Kennedy's first snow angel!
Kendall's snow angel
Katie making her snow angel
My first snow angel in probably 20 years!
Dustin, the girls and "Frosty"
The war is on!
Kendall making snow cream
Katie making snow cream (I apparently cut off her head....)
Hello all! Sorry life has been crazy and I haven't been able to post. I'll try not to bore you!

Dustin and I had a great time in St. Louis! The room was awesome! And the best part... The tub! Dustin knows me so well! He even let me get my geek on and we explored the Arch.
The main reason for the trip to St. Louis was to go visit my new hematologist. We had a good trip down and even made it to the appt on time despite our little stop outside Troy with the MO state police. :-) Just a little speeding ticket!

We met first with the Fellow. She was super nice and told us that my medical records came through but that it would take them some time to make it through the 250+ pages! Wow! That was only the last 2 1/2 yrs... I've been a busy girl!

It was a great visit with Dr Blinder. He really answered all our questions and I never felt rushed. Trust me! Anyone who knows me knows I had at least a million. He ordered additional tests and we are just waiting for final results. I'll be curious to know more of what's going on. I did get called the most complicated patient of the day! :-) Dr Blinder also acknowledged that in his 20+ years he had only had two patients that had the Anti Prothrombin Antibody. I would be #3. So we pretty much confirmed I'm a freak of nature. Woo Hoo!
We had fun with all the snow. So glad we didn't get the blizzard they were calling for. Kennedy LOVED it! The girls loved playing in it too! They made snow angels and a snowman. We even taught them how to make snow cream. We used the snow as a freezer to freeze the ice cream. Definitely did not eat the snow. YUCK! I took pics of the snowman with Dustin's phone or else I'd post them too.
I'm learning how to deal... Life has handed me bananas. Kennedy is 9 1/2 months now so pretty much the last 18 months has been Hades for me. It's been a series of ups and downs with a lot more downs than ups. But I'm trying to make banana bread with it all.

I've had problems with depression since I gave birth to Katie Bug. People couldn't look at me without me bursting in to tears. I'd no sooner gotten it under control and Surprise! There came Kendall! It's been a battle but I've been able to handle it.

I still have issues with depression and now its good friend Anxiety has come to visit. It makes it all so hard! It's hard to talk yourself in to going to do the things you love and enjoy. Especially when you know you'll have a good time once you get there.

So why am I bringing this up? This blog has been my therapy of sorts. It's always easy to talk to the anonymous, the person with no face, even though pretty much all of you are family and friends. I haven't been out there with my struggle because it's private and I try to be a private person. But since anxiety came to visit, it's making it increasingly harder to go out and be out. So I want everyone to know, I'm not being shy, I'm not being a snob or a witch. I'm working on this.

My hubby is phenomenal! He's there encouraging me to get out, make those hard choices. He also understands when it's just too hard to leave the house and listens when I do my "stinking thinking". I was finally cleared to exercise so I'm hitting the fitness center after work three times a week. I made an appt with a therapist and I'm waiting to get my depression meds adjusted. Hopefully I can get back to being me soon. In the mean time, please bear with me. I'm a work in progress!

Love you all! *MUAH*
In our church's hymnal is a song called "Count Your Blessings". I just love it! The chorus goes like this:

Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done.

(Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 241. Count Your Blessings)

This song kept popping in to my head today. We had a checkup with Katie. She's great! She's had a growth spurt. Healthy, happy girl. Doctor Katie (appropos, no?) even made the comment that she doesn't see Katie often because she's so healthy.

We are unbelievably blessed! I follow a few families on Facebook that have/had health issues. Baby Ella - a family that has lived through my greatest nightmare. They had a house fire and were unable to get to their baby girl. Luckily two firefighters were able to save her. She has gone to Hades and back but is a happy, healthy adjusted girl a year later.

Team Jackson - a little boy (3?) that has liver cancer. I had seen others supporting this family and posting on their page. It struck a chord with me and now I follow their FB page. Then I realized that Leila, Jackson's mom went to college with Dustin and I. I think sometimes we get so full of ourselves that we forget that the world still rotates, just not around us. It absolutely blew my mind to see how easily I could have been in her situation. She's so strong! They were recently told nothing more could be done for him. They dug in and started looking around at different hospitals and found one that says now they could do a transplant!

