Flying high..


Thanks you to all who prayed for me this morning. I felt your prayers. Seriously, thank you. We had a wonderful flight down. Not too many bumps which was nice. On the way to the airport I was praying hard. Then a sudden peace came over me as I pictured myself placed in my Fathers hands. No matter where I am that's where my place is. Safe. Secure. Loved. I can't say yet that I love flying, but I know I can do it again!

If you think of me..


I am making a public request. If you think of me tomorrow morning I would be so grateful if you could pray for me. See, while I have been looking forward to our trip to Palm Springs there has been one thing holding me back from being overly excited about it. Flying. I have been on many planes in my lifetime. While I have never liked it, the older I have gotten the more my dislike for it has grown. This past year or so this dislike has turned into something more. Fear. The thought of flying no longer makes me just a little nervous, it has actually kept me awake in the night. This fear has caused my anxiety to increase to a point where it makes me physically ill. A few weeks ago I even had the thought that we should cancel the trip altogether. I knew I could not. I had vowed to myself that I would not let this fear effect my family. The anxiety has decreased these past few weeks while I have been praying about this fear and asking the Lord to break it off me. However, I have become increasingly aware of the root of fear. Lack of trust.. Do I trust you Lord? With everything? My life? My kids? And while I would like to shout out a confident, YES!, The fact that this fear still grips me from time to time speaks otherwise. Tomorrow I am going to get on that plane. I AM going to trust Him. I am believing for this fear to be gone, but I covet your prayers. I feel as though I am in a battle zone. I can already taste the victory, but I don't want one little bump of turbulence to steal it away. So, if you think of me... Pray! 

{{{ Thank You! }}}

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Palm Springs Style..


I am so ready to go on our trip. After being stuck indoors for days and days with one sickness after another making its way through our home, I can not wait to walk outdoors in the sun! Praying we all are well by the time we leave on Thursday.

Now that packing must become an actual reality rather than just a checklist in my head, I thought I would gather some inspiration. Only problem is that I am now dying for this outfit. Good news.. I hear shopping is pretty good where we will be. I wonder if there is a Kate Spade outlet? I NEED these sandals!

palm springs


** I just googled it, and there IS a Kate Spade outlet. Oh, husband, guess where we're going!! **



"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

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Sienna: Playing in the backyard. 
Coen: He hangs out at home in his bathing suit. All the time. 
Houston: What's been keeping this sick boy happy? Baths and Barney.

Linking up HERE..



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Dear Houston: It breaks my heart seeing you so sick (he has pneumonia). I am glad we caught it early, and we are believing for a quick recovery. I am trying to be extra patient since I know you need more of my attention to help you feel better. I will continue to sit and watch Barney with you even though the dinosaur drives me crazy. Snuggling with you makes it worth it.
Dear Coen: Someone pointed out to me that I exluded you in my letter's last week. This was not intentional. Please don't take on that 'middle child' complex. 
Dear Palm Springs: 6 days. 6 more days and we are off to your wonderfulness. I would appreciate if you would grant my request for a weeks worth of sunny skies. Thanks in advance.
Dear Blog: While I sometimes feel as though my life seems simple and unexciting, I am so glad to have a place to document it. Fleeting moments captured.
Dear Life: While all my attention these days seems to be needed by my 3 little blessings, I know variety will come in its time. These little lives need me. My time, love, and attention. I am so fulfilled serving them, teaching them the way they should go.

I pray you all have a wonderful weekend! I wonder if I will get to leave my house? It's been a while since that has happened!

Linking up...

Shave and a Haircut..


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One day I got tired of paying for haircuts for the kids. Especially the boys because their hair grows so quickly. So, I decided I could do it. It seemed simple enough. We bought our own clippers from Costco for $40. I can honestly say it was one of the best investments we have ever made! I can't even think of how much money it has saved us over the past year and half. My husband is actually the one who does a better job at cutting the boys hair. I cut Sienna's hair last night as well. 5 inches gone. I actually really like it even though I was a nervous wreck the whole time! It was so late by the time we finished all of our haircuts so the after pictures will have to wait!

If you have boys and think you could never cut their hair I urge you to reconsider! Clippers can make it super simple and you don't have to end up with your typical 'boy' cut. When we want to take their hair pretty short we use a longer guard on the top (usually an 8) and then a shorter guard on the sides (around a 3). It creates really good texture and dimension, and is almost fool proof. Really, try it!!

About family and a drive..


