Category Archives: Kansas City

Chiropractors and Umbilical Hernias

Joey was born with an umbilical hernia. It’s actually not uncommon in preemies – simply because of a less developed body. His abdominal muscles were weak and didn’t have a chance to fully grow/close. It’s not something they worry about until the child is preschool age – it usually closes on its own by then, but if it doesn’t it can be surgically corrected. But it freaked me out. Ha! There were times it was HUGE. You could push it back in as long as he wasn’t screaming/straining which was their stipulation for it being “ok”. You could even feel the hole in his muscles, about the size of my index finger. And it gurgled. Haha.

I had wanted to get Joey in to the chiropractor for quite some time after he was born – just thought it would be good to have him realigned after birth. I put it off and put it off because its a little nerve-wracking to hand your tiny, fragile preemie over to someone who may be thinking of contorting their body to try and make their back crack. He was having latching issues with breast feeding and it was suggested to me that I should see a chiropractor as they can also do adjustments to help with latch. So I finally made some calls and made an appointment.

We ended up with Dr. Alyssa at First Choice Chiropractic in Overland Park, KS. It was so far from anything I was worried about – she is amazing. She is so very gentle with him and he just melts every time he lays down for his adjustment. It is so relaxing for him!

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She very gently manipulates his spine all the way up to his cranial bones.

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He LOVES it. Just last week he was quite fussy while we were waiting our turn, and then I took these pictures once we started.

With his reflux/gas/digestive issues, I was really hoping this was the miracle cure. While it has not been (we’re trying other things now), I still absolutely believe its been beneficial. One thing I didn’t even think would come of it is his hernia is relaxed and all but healed.

This picture was taken 3 days after his first adjustment. This was a “relaxed” state.

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It could get hard and even bigger when he was crying. After he started getting adjusted, it’s like his gut could finally let out the big sigh it had been holding – it could relax. And it did. This is a month and a couple days later, after 4 adjustments. (And while crying!)

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I’d say that’s a victory in itself! Thanks Dr. Alyssa!

(and don’t worry, Milo was on his way over to save the day 🙂 )

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He is Risen, Indeed

(So I did start writing this on Easter, and just had the time to finish. Life of a mom, I guess!)

When we first moved to Kansas City, a huge concern for us was finding a church home. We were SO connected at Eagle Brook Church back in Minnesota, and that was a very hard piece of life to leave. We tried many different churches, but nothing fit us. Then a guy from Andy’s work invited us to Heartland Community Church. It’s about 45 minutes from our house, but since our first visit in January 2012, we haven’t looked back. We walked in and knew it was home. And there have been so many confirmations of that “home” feeling over the last year that we couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. Sure, we are not as connected as we’d like to be because distance makes that tricky, but we know our Heartland story is just beginning.

Last summer, we arrived pretty early for service one weekend and were sitting in the nearly empty worship center. Pastor Dan Deeble was in there too, and came over to say hi to us. We got to share with him a small snippet of our story coming from MN to Kansas City and how we came to Heartland. The fact that he took time right before he had to get up and speak to come and get to know us meant more than he’ll ever know. Over the next few months we saw him other times, and every single time he remembered us. He’d say “hey, you guys are the ones who drive from up by Worlds of Fun!” 🙂 He’s remembered every piece of our story we’ve shared with him all along the way. Just a couple months ago we shared with him that Andy had been offered a new job and we were trying to figure out what to do with all that, and two weeks later he stopped us in the hall just before service to ask what we had decided about the job. Once again, a time when he had a million other things on his mind, he stopped to remember us. This is home.

I was as good as dead. That was the title of today’s Easter message. This struck quite the cord with me since just 11 days ago I was quite literally as good as dead. What a staggering and humbling thought.

The empty grave matters. The power that comes from an empty grave matters in my life, and I got to see it firsthand this last week. The same God that raised His son to life after three days has the power to save me and my son when we shouldn’t have been saved. The same God that died on that cross to save me spiritually chooses to continue saving me. And that matters.

I’m humbled today to be here, with a (all things considered) healthy son. The doctors working on us both on the night of his birth are no doubt amazing people, and science and technology are amazing things, but none of that saved me. The One who has saved is saving me still.

No more tube!

