Summer Vacation Round 2

Quick note...I wrote this several days ago, but didn't publish it. We are now safely delivered to my parents home in Oklahoma - (2 of us) and church camp (3 of us).  We went to an outdoor devotional last night in a canyon to sing, be amazed by the beauty of nature, lightening bugs, enjoy the acoustics of singing in the canyon, and we were given a spectacular lightening show.  I love coming home and spending this precious time with friends and family.  Just wanted to edit for accuracy, since we arrived and got the kids safely to camp June 23. 

It feels like I just got home from Florida, but we are gearing up for part 2 of what is looking to be like a 5 part summer series 😳.  At this point I'm just taking deep breaths and reassuring myself that we will make it through the craziness of this summer...because we have a trip to Israel in November I have to make it to...and then a surgery I can hopefully get scheduled for as soon as we get home from Israel. I pretty much want to pick up my luggage and head straight to the O.R. lol!!! If I can make it to December I might make it 😂😅. It'll be by the skin of my teeth you guys!  But it's a neat year to have all this special travel, because I turn 40 in July, and Eli turns 16 in October! Norman will be turning 47, but even though it isn't your typical Hallmark card, monumental milestone year,  I am so lucky to have another year with him that we will treat it like it is.  Chase will be turning 13 in January, so we will just celebrate everyone and everything. Two teen boys in my house...Lord help me. Lol.  But seriously, I love that this special time in their lives (and selfishly mine too...bc...hello, I'm a woman. Turning 40. That can be depressing if I wasn't just flat out thankful I'm still alive.) The teeny beautiful cherry on top of all of that HUGE other stuff is that - and this is going to sound flat out ridiculous after JUST talking about a phenominal trip to Israel...but Norman just got me my first Dooney and Bourke bag!! 😍 I don't even know how I can talk about these two things in the same paragraph...It comes across wrong, but I love it and him and every single thing he does for our family.  So, thank you Sweets...for the upcoming trip to Israel...I love that we will get to see these incredible things together...the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Western Wall,  the Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. Zion.. Golgotha...I never, ever dreamed I would get to take this trip. It still doesn't seem real.  And to be thanking you for that...and in the next breath thanking you for the gift of my handbag - it just feels shallow and wrong to have even wanted the bag.  It makes me feel like the money should go to Rich for chickens on Saturday!!! 🧐🙄🤐. But there it is...thank you for everything you give to me babe.  It's kind of like our entire marriage really...we have had the most extraordinary 17 and a half years.  We have had the silly and the scary...the gift of life and the pain of knowing we have children who are already waiting for us in Heaven. So of course you would give me a totally selfish gift for me of a designer handbag as well as also take us to walk in the most holy places on Earth....the places that bring us as close to God as you can get while we are alive.  You have renewed your vows to me...stood beside me and held me up when I couldn't keep going - you're my greatest gift.  But as far as gift giving're definitely on a roll.  But before I change topics... the next time I blog I'll have to post a picture of the backpack he  got me from Pirates of the Caribbean while we were there too, but that was because my $8 Target backpack died on me DURING the trip!!! 😂 The closure ripped off and the lining fell apart.  The poor thing looked so sad, but it made it through several trips (it was my travel backpack) so I definitely got my $8 out of it!
So back to the "Round 2".  The boys and I are driving out to camp via Texas, where we will see our north Texas friends and then pick up one more camper and bring back a friend who is wanting a little farm time and city detox with me. 

Alright, I hope y'all have a wonderful Wednesday!! I need a nap before I start my day; thanks to insomnia, my day began around 2am.  I will be thrilled with any level of productivity over here 😁.


Not Much Info at this Point...

So I wanted to update on my doctors appointment yesterday.  There's not much to tell, but I do have a referral for a Neurologist and another chronic illness I have that sucks pretty badly.  If you know what IC stands for, you probably have it, as most doctors don't even know how to treat it at this point.

