Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Hardest Peace - review and giveaway


First off, Kara...I pray you forgive me for hijacking your photo! I felt my readers needed to "meet" you! Kara Tippetts is a child of God. She is a wife to the love of her life, Jason. A man she met shortly after she fell in deep with Jesus. He is her rugged-backpacking-"Colorado"-man. She is also the mama to 4 blessings. Oh. And she is fighting the evil C word. You can meet her on Instagram, follow her on Twitter and you really should go stalk her blog.

When I was asked to read and review Kara's book. I knew it was going to hit home. In fact, I will be honest. My dearest friend tried to talk me out of it. She even offered to read/review for me. She was worried about my heart with all that is going on in my life medically. I felt like God was drawing my heart to Kara though. On the surface our similarities are one in the same...except that Kara. She is fighting for her life. While she fights she finds her strength and her peace in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Her faith never waivers and she is teaching her children to live and love with grace and integrity. She is showing the world how precious our moments are. And that through it all...we cannot do this journey alone. We must remain in focus on on our heavenly father.


I struggle to find words to even be able to properly touch on Kara's book The Hardest Peace. Her book left me speechless, in the most positive way possible. In her struggles, she is still taking the time to draw others to Jesus and therefore living out our greatest purpose on this earth. She is finding heaven on earth. I really do not want to give away too much, as you should read for yourself. Instead, Kara...if your reading this. Here is a song a friend sent me as I maneuver and it has been my anthem. I pray you find strength in it. God bless you and I believe in miracles.


Now for a giveaway...seriously. You will WANT to read this book. I am super excited to get to share one with you. You must be a US or Canada resident to enter. Giveaway will be on October 22nd.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

So...this is really happening.


I will never again hold life within me. I will never feel the movement of a tiny being punching, kicking or fluttering about within. The next time I breath in the fresh scent of a newborn baby will be when I celebrate the joys of my friends. The next time I fall asleep with tiny portions of me resting so peacefully upon my chest...is when my children decide to welcome preciousness into the world.

The last month I have been processing. ANAL-yzing every thought. Pain. Moment. Yes, I said I was done after Olivia Joy was born...but this is big time. There is no going back after this. I am sad. I am heartbroken and I am also looking forward to the days ahead.

We received the letter from our insurance a few weeks back confirming that in fact I have been approved for my hysterectomy. That it has been deemed medically necessary. By 2 doctors and a table full of people who have reviewed my medical history. That should be "confirming" enough for me right? Well duh, of course it's not! I mean...I am about to lose my baby house. A part of me that housed the most precious gifts I have ever received. A part of me that I wrapped my arms tightly around as we grieved the loss of babies. A part of me that we delicately listened in on as they formed life that I get to watch grow everyday. I often times question...do I REALLY need this? What if I am faking it. Am I faking it? I mean come on now. Is this REALLY necessary? Seems sorta drastic if you ask me.

Some days I wake up and the pain is bearable. I can handle this and I move forward with a smile on my face ready to forge through the day. Other days it's so bad I feel like a sumo wrestler is living within the realms of my abdomen. You know the pains you get when you have to go #2 like REAL bad?! Come on...everyone poops. Don't be shy. That intense "make your eyes water I think I am going to puke" pain...is what it feels like majority of the time. Some mornings I wake up feeling so incredibly nauseous I question the possibility I could be pregnant and then LAUGH cause I know damn well that is not possible.


There are days where it takes everything I have to move OFF the couch and wear clothing that doesn't include stretch. I have projects 1/2 finished and no energy to actually complete them. My house is a wreck. I couldn't tell you the last time I truly scrubbed anything and I am nervous that even AFTER the surgery...I won't feel any different. I suffer from headaches more than a few times a week. This has come on in the last month since the increase in pain. And you are a special person if you get to see me with my hair NOT in a pony tail.

Here is a picture of Endo and Adeno. A lot of people ask if its the same. Similar but very different. Endo has the option of removal. Adenomyosis as you can see is WITHIN the tissues of the uterus...so you see the right picture is svelte and skinny. And what I have my uterine walls are thick and the yuck is filled within the tissues. Making it impossible to be removed. The only way to fix it...hysterectomy. At first we were talking about the option of a Mirena or something along those lines. But with me my pain is not isolated to 1x a month. Because of this it will do nothing for me. I will be in more pain having it inserted than anything. The only cure is to fully remove the baby house.

My surgery is scheduled for October 23rd. My doctor told me I will be down for 2 weeks and recovery will be about 6-8. I was also told to be prepared for constant fatigue for at least the next 3 months. After I had Olivia they told me 3 months of fatigue for my blood loss...it ended up being 6. This is one thing I am not looking forward to.

