Moms, today is YOUR day... and Family Dinner Time

Oh, this little space has been so neglected lately. Life in the fast lane I suppose. Still writing though and this  past week I've been busy over at Houston Moms Blog. I would love for you to check out a couple of new posts:

1) Moms, Today is YOUR Day: 
Well, it has been A WEEK. You know the ones. The weeks where you question if you managed to do anything productive, took the quickest showers of your life {if you got one at all}, skidded into the preschool line just seconds before the end of drop off time, never got dinner on the table in time, made meals that only your husband would eat, forgot to pack at least one item for the kids every day, and jumped into bed for mindless TV right after the kids were down, neglecting said husband and friends.

2) Gather 'Round the Table: Family Dinner Tips
And then came the laziness/craziness. Trying to cook during the “witching hour,” watching every second click by on the clock until my husband made his way home, and create suitable meals that all would appreciate almost sent me straight to a padded room, preferably with a white wine sangria in hand.
But one night my precious 3 year old uttered these words – “Mommy, we eat ALL TOGETHER???”
He wanted to. He yearned for that togetherness, as did my daughter. So I pulled on my big girl panties and decided it was time to figure this out. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in it. I did. I do. I just needed a little adjustment time.
So slowly and steadily we began to incorporate family dinners into our weekly routine. Click here to keep reading...

Even if you aren't in Houston, I highly encourage you to check out the Houston Moms Blog. Our team of contributors post each day about a multitude of "mommyhood" topics. It's so fun because each contributor clearly has their own voice and experiences to share. I think you'll be inspired, encouraged, challenged, educated, and equipped - and you will relate to these amazing women. 

Find Houston Moms Blog here:

Enjoy! Hope to see you around at Houston Moms Blog :) 

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Playing Catch Up

Two posts in one day? Well, I never...

Anyway, as I was posting earlier, I saw that I never updated the bloggy world on Q's results. And just thought I would share a few random things we've been up to - if nothing but for my memory :)

1. Quinn's Results - Came out better than we imagined. Basically we are still in watchful waiting. The doctor did see some worsening, specifically of her right ventricle which is now mildly dilated from the extra leakage in the plumbing (there are fancier words but that suffices for now). At any rate, we'll need to take care of that at some point - which if it were to happen now would be open-heart surgery. Yet so many advances are happening so we are crossing our fingers that there will be a less-invasive procedure once it is needed (he's predicting age 10-13 but we'll see). Her pulmonary arteries are still narrow but mostly unchanged from the last MRI, so we are looking at hopefully a couple more years before we need to stent those out. And finally her pulmonary valve remains "bad" but good :) So strange. At any rate, it's working ok and doing it's job. It was an extremely emotional and long day but Quinn was a total champ the entire time. She amazes me.
Big brother ate breakfast with his best friend and hitched a ride to school with him. Takes a village, people. 

This was here waiting for the doctors and anesthiologist - no food or water for 14+ hours and a perfect angel.

2. Quinn is all about girly stuff these days - I mean, she always has been in some respect but it is in FULL FORCE. She wants sparkly nails, always wants to wear pink, dresses up in her 4 princess gowns each day, has more jewelry on than me, and I am just waiting for her to say she wants her ears pierced. 

3. This one I didn't see coming - Ryan has always been so easy-going when it comes to clothes. I just simply laid them out and he was fine with whatever. First, he started drawing a line in the sand at jeans. Then came the day that he would only wear Turtle, Dinosaurs, or Numbers shirts. God bless. He only has about 5 total which means all hell breaks loose when they are all dirty. So I Febreeze them. I'm not ashamed. 

4. We celebrated Valentine's Day very quietly - just our family. A few little gifts for the kids, a special lunch out, and then Matt and I had steak & shrimp after they went to bed. A nice departure from the chicken and mac 'n cheese fare I am usually subjected to. 

5. Matt and I had a fun, adults-only, fancy evening out at the Katy Chamber of Commerce Gala. It was so much fun and so nice to get dressed up. Almost felt like prom :) Big thanks to Gigi and Steve for making the drive from the Big D to watch the kiddos. 

6. The next day was GORGEOUS so we decided to head to No Label Brewery in old Katy for a few beers and music. Totally kid friendly and such a blast. 

6. My friend Ashley and I, along with a couple of others, hosted a sip 'n see for our bestie Erin and her new little girl Reagan. Love these girls - they are my people!

7. We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Austin to celebrate my niece K-Bug's 1st birthday. I'm so in love with this little girl and so glad we could all be there. The party was at The Little Gym and R&Q had a total blast being the "big kids" for once. 

8. More to come - still have another trip to Austin to post about - we finally celebrated Christmas with Matt's side of the family. In February. Yeah. Now my kids think that Santa is pretty much a year-round thing :) Honestly, we've just had a lot going on - mostly all good - but some things (like blogging regularly) have had to take a back seat. We are in a season, I suppose. I have so much more I want to write about but a certain job would actually like for me to get some work in while the house is quiet and I don't have Umizoomi blaring in the background.
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The ABC's of Me - Houston Moms Blog

So excited that I can finally announce that I am a Contributor for the Houston Moms Blog. It's a great group of mommas who write fantastic posts every day for the women of Houston (and beyond, of course!). I am humbled and thrilled to be included --- and a little scared :) 

My first official post hit this morning - every contributor does one called "The ABC's". Let me tell you, it is HARD to write about yourself. I can write about my life or our crazy happenings without any thought at all but to put yourself down on paper - well. I had about 8 edits and 2 total redo's. At any rate, here it is. If you are a Houston momma, I encourage you to follow Houston Moms Blog. I think you will love it!