This has all made me realize how precious life is and how good I've really got it. Yes we have our ups and downs. I have had a lot of pity me moments. But when I get down, I just think of the hymn. Count your blessings, name them one by one. This is a lot of the intended purpose of this blog; to find all the Woo Hoo moments each day.

Name my blessings? There are too many to count! My top 3 are Katie, Kendall & Kennedy. Every day they serve as a reminder of God's love and the true miracle they are.

So what are your blessings? Can you name them one by one? Would love to hear from everyone! *MUAH*

Count your blessings even on a night like this!
My 3 Blessings!
Well I am bummed! I had written this really great post and had all the cute pictures... And it didn't save it... So I'm starting all over again!

First of all, I am so excited! I looked at my stats on here and I have regular followers even though I am horrible about posting. :-) Either I am so interesting or I have a rather diligent stalker(s). Either way... THANK YOU!
3 month stats!
6 month stats!
You guys love me! You really really love me!

Okay enough with the cheesiness... A brief update on me. I met with the surgeon and got the final all clear on my wound. Yay! He warned me though to ease back into life as it apparently takes a while for the incision to be strong enough. So no heavy weightlifting for me... Oh Darn!

I also have an appoinent with a specialist to find more info about my blood disorder, Anti Prothrombin Antibody. I just want to make sure that we are doing everything right and handling it correctly. One can never have too much info when it comes to your health. Or I guess I should clarify. The info should come from good sources. Stay away from researching online. Half the time I decide I have this horrible disease and it will turn out not so bad. Technology is both a blessing and a curse!

So the good thing is that my hubby decided to take this appointment and make it a Woo Hoo moment! He is taking me away for a weekend! Just a fun, stress free weekend! Shopping and maybe a movie without animated characters or princesses. I'm easy to please!
So I'm working on my New Years resolution which is to start letting myself ease up a little. I have had to have so much control, the anxiety has been taking over. I don't want to live like that, so I resolve to let it go. Easier said than done. But I'm making baby steps...
I actually let my sister dye my hair AND I started curling it! *SHOCK*
I accidentally wore my crazy socks to work one day and no one noticed or cared!
Start working out. No time for the gym? I'm using Kennedy as my weights.
I also promise to start updating and writing more often. Ill be sure to record all my new experiences I'm opening myself up to.

Until next time everyone! Love you all! *MUAH*
Kendall and her trusty steed!
Katie Bug riding her unicorn. Who needs a horse?
My little flower child!
I AM HEALED!!!! Or I guess I should say my incision is healed. :-) As far as we can tell the surgery was a success. When he got in there, he discovered there was an extra "pocket" behind the pocket I'd been packing. So he cut it all out and sewed it shut. My incision is healed over. I still have to take it easy for the next few weeks and no lifting so I don't tear the new skin. There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you everyone for the prayers and support. They truly worked! Now I just have to be a good girl and get through the next few weeks. Then back to normal. Whatever that is...

Love ya all!!! *MUAH*
Good Morning! Or at least it would be if we hasn't overslept and are now in mad dash to get to school on time! :-)

SO... The new wound doctor tried cauterizing the wound to make it heal up. I guess he underestimated the stubbornness of my wound. So today I have surgery to reopen the wound and look for a stitch, thread or anything that may be preventing the wound from wanting to close.

The timing sucks with Christmas around the corner but I'm glad to get this done and get to healing. Kennedy is almost 7 months now. It's time to be able to be the mom I want to be.

So say a few prayers for me and the fam. I'm praying that we'll be able to make it to all our Christmas celebrations. Plus, since I'm apparently a glutton for punishment, I decided to make my presents for all my nieces and nephews... All 12 of them!!! I'm only 2 down, 10 to go... Completely doable, right? Ill post pics when I get them all done.

Ill have Dustin keep everyone posted. Love you all! *MUAH*
I really need to get better at this whole blog thing! I always think of topics I'd like to talk about and then life gets in the way. I'm so exhausted lately! Gee... I don't know why that could be... Having an almost 6 month old... Nah! That can't be it!

