Things have been hectic around here lately. T started preschool and is loving every second of it. B and I are moving forward with the transplant process and we are slowly getting closer to the big day. So much change and transition has happened to our family recently, that the blog has taken a back seat and I apologize. But I'm not too sorry. Our lives are busy and so much is up in the air that we are trying, really trying, to just focus on family. B's work schedule is nuts, I've been working on some outside projects, so we have really been missing each other, which has been hard on all of us. I'm not complaining though, because we all feel so lucky to be in the spot we are in. We have been tweaking our house here and there and have made some changes, so hopefully, I'll get the motivation to share all those changes soon. In the meantime, here is my newest chalkboard art:


Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

A few weeks ago, we took a family trip to the Bristol Renaissance Fair. We are uber nerds and this is my family's' idea of, like, the best. day. ever. Anytime there are people in costumes with an accent, I'm totally happy. T had never been before and let me tell you- this girl was so happy, she had tears in her eyes. Normally, she is so talkative, but she was left completely silent by the experience. She went up everyone who walked the grounds (workers of the actual fair) and bowed. She would try to get so close to everyone, she was practically in their lap, and then she stared in amazement. Seriously, it was the cutest thing ever. She kept turning to B and I saying, "this is the best place ever." or "I love it here. When can we come back? Can we live here?" T's excitement made the trip spectacular.

This is how my brother thinks you hold a child.

That last one is T's favorite way to pose for a photo. We are always happy to oblige. We all  had a great time. The weather was perfect, the food delicious, and we are dying to go back next year.


Diabetes Sucks.

I have gone back and forth for some time as to whether I would ever bring up this topic on this site. But now I feel I have to.

B is a Type 1 diabetic. And it really fucking sucks.

He has been for quite some time (15 years) and it's really starting to take its' toll. Over the last two years, he has been experiencing some really scary eye problems that could eventually cause him to loose his eyesight. He is starting to not notice his drops in blood sugars, leading him to the point of almost passing out. His body is tired. And so are we.

B and I have always been super conscious as to what we put in our bodies (and feed T). We eat all organic produce and meat. All our other food is minimally processed and extremely low carb. We cook everyday, limit the amount of times we eat out, and spend a shit ton of money on groceries. When I first met B, I thought this was the solution to all his problems. Eat right and your body will follow. So not the case. Many, many things have an effect on B's sugars: stress, sickness, temperatures, fluids, activities, basically everything effects him. It's scary.

 B works a pretty strenuous job and is by himself the entire day.  I worry about him constantly. How's his sugars? Is he drinking enough? I hope he doesn't go low while driving. What if his sugar goes low and no one is around to help him? What if he has a heart attack? Stroke? What is his eye's hemorrhage again and he needs more surgery? What if this time it causes him to go blind?

And don't even get me started on thinking of our future. Will he be around? Will he be able to see? Will he still have his legs and be able to walk T down the aisle if/when she gets married? Will we be able to happily and healthily grow old together or will I become his live in care taker?

Yeah, that's kind of my day. But I'm crazy in love with the guy and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

 But now all that worrying could stop.

B has the opportunity of a lifetime. University of Chicago is doing a procedure call Islet Cell Transplants and B has qualified for this surgery. Basically, Islet Cells are what's responsible for making insulin in the pancreas. This is not a cure all procedure and we will still have to be careful about his diet (we would be anyways.) and B will still have to take impeccable care of himself. He will have to be on strong anti-rejection medicine for the rest of his life, but this is so worth it.

But we need your help.

In order to continue on in this journey, we have to raise some money. Thankfully, the actual transplant itself is free, since they are still testing out some medication for research, but all the tests, lab work, and other lifelong medication is not. B has to spend a week in the hospital for the actual surgery itself and then after that, he is requires to take a month off work to heal. He is the sole provider for out family, and I have to be there to care for him. 

If you could, please take the time to read more of our story and donate if you can.Every little bit helps. If not, please subscribe to updates, leave some kind words, and keep B in your thoughts. Share our story, spread the word. The more people know about the horrible debilitating disease, the better. Hopefully U of C has found  a great medication that can help B and future Islet Cell transplant patients reduce the risk of rejection. Hopefully my family can stop worrying so much. Hopefully B doesn't have to be so scared anymore. Lots of hopes floating around our home lately. We are very excited around these parts! 


How does your garden grow?

