This is our family ❤️ Three years ago was the last time we had family photos done(See first pic). We did them so we would have a few nice pictures for our adoption profile book. After being on the waiting list for a year we decided we'd wait until we finalized our adoption for our next family pictures in case something happened 🤞 Last year I was getting anxious. I really wanted updated family pictures because they were over two years old now, but I was adamant that we we're doing it until we had a baby. It took a little while, but we finally have our family pictures. I never envisioned our family looking like this, but this is our family of four. All of the pictures @tarynmariephoto took are so beautiful and make me happy. James is represented in one way or the other in every picture we have. These are happy pictures not sad pictures. #familypictures #familyoffour
Yesterday we did something special, that made my heart so happy. James loved the Momaroo swing while he was in the hospital. When James was transferred to Children's in Madison I was happy he was going to be closer to home, but I was sad to leave the people that became my family. I built relationships with almost everyone; the security people, cooks in the cafeteria and especially the nurses & therapists in the NICU. The Children's Hospital was great, but for me it didn't feel like home. I knew that I wanted to do something for the hospital that was James' and my home for two weeks. We didn't know what to do. In April our home study expired and we made the difficult decision earlier in the year to not renew it, but it became more official in April. Since then we've been working on getting rid of all our baby things. We got to James' swing and thought we'd sell it since it was basically brand new and we could get a decent amount of money for it to do something with. A few days later it came to me what we should do. Yesterday we made a pit stop at the hospital on our way to the Brewer game to drop off James' swing. I wish I would've thought to take a picture with everyone who was there to see us. Jocy, Lindsay & James' Doctor. Jocy was James' nurse several times. She helped me on one of my hardest days when I left James in the hospital for a weekend. Jocy convinced me that no one expected me to be there every day; that I was a good mom & had two children that needed me, not just one. Lindsay, she was James' nurse several times too. She worked so hard to get Abigail back in the NICU so she could meet her brother. She always did something a little extra every time she was James' nurse. Lindsay cried with me the day we found out about James' brain injury. I have something special to say about almost every nurse that cared for James. They were all that good. We had the best experience one could have in a NICU in a city that we didn't live in, adopting a child in a unique situation. More proof of how amazing they are is the picture they sent almost right away of his swing saying "In memory of James Vande Hey"
This was the best weather we've ever had at a Brewer game. It was perfect. Abigail was a little crabby because she hasn't been sleeping well with her dang splint on, but overall the day was really fun. This is one of our family traditions and we love it. Abigail's been to 7 games now; 6 just the 3 of us. I hope this helps her sleep better tonight 😊. #thisismycrew #familytraditions
Trying to stay positive here and I need you to help me brainstorm. Abigail broke her elbow this afternoon 🤦♀️. Doctor said anywhere from 4-8 weeks 🤨. This means she's taking a break from Karate, can't go to swimming lessons, which she LOVES and can't be her active self. Here's my positives: She didn't break her collar bone(Thank God 🙏). We were only at urgent care for about an hour. Finally, we have the absolute best supplements (and access to some of the smartest health coaches and consultants) that will help Abigail's elbow heal by the time we leave for Minocqua in 5 weeks from today. Now, time for your help. We have kids over 3-4 days a week. What activities can we do so Abigail isn't left out and the other kids aren't bored. I don't do TV when kids are here. Hit me up with your ideas!