So here's my latest status. I've pretty much told just close family but I think it's time to extend it to everyone else to harness the power of prayer... Tomorrow, Dustin and I consult with a surgeon about my wound. Dr Birsic is an awesome surgeon here at BPS who is also a wound doctor at the wound clinic. My wound has begun to grow bigger and tunnel again. So the time has come for a few changes.

So we are meeting with the surgeon to see about other options. Most likely option is an additional surgery to reopen the wound, clean it out and start all over again. So it's hard to think about all these steps backward but I'm learning that sometimes you need to take a few steps back in order to go forward.

So I'm asking all my friends and family who are the praying kind to say a few prayers for us tomorrow. I'm hoping for good news but am willing to do anything to get this healed. I have a very active little one to keep up with and her 2 big sisters aren't exactly the kinds to sit idly by either. :-)
My three cuties!
I was reading a friend's blog this morning. (Super early since Kennedy apparently liked Midnight last night) and she was talking about choosing to look for the positives and blessings in life in the fave of adversities. (Excuse the long runon sentence)I was reminded that my purpose in this blog was looking for life's woo Hoo

So in all this, what are my woo hoo moments? Well our Bishop is constantly talking about Smart Women Say No and Do Less. When a person begins to feel overwhelmed and stressed, the natural reaction is to speed up and try to do more. This adds to the stress and creates a viscous cycle. Bishop says what we need to do is slow down, say no more often and decrease the stress.

I'm learning that this is definitely true. Through the past 6 months (well 2 years really) I've learned that I've just pushed myself to the brink and need to take a step back. Case in point, Thanksgiving. I have had it at our house for 3 years now. I always kill myself making 2 turkeys and a ton of sides and desserts. This year we did 1 turkey and I only made the dinner rolls. I let everyone else make the sides and desserts and guess what! There was enough food for everyone and my fridge wasn't overflowing with leftovers! (Although I miss the leftover turkey...) we actually ate on time. We didn't have to rush around to get to our other Thanksgiving on time. We were all relaxed and were able to just enjoy ourselves. There just may be something to this slowing down thing...
My little troublemaker and her "horns"!
Hi all! I haven't written in a while so I thought I'd take a chance to update everyone on my status.

We had a great Halloween at our house! We fed into Kendall's obsession with Harry Potter and had her dress up as Harry Potter himself! Then of course Katie had to be the same thing but luckily Daddy talked her into being Draco Malfoy instead. In an effort to save some $$$ I decided to make their costumes myself!
Kendall as Harry Potter
Katie as Draco Malfoy
They loved their costumes! They were truly a labor of love for me to make. First I found the yarn and had to find the exact colors. My wonderful MIL crocheted the scarves. Didn't she do great???

Then I found an online DIY pattern for the robes and had a great time trolling eBay to find the Gryffindor and Slytherin patches. We had to be authentic! And of course the first night I got everything cut out and measured. I drug out the sewing machine my Grandma Erma gave me only to discover it didn't have a foot on it! I was SO disappointed!

Luckily... Kacey to the rescue! She has "old faithful" Grandma Erma's regular sewing machine and let me borrow it! So in a way it was Grandma and I sewing for my girls. I loved it! I miss her so much now (along with my other grandparents of course). It was a comfort to feel like she had a hand in helping me. :-)

Anyhow... The costumes turned out wonderful and the girls loved them!

Now Kennedy kind of got the short end when it came to costumes. I found hers at a Goodwill store for $3! She was Marie from Aristocats. Definitely warm and cozy!
Kennedy as Marie
She seemed to like Halloween a lot... Slept right thru it! But it's the thought that counts right?
Now on to me... I am still NOT healed!!! I am extremely frustrated about this as well as are (if that sounds right?) my docs and nurses at the Wound Clinic. We've tried everything they know to do and now it seems like I take 2 steps forward and 10 steps back! My latest measurement was 1.7 cm which meant the wound had actually grown! *sigh*

So we are trying yet another round of different packing material and hoping for the best. Ill see them again in 1 1/2 weeks and hope to hear better news! I keep joking that I could just mix up some spackle and fill it in. (Some days I seriously consider it!) I even asked if I could go back on the dreaded wound vac! Of course it's too small for that now...

