For Katie the Warrior, Uncategorized

Two Fourth of Julys Later

Its been quite a while since I’ve blogged. I started working part time a few months ago and it has taken up my free nap time! Judah has also stopped napping so that has taken up my free nap time even more.

Anyway-like most holidays this one feels weird but for a different reason. It was exactly two years ago that I had a meeting with my sister’s doctors at the Neuro ICU and they told us she had global brain damage and that there was no hope for her waking up or for any meaningful recovery.

What cold, harsh words. I remember thinking I felt like I was in a movie. It was one of those moments in life that changed more of me than I could have anticipated. My life is cut into two parts-before Katie’s brain injury and after. This day was the marker to me even more the day that she went to the ER. It was the day they laid out our future and it wasn’t one I wanted.

I still remember looking at the doctor while he spoke such ugly words to us. He wasn’t warm, or apologetic. He said them like he was diagnosing strep throat. “global brain damage. 24/7 care for life. She wont wake up from the coma.” I couldn’t help but think of our beach trip the week before. Sitting in the sand next to each other, watching our kids play. Drinking wine at night while talking about the future trips we’d take. It was cruel. It still feels cruel. She was stolen from me, from her kids and family. 32 and brain dead.

I was explaining to a new friend the other day why I watch my niece and nephew a few days a week. Its so bizarre to sum the last two years up in a sentence or two. I always mention that Katie wasn’t supposed to wake up, but she did. I explain that she wasn’t supposed to be able to communicate, but that she writes “I love you” every time I see her. She cant walk or scratch an itch, or stand, but she can cry. She can feel things and sometimes thats the worst of all. But she has hope, and we all have hope. She asks to hear worship music. She asks to come to church. She asks to see her family and friends.

She says she’s seen angels, she’s felt the Lord near, she’s had dreams and experienced the miraculous.  She has sat strong while I’ve sobbed over her, while I’ve screamed at the Lord at her bedside. She’s moaned while I’ve been brave. So as much as it felt like a big part of my world was taken away that fourth of July, I’m thankful that the sister bond wont leave. No matter what a doctor says, or the ugly words he speaks over our lives. We still have each other. In new, excruciating, precious ways. I know that I’ll visit Katie, and God is there by her bedside every time.   Countless people have said they visit Kate and see the angels above her head. Its a sacred space in that room, where my kids have learned to pray and where I’ve learned to trust.

I’m so thankful for my sister. That she has risen above the ashes and that she tries like hell to come back to us. I’d take her pain away if I could but in the meantime I’ll be praying that one day soon she’ll tell me she loves me with her words, that if she cries she’ll be able to tell me why, and when I cry she’ll be able to reach up and pat my back. One day!

IMG_9323

Advertisements
For Katie the Warrior

God Coming Near

Another Mothers day is on the verge! What a tricky holiday. Like many days, I marry my excitement and celebration with a sadness at what isn’t quite made whole yet. I was talking to a friend the other day about how I’ve honestly wondered if it would have been more merciful for God to take Katie home sometime over the past two years versus her living in quite a lot of pain and suffering. She has been clear with us in her writing that she doesn’t wish to die. That although she gets to experience the miracle of God coming SO near to her, she’s not ready.

Nothing makes me quite as emotional as when someone preaches on heaven celebrating over us. That picture and idea of all of heaven rejoicing in something on earth brings instant tears to my eyes. Luke 15:7 is often the catalyst of the whole thing…”I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” I often think of the people at the end of a race, calling out to the runners as they finish. Or as someone walks down the wedding aisle, or across the graduation stage, when they were destined for a wheelchair. The applause. The celebration. You can feel it in your core.

Last year, my sister wasn’t well enough to go to Moms Day at school. It was just a wet, weepy day for me. I wanted her there. I wanted her there for Ephram and Vera. It was a lot. But this year we made it happen!

I showed up to Kate’s rehab facility to see her off before her trip to the preschool.

IMG_9601

Judah is always eager to help push Katie ANYWHERE she may or may not need to go. Every person that knows Katie there was elated. Her GNA did her hair super fancy.

IMG_9603
They had her dressed in a cute outfit. They all stopped by her room to see her off. They wanted to tell her they were excited she was going. They smiled and applauded and told Kate how happy they were for her. You would’ve thought she was going to prom! They are rooting for her. While the angels are applauding for her in heaven, rejoicing in her successes and praying for her recovery, she has a host of people cheering her on where she lives.

When she got to pre-school, Vera was elated.

She could barely stand it she was so happy. When her little friends were staring, or asking why she was in the wheelchair, or just dumbfounded that Veras life looks different, she continued to smile. Full of excitement and PRIDE that her mom was there. It’s enough to make me turn into a puddle.

Dont get me wrong, it was hard. We want “normal” for Vera and Kate. We want conversations with voices and we want Kate to play hide and seek and to get up out of the wheelchair and walk. Thats not the reality yet but in the meantime, what a picture.

Thank goodness I’m not in charge. We would have missed so much. Vera would have missed so much. Katie would have missed so much. Thank goodness the Lord didn’t take her.

Please pray for Kate this weekend! She wanted more than anything to be a mom and I know she wants to be a more active participant in that role. Pray that she feels treasured, because she is! And pray that as we beg the Lord on Katies behalf, that all of heaven would join us.

Favorite Things

Favorite Things, and One Not so Favorite Thing

Hey folks…its time for another round of my favorite things.

