Friday, February 26, 2010

Purging those files

Paperwork can pile up but it feels good when you collect a pile to shred! We filed our taxes and filed our paperwork so it was time to purge the files. Many things can be tossed after a year so I went through our files and found some things that we actually have had since 2004.

Now filing is easy because there is space in our drawers!
The top drawer has all of our general information.

And if I file as I keeps everything in order.
The bottom drawer has all of our medical information.

This is how I keep bills and papers file...and to read.

Do piles still accumulate? Yes. But not as often as they used to!
And, labeling things with a label maker does make me happy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family Photos

Our friends John and Erin Macy have created a wonderful photography business with a photojournalist vibe. We asked them to take our first family photos at our favorite cupcake shop, The Sweetest Thing. We spent a fun Saturday morning eating cupcakes, drinking coffee, and having a few photos taken. It was a really special time for us and we love the way the photos turned we're in our natural habitat.

Here are a few photos but to see a few more (ok, maybe 120 more) click here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


8 years ago, Ryan and I got married in Springfield, OR at the Springfield Church of God. It was a GREAT time and I am so thankful for these 8 years.

A few things I appreciate about Ryan...his wisdom, sense of humor, insight, friendship, hugs, sincerity, humility, intelligence, daddy-skills, steadfastness, and fun.

Our vows are framed and placed in spot we can see them every day.

A few memories stand out...

While dating there were endless hours spent driving around talking, trips to coffee, baking chocolate chip scones, watching movies, talking, praying, learning, processing, lots of "firsts", adventures to Disneyland and Magic Mountain and Alaska.

We got engaged October 6th at Aleyska in Alaska out in the woods. He proposed, I laughed, and a kiss, a ring, and a yes sealed the deal. A celebration dinner at Simon and Seafort's in Anchorage and sharing the big news!

We got married with special people surrounding us. Friends that walked in, drove in, and flew in. Family that shared our joy. Special songs..."A Page is Turned" by Bebo and "The Servant Song" sung by dear Kim. Lots of oreos and coffee, conversation and candles, and a surprise limo was the chariot to take us away.

And in 8 years...lots of talking, listening, playing, adventures to Hawaii and the Coast and Victoria, work, sorrow and loss, surprises and joy, a baby, lots of questions, crossroads and paths, coffee, U2, Fernando Ortega, praying, trusting, another baby, new adventures...

Excited to celebrate 8 years of marriage...excited for a gazillion more.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Giving Love

Sunday morning Quinn said, "Mom, do you know why I like you?"
"No, Quinn. Why do you like me?"
"Because you give me love."
"Oh Quinn," I said, "I love you very much. And I like how you give me love too."
Quinn said, "Even if you aren't right here, do you love me?"
"I love you even if I'm not right here."

"If you were in Africa and I was here would you love me?"
"Even if I was in Africa and you were here, I would love you. If you were in Africa and I was here I would love you."
"If dad wasn't here, would dad still love me?"

"If dad was someplace else, he would still love you."
"We all love each other!"

I told Ryan about our conversation and Ryan said...

Saturday morning when you were gone Quinn said, "I NEED mom!"

Ryan told Quinn that he didn't NEED mom--he needed food, water, shelter, and love (can you hear the parent who is with the child explaining why they don't *need* the parent who isn't there...because the present parent CAN do what needs to be done).

Quinn thought for a minute and replied, "I need mom. Mom gives me love."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Close to my heart

My Christmas/birthday present from Ryan came last week...
it was well worth the wait.

A sterling silver necklace hand-stamped with...

Sela's name and meaning...

Quinn's name and meaning...

Our anniversary date...

I can literally carry them all close to my heart...

Made by Bella Button Designs at etsy

Friday, February 19, 2010

Changing all the time

It seems like I keep learning new things about my three favorite people...
noticing the changes in Quinn and Sela as they are growing up...
enjoying the ways that Ryan and I continue to "do life"...
remembering to laugh and embrace the moment.

My three Valentines...

Smiley Sela

Hanging out on the floor

Brother and two sweets!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Modern Day Moses

A modern day Moses
Waking the streets
With shouts of glory and blistered feet
He's met the maker
He's met the reason he's alive
And he's on fire inside

A modern day mother, living in the slums
Feeding the hungry
Making sure the race gets run
Always asking if we fought with steady feet
She fights on her knees

Let my people go

A modern day Martin in a world
Of civil words exchanged
But dreaming bigger thinks maybe
He can make the change
He's heard the stories
He wants some of his own
And he's not alone

The time is now the moment's here
Walk in faith or stand in fear
Change the course of history
Did you ever think?
No one ever thought
Who would have believed?

A modern day me, what have I become
What can I be?
If there is greatness out there to be achieved
I want to be more than someone who
Just passes through this life
I want to stand up for what is right

Let my people go

Another song that needs repeating..."Modern Day Moses" by Kendall Payne. So good...

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love this song

Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I cannot let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
it often overwhelms me
but when I think of all who've gone before and lived the faithful life
their courage compells me
And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaoh's court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sister standing by the dying man's side
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door

I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
and when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I want to be one of them

I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them

"When The Saints" by Sara Groves

I really love this song. Take a listen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Journeying with Quinn and Cystic Fibrosis

Tuesday we went to Doernbecher for Quinn's three month check up. We head to OHSU every three months to visit the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and meet with the pediatric pulmonologists, dietician, nurse, and support staff that help us on this journey with Quinn. We first met this crew after Quinn's diagnosis almost four years ago--they are a great team to work with and we really appreciate each one of them.