I loved the bedside manner of the doctor I saw today, who is affiliated with GW Hospital Network in DC and feel I will get outstanding care there.  She had me do a couple of balance tests and touching the pad of my index finger then flipping it to touch the pad of my finger to her finger ...that didn't go great.  Also, standing with my eyes closed was not the greatest either.  But it's a start.  Norman came with me...I thank God for this man...and he helped fill in the blanks on surgeries I forgot I had and things like that . So I probably won't get in until the end of July...I take off for Texas to pick up some lovely kiddos and then take my two and one of the other kiddos to church camp next week. The rest of the week we will be playing with the donkeys and chickens and taking a trip up to Alabaster Caverns.  Then after camp we have to rush back...girls are coming home with we can make it to an appt for Chase and then go to the Capitol Fourth concert!!! 😍 Busy busy.  Then my parents will be visiting, my best friend Misty will be visiting, and then we will have our Israel trip...then back surgery.  I'm booked out til like January, and it's only June 🤦. That's enough update for now...I have a NYC or Williamsburg trip to plan for right after the 4th of July! I think I might cry...


Taking the Leap - 1st Brain Injury Appt

For years...since 2012...I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping the fact that I had a TBI that has resulted in memory loss pretty private.  You may know I have memory loss, but I promise you that you don't know the full extent of it.  Over the past few months especially, it has gotten increasingly worse and much more noticeable.  Most people just let me repeat stories to them (which I wish they wouldn't), but the kids, Norman, and my two closest girlfriends know I like to be told, " just told us this story yesterday".  I have prayed for it to improve, and I've also just tried to ignore it as if it will just go away.  It isn't.  It wasn't until I actually could not remember a date night that Norman and I had where I realized...ok...I need to grow up. Address this obviously worsening problem. So tomorrow I have my first appointment to address this.  It will probably be a long process of referrals and brain scans and who knows what else.  But just like I kept track of Eli's health issues on his blog, I want to keep track of my brain injury journey here.  It's scary to admit this, because I have tried so hard to keep it from being public knowledge.  But I know I'm not alone.  As of now, my symptoms include: forgetting conversations, dates and outings, and having trouble with word recall.  I want to keep track so that I will be able to tell if this will improve, stay the same, or worsen.  I have so much in my life to be thankful for...I just want to be able to remember it all.  ❤️


Girls Trip Day 5

This will be super short, but I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts during this trip.  It has been amazing.  I have missed this woman who is a sister to me, SO much, and this week is so precious.  On Sunday we did a Painting with a Twist class which I was totally skeptical about, but we had THE best time!!!!  After that we went to the Melting Pot, which I really love, but my friend has a milk allergy that can be life threatening, they did not take it seriously, and I got a crash course in how to administer an EpiPen. It was super scary.  

On Monday we decided to do a day at the Magic Kingdom, and we had the best time together.  It is so special to get to go with your family to Disney, but to get to go with one of your best friends is so special.  We got all the fast passes we wanted, dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, and had the most amazing day .  Try to find us in this photo!!!! 😁

On Tuesday we spent the day at the salon and the evening watching a scary movie and then eating down at Universal Citywalk.  I LOVE it down there.

Wednesday was a total rest day...we watched Netflix movies in bed all day, ordered UberEats, and I napped a lot, and today we are headed down to the beach at Fort DeSoto which is on the Tampa Bay side.  That means clear water and white sand....perfect!

Gotta start getting ready. I just wanted to do a quick grattiude post while I was here. I miss home so much, but I'm so grateful for this time I have to spend with this precious friend of mine.  ❤️ Ciao Peeps!


Hello from Disney!

Well, Disney and Universal! 😍 We have had the most amazing week long trip, and I was the least stressed out during this trip to Orlando than I have ever been on every other prior trip 😂.  That sounds terrible, but my personality is all about planning, sticking to schedules, etc.  If we go off course I typically get really frustrated.  But I have been prepping for this trip...knowing that we have 11 people on it, and realizing that I need to go with the flow. And I think I did pretty well!!!

