Friday, June 29, 2012

This and that.

Hey everyone! I hope you guys are having a good summer out there! We certainly are- and even though it's been about 600 degrees here (with no end in sight) we are still managing to enjoy it. This post is a bit long, but here are a few updates on what we've been up to!

We booked a family vacation to Hilton Head, SC! I'm super pumped about it, and even though the trip is still a little ways off, I'm already mentally packing my bags and taking advantage of some end-of-season clothing sales since my summer wardrobe is lacking. We got a great condo on the ocean that we'll be sharing with Jon's sister (who'll be coming from North Carolina) and her family. I cannot wait to take the kids to the beach and make some great memories.

I got my first photo yearbook completed and printed (it was one of my summer resolutions) and it was delivered to the house today! It's just over 100 pages and so, so beautiful. When I was completing my order, I had a bit of sticker shock over the price, which was around 90 dollars. Thankfully, I had a coupon that brought it down to about 60 dollars. I do think however, for what it is, it's completely worth that price- I've got about 400 photos over 100 pages, the paper is great quality and it's hard bound. I'd easily spend 30 dollars (or more) for an album that large and still have to print all those photos out. I'm all about presentation and I think these will look great on a shelf, as I add a book to the collection each year.

My cousin Amber continues the fight for her life in Intensive Care after her terrible jet ski accident. She is still on breathing ventilators, but has been able to speak fairly clearly and cohesively with the help of a trach valve- which is fantastic news because its apparent that her brain is well and working! She has her good days and bad days, but right now her biggest battle is sleep deprivation- as this prevents her from making forward progress across the board. She has had a bit of ICU delirium, nightmares and much fear over what has happened- and unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better since she still does not know that she won't walk again. Despite everything, she continues to fight and do well under the circumstances- and that's definitely attributed to all the prayer for her. If anyone is interested, there is a Caring Bridge site set up for her and her sister updates her progress on a daily basis.

 If you remember a few months back (Easter, to be exact) we got our kids a few ducklings. Our neighbors also got ducks at the same time, so all 8 of the ducks hang out together all day, never straying from the "pack". Though they rely on us for food, they dont really "crave" our attention like a lot of domestic animals. Except for our duck Howard. He was the one who, early on, got part of his upper bill torn off by a turtle. He has healed well and re-learned how to eat since then.

I'm not sure if it's because we "nursed" him back to good health, but he will abandon his pack to follow us wherever we go- down the street to the mailbox, in the garage, on walks, etc. He would be the happiest duck ever to come into our house, sit at the table, and watch TV with us- if only he were potty trained! He is like a dog, for sure, and the kids certainly enjoy such a loyal little pet.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prayer seeking

In my last post, I mentioned that summer was my least favorite season. Truthfully, I crave the quietness of fall, and the holidays that surround the colder months. But just last week I was thinking how great this summer is shaping up to be- we've been swimming a number of times, taken zoo trips, and we eat our meals on our patio more often than not (our neighbors probably wonder if we even have a dining table indoors!). The summer is early- but I feel it's going to be a great one.

But then, summer took a big hit. Last Saturday, my (Jon's) cousin Amber was involved in a very serious accident. Her and her husband James were riding on a jet ski and were struck by a boat. James has suffered many broken bones (including his ribs), but Amber is currently fighting for her life. On her third surgery in the 24 hours following the accident, the doctors found her spine to be completely severed and is unable to be repaired. She also has suffered heavy organ damage from her lungs, liver and brain. She is still on life support and without a miracle from God, she will never walk again.  
See me in the blue striped shirt? Amber is just left, in the black shirt and her husband James below her- (taken last summer)

I hesitated posting this, because it is very hard for me to dwell on what has happened. My eyes are full to the brim with tears as I write this- and at times I feel like I cannot breath- like I am having a panic attack. Days later I am still in disbelief as to what has happened. I consider Amber MY cousin- not one that I gained simply through marriage. She is beautiful and kind- and even that is an understatement made clear from the unbelievable outpouring of love on her and her sister's facebook walls.

If you would, take a few seconds and send a thought or prayer for my cousin and her husband as they begin a long healing process and new way of life, and also for their family as they are making decisions and dealing with Amber's trauma.


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