Each person with cystic fibrosis has his or her own story. Just like with any chronic disease, there are individuals with severe issues and those with more mild experiences. In a nutshell, Quinn's body makes more mucus than you or me which typically causes issues related to lung function and digestion. If you'd like to know more about CF you can check out the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. You never know what you'll stumble on if you just google CF so we always point people to this website because it can be trusted.

For Quinn, his pancreas does not produce enzymes--enzymes break down fats and proteins and without them a person would have significant digestive issues (gas, foul/loose/oily bowel movements) and lack of weight gain . Since he was two weeks old, he has been taking enzymes mixed into applesauce to help with those issues. He also needs about 1800 calories a day in order to gain weight--because of Quinn's various issues with food (he has had food therapy and was diagnosed with reflux) he isn't a big eater. We've seen great improvement with his interest in food and strong decrease in the vomiting associated with reflux but he can't eat enough to meet that 1800 calorie goal. Two years ago he got a feeding tube which has made a huge difference for him. Folks with CF need additional vitamin supplements of A, D, E, and K so Quinn takes that each day.

To address potential lung issues we do two things. First, Chest Percussion Therapy (CPT) requires us to pound on Quinn each day with some little rubber mallets. Sounds crazy but this has been an effective method for many years to help loosen up the blockage that can occur in the airways of the lungs. We also use a medication called pulmozyme which is inhaled into the lungs with a nebulizer. The pulmozyme is breathed into the lungs and it acts like a little pair of scissors, snipping through the blockage. About once a year we do a full panel of blood work and take x-rays to see what is happening with Quinn's lungs.

At our appointment today we had some concerns because of a cough that has been hanging on for a bit. Often, people with CF develop a chronic cough and we sometimes get nervous about things...when Quinn gets sick we go into overdrive to help him get better. I'm kind of crazy about Quinn getting enough sleep--I think rest helps health and that is something I've always been vigilant about (OK, I admit there is some paranoia there too!) So, we had this concern about the cough and Dr. Powers went ahead and ordered an x-ray for Quinn just to check. Quinn always does a great job. The thing that makes him the most anxious is getting a throat culture. We got the x-ray and the tech asked Quinn if he wanted to see his insides--Quinn wanted to! The tech brought out an x-ray and put it up for Quinn to see...except it was an x-ray of Buzz Lightyear! Quinn LOVED it! We loved it too, especially since he was wearing his Toy Story shirt!

When we met with Dr. Powers, he was super pleased because the x-ray showed that the blockage in Quinn's lung has actually decreased since his x-ray from a year ago! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!! Seriously! We were thrilled! We know that every visit may not be amazing so we take our victories with great enthusiasm!

Last appointment Quinn was 37 inches and 32 pounds. Tuesday he was 38 inches and 32 pounds. We have to work on getting some more calories into him each day but overall he is doing so well.

The routine for Quinn looks something like this...

At every meal, Quinn takes four capsules of enzymes. We try to make meals high in fat, protein, and calories.

Once a day we do a breathing treatment and chest percussion therapy--it takes about 45 minutes and I usually do it after Quinn's rest time in the afternoon.

At night, Quinn takes enzymes before bed and we get his pump set up for his feeding tube. Quinn is so good about this process and such a trooper. A high calorie formula runs for about 7 hours so Ryan and I usually take turns getting up to stop the pump around 1:30 or 2:30 am.

Quinn really is amazing when it comes to cooperation and patience in this process. He does get frustrated at times but those times are rare and far between. Our prayer is that he will understand the reasons for his care routines and that he will be an advocate for himself too. We also pray that his lungs will be protected. It is our job to pray so we ask for what we really desire for Quinn. We pray that he will have good friends who see him for who he is and not as "the boy with CF". We thank God for our families and for friends who are such an awesome community willing to support us and support Quinn.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tackling the house tasks

Before we had Sela I would do most all my cleaning tasks on one day. I tried that with the two...not a good plan. I've been trying to figure out a way to tackle these things and not wonder when I can get these things done. I finally figured out how much I thought I could realistically do each day--with realistic being the key word. I can usually do two tasks each day, sometimes three. Mondays I can do more because Ryan has class in the evening. My goal is to get these things done before the weekend and without taking family time to do them. Quinn likes to help--or at least he likes to pretend to vacuum and he is a big fan of the broom. He is a big fan of dusting.

Sometimes these tasks feel overwhelming but I've been learning a couple of things:
-these things take less time than I think they will
-I need to take the things I enjoy least and do them early...dusting isn't my favorite thing.
-It is essential that I am realistic about what I tackle...determine what things I'm going to take care of each day but swap tasks between days if needed. My plan to vacuum one day might change if Sela is napping and I can clean the bathrooms quietly instead.
-I don't want to do laundry all the time. If I do it at the beginning of the week, it is done and not hanging over my head to finish. And, I try to put it away as soon as it is done...folding the laundry in the room where it needs to go helps me so it doesn't sit.

Here is what is working for me:

Monday-sheets/towels laundry, dust, ironing,
Tuesday-dark laundry, vacuum
Wednesday-white laundry,
Thursday-clean bathrooms, mop
Sunday-two week dinner plan every other week, make a plan for the week

Groceries on Tuesday or Wednesday every other week
Pay bills, go over receipts and budget throughout the week