Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've been inspired.  Inspired can reach a long way, too, as I realized I was inspired today pouring my kiddos some chocolate milk, wanting to give them something to be excited about, and squeezed an extra squeeze of chocolate into their cups, just because.

Kind of silly, right?  But the realization that I can let inspired flow into the small things I do each day has given me an extra bit of joy in the small menial tasks I perform almost ritually (can I just say that laundry has been caught up on for a few weeks now.  That is amazing for me!).

The source of this inspiration has come from a few different places, hitting me seemingly all at once, giving me motivation to do things I'd never in a million years thought I'd even consider doing.  Showing itself in the way I respond to my kids, the way I take my pictures, the excitement I allow myself when Jon walks in the door after he gets home from work, the words I've never realized I loved to write and in life choices I'm making.

I realize because of this inspiration and the drive its given me to pursue and do more, that things could get more busy, but in this season of my life, busy is good for my soul.  Part of that busy will be the regular business of playing on the floor building towers, chasing giggling and squealing kids down the hall, and the never ending dropping off and picking up from school and other activities.  And this new busy is one that will push me, stretch me, probably make me uncomfortable at times.  However the joy, excitement, and suspense of this new business in life is a driving force for me these days and I'll take it while it's there.  Realizing this high in life right now may not last forever, I'm choosing not to let that pervade any of thoughts of the future, but breathing in this fresh breath of life that seems to have invaded and just grasping for the clouds right now.  As a friend recently reminded me, the sky is the limit!
(One I took with my phone this afternoon.)  
Now, some of the things we've been up to lately

Strep throat.  Yep, that's what we've been up to.  Every single member of my family, except me, has had strep at least twice in the last 3 months.  Yep, the words at least means some have had it more.  If you know me, you know I'm fanatical about cleaning my home after sickness has settled in, so I can't figure out why this yucky bug seems to be so persistent, but I'm taking in all the extra snuggle time it provides for me in the meantime.  :)  (Besides, if there is any weather that's better to be sick in, it's the current weather here.  We've been in the negatives for windchill the last few days.)

I picked up The History of Love by Nicole Krauss from the library.  This has recently been one of those sources of inspiration for me.  The richness of her words and the weaving of stories has been inspiring.  I haven't finished it yet, but am waiting until after I publish this post and will hopefully finish it tonight!

Emerson did her first real presentation at school the other day.  She presented her bag report (a book report in a bag) to her 1st grade class the other day and did beautifully.  :)

This is a still I took from video, so it's a little blurry, but check out that Puss in Boots drawing.  She worked on that for forever!
Since sickness has settled, forts have been built and pajamas worn all day long, Dance Wii has been played creating lots and lots of giggles.  It's been a fun, relaxing day.  :)

Last, I've been inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton  (perhaps you've heard of her?!), who has two beautiful girls, one of which, Nella, is about to turn two and has Down Syndrome.  She has done so much to raise awareness about children blessed with an extra chromosome.  Last year, for Nella's 1st birthday, she asked for people to donate towards NDSS with a lofty $15,000 goal.  She amazingly raised over $100,000!  Isn't that insane?
So, this year, Kelle is shooting for 2 for 2, that is a $200,000 goal, including what was raised last year for Nella's second birthday.  Last I checked she was up to $150,000.  You should go check out her blog.  Seriously, it's amazing, and then check out the page she's set up through NDSS to raise money in  honor of Nella and read about her heart for this cause.  You can go here to check it out.

Ok, I'm off to finish that book!  Goodnight and  I hope you are able to find some inspiration this next week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why, hello there, Blog!

Push myself.  
Try something new.
Learn more.

I haven't been in the blogosphere lately and I have SO missed it.  I miss this online journal and the diffuser of my thoughts.  :)  While I've been MIA, though, these phrases above have been consuming my mind and I'm super excited to say I'm following through on these ideas.  There will be more details to come soon (SO excited!)!

Until then, though, I've been asked to post some more follow up and/or comparison pictures of my face.  It's been almost 4 months since my surgery (and not quite two and a half years since I began this whole process) and it no longer swims around my daily thoughts.  I feel almost completely back to normal, still stretching those muscles and ligaments 3 times a day (most of the time, because I forget sometimes!) and hopefully next week I'll be given permission to start eating completely normally again.  Whoop!  That is cause for excitement and celebration in my opinion!  I'm excited to have this all completely behind me and and next week marks one more step toward having this all in the past!

So, without further ado, I'll start from the very beginning.  :)  (I'm kind of excited to see this for myself as I've never lined all the pictures up side by side before!)

The day I began all the treatment with my splint (can you see the clear plastic "thing" over my teeth?)

Shortly after getting my braces put on

Several months into braces - I, personally, can see how they moved my teeth out a little
making my "toothy" smile seem huge!

These two were taken only a few months before surgery.

These two were taken a day (or maybe two?) before surgery

1 week post surgery

These two were taken shortly after we got back home, so probably about  a month post surgery.

A month and a half post surgery.
A silly photo I took with my phone - 3 months post surgery.

And finally, this was just taken a few days ago at almost 4  months post surgery.
It's surprising to ME when I look at the very first picture and compare it to the last one.  I can honestly say I feel good about the changes that have been made.  I'd be lying if I said I was never self conscious of that big gummy smile before, so I'm happy with my new smile.  I feel like it's changed the way I look quite drastically sometimes, yet I know that I still look like me, if that makes sense.  

I have yet to really experience any pain at all (except this darn philips screw that is still in my gums - for only one more week - that rubs my  upper lip).  And still, I have numbness.  But, really, that's the worst of it, and not really something to complain about!

Unfortunately, though, since surgery, I have also been losing my hair, once again.  It's mostly gone on the top of my head.  So for me, wearing hats has become routine lately (if you're wondering why you've seen me in nothing BUT hats these days!).  Thankfully, though, it's been easier for me to not dwell on it this time.  I have other things that are filling me up and giving me life and allowing me the freedom to not stress a lot about it.  I still am consciously making the choice to look for the ways this is a blessing.  I still certainly hope this passes quickly (and sometimes I really wish I could understand why my body reacts the way it does to certain things), but for now, I'm ok.  :)

Hopefully in the next post will come sooner rather than later!  

Ahhh, so good to be blogging again.  :)


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