  1. If you are in the Baltimore region, this is for you. I was raised going to Fenwick Bakery on Harford Road. It is the sweetest little bakery and I have precious memories of going there with my grandparents, always leaving with a complimentary cookie. Dan and I got our wedding cake there, Dans parents got their wedding cake there…you get the point. We love it. I took the kids there the other day to order Lillian’s Birthday cake and it was actually the first time I’d taken them! It was just as wonderful as Id remembered. We ordered her 8 inch DECORATED cake ($17. I mean come on!) and I couldn’t leave before ordering the most delicious donut I’ve ever eaten. I’m a plain Jane. I like chocolate frosted. I was legitimately shocked that it was SO much better than any chocolate frosted donut I’ve ever had. Guys. Just go! its worth the $1! I’d probably pay $5. And bonus! The kids both left with a free cookie.
  2. As I get older (over the 30 hilll!) I am becoming a whole lot more concerned with my sun exposure. Enter- the swim “shress”. I have to get a few moles removed in a couple weeks that look *troubling* and I am even more committed to covering it alllll up. So here we go. My friend has this one that I’m ordering and I LOVE it. I also just ordered this one which is a bit more understated. I haven’t decided which one will stay yet. They’re both adorable and I can’t wait to not have to worry about my skin! Have you been to the dermatologist lately? GO! Annual mole checks, people!

cali_girl_quarter_zip_460xfullsizeoutput_264

I sent these links to my best friends from college and one responded, “man we’ve really come a long way from string bikinis”. Ahem. yes.

3. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks! I asked my mom for a heritage test and she was super excited to get me one. I chose the Familytreedna company. If you order in the next few weeks you can get $20 off in celebration of Mothers day. I’m going to make a few blog videos once the test comes in the mail! I have never known much about my heritage and I can’t wait to find out exactly where my ancestors are from.

4. Guys. I’m real sad about my Quartz countertops. They told us they wouldn’t stain and they wouldn’t chip. They have both stained and chipped! We got them because we love the look of white marble but we have a 2 and 5 year old. Sooooo, that wasn’t going to happen. We thought this was the next best thing! Its white! Its beautiful! Its supposed to be kid-proof. Its not. Its chipped-a rogue spaghetti sauce jar jumped out of our cabinet. That should teach me to try to feed my Italian family sauce from a jar! Its been stained by strawberries and store-bought icing. We suggested them to a friend (pre-chip) and her salesperson told her they wouldn’t stain or chip and they’ve stained for them too. I don’t know what the answer is. I LOVE the look of concrete counter tops but they are SO labor intensive. They’d be perfect for this stage of life. The more they stain and chip the better they look!

5. Our upstairs bathroom needs some love. Both bathrooms do, actually. Its just not the right time to do an overhaul of either. One thing that HAD to go was the blinds. I’m super uncomfortable with blinds that have strings. I have heard horror stories of kids getting caught up in them and dying. So I was on the hunt for something that would let the light in and still ensure privacy. Enter: the frosted glass adhesive.  It was SUPER easy to put on and I think it looks great. I actually did it while my kids were in the bath. It took no more than five minutes! We still have our morning sunlight and privacy without the strings. I took this picture at noon which is why it is so stinking bright. It worked!IMG_9552

Okay, thats all for now. I have a feeling I’ll have another list this summer!

Fitness

I’m Finished the Challenge!

Time to go eat fruit!

If you have no clue what I’m talking about I did a six week lifting challenge with a ketogenic diet. AND ITS OVERRR!

So I have some thoughts. It definitely makes you more lean. I will say this is not the most dramatic diet for a post baby body. My initial six week challenge diet from last summer caused me to lose way more weight. This next level challenge definitely made me stronger and leaner and I AM super excited about that.

I will absolutely reintroduce healthy carbs into my diet. Like today. But I will try my hardest to stay away from the processed junk. I ate everything I wanted on Easter and felt HORRIBLE for three days. Clearly it doesn’t make my body happy and I should listen.

So here are the results!

Weight loss: 6.4 lbs

Body fat percentage: 3%

Total inches lost: 8

If you want to have a fun before and after pic, check out WSA Fitness in Towson. It’s seriously changed my life.

Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

For Katie the Warrior

A Beautiful Easter, Indeed!

We had a beautiful, full, weepy, Easter.

The weekend was packed with egg hunts, family, worship practice, and church.

Katie came to church for the first time in almost two years! I was praying with her a few months ago and got a picture in my mind of pushing her wheelchair through church on Easter Sunday. I talked with my family and we made it happen!

At the end of the church service, Mark, one of our pastors, took time to welcome Kate, tell her story, and pray over her. Please listen below! I was a sobbing mess (shocking).

Please continue to pray for our Katie! It all matters. Every prayer.

Fitness

Week 4/6: Next Level!

This week was tricky! I’ve been doing a six week challenge at the gym. We had a few days of snow that I couldn’t make it to the gym. I ended up going twice in ten hours to get it all in and my body was sore! I made it in to the chiropractor late this week so my hips are feeling a lot better, thankfully!

At this point the meal plan is easy peasy. I dyed Easter eggs with the family last night so I’m set for breakfasts this week!

So total I’ve lost 6 lbs and 7 inches! It’s working!

Fitness

Week 3/6 next level!

Im half way done! Hooray! Click here to start from the very beginning!

Everything is going well but that darn weight is staying put. This is some hard core unschooling I’m working through. ESPECIALLY with weight lifting, you can’t gauge success by numbers on the scale. Its all about body fat, and inches. My body has no idea whats going on. It is totally confused and I’m trying to chill out about it all.

So this week my favorite snack was this.

One cup of Trader Joe’s fat free plain Greek yogurt. This is my favorite brand by far. Mix that with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a splash of stevia. It tastes like the filling of peanut butter pie! Super yummy!

This week my total weight loss is 4 lbs, 7 inches, and 1.5%body fat. Getting somewhere!

One day this week I can have 60g of carbs! Woohoo!