Josiah has been on the ventilator since he was born. He needed lots of help to breathe, since his lungs were so underdeveloped (right where they should be for 31 weeks gestation, but not ready for breathing!). The ventilator was the big tube down his throat. It gave him a certain number of breaths per minute, and he was able to breathe other than those. When he was born I believe he started on 30 breaths per minute, then they turned him down to 20, then he spent a couple days at 15 breaths per minute. They don’t want to leave babies on the vent for too long, because it puts pressure in their lungs which is not natural and can damage the lungs, but he just was not ready to come off. They did extubate him at one point (Friday I think?) but he didn’t do well at all and they put it back in. It’s a fine line for when to remove it because you don’t want it out too early obviously, but its definitely not a forever solution!

He was so agitated all the time up until now. He wanted that tube out bad. He knew right were it was and would get a good grip on it and even pull super hard. They actually wondered if he would take it out himself! (They would have let him, and seen how he did and re-intubated if necessary). Every time we went to see him he was upset. He would wiggle around, “cry” (no sounds come out when there’s a tube down your throat! But he made quite the facial expressions!), and his breathing was so rapid. We saw it up to 130+ breaths per minute! They wanted that number to be under 70. He hated being touched, it just made him more agitated. It was very hard to watch.

They told us last night that the fact that he was fighting it was a good thing – he was strong and alert enough to care. If he was just limp and tolerant, that would be no good.

When we arrived tonight his nurse (another AMAZING NURSE, Christine) asked if I had talked to anyone yet today. I told her no and she got a big smile on her face and said “no more tube!” 🙂 They removed it at some point today, and he is like a brand new kid. He still needs breathing support, so now he’s on a machine called cpap. It goes over his nose, and is basically like a sleep apnea machine. It’s just a constant flow to keep everything open.

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The best part about the cpap? He gets to wear an adorable hat!! Isn’t he cute?

The orange tube in his mouth is his feeding tube. Eventually when he transitions off the cpap to the nasal canula, they will put it down his nose, but the cpap can push air in their bellies, so they like to use the larger tube a little longer. He is so happy to be able to close his lips, though! He lets the cpap fill his cheek with air, then blows bubbles to let it out. So, so cute.

He is overall just a much happier baby now that that tube is gone! He loves to be touched now (although, only firm touch. No stroking, etc. His nervous system is still developing and anything other than firm touch is too much. This is a hard thing to learn as your natural instinct is to stroke a baby’s sweet skin!). He can cry now, and his little squeaks melt my heart. When he does cry though, he loves a firm hand on his back (he was laying on his belly tonight), especially from his daddy.

This is all a huge step forward for him. We still cannot hold him because he has his arterial line in his umbilical cord and it is very fragile, but they’re hoping to remove that tomorrow.

He is a strong and feisty one! He needs to not bend an flail around his arm with his PICC line in it, but he does, so they have his arm taped to a board (still somewhat flexible). He wants it free so bad! He has ripped the tape off multiple times today! Stinker!

Also, he was under the bilirubin lights for jaundice yesterday. They thought he’d have 2-3 more days but when we arrived tonight he was off! His levels may still go up, but his nurse yesterday said they usually level off around 7 days old.

It is quite surreal to think that at this time a week ago, I had NO idea all of this was about to happen. I checked into the hospital the next day, and you all know the story from there. What a week. I’m beyond thankful for the ways I’ve been cared for – both overall by a God who always knew this would be my story and orchestrated it all perfectly, to the physical care of the nurses, doctors, friends and family around me. We are so incredibly blessed.

Josiah Mark

The last few days have marked our lives forever. Our sweet boy came into the world very early Thursday morning in a traumatic way, but we couldn’t be more glad he’s here, and more thankful for all the ways God’s hand was so evidently paving the way for his birth.

