Category Archives: friends

One Year

One year ago today, my heart stopped for 20 minutes. Isn’t that crazy?!? On average the heart stoppage time for having a pulmonary valve implant is 45 minutes. A heart can go 3-4 hours on “pause” for transplants.

I’m very thankful for my less than average stoppage time. I credit it to not having the typical brain fog that often follows open heart surgery. I’m also extremely grateful that the Creator of the universe allowed his creation to understand the human body so well as to be able to have the knowledge and skill to do heart surgery. And I’m grateful I was created at this period in time, where I could live a full, mostly healthy life.

Since One year ago:

HEALTH
My health has been great. After the initial healing time, I’ve had more energy and have been able to bounce back better from full, exhausting days or lots of time spent out in the heat.

HOME
Because of such a surprisingly easy and quick recovery, I was bored and started looking at houses. This resulted in us listing our town home to sell. Because of our location and price point, we received 7 offers in 4 days. We found a new home (that we LOVE!) that met our needs and even checked off some hard to find wants (my large kitchen!). Within 4 months of heart surgery, with the help of many family and friends, we moved.

ADDING ON
With cardiologist approval, we found out at the beginning of this year we are expecting our third child. We couldn’t be more thrilled to add to our family. And as I suppose is normal, this third pregnancy is flying by. I can’t believe we are already at 18 weeks.

FINANCES
We are very fortunate to not owe on any of the heart surgery medical bills. We have been sticking with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and the only debt we have is on our new house. We’ve been working really hard on not buying items we really would love but just don’t have the funds for right now (like a new grill) and God has surprised us with some fun stories of perfect used items that “fell into our lap” with very minimal expense. (Like our “new to us” grill. Free from a neighbor two streets down. We just had to buy a couple of small replacement parts.)

OTHER ADVENTURES
*A week after moving in, we “crashed” the national night out block party a street over
*We participated in our new city’s Trash Bash, our little family picking up trash on 3 streets and allies near our home.
*I found an amazing facebook group dedicated to women with CHD. It’s the first time I’ve ever “met” anyone born with a similar heart condition
*We participated in the neighborhood spring fling party, winning 2 of the 5 raffle prizes (I finally have a porch swing!). The party also included the ribbon cutting for the new butterfly park so the boys each got to release a butterfly
*We completed a 16 week marriage enrichment class
*Our oldest son had eye surgery to correct his crossed eyes
*I’ve been able to read at least 1 new book each month since we moved. I love reading, but when our oldest was born, I put that hobby on the shelf.

It’s been a busy year. It’s been a fun year. It’s been a surreal year.

We are looking forward to another full, fun year, with many, many more heart healthy years to follow.

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Filed under baby steps, cardiology, family, friends, grilling, health, housing, marriage, moving, reading

15 days – Van’s in the shop

Well our friends came and went (so good to see them!).

My van is in the shop.  It’s been having issues with the power steering. I thought it was messed up, but then I would always think “Maybe that was my imagination? Maybe I had the wheels turned completely to the left and then I just tried to turn them completely to the right with out taking my foot off the break?”   Our friends borrowed my van while they were in town and let us know it was having issues (OOPS!). So… I’m not going crazy haha!

Took it in yesterday. A part we replaced in March was under warranty, but after they “fixed it” it had more issues last night so it’s back in the shop. We really hope they can figure it out and it doesn’t cost a ton. Plus, we just really need our van back up and running well.

My dad flies in today. Z is really excited. He has it in his head (and on repeat) that he’s “going to the zoo and maybe grandpa can come with.” That’s what I get for saying “MAYBE we could go to the zoo”.  Two year olds are so funny!

That’s about it from here. Trying to finish up more loose ends as the days continue to count down.

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Filed under cardiology, family, friends, health

May is here!

Surgery month has arrived… which means tomorrow is the only day I have nothing on my calendar. Seriously.

We have some very dear friends coming to town on Wednesday and from the moment I pick them up from the airport, it’s a whirlwind. I’m pretty sure I will blink and it will be surgery time.

Another great thing happening this month before surgery is that my dad is flying in for a visit. He is unable to be here for the actual surgery, so he’s visiting a week or so before hand. I know Z is super excited to see Grandpa.

Last month we crossed a bunch of items off the to do list (bunk beds purchased and assembled, family pictures planned and taken, just to mention a few), so now I’ve started my pre-surgery planning, which mostly consists of starting a packing list for the boys.

I had a hilarious conversation with Z this morning when I said “Hey! It’s May! Do you know what that means?”

He replied “Hospital.  [mumble…toddler words…something I couldn’t understand].”  After several minutes I finally figured out he was saying “new scar.” Which is true.

So that is where we are at, figuring out all the logistics and details of what actually needs to be done when surgery time arrives.