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We had Family Day long weekend here in Alberta. I appreciate the fact that we have this holiday solely for the purpose of family. It is something that is not given as much value as it once had. We took advantage of the extra day off and headed up to Cold Lake which is about 3 hours away from where we are. My brother in law and his family moved up there last year, so it was nice to get all the cousins together again! The snowy drive was worth every minute.. I didn't take out my camera at all once we were there. I wanted to just be. Be present. Enjoy the activity around me. While we made plans to take in some family day activities we opted out for staying in. Well, the adults stayed in and watched as the kids played in the snow just outside. I appreciate that children don't require much to make them happy. Simply by being together they are able to create fun and memories that will last a lifetime!



"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
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Sienna: She was so excited to fill her Valentine boxes.
Coen: I love having boys. Making a raceway down the stairs.
Houston: My sweet boy. I love this little face.

Linking up HERE..

Dear Food Court..


Dear Husband. I think it is funny that we ate at the food court in the mall on our date this week. Has it come to this? lol..
Dear Sienna. I'm glad you were happy with how your Valentine's boxes turned out because I was certain I was going to end up with blisters from the scissors after all that cutting.
Dear Houston. Thanks for not fighting me so much while taking your inhaler. We need to keep up with it from now on. No more asthma attacks and hospital visits, k?
Dear Newborn Babies. There are so many of you around me lately. It makes me want another so badly. At the same time, I've come to a place in life where I can have daytime baths. Daytime baths people. How many moms out there know how amazing that is..(or is it just me?)
Dear Photo Wall. Prints are going to be ordered today for you. You've needed updating for months! I'm terrible for printing pictures!
Dear Iphone. I am also tired of pictures just sitting on your camera roll. I figured I would dump some here that way if I ever get around to printing my blog in book form they won't be left unseen..

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How often do you all switch out your frames and order new prints? I have really tried to stay on top of it but get distracted or overwhelmed every time I attempt to do so..
Have a great weekend friends!

Linking up...

How He Loves..


Do you know of the greatest love story ever told? It tells of one who gave up everything to be with His love. One who overcame every obstacle laid before Him to prove His love. Making the path clear so His love may come freely to meet Him. What is the greatest part? We are the object of that overwhelming affection. You, and I. Will you go to your Love today?

Last Minute Valentine..


Guys, I am the worst at planning ahead. I ALWAYS do this. Put off getting things together and then do a mad dash at the end to pull something off (hence why I am posting twice today.. I didn't think I was going to do a Valentine's post). Ugh. LAST TIME! As I was sitting here reading everyones else's Valentine's  day posts, I thought I better figure something out for Sienna's class tomorrow. I almost settled with just buying a box of cards and calling it a day, but I know Sienna appreciates when we go the extra mile. 

So, with this template I created this..

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After cutting and folding it becomes this (which we will of course fill with some treats)..
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Now, I have some quality time to spend with my scissors and my glue stick! Hope you all didn't wait til the last minute! 


After our serious cold streak we have actually been having some pretty decent weather. Now, it is not quite picnic weather so we have hot chocolate parties instead..

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What do you all do to make it through winter? I'm running out of ideas.. and patience..

Linking up..

Olivia's Story.. {honoring CHD week}


Meet Olivia, the toughest 5 year old I know. I remember the first time I met her. The tiniest baby I've ever seen. She was under 5lbs at the time. Since then I have watched her grow as she endured 5 minor surgeries as well as 1 open heart surgery {you can read her whole story below}. This girl has spunk, and I don't think she stopped moving once throughout our entire shoot!

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Seeing as February 7-14 is CHD(congenital heart defect) week I felt led to share her story. This is her heart story as told by her mother..