Lots of people have asked the story, so I’m going to post it here. Fair warning: some of this may be major TMI. If you’re freaked out already by me saying placenta, uterus, gushing blood, throwing up, catheter… Stop now! The rest of you, read on. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I was around 29 weeks pregnant when my blood pressure started to rise. It wasn’t super dangerously high, but they definitely started keeping a close eye on it. One night when I was 30 weeks, it had been super high all day, and I couldn’t get it to read below 140/90 (when you start treading in dangerous territory). I made a call to my midwife around 10pm and she had me lay down and it did come down to an “ok” level. She had me come in for labs the next day (Thursday, Mar 14) and an appointment Friday. They were getting concerned about preeclampsia, “a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during the pregnancy and postpartum period. Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or the baby.” At my appointment Friday, I learned that my labs showed an issue with my kidneys, but they weren’t too worried at this point. I had planned to go to MN for my second baby shower that weekend, and the midwife said I was ok to go, but I needed to come in on Monday. We did go up to MN (and thank you for the amazing shower, girls!), but I didn’t feel great all weekend. I saw the midwife first thing Monday morning, and my BP was still high and even after lying down it wasn’t coming down. She wanted me to try a couple herbal supplements, and see if we could lower my blood pressure that way, since they really weren’t concerned about the kidneys at that point. She scheduled me for weekly appointments every Monday from there on out and weekly non-stress tests every Friday to monitor the baby. She wanted to repeat my labs that Thursday, to see how they had changed in a week. But then at the end of the appointment, it almost seemed like a mistake at the time, she asked me to do labs quick before I left. I gave them more of my blood and headed on my way with my list of herbs. I picked them up at the natural food store on the way home. I was emailing with my midwife that night and the next morning, because I wasn’t sure if one of what I had gotten was quite right. She told me to hold off, she had just gotten my labs and was waiting for a call back from the OB they work with, because one of them was concerning. She finally called me that afternoon (Tuesday, Mar 19), and said she hadn’t talked to Dr. Schwartz yet, but that I needed to pack a hospital bag, because she just knew he was going to have me admitted. I was NOT expecting any of that! I somewhat frantically packed myself a bag for my indefinite hospital stay, and packed a few things for the baby (we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl!) juuuust in case I didn’t come home before the baby came (I thought it was a long shot, but didn’t want to have to try to explain to Andy where and what everything was if I did need him to bring it at some point. We even laughed about it as we left the house “well that’s a weird thought that we wouldn’t make it back before the baby’s born” …ha!

We got to the hospital around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon and they admitted me, had me on bed rest on my left side, and had me start a 24 hour urine sample to check for protein which can indicate preeclampsia. I was BORED, but everything seemed fine. Andy was here with me for some of the evening, then went to pick up the dogs (Torq had actually had a couple of teeth pulled that day!), and then he did come back for a bit that evening again. He went home and slept for the night and I tried to get sleep in my uncomfortable hospital bed, with nurses coming in every couple hours and 2 monitors strapped to my belly to monitor the baby.

Wednesday was another long, boring day. They repeated my PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) labs, and I continued bedrest and my 24 hour urine. I was really feeling quite “fine” the whole day. They asked me to rate my pain each time they came in the room, and my answer was always zero.

The nurses change shifts at 7 and 7, and my new nurse came in sometime between 7:30-8 to meet me that night. She was amazing, and absolute gift from God. Honestly, I couldn’t have made it through what transpired over her 12 hour shift so well without her. I need to figure out a good gift for her. She came in and asked a bunch of questions, and I was the only patient she had at the time, so she stayed to chat for about an hour. We talked about Minnesota, Kansas City, the crazy hot summer we had here, her pregnancies, her kiddos, just everything. I felt like I was talking to a friend. Andy had a super long day at work (he has been an absolute rock star taking care of EVERYTHING for us this whole week!!), and didn’t make it down to the hospital until about 8:30. He was exhausted, so we just played a hand of cards (which I lost, boo!). He headed home for the night shortly after 10.

I got ready for bed after he left (I was able to wear my own clothes while I was here which was nice!), and laid down to try to get comfy. That was just not happening. I figured it was from lying on my one hip for days on an uncomfortable bed, but I just could not get comfy. My nurse, Chanell, came in and checked on me around 11:30, and I told her I was just going to try to get some sleep.