I always love seeing the kids reaction as they get older and respond differently to stuff, and watching the bond grow between my kids and their cousins is so special.  It saddens me that they only know one set of cousins, but that's just life I suppose. Be thankful for what you have and pray that someday perhaps things will get better. But for now I'm thankful for what we have and will focus on that.  Family memories are so, so precious, and I'm so thankful that ours does bonding trips like these to give everyone these sweet memories.  I'm gonna leave you with a very few unedited photos, bc I am about to crash (okay, so update...I am posting more than a few, and some are the crazy Memory Maker ride know how crazy those can get.  But they were so fun, so here ya go!)...we walked 11 miles today!!! I'll get more photos edited and uploaded soon!!!  Tomorrow is our last big family day, then we spend a few more days in Orlando and Clearwater Beach as a family of 4 before the boys fly home and I get a girls week trip with one of my 2 dearest friends.  I am going to sleep with so much joy in my soul tonight for this time we have had with friends and family.  Sure, I totally can't feel anything from the hips down, but it was so worth it 😀❤️. Enjoy the pictures!! I promise to post more soon!!  Also... A quick note.  These are ALLLL sorts of out of order, but since I'm on my phone and my sleeping pill has kicked in, I really am not gonna try to fix it til later lol.  So please excuse the waaay out of order pics.  😀

Sooo...this donut in the Simpson part of Universal is bigger than my hand.  I think 6 of us ended up eating it, and holy cow was it amazing!!!


Israel Trip 2019

Sometimes things come about in the most unexpected way, and as of right now we are booked and paid for a trip I only could have hoped to take at some point in my life.  Never in a million years would I have expected to be looking at this trip, booked just a few months from now, for all 4 of us!

Last year my parents took a trip to Israel and it was the most amazing trip.  When I was a little girl, I remember my grandma telling me about her trip to the Holy Lands.  And then my parents got to go.  But now...We get to go!!!! It's a 9 day trip with a group, and we have a jam packed schedule of hiking up mountains only read about in the Bible...seeing the River Jordan...taking a boat out on the Sea of Galilee...visiting Gethsemane...we are over the moon. 

We have our appt to renew my passport and to get the boys their first passports.  Their first international trip is definitely one that most people only dream of being able to do once in their lives.  I am so thankful that we homeschool and can jump at a chance like this.  We have never taken a trip this structured before, and never with a tour group,  and we cannot wait.  

I've already started prepping the boys on the food situation, and I know we will come back all a few pounds lighter.  Walking all  day, climbing Masada, along with having food that is probably not something we would choose on our own...maybe this will be the best diet ever! 😅 We have a few months before we go, but we are just so thrilled.  What an amazing opportunity to grow closer to God, and to bring the Bible to life.  I am so thankful for this unbelievable opportunity.  We absolutely cannot wait!!!  Be forewarned...after we get home I will probably be blogging about Israel for the next year!!! ❤️ My heart is so happy!!!

Ciao friends!!!!


A Whole Lot of Nothin' 🤣

Good morning friends!  I hope everyone keeping up with us is staying well...unfortunately our crew is down for the count, and although it's 8:30 a.m., I haven't been able to sleep.  I've been so focused on trying not to throw up (which I haven't, so that's great news), but I'm super tired and will probably crash at some point.  Even Norman is taking a sick day which is super rare for him, so whatever this is has hit us pretty hard.

The downtime has given me plenty of time to finish up our Disney planning. The kids are so ready to be done with school, and thankfully we are almost there! We have their end of year CAT testing, which just boggles my mind.  This year has flown by.  It seems unreal that this time last year we were taking the CAT test in our home in Frisco, and now here we sit a year later, having sold two homes and bought two homes since then.  We are so, so thankful to be settled down and in a place where we can stay put.

We are gearing up to have our first visitor in our new house exactly one week from today. My best friends sister is heading out this way, so we are going to take her to all of our favorite places around town.  Maybe since I will finally be getting some of the decor up and the house will look cuter and a bit more decorated, I may get a few photos up on here 😁.  I think with every move we have had lately, I am slower and slower to unpack.  17 moves in 17 years though...I'm exhausted and completely over it.

I really don't have much to blog about.  Right now I'm in prep mode for Disney, for a girls beach trip with one of my best friends, I'm ordering everything the kids need for camp, I'm getting ready to have two of my best friends daughters come and stay with us here in DC for a couple of weeks...and then I'm trying to plan some sort of getaway for Norman and me for my 40th birthday.  Yikes...40! 😭🤯🙈.

So, this wasn't all that exciting, but I wanted to at least update my blog so my followers didn't think I fell off the face of the Earth!  I'm still here, and hopefully I'll have some awesome photos to post soon!  Hope y'all are well!!!