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Filed under cardiology, family, friends, health

Thankful

I just felt I needed to share how thankful we are for the generosity of fiends and family. I’ve mentioned in posts before, how we have received gifts for the baby and how the only new items we purchased are some shelving for the baby’s closet.

That still holds true.

Since those posts, we’ve received a few more gifts – a couple of which were duplicates, which actually is completely terrific! Because duplicate gifts mean I can return one and get a store credit. We are now a little over halfway to purchasing the car seat with gift cards & in-store credits.

It’s one of the few items we felt it would be best to make sure was new.

Other than that – in a week or so, May by the Numbers will actually have a bit of an update. The debt snowball is still on hold, but we’ve made some unexpected progress.

Stay tuned…

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Filed under budget, debt, family, friends

March by the Numbers

Basically the same news as before (debt snowball on pause due to slow work & baby on the way) – with some improvement for the self-employed one of the family.  Work has been picking up a bit – so that’s really helpful. We anticipate adding to the “crisis fund” at a slightly higher rate.

Our little guy appears to be healthy as far as any one can tell at this point – so we are very thankful for that.

We are a little over halfway from his arrival, so we’ve been deep in the throws of preparing for a baby in the house while staying as cost conscious as possible.

One of the common questions people ask is what theme the nursery will be. Our answer… Ah? Mustard yellow walls with a twin bed & desk?  We aren’t “themeing” anything really. Not painting. Not really buying new, fancy furniture. Our changing table will be the desk that is in there now. We added a bit of additional shelving in the closet for better organization of new baby stuff – but that’s about it.  We went with generic blue, green, and random animals in the things that we registered for – so – that’s our theme? I guess if you can call it that.

Mostly, as I mentioned last month, I’ve been hitting up a few consignment sales. It really helps to be in a large place like DFW where the suburbs support multiple sales.  Check out these numbers…. Money spent at consignment sales: $135

Approximate amount if all items were purchased new: $466

Some of the items that we purchased:

  • Assortment of bottles
  • ‘Snap & Go’ type caddy/stroller
  • Bathtub
  • A few additional needed clothing items for me
  • SwaddleMes
  • Highchair
  • Nursing Pillow
  • A couple small toys/books
  • Towels

And last, but most certainly not least, we have a wonderful community of family and friends who have given us so many helpful and much-needed items.  Just a few of the items are listed here. Some are straight up baby gifts, and some are “hand-me-downs” from those who have gone before us on the adventure of having kids.

  • Crib & Mattress
  • Pack & play
  • Bassinet
  • Bouncy Seat
  • Car mirror
  • Breast Pump
  • Mobile
  • Towels & wash cloths
  • Glider chair & footstool
  • Bumboo seat
  • A tub of Maternity Clothes
  • Books – Educational and Product research/money-saving tips

So yes – as you can see – we are doing our best to be frugal; to not give in to the culture & emotions of … got to have the biggest and best, nicest nursery with name brand, new everything.  We are so thankful that our family and friends are helping us so much.

When I listen to the Dave Ramsey show – there seems to be a lot of  individuals who did not have supportive friends and family. They had people in their lives that thought they were foolish or a bit nuts to be working to be completely debt free. We are thankful to report that is not the case with us.  Everyone has been more than supportive of our long-term financial goals.

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Filed under budget, by the numbers, dallas, family, friends

An Interesting New Project

This is not a Budget related post – it more of an ARG post.  Though – it’s not quite that either.

Some friends of mine are working on a new project, which has encouraged us to have an ’emergency budget meeting’ and back our first kickstarter project.

Ok – I guess it IS a budget related post. 🙂

Anyway, in the past I’ve blogged about friends who made a feature film (Between Notes). These same friends are launching another new project – and the Kickstarter runs for another 12 days.  If you like Stories, Technology, Creativity, Storytelling, Real-life interaction, and trying to push the boundaries on how we use media to tell narratives, I’d recommend you check it out.

It’s setting is London – on the closing day of the Opening Olympics. It’s told through an App & serialized content (first of which drops on Aug 12 – the literal last day of the Olympics).  It follows the life of 7 characters.  Title: Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret.

Find out more here.

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Filed under arg, books, budget, friends, ipod, literature, reading, technology, uk & ireland

We’re Going to Washington

whoohoo!  We are almost at our 6 month anniversary, so I’m so excited that my friends back home in WA State will finally have a chance to meet my hubby.

Initially we were going to try and go in July so that the weather will be nice, but plane tickets cost to much.  We ended up bumping up the trip dates significantly. So while the weather might be a little cool – I don’t have to wait as long to go.

We already have a Mariners game on the schedule and are also planning on spending a day in Seattle (maybe even going on the underground tour).

Other than that, I have stuff at my parents we need to sort through and either get rid of or ship to DFW.

I’m also really looking forward to driving around and pointing out all the places of my childhood. (he’s going to get board 🙂 )

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Filed under family, friends, mariners, travel