I get many people telling me their stories. Some are good and some are downright scary. Each person is different and recovery will vary from person to person. But this is one of the most common surgeries to date. I am scared. I am nervous about the recovery and I am terrified of anesthesia. I mean I have to get a stupid I.V. and I am terrified of needles! Lord be with us all!

When it comes to dealing with all "this". I am so thankful for those around me. They know I am in pain even when I don't "act" like it. They are supportive and if I were to ask for help I know they would jump at it. My community is incredible and I truly do not know what I would do without them. I even met someone who will be going through surgery in January who oddly enough lives across the river from us in Vancouver. It's wonderful to know you are not alone. As rare as this disease is. It's comforting.

I was telling a friend the other day how I find it funny that I can pray for others, no problem. I pray over my children and will pray over or with a stranger. But when it comes down to ME...I struggle. As though I am not worthy enough. I am at a loss for words. I don't even know where to begin. I am thankful our God knows our innermost thoughts. I find peace in knowing that.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's about to get personal...


This is a "birth" announcement like no other. Meaning there is no announcement of joy and bliss...but I am weaving my way through uncharted waters. Filled with emotion, gratitude, uncertainty and pain. Since having Olivia Joy I have dealt with health issues as you know. If you are a new reader you can read Olivia's story HERE. The anxiety from nearly dying haunts me. I knew that there was something more wrong. But just didn't know what it was.

Since my monthly friend came back I have been dealing with extremely heavy periods. Like heavier than I ever have before. I also started passing clots again. But not "normal" sized, more like golf balls. My pain level for most of the month is intense. Which I have learned to hide pretty well. And my stomach bulges out for about 2-3 weeks out of the month as though I am expecting.


Inside of me my body is fighting a war. A battle in which my uterus is losing. The home for which I housed each and every one of my children. Some till they took their first breath and others till they reached the loving arms of our savior. The war is called Adenomyosis. It's exhausting. Painful and rare. Come to find out it is also hereditary. And I just found out my Aunt had it as well. The only way to fully win is by removing the uterus through a partial laparoscopic hysterectomy.

The pain is so intense it will keep you up at night. I find myself irritable, anxious and extremely fatigued. These feelings intensify with each passing week. I am glad to know the culprit of the pain. But scared as I fight it as well. I know that is not of God, to be fearful. I know that in this very moment I need to put my trust and my faith fully in Him. But I will not deny myself of admitting that I am scared. I am scared for the what if's that take over your life knowing you have the choice to live with the intense pain that will only worsen and is already affecting your lifestyle. But also scared of the what if this or that happens if we do the surgery.

I am in mourning. For what was and for what will never happen again. I am blessed beyond measure. I know that each and every one of the squishy faces that kiss me each night are miracles. Wishes that I made into the heavens that were shouted amongst the angels through prayer and through worship. Reciprocated through the first sounds of the ones I love the most.

I am grieving. I am fighting and I plan on winning. This battle will not consume me. It will not dull or tarnish my surface. The scars will heal over time and I pray that my story will work in a way to minister to someone else.


This story is to be continued. But in the meantime I am asking for your prayers.

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 tips to potty training success

{A hugely warm thank you to Huggies for sponsoring this post. Your pretty radtastic!}

Oh yes, you can see correct. We are still in potty training mode. This time we are focusing on night time potty training. Day time is going pretty smoothly (we have recently had some regression) Due to the accidents I decided it's time to try something else. We are trying the Huggies brand Pull-Ups and the Doc McStuffins ones are my sweet Mushy's absolute favorite!


I wasn't sure how she would "take" us forcing her into Pull-Ups. But I think she could see the frustration we were desperately trying to hide each morning. Every morning. Like EVERY SINGLE DAY...that we had to strip her bedding and rewash her sheets. On average girls are not fully potty trained (meaning day AND night) until about 5 or 6 years of age. Boys are even longer. I cannot tell you how happy I was that my pediatrician filled us in on that little tidbit!

To make her feel like she is still a "big girl" we found a cute bin and she proudly put her pullups inside and up on a shelf in her bathroom. This way we can easily access them I.C.O.A.A. {in case of an accident if you don't speak code!}


There are days I feel like I am going to pull my hair out. But by joining in the Pull-Ups Big Kids Academy I felt a bit better that. Well. I wasn't in this alone! Things I have learned on this journey...the 3rd time around is:

1. Ya don't need the dang tiny potty seats. Potty inserts or anything else that you stick next to or in your toilet. Just a good ol' fashioned stool works wonders in our home. The training seat was only used for teddy bears...no bare bums actually sat upon it. And in the end with my oldest 2, I was kinda thankful as that was one more thing to train them away from!