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CHD Awareness Week & Guest Post at Houston Mom's Blog

In honor of Congenital Heart Awareness Week (Feb. 7th - 14th), I am over at the Houston Mom's Blog recounting our story of Quinn's heart journey. What a difficult, blessed, heart-wrenching, and amazing roller coaster it has been. I hope you'll pop over and read our story - and some other incredible stories up on their blog today! Thank you, Houston Mom's blog, for taking a day to tell the stories of our children. Happy Heart Week!

Click here for the post.


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Here we go again...Team Quinn!

I do have some more fun posts drafted but this one is being impressed upon my heart at the moment for obvious reasons. Tomorrow (Thursday), we will once again head down to Texas Children's Med Center for a three-part MRI of Quinn's heart. I talked about it here. Bottom line, they saw a couple of potential "issues" in her last echo and want to check them out more intensively. When you say MRI, you picture a big tube and you are slid in and out, and you are on your way. Not so much with this one. It's a lengthy procedure, lasting 2-4 hours, and requires full anesthesia. Let me disclaim: It's nothing like open-heart surgery (twice), but anytime you send your baby under, it's disconcerting to say the least. And the results that may come - well, I can't even go there yet. The unknown is the worst. Heart kids are deceptive. If you had seen my child playing with her brother and their closest friend in freezing temperatures at the playground the other day, you would have a very hard time believing that a "different" heart lies beneath. It's pretty incredible.

That being said, I wanted to share a couple of amazing experiences as of late with Quinn. I know there will be cynics, but I know God, and I know His Power. I know His Healing and I know His Comfort.

A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the appointment to Quinn. Nothing graphic or even mentioning the word "hospital". Just letting her know that soon we will head to the heart doctor and have an appointment. She took it all in stride, nodded, and ran off to play.

A couple of days later, I was laying in her bed at naptime finishing up her story. Out of the blue, she said, "Momma, look at my stand up line." So I replied, "Yes, baby, I see the line. Remember, that's where they worked on your special heart." She nodded and then said, "Momma, sometimes I go to the hospital. And I take a nap there. And whenever I wake up, you are there. Then we go home and I feel good again."

It took everything for me not to bawl right there but I agreed, "Yes, honey. That sometimes happens. And God is always with you too."

Fast forward to this morning and I was about to help her change for school. By help, I mean toss the clothes to her while she decides what she wants to wear :) My fashionista.

As we were sitting on the couch, we talked again about the appointment. Again, no mention of tests or hospital. At this point, I'm still trying to figure out how to prepare her without scaring her or overloading her with info. So I just try to do the basics and cross my fingers. And I promised her that after school today I would paint her nails a very special color so they would look pretty for the doctor. (She loves fingernail polish and this is a pretty good reason to have a special treat)

She looked at me with a dead serious look and said, "Mommy, I know. I will go inside something that sounds like a washing machine. But it's not scary. It just sounds like a washing machine. And then I take a nap." I questioned her and asked her what she meant about the washing machine because I thought she may be confused. I asked her if she was talking about our washing machine (I mean, why would she be, but she's 3 so who knows???) and she literally almost rolled her eyes at me and said emphatically, "NOOOO, Mommy. The washing machine. At the hospital. That washing machine."

Friends - the last time Quinn had an MRI or any sort of procedure was in October 2012. She was barely 2 years old. They put her to sleep with me before she even saw the "washing machine". How this child knows this and has PEACE about her nap is beyond my understanding.

This much I know. Somehow she has recollection and that Jesus was holding her through that last experience and calming any fear she was having at that moment. I can't tell you the tears I shed this morning (privately) just recounting those simple words from a child that is 3 1/2 years old. 

And I can't tell you the comfort that I feel now just knowing that she has this underlying sense of peace. She knows it will be okay. What a blessing. Our God is so good.

Will you join Team Quinn in prayer tomorrow at 9am? Will you pray that Quinn has a peace that surpasses all understanding and that her little 3 1/2 year old mind will process the test and the confusion the best it can? Will you pray for us as we once again entrust her little precious heart with the professionals? Most importantly, will you pray that the findings will allow us more time before intervention. And may I be so bold as to request that her heart function is unchanged?

We love you all and thank you for continuing to wrap your arms around us on this journey. As we head into CHD Awareness Week (Feb. 7th-14th), please pray for all those other families who are on this ride with us: the rollercoaster that is being a heart family. Many blessings to you all. 

We'll update you after we get the results from the "washing machine" : ) 

Much love,

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Just the Twins - Pictures 2013

As I mentioned during my 2013 Family Pictures post, we really didn't get any great pictures of the kids individually or even a great one of them together. By the time I got the family pictures I wanted, the sun was quickly going down and the light wasn't great. So EARLY this past Monday, I dressed up the kids again (they were THRILLED), to take pictures in 38 degree temperatures as a surprise for Daddy. I ended up having to ruin the surprise last night because of a surprise he was doing for his mom, so I had to show him the pictures. 

I am so glad they turned out well --- I just can't believe how grown up they look. Quinn's hair has actual curls - curls, people. This is a big deal. Most of it fell by the end of the shoot but it still looked cute. Ry Guy needs a little hair cut but his baby blues kill me. As we were looking at them last night, Matt turned to me and said, "Gosh, can you imagine what they are going to look like in a few more years?" AGHHHH, no, and pass the Bailey's. Cheers to you all and my little ones. Or not so little.

I mean, really. Is she 13????

Pointing out a truck driving down the street. What-ev. It's cute.

Yeah... this was at the end of the shoot. They were DONE.

They really look like twins here!

Merry Christmas from our "Clan" to yours!

In Him,

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