Monday, January 4, 2016

Ten Days of Christmas (2015)

After ten full days of celebrating we've officially moved on from Christmas! This year was different in so many ways but what I am most thankful for is that we got quality time with both sides of our family. Some highlights...

We kicked off our merry celebrations at home first since we were going to be away on Christmas day and because we are the worst at saving presents around here. So after two weeks of Caroline poking, sitting on and scooting her Christmas gift around under the tree we ended the present torture and let her open her Mickey Mouse ride-on train. While she was tearing away the wrapping paper Matt literally said out loud "Oh my gosh, my heart is exploding." Like Ralphie opening a Red-Ryder BB gun, Caroline couldn't contain her excitement the second she spotted Mickey Mouse on the side of the box. And I was unbelievably relieved to see this was the first gift she's received that she actually cared more about the toy than the packaging. Success.
The next day we headed to the mountains to spend Christmas with Matt's family. In typical holiday fashion, Caroline came down with a nasty virus just in time for Santa's visit. However, for battling a fever, shakes and terrible cough which kept her up each night, she rallied as best as she could before we could get her back home to be seen by her doctor.
Thomas hanging out with Ramona, Rhonda and Rodney.
On Christmas Eve we sprinkled magic reindeer food in the yard, a cute and clever gift given to Caroline by one of her classmates, and left candles out to light the way for Santa too.
Afterwards we tucked the kiddos into bed so the bike assembly could begin. Probably one of the most entertaining things to watch, Matt, his dad and his sister put together Caroline's balance bike.
We were up all night long with sick little Caroline so on Christmas morning she slept in while Thomas scoped out all the gifts and the rest of us enjoyed the yummiest fruit berry french toast.
We were all very, very spoiled on Christmas morning, but one of the best parts was watching Grandad bring out the very last gift that was hiding in another room...
She is still getting the hang of her new balance bike but she is off to a good start!
Even though it was unusually hot and rainy on Christmas we kept the fire going all day, along with the air conditioner. As soon as there was a break in the rain we ran outside and attempted some family pictures which lasted all of 2 minutes before Caroline polished off her bribery crackers and was done with smiling. Better luck next year.
The day after Christmas we took Caroline to the doctor to rule out an ear infection before we hopped on a plane for Florida. The doctor ran a blood test too to make sure she wasn't battling a bacterial infection too. Thankfully (or not so thankfully?) it was just a bad virus, spiking her fever at it's highest to 105.3 and giving us a near heart attack. And because Caroline is really great at sharing, she passed off her cold to Grandmom, Aunt Ann and her brother.
Flight behavior from the kids was decent. We chose to leave at lunch time in hopes of feeding Caroline the whole way down. Buuuuut we got our flight times mixed up and arrived to the gate sweaty and starving. So I immediately threw my arsenal of snacks, new iPad apps and a bag full of new toys at Caroline but it was too late. So, that was fun. On the other hand, Thomas was an absolute angel and slept the whole way.
As soon as we landed we dropped the kiddos off at home with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Lindsey so Matt and I could head straight to the hospital. A few days before Christmas dad was hospitalized for a very, very serious lung infection. The new clinical trial that he's been doing melted the tumor in his lungs (YAY!!!) but unfortunately it was absorbed into the wall of his lungs and is now a life threatening infection. Four doctors have attempted to treat his infection but are completely stumped on how to tackle it and said there's nothing left they could do. However, one doctor is still holding on to hope that she can get him fixed up and out of the hospital soon. So we are asking for a  miracle. In fact, at 10 am this morning dad will have a procedure done to attempt to suck the fluid out of his lungs. Please say a prayer that this works!!!
I welled up with tears the second I laid eyes on Lindsey's mini. It was so good to introduce our babies to each other finally!
We spent most of our time at home trading off the babies to one another so each of us could go see dad. But my favorite day was the day we broke dad out of the hospital for lunch. Mom told the doctor she was going to wheel him around the hospital for a change of scenery and wheeled him right out the front door and across the street to Panera. He got to sit in the sunshine, eat a meal with his family and meet Thomas! We kept the babies at a distance because of their germs but I did catch Dad with Caroline on his lap a few times which made me ridiculously paranoid he'd catch her virus.
All the babies!
The whole fam together (minus my bro)!
On our last day Thomas spiked a high enough fever to sound the panic alarm so we called our pediatrician and he told us to immediately take him to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. So off we went to squeeze in one last hospital visit in 2015. We were admitted before we could sit down and as we were being whisked back to our room I heard a familiar voice yell "Roni! What are you doing here?!" and turned around to see my sorority sister (and nurse for our stay)! It was such an awesome surprise! Within two hours, Thomas was checked out, diagnosed with an ear infection and upper respiratory infection and we were discharged. I giggled while signing our $900 bill on the way out and was seriously thankful this happened on the last day of 2015 since we crushed our maximum halfway through the year.
After we dropped Thomas off with Grandma we headed to my favorite grocery store ever to pick up a cake for our last visit with dad. The cake decorator was really awesome and helped us create the perfect cake for my dad who has an extremely awesome sense of humor. The closest we could get to our desired message without getting the decorator in trouble was "Puck You Cancer!" However, she gave us utensils and instructions for immediate cake surgery in the parking lot to tweak it a bit and it turned out PERFECT. Dad could not stop laughing (which really is the best medicine, right?) and happily served all of the doctors and nurses slices of his cake.
That night we all finally agreed to open our presents at mom's request. It was super weird not having dad there so we all tried to focus on the major spoiling of the grandbabies as Caroline ripped everyone's presents open for them.
The next morning we flew our sick crew home and were all in bed asleep by 7:30 pm. for New Year's Eve. Although it was a tough Christmas, we are thankful for the memories we made and the family time we were able to squeeze in this year! 