So pray for me! I'm also now not allowed to do any lifting other than the baby. So if you see me trying to be Super Woman, please tattle to Dustin on me. :-) or maybe I'll give you some chocolate not to... LOL! But really, please add us to your prayer lists. I really believe that faith is a healer and miracles can occur because of faith.
One day last week I was cleaning out old emails (only 2300, not horrible right?) and came across emails from right after Kennedy and I came home. So many wonderful people came in and took care of me and my family. They made sure we had meals every night, that my girls had a place to go so I could rest. My niece and sister "babysat" me when Dustin couldn't be home with me. I was surrounded by so many people who loved me! The funny part is now I'm starting to come out of my bubble. Kennedy just turned 5 months old! How is that possible? So reality is starting to trickle back in on me. 5 months has gone by and 3 months of that I spent in my recliner having to watch the world go by so I could just focus on healing. The joys of post-partum depression didn't help either!

So to end on a more positive note, thank you to all those who have helped us over the last 5 months! It means more than you know! There were little miracles all around us and I apologize if I'm just now beginning to see them. Heavenly Father truly has blessed us with incredible family and friends! So to all of you... Thank you for being there and helping me to realize life doesn't have to be a series of AHA or Big Woo Hoo moments. It's the little things that add up over time. *MUAH*
Hi All!!! It has been a lot longer than I thought since I've posted on here. So much has been going on in our lives. Shortly after my last post, we said good bye to our beloved Big Mark. He was loved by so many people! I have never seen so many people in line at the visitation. I think at one point we timed it and it was a 38 minute wait time. And the the line of cars after the funeral! Well lets just say that I feel for anyone who was pulled over waiting for that line to end. :-) I think this says something about the kind of person he was. Truly a great man who was loved and appreciated by so many! We could all be so fortunate!

I left town right after the funeral to head to St Louis for Time Out for Women!!! It was such a great time!!! It's a women only conference that is put on by Deseret Books. It is primarily geared towards LDS women but is open to all women. There were great speakers and amazing music! We heard from Mercy River. There are 3 sisters in the act and they have a beautiful harmony!!! Plus they were so much fun! They shared fun and uplifting stories from their lives as well as their music. The best part was when they did a little spin on "Bye Bye Bye" from NSYNC. Hilarious!!!
There was a lot of spiritual messages shared though and a lot of them felt like they were geared towards me and all that we have going on right now. It's so easy to get down on yourself when we all know how imperfect we are. We learned that other people have holes in their boats too and worry about our own boats. :-) We also heard that it only takes a split second to tell someone we love them or something nice. I think we all get so bogged down in our daily lives that we forget to just say something nice to others. Just one little look, a little smile can do so much for someone else. We were challenged to take 5 split seconds from everyday to say something nice or do something nice for someone else. I'm extending this challenge to all of you. Just 5 little moments of kindness each day. It only takes a split second after all!

Completed bags for Operation Food Search
Also at every Time Out For Women conference, they try to do a service project for a local charity. Last year we made hygiene kits for a local women's shelter. This year we made lunch packs for a local program called Operation Food Search. It is a backpack program from Wentzville, MO. They provide meals for children to take home in their backpacks. Without these meals, some of these children wouldn't have another meal until the next Monday when they come back to school.

I had a chance to speak with the coordinator of the program when I was out walking the hallways with Miss Kennedy (Yes I brought her along too! She still loves me a lot. Something about being the food source. LOL!). Everyone that came to TOFW brought a food item from the list based on their last name. There was Chili, green beans, biscuit mix, and Teddy Grahams. Between everyone at TOFW there was enough food to make over 175 food bags!!! As amazing as this sounds though, this woman feeds 400 children each week. Her program is non-denominational and anyone can get help regardless of their income.

She also told me about a woman who came to her to ask for advice on starting a backpack program. The woman felt impressed that it was her calling to do this program for the local children. The advice that was shared was to just talk about it and ask for donations. Once word got around, it would take care of itself. This has proven to be true as this woman now feeds 27 children each week without having spent a dime of her own money! She publishes on her blog each week a list of items she needs and sets a tote out on her porch and it just seems to keep getting filled! What was equally inspiring about this woman was that the local PTA came to her to offer her 100% funding for her program... BUT she'd have to stop talking about her faith and her story that she believed that Jesus wanted her to do this program. She turned them down!!!!! She knew that this was her calling in life and she wasn't going to stop giving credit where credit was due.

