Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Good Kind of Busy...

There have been a lot of changes over the last few months. I took on my very first business with Rodan and Fields skincare products. It has been an amazing little thing for our family and I am really enjoying all that has come with it. I have finally found truly effective skincare products that not only fight my longtime acne issues but have brought back a soft, blemish free skin. I haven’t had that in many, many years. I love sharing this with those around me and I am really having fun with all the people I am meeting and linking up with through this little side gig.
On top of that I decided to accept a new position with Sayres and Associates. I spent the last 5 years working for Integrated Warefare Systems and have moved on to a Financial Analyst position within Littoral Combat Systems (LCS) PMS 377. We build LHA class ships. I am responsible for Task Planning Sheets (TPS) along with many other budget related documents that are associated with the funding of the ship. It has been an incredibly huge learning curve, which is something I was looking for. I love being stimulated and learning new things. I never would have thought I would be involved in such things but I am really enjoying it. I am learning a lot about what goes into these ships and what it takes from thought to take off. This position also came with full time responsibilities. We had to think long and hard if this was the right thing for our family. Some days I still am not sure when I spend way too many hours away from my kids, but overall I believe it seems to be the best thing for all of us. I am thankful I was able to spend two days a week at home with them for their first 2+ years but now that I was able to let my other part time job go I can really focus on this one and give Avery, Grayson and Kevin all of my attention when I am not at work.
On top of all of that, Avery and Grayson will begin preschool two days a week in September. We finally found a great preschool and the best part is that it is right down the street from us. The second we walked in I knew the feeling was what we were looking for. A & G had so much fun and are really excited that they will be going to preschool soon.
So, if life wasn't busy enough sure is now!

My dad...

I could not be more proud of Avery and Grayson over the last month and a half. On June 3rd my dad suffered his third stroke. It’s a long story but this was his first brain bleed type of stroke and it was very different from the others. We weren’t sure if we were going to lose my dad those first few weeks as he was in and out of consciousness, ended up getting a form of meningitis and spent weeks in the intensive care unit. Throughout the first few weeks of him being so fragile and not knowing what our future would be with him I stayed in Raleigh. I learned what an amazing support system of friends and family I have and most of all what an AMAZING husband I have. Avery and Grayson went back and forth between Kevin, and Kevin’s parents, and a few other family members and friends. They were able to spend a day here and there with me when my dad was having okay days but for the better part of a month I did not see Avery and Grayson for much more than a 24 hour period here and there. They were champs and took to all of the changes incredibly. I am so very thankful that they are relatively easy going little munchkins. We are still continuing to go and spend the weekends in Raleigh. Avery and Grayson spent one weekend with the Fishers and were able to come with us this past weekend.

My dad is slowly but surely improving. He moved out of the intensive care unit and into Wake Meds Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. The staff throughout this entire experience has been wonderful. They have explained to us that we cannot look at it day to day that we have to look week to week. Some days he does really well and then others we take steps back. This is all normal and that is why they ask us to look and compare week to week. It is so hard to see him on his bad days and or when he takes steps back but each and every week he has made major improvements. Right now he has gotten a lot of his speech back and is steadily gaining strength back in his upper body. They are not seeing such improvements with his lower body. However, they also say that is normal as that is the farthest part of the body from the brain and it takes a lot of work to re-gain those connections. This is an incredibly slow but steady process and we (my mom, sister and I) continue to try and provide the support my dad needs to keep his head up and keep working hard. Soon he will move out of the hospital and into a Skilled Nursing Facility. We are hoping he won’t have to stay there long but he has a lot to gain back before they will allow him to go home. He wants so badly to be home but we know he is getting amazing care and attention where he is. They are working him really hard in his therapies and we have seen such a difference since he got out of intensive care.

My dad was pretty excited that we were able to bring A & G with us this past weekend. He gave them candies, watched them play and truly lit up when they were around. I am beyond thankful for this wakeup call and being given more time with my dad. I do not know what I would do without him and we will do whatever it takes to get him as close to where he was before the stroke as we can. He’s a fighter and it’s evident in how far he has come. He has always gone above and beyond to take care of those in his life, it’s about time he lets us try and repay the favor a little.

This was three weeks in on Father's Day when my dad was having a good day. He was still in the ICU but managed a smile for his girls...
A & G came to visit one day and spent a bit of time being so good in the waiting room!
This was 6 weeks in....amazing improvement. My dad was moved to the inpatient rehabilitation center where he had numerous therapies every day. As you can see he is already really improving. A & G got to visit because they suggested it would make my dad get motivated. That it did...look at those smiles!

It's time for another catch up post...

