Category Archives: Marriage

Mother’s Day

There is so much in my head and in my heart on this very important day. Mothers are amazing people, and I’m honored to have joined their ranks. In some ways my journey has just begun, and yet every piece of life has been leading to this time. There are so many who have touched and shaped my life in ways that impact the mom I am to my son. So on this Mother’s Day…

To my mama: it all starts with you. Without you, there would be no me, and there would be no Joey. Your patience, guidance, and love have modeled for me the mom I want to be for my son. “Thanks mom for life!”

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To Andy’s mama: thank you for raising the man I had the privilege of marrying. I pray someday Joey’s future wife will be as blessed by the way he was raised as I am by the way you raised your son. He’s an amazing guy and I know so much of that credit goes straight to you.

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To my godmother: thank you for always loving and supporting me in a way like none other. You have so perfectly embodied the role of godmother – leading my life toward Christ, and loving me like a mom.

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To my grandmas, great-grandmas, aunts, and cousins: thank you for being wonderful examples of women and mothers in my life. Our family tree is rich with love and devotion and I am who I am because of your influence.

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To the moms I used to come over and help out with your kids while I was growing up: you may have thought I was helping you, but really you were helping me. While I was learning to love by investing in your kiddos, I was also watching you and learning from you. Those experiences are still with me today and have molded me into the mom I am and will be.

To the moms I nannied and did daycare for: wow. As a mom myself now, I can see just what it took to entrust your kiddos with me every day. I had so much love to give, but no babies of my own, so thank you for sharing yours every day. My experiences with your kids taught me a ton, and I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them. They’re all amazing kids and were (are!) a blessing in my life.

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To all my mom friends: thank you for walking this road before me and opening your lives to me to ask any questions I need to, and for your constant encouragement and support. Joey thanks you for keeping his mama grounded.

To my photographers, Jessica and Alyisa: no words can describe the gift you’ve given me as a mom. The moments you’ve captured I will hold in my heart forever, and I’ve got a photo to remember it. Thank you for loving on me as a new mom, and for taking the time and care to capture perfect moments with my boy.

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To my husband: you’re not a mom, but without you I wouldn’t be the mom I am today. Your unwavering faith, your patience and love, your strength and devotion, your encouragement and support are all things I am learning from and that are vital to my relationship with Joey. I’m thankful to have had you by my side for this whole crazy ride.

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To my RE, midwives, OB, and labor and delivery nurses: thank you for the role you played in this big story. If you had not been there and stepped in when and how you did, I may not be celebrating today with a baby in my arms. I am incredibly grateful for your education, wisdom, love, and care. Keep doing what you’re doing, because its an amazing thing.

To my NICU nurses: thank you. From the bottom of my heart. You were mamas to my baby when I couldn’t be there, and you loved on me as a mama in a way no one else could or did. Your experience and knowledge as fellow moms and as nurses is something I’ll carry with me as I raise this boy. Thank you for loving him.

To all the mamas-to-be still waiting and hurting: I feel you. Having a baby doesn’t take all the pain away. I still hurt remembering the many years this day has passed as a painful day. Being a mom now doesn’t erase the past, but it does let me see it in a different light. Every pain, every tear, every failed cycle, every lost baby led us to here. It all brought me my boy. And I’d do it all again to be here with him. Trust that your take-home baby is coming, and every step right now is just a tiny piece of the big story unfolding in your life. I’m praying for peace and strength for you today.

To my godson, Luke: you made me a godmama for the first time this year too! I am so honored to play this role in your life. You are an amazing boy already and I can’t wait to watch you and your BFF Joey (aka Han Solo) grow up together. I’m praying for you daily, and praying for strength and wisdom to be an example in your life and love you in a unique way as your godmother. Love you, Lukey!

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To my furbabies, my first kids: thank you for giving me a place to share my love. I don’t always do it right, but I absolutely love being your mama too. You are naughty and crazy, but you love so unconditionally and have taught me patience and love on a whole new level. Never stop giving an abundance of kisses and wagging your tails when I walk in the room. You’ve taken up a big part of my heart and no one could replace that.

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To my two babies in heaven: I miss you. I can’t wait to rock you someday, to scoop you up in my arms and give you the kisses I never got to. I can’t wait for you to meet your little brother – your short lives were a big part of our story and paved the way for him to come into our lives. Thank you for giving me my first taste of the love I’d have to give my babies as a mom.

To Josiah, my son: you’ve added a richness and depth to my life that’s like no other. Your little life has changed mine in a big way. I am so incredibly blessed to have you here today. I pray I never for a second lose sight of the miracle of your life. I can’t wait to watch you grow up into the man you were created to be. Your life has got a big, big purpose and I’m excited to be a part of that. Thanks for making me a mama.

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April 4

April 4, 2012 I sat in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist for the very first time. The day was a scary one, but also one filled with hope. After our second incredibly painful miscarriage that past January, and nearly a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, I had been sent to an RE.

The next few months were filled with countless meds, diet changes, tests, pokes (I’m a champ at getting blood drawn now!), shots, more meds, appointments… And the list goes on. And none of it worked. I felt so defeated. As those months went on I thought we’d cross the year mark with still no baby in our arms.

