well. His left "ear" is working great allowing him to pick up much language. Lately, I've noticed him stringing words together into phrases. "What's that? Who is that? I don't know. Brother, no!" You know, the basics ;) Receptively, he's a rockstar. He knows what I'm requesting most of the time. His language is coming and I hope it continues to do so. On top of everything else, his early intervention program stopped paying for his speech therapy. We have begun to appeal to insurance in hopes they will start footing the bill as it is roughly $250 a week. A lot has been going on. For those of you who donated or bought items helping with "Abel to Hear", I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of the excess money we raised, I had enough for two aqua ears instead of one. This possibility was on the horizon so I only purchased one aqua capability. The rest of the money I put towards his hospital bills. Please know how much that meant to us. Thank you. It's because of people like you that I can see God's hand in all of this. Thank you for supporting us, for giving, for sharing in our excitement and setbacks, and for praying for my baby.
The Lord is good to all.
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