Friday, January 19, 2018

Cheers to the Weekend: Oh Snowy Day! Edition

Shooooooey. The last week/end was a DOOZY. If I'm being honest, I had a breakdown at the start of the week, after spending countless hours, 20 phone calls, and a physical visit to our doctor's office to ensure a CT scan we believe Bella needed was, in fact, ordered and covered by insurance. Thanks to our audiologist, pediatrician, and nurse anesthetist angels, I am happy to report that it did, in fact, happen. And thank goodness it did!!! But more on that below. Here's what we're saying CHEERS to this week/end: 

Momma dates. One of my favorite things to do as a momma is to have individual Momma Dates with each of my kiddos, from time to time. Banks, Raleigh, and Harrison have had their fair share over the years, but Bella had never had her entire life. She works SO hard every single week in all her therapies and is adjusting so well to her brand new life, that she was definitely overdue. So, last Friday, she and I went to Little Gym to try out a class. And we had so much fun!!! As she does, she first sat quietly and took it all in. Once she felt comfortable, there was no stopping her! I can't wait for our next Momma Date! :)

Family reunions. Last Saturday, we traveled to Irmo, South Carolina, for a family reunion. It was my father "in law's" "side" of the family, and I cannot begin to describe how special it was. Aunt Pam scheduled and organized the whole thing, and did an absolutely AMAZING job. She had games and prizes for the kids (and adults), breakfast and lunch arranged, and lots of fun activities in between. There was a photographer on hand to capture all the special, candid moments and a long table filled with the most amazing family heirlooms and photos. There was a slide show with all kinds of photos from back in the day ;), and it was so fun to see them all and hear all of the reminiscing and stories. I just can't say enough how much we enjoyed it - seeing so many different generations of family brought together for the day. If I know anything at all in this world, it's that family is EVERYTHING. I am so, so thankful for mine. <3

 The beautiful, 200+ year old family Bible my hub's aunt gifted us with <3

Surprises. Once we returned from the reunion, my hub and I headed out for the night for a surprise party for one of our closest friends. We had the best night enjoying tacos and tequila, followed by fun bowling shenanigans. Too.Much.Fun.! Happy Birthday, Britt. We love you! 

Reading (and TV) for fun. It has been AGES since I picked up a book and read it for fun. Last year, I started reading Pretty Little Lies and was really enjoying it. I was about 100 pages in before life got in the way and with it, the book. But, earlier this week, I picked it back up, started over, and am loving it! I'm excited to watch the miniseries of it, too, once I'm done. My hub and I also switched cable providers lately and now have access to Netflix again; so, we started watching Season 1 of "Stranger Things" and finished it yesterday #snowdays. It creeps me out every episode (as in, hands over the ears, curled up in a ball), but it was pretty good! Good enough to give Season 2 a try!

Church duty. After adopting Bella, I took a few months off from volunteering in the kids area at our church so that I could focus on getting her acclimated and comfortable in her new world. <3 About two months ago, we started putting Bella in her class during church, and she has been doing GREAT! So, finally, it was time for me to return to my church teaching duties. I asked to be put in Bella's class as one of her teachers, so that I can follow her and her friends throughout their years in our church. Sunday was my first day back, and I swear Jesus himself found the 12 sweetest angels in all the land and put them in that classroom. It was so fun to be back around such sweet innocence and so special to begin introducing them to all things Jesus. :) 

MLK Day. Our family spent the MLK holiday doing nothing special, which was just what we needed. We spent time together at home and both Raleigh and Banks shared all they had learned at school about Martin Luther King, Jr., his legacy, and the impact his life had on desegregation and our culture. <3