And then we had to take a month break from it all, that was the soonest we could get back in to the RE for a consultation and to make a new plan with new meds, procedures, etc. And in that month? Sweet Josiah found his home in my womb.

And little did I know at the time he’d be making his appearance exactly two weeks before April 4, making my c-section follow up land on that same date just one year later.

So today I’ll be sitting back in that same doctors office, not to see the RE, but to see my amazing OB. And I’ll be reflecting on the fact that, as our pastor said to us about Josiah on Sunday, “he was right on time.”

That’s been the biggest lesson for me to learn over the last two years filled with miscarriages, infertility, and now preemie parenting – none of it is on my time, but it all happens right on time, in His perfect time.

For those of you today still in that dark, lonely, scary, empty valley – be it infertility or something else entirely – trust in the truth that His timing is always right.

Hodge Podge

I realized there are a lot of things I wanted to post about here, but they may not fit into another post, so they’re all going here 🙂

{his name}
Before Josiah’s birth, Andy and I literally had not discussed names once. We always joked that we had backup names – Andy and Sam (Andrea and Samuel) because we’d be the only ones who could use their nicknames. But that was the farthest the discussion ever went. We thought we had 9 more weeks. Ha! So he went most of his first day of life with no name. Just “baby Nelson”. We saw him a couple times, and still nothing came to us. Andy threw out there that he thought he looked like a Joey. That nickname had been on my list with a couple different full names. We didn’t want Joseph, but tossed around Jonas, Jonah, and Josiah. We played around with those names for a while late Thursday night. Then we looked up the meanings of those three names, and when we came to Josiah, we knew that was his name. “The Lord saves”. There couldn’t be a more fitting name for our boy.

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Mark is after his daddy. 🙂

{the miracle of it all}
We have been told in no uncertain terms by multiple people that had we not been in the hospital when my placenta abrupted we would have had a dead baby and a very sick mom. There is no possible way we could have gotten anywhere in time to do anything about it. That is both a terrifying and comforting thought all at the same time. I started out this pregnancy at a totally different doctor and hospital. I didn’t really like the way they did things – there were about 10 OBs and you see each one once. I didn’t know any of them, and they didn’t know me. I had to retell my story over and over and it just didn’t seem like a good fit for me. I was nervous about switching doctors so late in pregnancy, but a friend encouraged me to seek out a midwife around 24 weeks. I did. I loved them. Their practice is two midwives, and they work closely with an OB. It ended up being the absolutely best decision I ever could have made. I am so grateful to my midwife for using her judgement to pass me off to the OB when she felt I was beyond her realm of care, and for passing me of to the best OB in Kansas City. I hadn’t met Dr. Schwartz until the day I was admitted to the hospital. Every nurse I had my entire stay when they asked who my doctor was just gushed about how lucky I was when I told them Schwartz was my OB. Little did I know just how true that was. The NICU doctor on call the night Joey was born was talking to us a couple days after his birth. She said she had gone over my whole story, and said “you need to know this baby is an absolute miracle”. What a humbling place to be. I can’t say enough about the amazing care both Joey and I have/had at the hospital. But we know it wasn’t all in the doctors hands. No way. It’s amazing to look back and see all the ways this should have gone wrong. But Someone greater than us was and is writing this story, and He’s not finished yet. I just can’t wait to see the next few chapters. 🙂

{daddy}
I need to just brag on this guy for a few minutes —>

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He has been so amazing through this whole thing. From doing everything to take care of the dogs and house while I was on hospital bedrest, working his butt off long hours at his brand new job, and still finding time to come sit with me… and that’s all before our son was born and his role was stepped up even higher. He wasn’t at the hospital when Joey was born. He arrived and the front desk person said “oh, they just took your wife to the OR”, and he was told he could go sit in my room. He walked in to a complete disaster in the room. There were literally instruments and such just strewn about – it was clear something major had happened. But he held it together like only he can. He had an agonizing wait until someone could come tell him what was going on. I don’t think I’ll ever forget waking up for the first time in my recovery room and seeing him… I had never been so glad to have my best friend by my side. He showed me pictures of our baby boy and then sat with me for hours while I recovered. This first week has not been easy on him. He has has to experience things I never had a chance to warn him about (haha!). But he’s taken it all in stride and never once complained. He helps me get up all through the night now that were home, continues to work full time, and spends his entire evening loving on our son. I couldn’t be more proud. ❤

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(this is hands down my favorite picture ever. He is so in love.)

{a few more brags}
My mom has been here all week helping care for me, take care of the house, making every meal, and driving me up to the hospital. This help has been so, so wonderful. Not sure how I would have done this week without her!
My sister also came down for a few days and helped my mom shop for, plan, and prepare a ton of meals. It was so good to have her here!
Andy’s parents came and got our first babies (the pups) and I know they’re having a wonderful time being spoiled at Grandma and Grandpas.
All the friends and family who have sent us flowers, cards, gifts… You know who you are and we are so thankful for you. Thank you for thinking of us!
And then our Kansas City friends who have taken us under their wings and come around to support us in this crazy time while we’re far from family – thank you! It means more to us than you know.

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. 🙂

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.