The discomfort in my lower back and lower belly was getting worse. I knew they were going to need to come adjust the monitors, so I decided to let myself get into ANY comfortable position until they did. I remember kind of rolling back and forth, not sure if any of it was comfy, when all of a sudden I felt a HUGE GUSH. I thought my water had broken, but I couldn’t be sure. I wasn’t super concerned if that was the case, I knew enough to know that wasn’t the end of the world. There are lots of things they can do at that point to keep baby in and healthy. I called my nurse and let her know that something weird just happened, but did give her the disclaimer that I may have peed my pants. Lol. She told me to just stay calm and she’d be there in a minute. She brought in a kit to test what had come out to see if it was amniotic fluid. Another nurse and a resident OB had come with her as well. They asked me a bunch of questions, and the two nurses helped me pull my pants off. They were FULL of blood (the one nurse estimated about 300ccs). This was the first moment that bits of panic started to set in. I called Andy to let him know (that was at 11:50pm), but my doctor wasn’t even coming in at that point, so I didn’t think Andy needed to lose sleep and drive all the way here over something that could have been nothing. They kept asking if I knew my placenta placement, and I kept telling them it was anterior (in the front). Because I wasn’t in any pain (just discomfort/tightness), none of them believed this could be a placental abruption, they thought we were dealing with a previa (where the placenta is positioned over the cervix). They got the monitors situated again and baby’s heartbeat was fine and I wasn’t having contractions. I was still very uncomfortable, but they were placing my IV and getting the kit to start a catheter (even if it was just a previa bleed, I’d need to be on complete bed rest until delivery). They got orders from my doctor to start magnesium to try to lower my blood pressure, which was at 182/119 at this time. As soon as they started the magnesium, (pardon my language), shit hit the fan. I started throwing up and quickly filled two bags before my 8 huge heaves were over. I felt like absolute death. Then my body started to feel like it was 150
degrees, and I remember telling them ” I’m soooooooo hot!” Someone got me a cold washcloth for my forehead and that did help, but they assured me it was just from the medicine.

At some point in here I was able to call Andy back, that was at 12:23am. I’m pretty sure that was just after I threw up. At that point I wanted him here, but still didn’t want him to have a horrible night over me just being sick. I was trying to tell him that, and he was half asleep and not quite comprehending everything, and Chanell looked me in the eye and said “it would be a good idea for him to get here”. So I relayed that to him and hung up. When I threw up, it was so violent I had dislodged the monitors again so Chanell worked hard to get them back in place. I knew something really wasn’t ok when she called over one of the other nurses because she couldn’t get it and wanted her to try. They weren’t getting anything for his heartbeat, so someone went to grab a portable ultrasound machine. Everything is pretty much a blur for me because of the yucky magnesium, and the amount of blood that I had lost. My doctor arrived at the same time as the ultrasound machine and wheeled it to my far side. He sat down and placed the wand on my belly, and said very matter of factly, “we need to go. Now.” Next thing I knew, the sides of my bed were up, wheels unlocked, and everyone who had been in that room with me (lots of nurses and doctors!) all had a side of my bed and were RUNNING full boar through the halls of he hospital. I couldn’t even open my eyes because I felt so sick, but did open them when we got to the OR. I’ve never been in one before, and I remember it didn’t look how I expected! They worked frantically to get their tools ready (Dr. Schwartz yelled, “it doesn’t matter! Just throw everything on the table!!”), they doused my belly with iodine, inserted my catheter, placed a plastic cover over where the would cut, and tried to hang a “curtain” in front of my face (they had nothing to hang it with, so they were trying to wrap it around some poles). Wile they were all working on that, the anesthesiologist was up by my head trying to get ready to put me under. He could not get the machine to turn on that would monitor my heart rate, BP, oxygen, etc. Everyone in the room tried to push that power button, but the machine was not going to turn on. The finally unhooked it from all the hoses in the ceiling, and someone grabbed a new one. They got it hooked up, but THAT one wasn’t working either!! Dr. Schwartz was getting a little frantic at this point, he was shouting to the anesthesiologist that he needed me under like 5 minutes ago, and the anesthesiologist was shouting to someone else “I don’t care what but get me something to monitor her blood pressure, heart rate, etc!!” I was getting worried at this point that they were going to give up on a anesthesia and just slice me open. I remember asking my nurse if anyone was going to hurt me, and if I could please just have some warning if something was going to hurt. She assured me all was ok. I don’t know what they got, but finally there was a mask on my face and he said to me “ok, you’re going to go to sleep for a bit, we will see you soon.” I tearfully said thank you and I was out.

Josiah was born at 12:49am (just 26 minutes from my second phone call to Andy!). His first APGAR score was only 3 (it needs to be over 7), and he was very limp and pale. Because my placenta HAD in fact separated (abrupted), and the 1/3 that abrupted included his cord, Josiah was without support from me for a while, and that’s why they needed to get him out as fast as they possibly could. His heart rate was in the 80s while in my room, but was around 100 when he was born. To give perspective it hadn’t been under 140 my whole pregnancy, which is very normal. They didn’t need to resuscitate him at all when he was born, and he did try to breathe on his own when he came out. He wasn’t able to breathe enough, so they intubated him, and he is still intubated now. He was taken right to the NICU.