B and I were super productive this weekend. With T away at her Nana and Boppa's house ( I cried like a baby when I left her for her first TWO night sleepover. And maybe again when I went into her empty room at night.) we decided to us this free time to really make a change to our backyard.

But I need to back up for a second. Last week, this happened:

 We scored a TON of free mulch from a local tree service company. I may have slightly panicked when I pulled into our driveway and saw all that mulch. T on the other hand, saw Mulch Mountain! and preceded to climb, jump, slide, and dig her day away while we moved wheel barrel after wheel barrel after wheel barrel of mulch. We were a hot, sweaty mess. I was tired, my back hurt, and all I wanted to do was be done. But at that point, I realized- even after a day's work, we had barely made a dent in our mulch mountain. I gave up. Thankfully a day later, we were able to con my baby brother into helping us move mulch and after about three hours, we had some how managed to transport all the mulch we needed to our backyard. There was still about 40% of that pile left, but at least it was a sizable dent. We offered the remains to our neighbor and my parents, and as of last night, Mulch Mountain is no longer. Everyone but T is happy.

When we bought our house, the backyard, along with everything else was trashed. The previous owners let everything go, and weeds took over the entire backyard. This picture was taken awhile ago and since then-due to us spending so much time fixing the inside of our home, it has only gotten worse.

 It's hard to tell but that dirt area in the far back is actually quite a bit of space and up to that faint black line you see, was a solid patch of weed. It really bummed us out that we have this HUGE backyard (one of the big reasons we bought this house) and we never utilized it. It was always a muddy mess, which made Porter a muddy mess every time he went outside and T had to be careful where she was stepping because it was just a disaster.

Weeks before our mulch came, we laid out landscape edging, used up some mulch we already had, pulled weeds, and transplanted a few plants- basically started our backyard transformation but didn't get very far. I never took any pictures because I knew if I stopped to take photos, my momentum would be gone. 

But I digress...

After we dropped T off with her grandparents Saturday evening, we got to work transforming our space into something we would use- and be proud of.
Since I love me a good list, this is what we managed to accomplish in just under a day and a half:

- Spread out the mulch. Our mulch had been moved, so we just had to level it and spread it around the garden.
-Created a few pathways and a tiny 'patio' area. We found a whole bunch of flagstone, stepping stones, and even some blue slate buried/hidden under all the weeds, which was a very happy surprise since that stuff is expensive!
-Dug a hole for a pond my mom gave to us, only to have it crack and basically become unusable. We didn't take it out, since I love the look of it-but the water level is too low to put any fish or a pump in there.
-We picked up this AMAZING find and found a home for it in our garden:

-We transplanted dozens of plants, trees, shrubs, bushes from my mom's garden. She is a master gardener and has helped us immensely. She is constantly splitting and dividing her plants so we can have some for our garden.  Thanks to her, we've barely spent any money on filling in our garden beds.
-We even manged to go to lunch and when we came home, we found this waiting for us:

More plants from my mom! It seemed like the work never ended yesterday. But I'm not complaining since we accomplished sooo much. It was a good day. 

Now I'm waiting for this sweet girl to arrive home so I can smother her with kisses and hugs until she tells me to stop.

And even then I won't. I miss that face.

I'll be back soon with pictures of the garden and how it looks now. It's horrible to talk about all the work we did and have no photos to show, but I promise- I will soon! Tell me, how was your weekend? Accomplish anything?


Life, lately

Every year, our summers get busier and busier. So as the summer gets hotter and hotter, we've found ourselves having more and more fun, but boy are we tired. Here's a little picture heavy recap of what we've been up to lately:

Dance parties with friends
Eating massive amounts of kale.

Swim class
And more puppies

Farmer's Market Face Paint
Pretending to be a lifeguard

Silly Faces
Chillin with our foster dog, Mavi
Fireworks with friends
Love this girl
Dinosaur exhibit @ Brookfield Zoo.

Future baby-wearer in the making!

T and her new friend, Olivia
Walking with Daddy
Her new 'Managers Special' shirt, thanks to our friend Kalie.
Our first tomato and parsley harvest
Fathers Day plant shopping

Could she be any cuter?
Homemade Rhubarb pie. Thanks Mom!

Needless to say, this has been a pretty awesome summer. All the activities and adventures have just made these months fly by, leaving me no time to even think about blogging. Whatever. Drinks with friends, play dates with over 10 children!, zoo days, city trips, and late nights with B have made this my favorite summer yet- and it's not even over. Here's to greatness, gratitude, and thankfulness over this awesome chunk of time we've had. 
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