Opt Outside

Have you noticed we get out, every single day. Rhys wakes up looking at the tiny river flowing out front and immediately plans his day around how many times he can go throw rocks. Andrew, won’t sit down. Ryder and I would be fine having juice and coffee and watching a morning cartoon, but we’re go go go. Andrew has them hiking a trail by our house. We don’t get too far, but it’

We joke, but one day I’m swinging by Home Depot and grabbing a $2 bag of pea rocks. Have at it. We’ll shake Rhys down at night and rocks fall out of pockets, diapers, etc.

It’s good to explore, get dirty and wonder.

 


  
  

Dad Of The Year

  

Mom was out of town all week, flew back on a red eye, went to the Dr her first day back and on her second day back got the WORST stomach bug. I was an absolutely wreck. Dad stepped up and took over, about 20 min went by before I realized the house was way too quiet. I ventured downstairs expecting to see Roo’s car gone, but instead I found all my men, and pup, curled up. Andrew never, ever naps. This was it for me.

New Year, New Journey

Happy New Year. And a merry belated birthdaymas.

We did things the unconventional way this holiday, and well, it couldn’t have been more festive. It was also 70 degrees, that’s 55 degrees warmer than we had it last year. I would have preferred more seasonal weather, but it was nice to send the kids out of the house without them looking like walking marshmallows.

Santa was good to us, it looks like a Toys R Us yard sale all over my house. And thank you to all friends and family who ignore age requirements on toys, leaving Roo and I to truly have to become kids again. One tradition we’re sticking with, dragging out opening presents. Rather than the 30 min mad dash of opening presents, the family takes their time and we end up spending all day opening gifts. You enjoy everything a bit more, and you get to hang out and savor the Christmas magic. Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year, all that wonderment bottled up for 24 straight hours.

So, what’s with the radio silence? In case you haven’t noticed on any one of my social profiles, I take a crapton of pictures. It’s my thing. I love it. I remember as a kid seeing my dad walking around with a big Nikon camera around his neck, blame my genes, that man kept Kodak in business. Sometimes I don’t feel like talking y’all to death, I’m opting for visuals.

The kids are growing fast, like crazy-can’t-stand-it-fast. I smell Rhys’ head a million times a day, kissing those fat baby cheeks. We’re enjoy the babes being a bit older, able to get our more, they play/entertain each other far better, and personalities are a plenty.

January has been an absolutely whirlwind. Here’s to no signs of stopping in 2016.

  

  

  

  

 

Fa La La La Fall!

Taken weeks ago, when we still had SUN and 80 degrees.

Ryder looked like a real boy that day. Hard to think he’s 2. Rhys…definitely my precocious wee one.

1. I didn’t ask them to kiss, swear.
2. They were all OVER the place until I told them it was time to leave for lunch – hands were held and Rye politely escorted Rhys out, “It’s lunchtime.” Priorities.

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If You Need Me

 I’ll be …
Getting up early and staying out late to catch every ounce of this sun and warmth.
Looking for Halloween costumes — plan a is now plan c. What happens when your eldest loves cars, trucks, and animals.
Having chats with my bestie in traffic, because Atlanta.
Debating how to balance my sh*t. Being mom AND dad is hard, rewarding, and surreal.
Paddle boarding until I fall in. Water is cold, I’m not. Hanging in there, or up.
Eating Cheetos at 10PM.
Dreaming about England.
Planning a vacation
Planning birthday partieS. I made the mistake of telling Rye that his birthday was coming up back in SEPTEMBER, this was after he kept seeing bday stuff and wishing Rhys a happy birthday. Now, he’ll tell complete strangers, “I have a birthday coming up.” Hilarious. What he wants? A big cake, candles, balloons.
Pretending I’m the Annie Leibovitz of toddler photography.
Binging on Homeland, Refinery 29 and Inside the NFL.
Crying over Michigan’s loss.
Counting my blessings instead of sheep.

Happy Fall, Y’all

Holy cats have we been busy. We now find our weekends crammed with friends and family, and I’m happily exhausted to see everyone.

Can you believe it’s fall? Much less almost October. Bring on all the stereotypes that come with it! Fall Foliage for your area. Pumpkins are all over my house, which is a fun game of Rhys yelling “Right there,” to each pumpkin he spots.

I caved and got a SUP. Hard to think something could pull me from running, but being on water with nobody bothering you, quiet. As Outside Magazine poignantly stated, “Just seven years ago, stand-up paddleboarding was a barely known, old-school tradition practiced by serious watermen who wanted to connect to the roots of surfing. Today it’s a bona fide mainstream sport…” I got into SUP’ing when we were in Minnesota, way late to the party and bummed I didn’t take more advantage of the lake system. Being so close to the river and a beautiful private lake, I decided to take it up as another hobby. My window of weather opportunity is closing, but I’m confident I can squeak out a few more weeks. My favorite aspect of the sport, you don’t realize how hard you’ve worked-out until your off the board and your legs start shaking. Andrew keeps waiting for the day I come home after falling in the drink.

We’ve been settling in and playing a continuous game of catch-up. I need a fall break, working on plans. And for all those that are still kind enough to ask, my dad is doing great. Went to his first UGA game and will be there for Alabama. You wouldn’t believe the yo-yos who tried to get tickets from him.

In case you need some cute, have you seen the Pope baby?!

  
    
    
    
    
    
   

Meet The Miracle Man

IMG_0419For a few months it’s been a whirlwind for our family, and unfortunately it’s not the move that took it out of us.