Wow! So my last blog post was in April. Needless to say we’ve had a pretty eventful few months. I had many intentions to update the blog in May and would get started but never finished. So, I’ve decided to attempt a catch up of May, June, and the first half of July. Get ready…

Avery and Grayson are almost 2 and a half! They pretty much remind us of this daily with their two year old attitudes. Avery learned to use the word no when she does not get her way, but not just your casual no. She somehow learned that she needs to scream NO, point her finger at you and make the stink face. Hmmm…not sure this one’s quite working out for her. Grayson on the other hand learned that if he does not get his way he should all out lose control of his body, slam to the ground and begin screaming at an octave I didn’t even know was possible for a two year old. I’m pretty sure that not really working out for him either. Between the two of them they have definitely tested our patience over the last few months. However, we are beginning to see improvements by re-directing and trying to figure out the source of frustration. As hard as these attitudes can be on our patience it’s all worth it with the incredible new things they seem to be interested in every day. Avery and Grayson are beginning to love pretend play with each other. They also love games, reading books, singing the ABC’s, Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink, Let It Go, and most of all playing outside. Grayson continues to love anything that has to do with balls, trains, trucks or getting dirty. Avery continues to love her baby dolls, anything pink, playing on her ‘cell phone’, and anything else girly she can find. She has definitely become quite the sassy little girl. They talk a mile a minute and will carry on entire full sentence conversations. I think that is the biggest change in the last few months. They truly interact as one. They check to see if each other is okay if one of them gets hurt or is upset. They yell at each other, they fight, they hold hands, and they love to hug each other. They do not go anywhere without each other and they melt our hearts on the daily. Sometimes I wonder how we will ever put them in separate rooms.

In May we decided it was time to move them to their toddler beds. The transition went fairly well. The first week they didn’t even try to get out of their beds. I’m not sure if they didn’t realize they could get out of bed or just didn’t realize how fun it was to get out of bed. Once they figured it out we had about a week of struggle trying to explain they could not get out of bed during nap time or bedtime. Every now and then through the monitor we see one of them start to get up and as soon as we tell them to get back in bed they dive for their bed and act like they weren’t doing a thing. It’s kind of cute! The best part is listening to them talk to each other at night when they first lay down. There have been a few nights we’ve found one of them asleep on the floor but overall they are toddler bed champs!

Here goes the last few months in pictures…

One of our many, many trips to NC.

Stopped off at Aunt Lois' to have Tea :) Happy girl!

Such a boy!

Time out times two happens often these days! Get me through the terrible two's please.

Why his daddy needed to teach him this so soon I do not know?!

They got to go fishing one night with daddy!

McKenna's 3rd birthday!

Hanging with our buddy Grady!

New big girl bed!

 Pure love!
Holding baby Lyla!

 Florida Georgia Line concert
the girls :)
My other sister...

Date night with my handsome hubby!

Date with my girl!


Ice cream at White Lake

Too much fun without me ;-)
Happy 4th!
 My girl loves some crabs just like her mommy!

Love this sweetness...

Sleeping on the boat.


Aunt Devin brought them to the fountain fun next to my office....


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter 2014

We had planned to spend Easter weekend at Kevin's dads beach house in Oak Island, NC until a few things re-routed our plans to Winston Salem. The first thing is that Kevin's brother was in a motor cycle accident. He is doing a lot better now but broke both of his legs pretty bad and got a residual infection that took weeks to get under control. In the midst of all of that his dad and step mom found out their beach house had flooded. The hot water heater on the top floor busted and had been spraying throughout the house for weeks. They have an incredible amount of damage but thankfully everyone is doing better and the house has lot of contractors fixing it up like new.
An added bonus in changing our location of Easter weekend meant that we got to see the Crawfords. Anna's sweet baby girl is 5 months old and I had not met her. When we found out we were changing plans we decided to make a surprise day trip to see them. Anna was beyond surprised and it was so much fun to watch how much fun Avery and Grayson had with Colson and all of his fun toys. I was especially happy to spend some quality time with Anna and the most adorable, well behaved baby girl Kennedy.
We went to the park and happened upon an Easter celebration. We ended up with a bunny, a choo choo train, and a tiger!
Another bonus was that we got to see Gigi all weekend long. She helped Avery and Grayson decorate their Easter cookies.
It's crazy to think two short years ago Avery and Grayson fit in these buckets.
This was the first year they understood (sort of) that the Easter bunny came and brought them some goodies. Avery was pretty excited with all of her special surprises.
Grayson and Uncle Austin opened his surprises together.
A&G made these sweet cards and a bird house for Nana.
This was their first Easter egg hunt.
 I cannot get over how cute their little sunglasses are.
Off they went on the big Easter egg hunt...
Found one!
Miss A had to stop after each egg to check and see what was inside of them. She's a lover of all things chocolate!
It was so much fun this year watching how much fun Avery and Grayson had hunting Easter eggs.
They decorated their very own eggs for the first time.
 Happy Easter!