In a surgery like mine that is such an emergency, they don’t take the time to count all of their tools, sponges, etc. What they do is just do the surgery, close me up, and take me for an X-ray to see if anything is still inside. Unfortunately they found a sponge the had left behind, so they had to open me back up. The were planning to leave me under the whole time, but as they pushed on my belly I woke up. I was intubated at the time, and pulled the tube out while a couple nurses tried to hold me down. Then I started throwing up again (yes, while still lying flat on my back on the bed with an oxygen mask over my face. That was not pleasant. My nurse said to me, “you look a little green” – and I felt really green! Sometime during this awake time I asked Chanell if the baby was ok, and if I was ok and she said yes, and told me it was a baby BOY! They got me cleaned up, put me back under, and reintubated me to finish the surgery. Next thing I knew I was waking up in my recovery room, and I finally got to see Andy (who had pictures of our baby boy for me!). I was still very out of it for many hours. My amazing nurse said I could have been transferred to post partum, but I was her only patient and she wanted to keep me with her until she went home for the day. I seriously can’t say enough about her – she was an absolute godsend. She sat with me in that recovery room for hours and each time I woke up she got me a sip of water or anything else I needed.

Once I got settled in my post partum room, around 10:30am, they got me a wheelchair and I was able to go meet Josiah for the first time. He was just precious!

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We’ve both got a long road of healing ahead of us, and as hard as it is to be separated from him – there’s a peace that comes with knowing he’s in amazing hands and I can heal. We are both doing as well as can be expected.

Apparently being intubated does quite the number on your throat, so 3 days later I’m still struggling to speak. It’s getting better each day, but they said it will still be a few more days until that’s back to normal. I apologize to those who have wanted to talk to me who I’ve had to turn down. It just takes too much exertion, which puts a lot of pain on my incision too.

I will continue to update this blog with updates about my recovery and about Joey as he continues to develop and grow, and as we eventually bring him home one day. He wasn’t due until May 19, and likely wont come home until about then.

I’ve got lots of updates even as we’ve been here. I will work on those tomorrow. 🙂

Shatto Milk

You might remember from my very first post that one of my top 5 things in Kansas City was Shatto Milk. Today we got the chance to tour their farm. This is a MUST DO of you’re ever in KC! The farm is about an hour north of our house, and so worth the drive. We got to meet the cows, meet a couple calfs, and see the milking and bottling process. Such a fun day!

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Standing: Moogle, Laying: Tessa

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Tessa – just 13 days old!

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Moogle – just over a month old. You can see how tiny she is compared to Andy’s hand! Named because of Google Fiber 🙂

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Chewing on EVERYTHING!

The girls getting milked!

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck if a Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood?

I haven’t written here in a long time. Really long time. Lots has happened since I last wrote (like buying a new house!), and I haven’t quite known where to start.

But I’ve got a great (somewhat embarrassing, even!) story to share, so I figure why not start there?! Enjoy. I’ll catch you up on the rest of life soon :).

Our new house has a huge backyard. About half of it is fenced, and the other half is wooded behind the fence. It is beautiful! This means, though, that we see a lot of unique wildlife! We’ve seen turkeys, deer, coyotes, lizards, birds, squirrels, etc. They all make the puppies go nuts (did I mention we have floor to ceiling windows?! Ha). Our neighbor was telling us at one point that he had woodchucks in his backyard. I didn’t say anything at the time, but laughed hysterically internally because… See title. I had no idea woodchucks were real. No idea. I thought they were a fictional thing from a tongue twister. (when I told Andy this, he said, what do you think they wrote the tongue twister about?! He loves me.) Anyways, I googled it. Sure enough, they were real and I had seen one in our backyard! How cool! A few weeks after this we were at our neighborhood block party. We were chatting with the neighbors about the wildlife and Andy was listing off the things we’d seen. He didn’t say woodchuck, but had added groundhog to the list. Me, being the “always have to be right” wife I am (working on it…), interjected “and woodchucks” to the end of his list. No one said anything. Didn’t think much of it.