Answered prayers. We had some answered prayers this week, thanks be to God. On Wednesday morning, at the crack of dawn (we had to be there at 6:00 am), Bels and I headed to Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, where she was sedated for a specialized hearing test. This has been months in the making and, finally, the day had come. Immediately after the test was completed, she was whisked away for a CT scan of her temporal bone. I fought tooth and nail for this CT, spending hours trying to prove it was justified so insurance would approve it and then working with the best nurse anesthetist on the planet to finally get it on the schedule at the very.last.minute. Anywho, I'll share more about the results from the hearing test and CT scan in Bella's six month post-adoption post, but I can tell you that, had the CT not been done, her findings on the hearing test would still be perplexing and the answers unclear. Now, we have potential reasonS for her inconsistent, failed test results and are moving forward with a new plan of action. <3

Summer planning. Even though we are in the dead of winter, we have been busy making some fun summer plans! There are a couple new camps the kids are going to try, some beach trips, and even a little getaway for my hub and me in the works, and I can't wait!

Snow days. While I was sitting in the Family Waiting Area at the hospital, the snow began to fall and it did not stop until mid-afternoon. While it was a little scary terrifying making the drive home from the hospital, Bels and I made it safe and sound and just in time to play in the now accumulated snow! We got somewhere between 3 and 4 inches (much more than the 0.5-1 inch that was predicted!) and had so much fun! My hub took the big three out sledding earlier in the day, and then I got to spend time with all four kiddos in the snow that afternoon - sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, (attempting to build) a snowman - it was awesome! We were out of school again yesterday since the snow did not melt and the roads were a mess, which meant even MORE snowy fun! I am the momma who cheers when school is cancelled, so I didn't mind these extra days off one bit!

And that's all I've got, my friends. We have big plans of no plans for tonight, followed by an F3 race for my hub in the morning, a birthday brunch for one of my closest friends  (Happy Birthday, V!), a playdate, and a basketball game, all tomorrow. Whew! And then, my littlest sister turns the big 3-1 on Sunday (Happy Birthday, Whit!), and I'll be headed out for a special dinner for a special friend that night.

Have a lovely weekend, y'all! Adventure awaits!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


I sat anxiously in the waiting room. I was told the procedure would last between 60-80 minutes. It had now been 90 with no end in sight. 

As my mind began to drift to far off, scary places, I began to pray for my daughter. This was the third time she had been sedated in as many months - this time, for a specialized hearing test and CT scan - but it doesn't get easier. The waiting, the praying, the hoping that she was responding well to the anesthesia, that the results would be what we were hoping for, that answers would be found. I sat, alone, surrounded by my anxious thoughts but in a room full of others, also, undoubtedly, praying their way through their own waiting games, as their own children's health and well-being also lay in the hands of strangers - amazing, brilliant, qualified strangers, but strangers no less. 

As I continued to pray, and stare out the window at the beautiful snow that began to fall, I heard the kindest voice next to me, "Is your child having surgery?" I looked to the woman sitting beside me on the waiting room couch. I proceeded to explain that our Bella was being evaluated and scanned with the hopes that we would find answers to her perplexing hearing results that had mystified us for months.  

It was then that I learned about her precious grandson, Levi, just two years old like my Bella. He had been on dialysis since 10 days old and was now, finally, two years later, getting a kidney transplant. His uncle was donating his kidney and he, too, was in the hands of a surgeon as we spoke. She shared about how this procedure was supposed to happen two weeks ago. How she and her husband had traveled down from Missouri then, along with other family members, only to discover, 30 minutes before the procedure, that the surgeon didn't feel comfortable performing the surgery that day due to some of Levi's lab results. So, here they were, two weeks later, having traveled back to Charlotte again, to wait the many hours in the Family Waiting Area as their beloved grandson received his uncle's kidney. 

Levi would be hospitalized for 10-14 days following the procedure. 
Bella would be discharged less than an hour after she awoke from anesthesia.

Levi would spend another 6 weeks, with his mom, recovering in the hospital's Ronald McDonald House. 
Bella would be fine by the time we got home. 

Levi's family had traveled across several states, twice, to be there to support him. 
I had complained about driving in freezing rain and snow the 20 minutes to/from the hospital. 