  1. omg prayers #1 for your dad! and #2 that 2016 brings you guys many more healthy days since it seems like you've had such a rough year in that department! I also hope you are feeling great again & you don't catch that stinky little bug going around! Have a great week! xox

  2. such a sweet christmas. i love those little reindeer...I still have the boy and girl. and I wish we had done reindeer food when i was little. my mom taught kindergarten and in her later years of doing it she would always give out reindeer food to her kids before xmas break. i guess she learned about that way after I grew out of santa.

  3. Despite all the trials, it sounds like a wonderful Christmas. So terribly sorry your Dad had to spend it in the hospital. Yay for the medicine destroying the tumor, hopefully the outcome can be fixed. You had quite a rough year. Hoping and praying 2016 will turn around and be a lot better and full of miracles ;)

  4. I've been praying for your family every day. I cannot stop thinking about you guys. Hoping today went well for your dad. Loved all your pictures and so sorry the kids were so sick. You have the best attitude through all these trials.

  5. We keep sending prayers your way! I'm so incredibly happy to hear you got some quality time with your family. How special that your Dad got to meet Thomas, and spend time with the entire gang. Thinking of you all and best wishes for a VERY healthy and happy New Year.

  6. I feel like a had a pretty lousy 2015, but every time I think about everything you guys have gone through in the past year...I cannot even imagine! I'm praying for your dad and wishing your whole family a happy and healthy 2016!

  7. Everyone looks so happy. Hope everyone starts feeling better soon!

  8. Girl! Never a dull moment, I swear! Glad the babes' illnesses weren't too too severe, and sounds like yall kept a great attitude throughout it all (like always!) and still got in some good family time. Matt's reaction to Caroline opening her train toy was exactly that of us watching L open her doll - it was such pure joy on her face and made us just want to burst!! Keeping your dad in my prayers. xo

  9. God bless your family and your father! Sick babies are so scary and I am praying your father pulls through. LOVED the pictures of Caroline opening her Mickey train. Amazing.

  10. Man, girl you have been through SO much!! I'm following you on SnapChat and laughed so hard when Matt showed the cake! I'm praying for you and your family, I'm glad Christmas was still shared with your loved ones!

  11. That is so sweet Caroline loved her Mickey train!! Can't believe everyone got sick over Christmas - still looks like y'all had a great time! So glad y'all got to come down here and see your family and everyone got to meet the newest members :)

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  12. I will keep your dad in my prayers! I hope the procedure went well. Looks like you guys had a great Christmas! I loved Caroline's reaction to her Mickey toy! So cute.

  13. Continued prayers for your dad. XO

  14. Sending prayers your way for your little ones & of course your Dad.

  15. A very special Christmas (not without a few illness scares) and an emotional time without your Dad. Sending you all love and prayers my friend - and I pray that 2016 is a wonderful year for you all x

  16. Praying for your dad. I hope the procedure went well.

  17. Praying for your dad. He looks really good for someone that's so sick. I'm so glad y'all were able to spend time together. All of pictures are fabulous!

  18. Just getting to catch up on blog post! PRAYING for your Dad!! & I LOVE the cake y'all got him!! There is a cancer run in March that I'm wanting to do and SO want to have shirts made with the same sentiment. Continued prayers for you dad & health for you all!!


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