Monday, February 22, 2016

How my weekend away happened (it must be good)

It's been 2 years, since Norah's awful diagnosis

It's been 2 year years of some giant changes in our home
Some that I have struggled with, and fought internally and externally.  Some battles I still have

Ignorance is no longer bliss

I live in a reality that food desperately matters for my children, especially the one who has type one.

I also live in a reality that I am a minority, in the way I treat and manage this disease for her

That I am rebellious in this way..... and I'm not typically rebellious

It's hard for me, to say anything, to make a stand.

But I will fight for my child, for her best, even if that means I disagree with her dr.  or go against the norm

It is very isolating at times, not just the disease, but that we treat it differently.

I have spent more nights alone in these past 2 years than my whole life.  Retreating.  Not wanting to give the burden for anyone else to worry about.  Not wanting to let it go, to still have as much control as I can.  Feeling so distant from everyone.

With moments of bitterness trying to climb in

but still hanging on to hope.   Being reminded of hope. of something more eternal.

I have mourned the thought of ever having a night away, far far away with my husband. of ever having a break.  a moment to breath.

And then on my birthday.  I got a gift.  A weekend away with my husband.  At the beach, seeing my favorite band, needtobreathe!  WHATTTTT!?!?  Elation was my first response!

But then my excitement was breached with misunderstanding and stress

How could this be possible, who was watching the kids? who would be willing to take on Norah that long (and believe me 2 nights is very long for a type 1)?  details?  I need details, lots of them.

Brett had arranged almost everything.  I just had to get it all ready.  As in prepare every bite of food that went into Norah's mouth for 3 days, with detailed instructions and pray that Norah's pump sight didn't come out during that time since only Brett and myself know how to change it.  2 nights is the longest possible trip we could have at this point, with all of the diabetes details.  I would love to say that it was all excitement before the trip, but it was a lot of hard work, planning and stress.  There were moments I didn't even think it would happen, that I thought something would happen to even keep us from the trip, so my excitement was little, until we got on the plane

And from that moment, every moment was just what I needed, just what Brett and I needed.
And it was just one full day .  And we made sure it was just that.  Full.

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I read an entire book people!!

It wasn't just that we had a weekend away at the beach, it was that we spent it with people really important to both of us, they don't know, but they have been right by us in this journey with Norah.  They have reminded  and given us of hope in some of our very dark moments.

The great thing about beautiful music is that it meets you in this place, sometimes a dark and hard place.  It reaches deep down, it allows you to mourn and to heal and to hope.  It brings you closer to Him.

"In this wasteland where I'm living there is a crack in the door filled with light.... and it's all I need to get by" 

Needtobreathe sings this song, it is about part of their journey, but it is also exactly about our journey. 
They have told me that Norah is a difference maker and that maybe even I am

They have reminded me that there can be "something beautiful" in all the hard

They have told me "if your lost and lonely and broken down bring all of your troubles, come lay um down"

And Brett worked some magic and arranged for us to meet them before the show.  Meet these amazing musicians who have unknowingly been on this journey with us They are so kind.
It was a slice of heaven,  I'm pretty sure music in heaven will be exactly like theirs.

We got to be right upfront and center.
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This last one is my favorite. It shows the magic of the night DSC_4512

And we had another run in after the show only confirmed their genuineness.

I spend a few minutes getting to chat with Seth Bolt (bass player)
And Seth doesn't really know this, but we are friends now.
 I'm reading his book and planning on
staying in his tree house someday.  With my husband of course :)

Oh probably the highlight, experiencing this with new friends, who we met that night!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Number 1's 2015

It's meant to be, some kind of wrap of for the year, or a new idea for the next.  It's what we all do.  A new start, something fresh, but also remember the things that made part of 2015 what it was...... 2015

So here are some of my best of's in 2015

Best Book : The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippets.  An autobiography of a woman who was dying with cancer.  Heart wrenching and so life giving all at once.

Favorite Quote: "We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead by wise"   Jen Hatmaker

Biggest and most helpful life style change: starting to simplify, get rid of what we don't need, minimize my closet and all areas of the house.  This has been so refreshing and freeing and I will continue into this year with it!
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Most played with toy by my kids:  wait for it..... wait for it...... Playdough!!  By far ALL of my kids played with this the most, age appropriate for ALL of them and nothing extravagant.  We did store bought, homemade, and jello playdough!

Favorite new musical artist: Rend Collective (the Campfire album).  Although Rend Collective is not a new artist, they have been around a while, and I have heard their stuff here and their, it wasn't until I heard this album that I really like them.  Maybe part of it is my deep desire to sing around a campfire with a banjo, but there is also a beautiful simplicity to their music.