2. M&M's are actually for the mommy. Each pee accident...eat 10. Each poopy in the pants episode...take 20 and chase em' with a latte.

3. You can never have too many pairs of panties, undies or Pull-Ups. There is no such thing.

4. Poop talk is ALWAYS appropriate. As well as poop jokes, made up words about poop and anything fart related. Fact.

5. In the end, this too shall pass. I thought I would NEVER get my oldest 2 potty trained and they both received a Masters Degree in fully pooping on their own. I cried. Tears of joy streamed down my face. They can even do this in public. And in porta potties {I will be honest, I am still working on this one myself!}


You can join today and get all kinds of wonderful tips and tricks from people that truly know what they are talking about! Click below to enroll! It's free and it's easy. Win win!

http://ooh.li/1982da7


Friday, August 29, 2014

Holy Ghost - review and giveaway


I had the opportunity to sit an watch the new movie called Holy Ghost. I was kinda eh...at first until I watched the trailer and thought...well. This might be interesting. The movie was filmed with no script, no plan and no idea where God would lead them to film. It was a "fly by the seat of your pants" sorta movie! Darren Wilson set out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit.


At first, I felt...like..."oh it's one of THOSE kinda movies." you know...ones that are "led". Or so they say. The kind that make up "words" that God is trying to speak through them. I was very pessimistic at first. But the more I watched the better it got. Seeing people like members from Korn...lead fans at concerts to Christ or hearing Michael W. Smith talk about his experiences. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. Pumping my fist in the air. Clapping. Shouting and smiling from ear to ear as the tears streamed down my face. It started out good...but by the end was just plain awesome. The movie releases worldwide on September 6th, but you have a chance to win a copy for yourself!

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be drawn on September 2nd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wherever the River Runs - book review and giveaway


These days reading is a thing I do with my children. It's not something I get the everyday chance to do. Typically by the time I climb into my bed I am so exhausted from herding cats - Ahem, I mean kids - all day the last thing I want to do is open a book.

I was sent Wherever the River Runs - by Kelly Minter. In her book she sets out on a journey down the amazon on a boat called Discovery. Kelly's heart is felt through her words as she takes us down a river teeming with piranhas, caimans, machete-swingin' mama's and jungle pastors. She takes you so deep your gonna have to pick your jaw up off the floor.

I loved every moment of this book. I laughed out loud. I cried and I felt happy for what I have.


My favorite quote from her book was when she was talking about hitting the Christian jackpot. Which is when you are willing to sacrifice but in the end. You don't have to.

She is witty. Charismatic and funny. You can see her true soft spot for those that she met and shared "life" with.  On her journey through the jungles of Brazil she rediscovers Jesus and she will help you rediscover him too!



You have the opportunity to win a book of your own! The contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only. I can't wait to hear what you think!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
{"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”}

Friday, August 8, 2014

VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever - Review and giveaway

Imagine the excitement when we opened the mail box and the kids unwrapped the NEWEST VeggieTales movie called Celery Night Fever! OK, who DOESN'T love VeggieTales? I mean come on, they have been around for like 20 years and I think everyone knows at least 1 of their songs. I know we have many of them downloaded to our Ipods! And at least 10 different movies on our shelves.

This movie is definitely one of our favorites to date. It came at the most perfect time as my kids have been fighting like cats and dogs all Summer long. "Mom, he broke this." "Mom, she hit me." "Mom." "Mom" "Mom". I loved how this movie took us back to the funkadelic past of these real hip dudes! Upbeat, awesome, stick-in-your-head-for-days songs and laughter for the whole house hold. Old friends, rediscover friendship after many years apart. Teaching us how the bible has a lot to teach us on forgiveness. With witty quotes like "Forgiveness helps to keep others from being mashed like a potato." or "Forgiveness is the organic way to keep us from judging them."

I give this movie 2 thumbs up. And my kids give it 8! In other words...we dig it! Available to own on DVD as of August 5th, with another new one being released October 14th (with an incredibly AWESOME new character voiced by Kellie Pickler!)


Wanna hear something pretty rad?! Y'all get to do the mashed potato and get your groove thing on too! In fact 1 lucky winner will win a DVD of their own! Open to US and Canada residents only. What are you waiting for?! Enter below! Winner will be drawn on August 13th, 2014.

{"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”}




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