I went in for my routine 36 week check up and the doctor couldn’t find her heart beat, so they sent me for a stress test at the Royal Alex Hospital. There they also couldn’t find her heart beat, so I went in for an emergency c-section. When Olivia was born she had a slow heart beat but a heart beat none the less. Her oxygen saturations were very low so Olivia was sent to the Stollery where she spent the first 2 weeks of life. There they diagnosed Olivia withEbstein’s Anomaly with talk of Long Q-T (which later was diagnosed as medicinal Long Q-T). When her oxygen saturations and heart rate improved they transferred her to the Grey Nuns ICU and she spent another week and then she got to go home. After 2 weeks at home our entire family got a cold but Olivia got RSV which landed her in the hospital again. After 3 days in the hospital Olivia’s monitors and alarms went crazy saying her heart beat was over 250 beats per minute, sometimes reaching 300 beats per minute which they referred to as Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT). After all we were there for RSV, nothing to do with her heart. So this went on for about a week and a half until we found a medicine that slowed it down. At this point she was released and we got to be a family again. We listened to Olivia multiple times each day for her heart rate but after a while the medicine stopped working and again we were forced to take her to the hospital. We knew that something bad was happening and that we were in for quite a journey. Our family spent 18 hours in the emergency room until the doctors finally got a bed in PICU. At this time they told my husband and I to go home while they got her settled and they would call when things were done. That night we got a call saying that they had to stabilize her by putting her in a medicinal coma and that she had a machine breathing for her. They sounded optimistic, however things didn’t sound that great to us. So the next day we took Liam up to see his sister, we realized we had to get strength to fight for Olivia when she was too weak to fight herself. The doctors ended up doing 2 oblations to burn away the extra electrical spot in her heart that was making it race like this. Time seemed to stand still and yet life went on around us. This was the longest 30 days of our lives. Finally Olivia gained momentum and got stronger everyday and was finally released to come home. We had a few check-ups after coming home but things looked good, so check-ups became farther apart. Olivia still seemed to turn purple regularly, needed to nap a lot (in retrospect was probably fainting), and was very cold all the time.
Olivia was 4 when she saw Dr. Kantoc again. After her ECG’s and EKG’s the doctor concluded that she would need open heart surgery. They found that she had ASD, she needed to have a Glenn Shunt and they were going to repair her tricuspid valve. This was all to improve circulation and oxygen saturations. So in July of 2011 Olivia entered the Stollery once more. The surgery that was supposed to take 6 hours only took 4. Dr. Ross chose not to repair her tricuspid valve as he felt that after the ASD closure and the Glenn Shunt it took pressure off the valve, it wasn't leaking that badly and that putting a replacement valve in would likely make her sicker. Dr. Ross also found while in surgery that she was having SVT episodes again, so he did another oblation. Our little fighter was home 3 days after open heart surgery and playing with her friends like nothing had happened. She learned how to ride a 2 wheel bike and ran after her brother. She was our little miracle, except about 2 weeks after coming home Olivia appeared grey, complained of being tired and dropped to the floor for an instant "nap". So once again off to the Stollery we went. Olivia had fluid build up in 3/4 of her chest cavity and that’s why she turned grey. The fluid was called Kilethorax and she went in for surgery to get a draining tube put in. Olivia spent the next 3 weeks in the hospital. She took it all like a champ. She would be found regularly running with her draining box and IV pole running down the halls to "the beach". During these 3 weeks she had another SVT episode so they did yet another oblation. And because the Kile wouldn’t go away, they closed the fluid duct that it was coming from. The whole time Olivia never ever seemed sick. She insisted on doing everything herself and acting like a normal child. After 3 long weeks she came home again and things returned to “normal”. We listened to her heart every day and she seemed to turn purple less often. She even started to gain some weight.
Around Christmas time we were listening to her heart and again things sounded different. It was like her heart skipped a beat when she slept or paused momentarily. So we contacted Dr.Kantoc and headed back up for a check up where he found that she was having SVT episodes again. So Feb. 7 she was brought in for day surgery for yet another oblation. The doctor suggested that he’s rarely had to do this procedure more than twice on one patient before, so he became a little more aggressive in repairing it. During the procedure there was a little too much bleeding and the AV node was damaged. So this day surgery landed her back in ICU with an external pace maker because she now was going into Brady episodes which is too slow of a heart rate. After a couple of days they took the external pace out and sent Olivia upstairs to regular ward. They gave her 10 days and found she was still Brady at night so they put her under again and put in a pace maker.
Now Olivia lives with a pace maker. She has more energy than she has ever had in her entire life, is gaining weight and getting on the growth charts, keeping up and surpassing some 5 year olds. She starts kindergarten in the fall and is excited about life. She has a fighter's spirit about her. We have been told not to expect any more surgeries as the pace will keep her from going Brady while she sleeps and prevents SVT. It also helps her medicinal Long Q-T. The Glenn keeps her oxygen levels at 98% and although her tricuspid valve is deformed, not located where it should be and leaks, it seems to be stable.

When I heard it was CHD week, I knew I watned to do something. Anything. Even just to bring awareness. Chances are you know someone affected by CHD. It is considered to be the most common birth defect. Watching people walk through something like this as I have with Olivia, can often leave you feeling helpless. My part may be small, but I have chosen to do what I can. 

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"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
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We had fun playing with light and shadow this week..

Sienna: This is my girl. Fun. Spunky. Enthusiastic.
Coen: This reminds me of a cheesy magazine add for some reason. Only much cuter.
Houston: I couldn't get him to stand still. This is his new favorite thing. Throwing all the pillows off the couch and jumping off the arm. Good times.

Linking up HERE..

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