This led me to wonder about my own community and the kids in my daughters' school. Are there kids that are going hungry each weekend and holiday? I've thought about checking into whether my school or any of the Quincy schools need a backpack program or whether there is already one in place that could use another helping hand. Does anyone have any thoughts, info or suggestions on this? I'd love to hear them!

Kennedy looked particularly adorable at Time Out For Women!
So while this conference was amazing and I LOVED having Kennedy with me and getting to spend time with my mom. I also set myself back with my healing from lugging Kennedy (AKA her carrier) around all that weekend. So I need to learn to ask for help and accept it when it's given. My new measurements are still stagnate (I think that's the right spelling) at 1.5 cm... I keep joking each week at the wound clinic that I could just mix some mortar and fill it in or maybe some super glue. One day they'll appreciate my humor. But the upside is that since I no longer need my wound vac, I got to pack up all my leftover supplies and donate them to the wound clinic. They keep them on hand for people who forget their supplies, can't afford them or just need them. I know that I was fortunate to be the recipient of an extra canister that someone donated. The canister I brought with me had a broken valve so they gave me an extra one that had been donated. The vac wouldn't work without it and you can only go 2 hours with the vac off before you have to take it off and repack it. I guess you could say that getting rid of the supplies was one more reaffirmation that I am that much close to being healed!!! Now if my body would just cooperate!
Check out the size of the bag of supplies! and I had to lug that thing all the way through the BHC to the Wound Clinic!
My 3 baby girls!
There was also one day that I was having a particularly rough day. Nothing was going right and just everywhere I turned something was going wrong. I (of course) posted on FB and let myself have a pity party. Then Aunt Bobbi brought up this blog and encouraged me to find my woo hoo moment for that day. I can readily admit that it really made me think. What was my woo hoo moment that day? I let myself have a soda?.?.?. The house didn't blow up... yet?.?.?. But I knew that I always have one woo hoo moment to fall back on. My family. My girls are always a source of entertainment and always show their love and affection. I hope they always know how much I love them and will always treasure all that they share with me.

Our family is all very close. All the sides of our families. Life can never be too bad when you have your family around you. So on those days when you have to dig really deep to find your woo hoo moment for that day... Just take a look around and see the people who are near and dear to you. They'll never leave you, they'll always love you and are a never ending supply of Woo Hoo Moments.

I know that my initial goal in starting this blog was to try to find a Woo Hoo moment in each day. There have been a lot lately, almost too many to count. I've found as I actively look for the Woo Hoo moments of my day, they seem to come easier and easier. That is a blessing in and of itself.

The past 3 1/2 months have been crazy and it would be so easy to let myself just sink in and let the world go by and become incredibly self-absorbed. But having a husband and 3 girls helps prevent that from happening. So my little blog helps to keep me positive.

So now comes my biggest challenge. Trying to find a Woo Hoo moment in something that to everyone else is most definitely NOT a woo hoo moment. Sunday morning at 1 AM, we got a phone call that noone likes getting. Dustin's Uncle Mark (affectionately known as Big Mark) had passed away at 51 from a heart attack. It's in these dark moments that woo hoo moments are the hardest to find yet so important.

So I started to try to think of all the great things about Big Mark. He was an awesome Father, grandpa, husband and uncle. He was a big softie when it came to his family but Heaven help you if you messed with any one of them! He so easily accepted everyone into his fold. He also treated my girls the same as his own grand kids. Katie loves calling him her bestest fishing buddy and still talks about him letting her "drive" the boat.

In all of this I remembered the one big woo hoo moment of his life. Mark left this world knowing he was loved by his family. His family all knew that he loved them. We could all be so fortunate to know this!

So I resolve to remember to tell everyone I love that I do love them, even if they don't alway say it back. I resolve to hug my girls a little bit longer and give them extra kisses even when it's no longer cool to be covered in kisses. I resolve to tell my husband multiple times a day how much I love him and appreciate all that he does for me and for our family. And as we gather on Thursday and Friday to say goodbye to Mark, I look forward to hearing everyone else's woo hoo moments with him. Please feel free to share them here or on the Facebook post.

Until next time, remember I love you all! *MUAH*