I’ve debated for weeks how to talk about my father’s health. When the man who has always taken care of you, been the strong one, slowly slips into a state where he is nearly unable to care for himself, it’s hard to grasp and harder to explain. Life changes in the blink of an eye.

Around the time we announced we were moving back to GA, my dad starting having a few health symptoms that were out of the ordinary, and the week before we moved my dad landed in ER after losing sensation in his hands and feet. It took a full day in the ER to diagnose him with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). I was in Minnesota, preparing to move across the country, a few days from flying home feeling helpless and worthless.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) – A condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Per WebMD:

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome is a problem with your nervous system. It causes muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, face, and other parts of your body.This rare condition can cause paralysis and lead to death. But most people get better and have few lasting problems.

Heard of it? Me neither. His condition escalated quickly and his health deteriorated over a matter of hours.

My dad and mom spent multiple days and nights in the hospital. The treatment they gave him helped fight the disease and stop it from spreading, but it’s not an instant recovery. I have no idea how either of them managed, but after about a week he came home.

When he was diagnosed, we told close friends and only a few were able to tell us stories of people they knew diagnosed with GBS. Most were healthy twenty-somethings that ended up being paralyzed for months or having vision loss for a short time. GBS is a bizarre, gnarly, disease.

The road to recovery was uncertain, doctors saying anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months to regain all feeling and normalcy — maybe. The wild part, like a bad cold, you have virtually no energy and everything takes a load of strength to get through. Grocery shopping can wipe you out for a day. The road to recovery is long.

Taking care of kids is one thing, but being a caregiver to adults is on a whole other level. For starters, kids aren’t set in their ways. Beyond the physical pain, there are the insurance claims, prescriptions to fill, doctor and rehab visits to attend, etc.

I’ve always known that my mom and dad have the strongest marriage, but we saw their love and testament to each other again. I honestly don’t know how either of them went through it, but they will tell you it was God’s grace, prayers and loads of support from neighbors and church.

After all of this GBS excitement, we hit another massive speed bump. About 3 weeks ago, I drove to work and called my mom for a typical check-in on dad. I could hear in her voice, his voice, something was wrong. With everything we’d already been through we weren’t sure what was going on. My dad was up for multiple nights straight unable to sleep because he had a sensation like he couldn’t breathe. [I think something has to fall off before my dad does anything.] What started as flu-like symptoms turned into another trip to the ER. The rest is a blur because later that day my husband was the one who calmly told me, get in the car and go see your dad.

The entire drive to the hospital was eerily serene. It was 5PM rush hour, but I didn’t hit traffic, and I still remember driving into the sunset and the warmth I felt on my face. I wasn’t sure if I was talking to God or if he was talking to me, but I knew whatever the outcome it was out of my hands. Me, the hysterical one, couldn’t even form a tear.

At the ER, the nurses rushed me right back and that’s kind of where I wanted to lose it but seeing my mom and dad I knew someone had to keep their act together. It was bad, and it was after another day of testing that they found a massive blood clot in his lung. They were afraid to move him, afraid to operate. All the GBS medicine was putting him at risk for surgery.

He was given medicine to help prevent more clots to allow his body to break up the beast. Basically, hanging out until slowly he started showing signs of improvement. From the ER to the ICU, I hate hospitals. The exhausting part is being there. After sitting for a few hours I would go home absolutely knackered. The whole vibe of hospitals is not my thing. I only go for babies. This is me whining, my dad never said a peep.

The doctors have told us, after all the hullabaloo, that he had a 50/50 shot of survival. God is good. God was present. God is present.

This past weekend, the whole family got together. What would have been a normal weekend felt special. How lucky are we? My dad’s health is improving every day, thankfully. That man has patience like no other. My first goal home with my dad is to put the 25 pounds he lost right back on. I love my daddy jolly. Second goal, get this man to a Georgia game. Third goal, fishing trip with the grandbabes.

This story is wild, and I’m probably not the best at narrating right now. What is oddly comforting, I’m home now and spending time with family has never meant more to me. I get it.

Psalm 138:3 — “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

Our Treehouse

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3 Things We Love About Our New House
– We are perched on a hill and have the best view of a creek, and the deers that greet us occasionally on our front lawn or back porch. Bonus, Rye gets SUPER quiet when we tell him we’re looking for deer. Someday I’ll tell him they don’t eat Cheerios.
– Privacy. Our home in MN was on a semi-busy street, but being tucked away is wonderfully quiet. We have a good size yard and the neighbors aren’t looking in my kitchen/bathroom window.
– Proximity to the river. Gorgeous trails and paths that will take some time exploring.

3 Things That We’re Adjusting To

– The new doors with awesome kid friendly handles. You know, the kind where kids can open them with a quick turn. Ryder just appears now. I caught him checking out the pantry grabbing Goldfish. Seems safe.
– The hills. I can’t put it into words. They are VERY steep. Even rolling my trashcan down the driveway was a feat – bonus it didn’t roll over me. Roo says my bum and calves are going to look great – of course he puts this in a workout format.

3 Things That Blew Goats In The Move
– Finding things. Finding things quickly. Example: I found the coffee pot, but I am missing the lid to my coffee pot. What kind of cruel joke is that?
– Reorganizing things. What worked in one place doesn’t work in another. It’s like moving in to a dorm and having to buy a bunch of new random stuff.
– We get some fun free cable channels, but I miss my Apple TV and Nina and Star. Turns out, the internet is also good tool to have.

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