sorry for the lack of posts.  the past two weeks have been nuts to say the least.  my last post i mentioned that my sister would be getting a stem cell transplant.  we knew prior to the transplant that there could be complications and it would not be easy on her.  the day after her transplant she was diagnosed with an intestinal infection.  we were all very scared.  she had no immune system to fight an infection.  her white blood cell count was 0.  for over a week she has been fighting the infection with antibiotics alone.  she has also developed a severe case of mouth/throat ulcers - a common side effect of the chemo.  typical treatment consist of chewing/swallowing a sandy like medicine, but due to the intestinal infection she has not been able to eat and therefore no medicine.  the ulcers are said to be very painful and she has been given a morphine pump to help with the pain.

as all of this is happening, jeff and i start to feel ill.  i attributed my headaches and achy neck to the emotional roller coaster we had been on.  i was wrong.  jeff and i both had strep.  i ran a high fever for three days.  and then slowly the rest of the family also fell ill.  of the eight people living in my parents house, six are on antibiotics.  good times.

this past saturday, my sister showed signs of improvement.  her white blood cell count was .3.  and it has been climbing up ever since.  yesterday it was 4.0.  normal range is 4-11 so she is now within normal limits.  praise the lord!  hopefully now she can start to heal.

so in my head a few weeks ago i was thinking that today's "thankful" post would have something to do with being thankful that i'm in my home.  we are still not in my home, and to be honest that is not what i'm truly thankful for.

i am thankful for sisters continued improvement.  she still has a long road ahead of her, but like i've said before, she is a fighter and i know now she will be just fine.  

i am thankful for all the friends and family who have reached out to our immediate family during this crazy time offering their assistance and prayers.  

i am thankful for my brother-in-law darren who has been by my sisters side since day one.  although he is able to work some remotely, he knows he is most needed by my sister.  i'm also thankful that they both have employers who have been more than understanding throughout my sister's treatment.  

i am thankful for my own good health.  when i ran a fever for three days i was pretty miserable.  i hate not being 100%.  but then i reminded myself that my sister is far worse then what i am and has been for a long time.  don't take your health for granted.

i am thankful for my husband who even when he did not feel 100%, stepped up and took care of the kids so i could rest.  i am also thankful that he has been so helpful and patient throughout our house renovation.  even  when it means making a change that will cost us more money.  thanks!

i am thankful that my nieces and my own two girls have been such troopers.  every parenting book i've ever read has emphasized that kids need stability.  their lives right now is anything but.  we've tried to make things as normal as possible for them, but it is still nuts.  

like i said, jeff and i still have not been able to move in to our home.  it is frustrating, but i am so thankful for my parents who have housed us for the past five months.  they have been more than patient with us and i again am so thankful.

i am also thankful for the amazing people i work with.  when i was unexpectedly out for five days, they stepped up to the plate and managed to keep things afloat.  it is totally different being gone unexpectedly than planning for a long vacation.  i even had an employee texting me often to check on me and to see if there was anything my family needed.  when i returned to work i found out she also had strep, but was still looking out for me.  they are amazing.

so this thanksgiving i pray we can all see that when our strength is in God, even the difficult places in life can be turned into blessings.  we need to constantly keep our minds and hearts focused on Him and not on our circumstances.

happy thanksgiving!



happy transplant day!

today my sister finally gets her stem cell transplant!  i say "finally" because she has had some bumps in the road getting here.  please join me in praying for her speedy recovery.

you can read more about my sister here and you can read her caring bridge journal here.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13  


house renovation update

as promised, here are a few pics of our home in its current state.  i didn't realize how bad these pics were last night when i took them with my iphone - sorry.  the pictures do not do the floors justice.  they look amazing! i am so pleased with how they turned out.  

{neely has her shoes on the wrong feet - silly girl!}

if you would like to read the story behind my home, click here.



halloween 2012

i know i'm a little late with this, but i finally found a moment to share our pictures from halloween!

and because i truly only have a moment to get this done, this post will be heavy on the photos and slim on the words ;)

this year we had a hello kitty, a ladybug, a princess superhero (an original creation), and a princess.


the princess
aka natalie

hello kitty
aka kelby

the princess superhero
aka kevyn

and the ladybug
aka neely

our first stop was at great grandpa's nursing home.

then we hit the streets.  this was neely's preferred transportation:

and we topped off the evening by going to the fall festival at kelby's school.  

this picture is of kelby, nat and lydia.  lydia is also 5, but much smaller.  she was a preemie.  her mom dressed her as a jumbo shrimp.  hilarious!  and yes, that is dipping sauce on her head! 

hope you all had a great halloween too!

p.s.  i hope to take pictures of the house progress this evening and upload them tomorrow.  LOTS has happened since the last post and we are keeping our fingers crossed we can move in this weekend!

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