Fast forward a month or so, and we had another in our backyard. Now, when Andy said “groundhog” to our neighbors, I had chuckled inside again. Groundhog?! Those are real?! For a girl BORN ON GROUNDHOGS DAY, I should know this. But again, totally thought it was a fictional character. I always pictured Punxsutawney Phil as a prairie dog. Don’t ask. Anyways, we had one in the yard. I googled woodchuck to see the images again and confirmed, yup, woodchuck. Then it came back to me that Andy said we had had groundhogs. I got curious as to what a groundhog looked like, so I googled it. And it looked exactly like a woodchuck. I couldn’t believe it!! I went back to regular google to see what this was all about and sure enough the first hit “groundhog, also known as woodchuck”. HILARIOUS!

{this is not one of our woodchucks/groundhogs, I haven’t gotten a good picture of them yet}


So, in case you were wondering too – groundhogs AND woodchucks are real (and the same thing)! And they’re huge! And we have them in our backyard. Actually, they live under our next-door neighbors shed, but have chewed themselves a nice hole through our fence so they can come and go as they please. Real nice.

Puppies, Ice Cream, and Target – random thoughts for you today!

Torq and Milo would like to say “Hello” from Kansas City!!

[This is the FIRST time I’ve taken out my camera since we moved! GASP! I miss it!!]

A couple experiences from yesterday:

– We went out for ice cream (actually, frozen yogurt) last night. This, friends, is love. I LOVE ice cream. Andy…. HATES ice cream. 🙂 But he makes the sacrifice for me. And I was a very happy girl!

– We stopped at Target afterwards. I went in the bathroom (sorry if that’s TMI) and there was a lady with 3 kids and an entire cart in there. I walked in as she was trying to back the cart out of the stall. It was quite the sight! I had to quickly get into a stall to not laugh right there out loud. 🙂

I think that’s all I have to say for today! I’m off to start making some Christmas cookies – YUM! I’ll post the recipes later 🙂

5 Things I Love About Kansas City

(in no particular order)

1. Funny 102.5 – Such a fun discovery. This radio station plays comedy 24/7. They play just little 5 minute clips from different comedians… hilarious!

2. Shatto Milk – YUM. This milk is from a farm just north of our place, sold at the grocery store. It comes in fun glass bottles and also comes in flavors like chocolate, strawberry, orange dream, banana, root beer… I mean what more could you want from milk? It’s amazing.

3. QuikTrip – This is like a gas station on steroids. It’s a little crazy. Andy and I stopped at one when we were down here looking for houses. The guy who worked there was SUPER excited about QT too, wanted to show us everything. If you want pop, a slushie, cappuccino, this is your place. They have a pop machine like any other gas station but instead of 6 choices, they have like 30. Instead of 2 slushie flavors, they have 10. Instead of 10 cappuccino flavors, they have 25. AND they have a fresh whipped cream machine. AWESOME. They always have cheap gas too (got some for $2.93 yesterday, all you MN peeps!), and they’re always clean and nice.

4. Oklahoma Joe’s – I love barbeque. I mean, LOVE barbeque. Favorite restaurant: Famous Daves. I should say ‘former’ favorite restaurant. Because nothing can top Oklahoma Joe’s now :). I first went to OK Joe’s when I was down here with Andy for business once. I don’t remember when or why we were here, but John and Phil took us out to lunch. We pulled up in a TINY gas station… here I was thinking we needed gas or something. Nope, we’re eating lunch here. And guess what, it’s been my favorite restaurant since! It really is in a gas station, and there is usually a line of about 100 people out the door at all times of day. Yes, 9 am… 3 in the afternoon… it is THAT good. And how cool that it’s just a tiny old gas station! If any of you all come to visit me, rest assured I will take you to Oklahoma Joe’s!

5. Ya know, I really wish I could remember number 5. But there is so much else I could add to this list, maybe number 5 is just the rest. John and Tammy and their families are at the top of the list – they have been incredibly welcoming and helpful. Between offering Andy a place to stay while he commuted here for 3 weeks and brining us all dinner when we arrived, as well as making us dinner and dessert multiple times already – we couldn’t have asked for better friends to welcome us to Kansas City. We have been very blessed by them! There’s also the reality of more quality time with my husband, more time with the puppies, long walks, a Hobby Lobby near by, cheap gas (!) and the list could go on and on… We’re beyond grateful for this opportunity!

Sure, there are things that aren’t perfect [being 450 miles from anyone and anything we know and love, their SKINNY roads, expensive milk, living in a townhouse with dogs who are used to roaming a big yard all to themselves, no Eagle Brook Church, etc…] but we are so happy to be here. We are making the most of the things that aren’t perfect, because we know God placed us here, here and now, for a reason.