Talk about perspective.

Last week, I broke down. There are so many unknowns with our girl, and our road feels overwhelming sometimes, but my ever-reassuring, calm husband is always quick to remind me: She is healthy and happy. She is FINE. 

And he is so right. 

If I'm being totally honest, sometimes I hear people complaining about problems that I don't think are problems. And my sinning, judge-y self rolls my eyes at their "problems." Isn't that terrible? Hi, my name is Lindsay, and I have a lot of growing up and growing in faith to do. 

But that day, in that waiting room, my own judge-y-ness smacked me right in the face: "Linds, Bella is FINE. We'll figure out the hearing stuff and all the other stuff. But she is healthy and happy." 


Sometimes, the "problems" in our lives seem insurmountable, overwhelming, huge. But are they really? No. Not for God. He's got the panoramic view, and He's got us.  And now, I have clear perspective. 

On Wednesday, I met the grandmother of the bravest little boy in a waiting room in a children’s hospital in Charlotte. She'll never know the gift she gave me that day: Perspective. 

And Levi, I am praying for you. What a brave warrior you are.  <3

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cheers to the Weekend: Long Weekend Edition

Helloooo, Friday! I feel so spoiled to have a 3-day weekend after JUST getting back from Christmas break, but I'll take it! 

Before we kick off the weekend fun, a few things we're seeing CHEERS to this week/end:

Turning six. As I've mentioned a time or two hundred, our Raleigh turned six one week ago! Although I already blogged about how we rang in the big 0-6, partay style, I never mentioned what we did leading up to her Uptown celebration. She awoke to traditional door decorations and then came downstairs to find all her birthday surprises. This girl wanted a Hatchimal sooooo bad, and was soooooo excited to find one waiting for her first thing in the morning, among other birthday gifts and surprises. :) 

Per tradition, her daddy whisked her away for a birthday breakfast, her choice (Dunkin Donuts). A few hours later, I met her at school for lunch, with a Chick-Fil-A kids meal (for her) and cookies/brownies (for her classmates) in tow. And I thought this was so sweet: any time a parent comes to eat with a student, the student is allowed to invite a friend to join him/her for lunch in the special seating area reserved for parent visits. This time? Rals asked her teacher to join us. <3 The three of us enjoyed a lovely meal together and then Raleigh stayed to finish out the school day. 

Once she arrived home, we all gathered 'round for her to blow out her birthday candles on her momma-made cake. <3 After we devoured enjoyed a few slices, it was time for Raleigh and I to hit the road for her party. And that was that! :) The next day, Bammy and Digby came up and stayed and played all afternoon to help celebrate our birthday girl, leaving the next morning. We were having so much fun, not one of us snapped a single pic - ha! It was fun for all and a great way to close out the birthday shenanigans. Happy 6th, Rals! We love you!

Downtime. As we have eased into 2018 and the second half of the school year, we have made it a point to spend plenty of downtime together. <3 And honestly, these are always my favorite parts of every day. I am a get-down-on-my-hands-and-knees-and-play kind of momma. I enjoy getting on my kiddos' level and really playing with them, and every time I think back on my favorite moments of the week, it undoubtedly comes back to these simple, special times. <3

Routine. I loooooved our relaxed, jammie-day-heavy Christmas break, but I also love a good routine. And I have felt very rejuvenated and energized the last week. I honestly think the stress and busy-ness of the holidays takes such an emotional and physical toll that it's been nice to be so structured and routinized again. With that has come the resumption of our weekly therapies as well as several medical appointments on the horizon: One was yesterday and we have two more in the next two weeks. That being said, we graciously ask for your prayers: prayers for the answers we are seeking and prayers for a smooth transition into any interventions and/or fullow-ups we may need as a result. Thanks y'all. <3

And now, the weekend is here! We've got some fun things planned and some unplanned things, and I can't wait for it all. TGIF, friends! Be back soon!