Best Movie :  Well not quite a movie, but an Amazon documentary "The Sugar Film"  EVERYONE MUST WATCH THIS!!!  It is so good, such great eye opening information!  Everyone already knows McDonalds is bad for you, but this man goes on a "low fat" diet and gains a ton of weight and starts getting sick.  Just watch it and see, please watch it! 

Favorite Photo:  Like I could have just one, so I will do favorite one of each of the kids
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Favorite Place :  As much as I love love love the beach, which is my favorite place of all time this year going to the American River was my favorite place.  It was a place I loved as a child and really wanted to take my kids there.  I thought it might be disappointing 25 years later, but it wasn't.  I loved that it was beautiful, quite, simply, yet full of so much to do.  Fun for all of my kids, dirty, outside, full of lots of water and so much exploring!

Favorite discovery: this place, only about 10 minutes away from our house

Favorite Moment:  Easy,  Needtobreath at Red Rocks

Most Surprising moment : An unlikely new friendship . Not just for Norah and her friend Lilah (who also has type 1 diabetes)  but for her mother an I.   A set up that I even felt reluctant to go to, turned into a friendship (although long distant) I am so grateful for!


And I always get some of my best ideas, or books or movies from other people.  That is why I share, maybe you will grab one of these, or go watch something,

So tell me some of your best 2015's

Friday, December 11, 2015

#5 the gifts you have given

There's far more to this life than trusting Christ.  
There's also suffering for him. 
And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.  Phil 1: 29


For 5 years now I always come back to you, why you leaving as had such a great impact on me, more than Dad and Darren, whose deaths were life changing and so very hard,  but yours was different.  Maybe it is partially because of it's suddenness, or that fact that your death happened in my adulthood and not childhood.   But really so much of it is because that one single moment, of you leaving this earth, drastically changed the course of my life, like a sudden giant U-Turn I wasn't expecting to take.

I mean you leaving even changed that car that I drive, my awesome mini van, I know that sounds strange sis, but you don't need a mini van with the small family envisioned in my head 5 years ago.

Which brings me to these wonderful gifts your death has somehow given me.  I am forever grateful to you Carrisa because these are some of the greatest gifts.

My 2 youngest, Sarah and Levi.  I really have no idea if you had not died would they have ever been a part of my life.  God may have squeezed them in either way.  But I do know that in my head , before you died, all I ever wanted was 2 children.   Bringing Norah into our home changed all of that, the dynamic I once picture was blown to pieces and a new one started.  Now I have this great gift of 4 children.  Which is my best and favorite gift.   I get to be home with them.  I get to enjoy the sweet embrace of Levi's sweet giant hugs and kisses.  I get to make squishy faces with Sarah and laugh at her silly phrases.  I get to have lunch with Maya and school and hear her heart.

The gift of being home.   For me this is a gift, my sweet treasures, I get to help mold their little hearts, spend time with them and have a better understanding of God's fatherly heart.

The gift of my home.  Right, you gave us this home?  Well ya, we wouldn't have needed a bigger home had Levi not popped into the picture, or had we not had Norah or Sarah.  So yes, our home, what a great gift it is!  It is one of my favorite places to be, it is where the walls are filled with love, and memories (and some whining too)  It would be super awesome if you helped out on the mortgage though....... Would you be able to work on that one from up there?

The friendships you have given, that I would have never known unless on this journey of life and healing from your loss.

The journey with my husband, I see him differently after you left.  I saw his heart, the one so widely open to love the fatherless.  

Norah.  Who has been our greatest, hardest, most humbling gift.  In every way Norah has made me a better mom, friend, sister and wife.  She has stretched and pulled me in all directions.  The gift she has given is not one that might be perceived as lovely, but one that is life long, one that builds my character and teaches me what love means.  She has taught me what it really means to lean on Christ, to press in and see beauty at the top of the giant mountain.

So many of my days are daunting with all that is in front of me, especially with Norah's disease.  Her blood sugar has been in a weird funk the past few weeks, she is growing, which throws everything off and I am at a loss on her insulin needs and every night have been praying for God to give me His wisdom on what to do.  This is a hard gift, one that I still don't like to call a gift really, or see it that way all the time..... But I press into the Lord so much more...... suffering is as much as a gift as trusting.  What a hard, and difficult, but beautiful gift.

Carrisa, I don't always see it this way.  There are days that seeds of bitterness try to creep in, or self pity, or why me, I can't do this.  But on this day, Decemeber 11th, when I remember you for some reason my perspective always changes, it is renewed.  Thank you for giving me that.

You must know life to see decay.  You must know love to feel pain.  Why would a Good God allow pain and suffering, maybe because we wouldn't truly know what goodness is without them.

There will come a time, I'll see, with no more tears
and love will not break my heart, but dismiss my fears
get over my hill and see
with grace in my heart and flowers in my hair

You are there sis, I look forward to that day when I see all the beauty on top of the hill.

3O2A0844 3O2A0839

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Music to my ears

We have all had it happen, you know that one song, something about it, it moves you, unlike anything else could.

 Stop, think of

It brings out something

something beautiful

 I love when that happens.

I love music!
Really love it, and actually all kinds!

I can remember my dad blasting the Chuck Berry song "No particular place to go"

Still to this day, that songs brings big smile to my face.

I really believe that God created music, the sound of instruments together for our enjoyment,  but also to experience something with Him, to know Him better.   And not just Christian music, seriously so many different styles and genres, there is so much beauty out there in music!

It would not be surprising to hear Jack Johnson & Rend Collective in my house one day, followed by POD, JT, and 50 cent the next, and everything in between.   And of course lots of NEEDTOBREATHE
(country might be my only exception of me not "Loving," but there is still some that I like, Yee Haw!). 

We have music in our house all. the. time. (and a lot of dancing too!)

It is so sweet to hear and see my sweet childrens lips singing and dancing away.

I played the piano for a few short years when I was younger, when my dad was sick and dying..... and I was never very good at it and so much of life got in the way, so it didn't last long.   I so very much wish I would have stuck with it.

For a a year now Maya has been asking to take piano lessons, Piano is hard work, and an expensive initial cost so I didn't just want to jump in unless she really wanted to (or make it something I wanted), so after a year of her asking and asking, we said yes. 

We saved up and bought a piano (nothing fancy, just a small craigs list one).

And we were so fortunate to find a teacher who comes to our home (yes please, I have 4 small kids and one with diabetes, one less outing is just fine with me).  Not to mention Maya was was already familiar with him because he is her music teacher at school :)


 It is so fun to hear to start, even just simple little notes, even the wrong notes, somehow it is all just music to my ears.

I just love the sound of music filling our home, being embedded into the walls.  I love the hard work and practice that is required of learning music.    The piano is the heart of so much great music.

 I'm so excited for all of those little fingers in our house to get a chance to play and learn and maybe even me again someday

What is your song? The one that moves you.

Here is one of my favs

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

it's been a month but....

I love October and Fall and here in Colorado, seriously, it's so great!
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I mean it really is glorious!
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But for some reason this month got off to a rough start

There was my crock pot (my life line) that randomly stopped working

Then I broke my food processor, my beloved food processor the one that helps me make all of the food staples for Norah

And then, then there were the maggots......... the horrible, scary, life changing occurrence with the maggots.

It was just another lovely fall day

"Hey girls lets do fall decorations with steamers, even though it's 85 degrees out"

As a whistle my way down to the basement and open the storage bin with Fall decor a wauff of flies comes right toward my face....... "what the....."

and the smell...... the smell is horrindous!!

I run upstairs and take the bin upstairs and outside.

I open the bin and to my horrification there is a pile of nasty, moldy squash sludge.  With Millions of flies, and maggots and so much nastiness!

I  quickly try to grab a few things from the opposite side of the bin as I inhale the mold toxins

I run them inside and throw them in the sink to try to wash.... but the smell the smell is so bad!!!! and there are maggot eggs stuck all over ever thing, permanently stuck

My kids are starring at me like I have gone physco, because well, I have!!!!

I throw everything back in the bin and throw it all out, all of it out!

You know how holiday decor is, it is things you have collected over years and time and some things I had made

I was sad a permantely scarred, scarred forever from the maggots, the millions of maggots, some that were now flying around in my houseo

So instead of my pleasant afternoon drinking steamers and decorating, I spent it killing maggots and looking up signs of mold toxicity.  so fun.

I must have put a real squash/pumpkin in with the fake ones....

The story is not over

About a week later, Brett and I were putting the kids to bed and there was an agressive door knock and bell ring.  It startled the heck out of me so I had Brett run downstairs.

He opened the door, and there was no one.  So I assumed it was a ding dong ditch kinda thing.  Put then on our front step was a small pumpkin and note, inside the note was a $35 gift card to hobby lobby.

I cried.

It was a simple, sweet, small act of kindness and it blessed me so much.
And I had a good idea of the people up to it!

It is so good to live life in community

And then yesterday we were booed!  You know someone dropped off a halloween treat basket for our family, and they obviously knew Norah's situation because it was so thoughtfully put together.

There have been other things this month, when the budget has been super tight that the Lord has provided for us and I am reminded how he cares about the little things and He loves us.  And it has also reminded me to give, even when things are tight I can still find ways to give!

And now I have started my new fall collection, thanks to my sweet friends and left over pallet wood, that $35 went a long way DSC_9250 DSC_9251

And we made some Vail inspired placemats for $1.75 DSC_9252

And even with no crock pot or food processor I still have my sweet family