It takes A LOT for me to shop for clothes in a store. 90% of the time I need to wear a dress or skirt I shop from my sister's closet. No joke, besides bridesmaids dresses, I have one summer dress and two skirts. All of them I've had for over 5 years. I almost drove to Waunakee Friday morning to look in my sister's closet, but instead went to @lafcreationsboutique. I ended up finding this skirt to wear Saturday for a wedding and am very happy I worked through my shopping anxiety. Abigail helped me pick out my top and jewelry. She's gonna be a life saver for me soon 😊 #littlepersonalstylist
This is the first time I've run a race and it's just been about me. I decided 2 days ago that I wanted to PR. This was my third 10k, my first was in 40° rain with no sleep the night before because Abigail got an ear infection(11:06 pace), my second was 90° and humid and I didn't run my race(12:20 pace). Last night was darn near perfect weather and I decided to run my race. My unofficial pace 10:48! Even though I ran my race I know I couldn't have run that fast without Jen, Adam & Dusty staying in site ahead of me and walking for a few short times so I could catch up. I loved seeing Bree running with Liam, that definitely got me going a little faster, oh and the 7/8 year old girl near the end screaming, "I BELIEVE IN YOU, YOU CAN DO IT!" That was awesome! I walked A LOT less than I thought I would. This race proved to me that it doesn't take as much running as I thought to run this distance. I've never run so little in prep, but I also think that helped my body stay fresh. Nutrition is SO important. I gave up Coffee and Alcohol for the month of May. I limited my sugar intake because well, I'm still working on stuff and chocolate just helps sometimes. Running makes me a better person and I'm so happy Rylan pushed me to finally start 3 years ago.
Today I was reminded that God's timing is always right. Even though I try to fight it most of the time because I want things done on my timing. Today was a healing day for me, but it started 2 weeks ago when I ran out of time to price stuff for a garage sale. I then decided I'd have a garage at the end of summer so I could price everything. I started pricing James' clothes that he never wore and something told me, 'don't sell his stuff, give it to a family.' We've been so blessed with Abigail & James' adoptions with so much generosity from people we know and others that we don't so I wanted to pay it forward. I finally got around to putting everything together and posted this picture in one of my adoption/foster groups on Tuesday. I honestly thought it would take a while or it wouldn't happen at all that we'd find a family that was specially adopting a baby boy that would need this stuff before the end of the summer. Well, I was very wrong. Within hours of someone who knew a family that just had a placement with a baby boy. I initially set up a time to drop off the stuff Friday, but ended up doing it today. Here's where the healing and God's timing comes in. I went to their home today and got to meet the baby boy(which I had to mentally prepare myself for ahead of time)who would recieve James' things. I also found out that the family has an older daughter who is 9. That made me so happy. Even though it happened so fast, this was the perfect family. The mom told me they were going to be going out to buy most of the things we gave them. And today, James would've been 10 months old.
There is definitely nothing wrong with working for someone else, BUT if you find yourself dissatisfied with where you're at or constantly complaining about it, ask yourself this question, "What am I doing in my free time?" Whether you think so or not, we all have free time somewhere. And sometimes, when something is important enough to us, we need to reevaluate where we're spending our time. Volleyball used to be my life. I loved it and still do, but right now that part of my life isn't a priority. Being with my family and growing my business so I can will it to my daughter, that's my priority right now. What is something that used to be a part of your daily or weekly life that you've had to say 'good bye' to so you could focus on a new priority? What's your new priority? I want to know!
Something is clicking right now with this girl and it makes me so happy. After James died Abigail regressed A LOT. She became so needy with every tiny task. I'm talking, needing help standing up, turning the water on to wash her hands and coming in our bed in the middle of the night almost every night. It's been creating extra stress and tension in our family. We're grieving together and separately. This past week she has taking to cooking/making food. She is so proud of herself right now. She can make her own mac n cheese with very little help and this was her eating a PB&J that she made ALL by herself. I could see the joy she had eating her sandwich. I'm so proud of her, but more importantly, she is proud of herself.
Today was as perfect as it could be celebrating my first Mother's Day as a bereaved mom. Ran my first virtual race with @runmotivators called Run for the Angels. I ran for James and for me. Definitely emotional at times, but this is what I do now; I run. My cheering squad was there and made the finish amazing with a finish line, music and Abigail giving me my medal. Got two tulips from our back yard(one for each of my kids). My favorite peanut butter cups from @themixingbowlbakerysauk, original Abigail art and TWO massages 😮. And pretty much the most beautiful card from my husband. Spent the rest of the day relaxing at my parents house with my family. Finished the day in true fashion and went through Abigail's backpack as we were putting her to bed to find the cutest Mother's Day gift.
Today let's honor all the mother's in our lives. Last Sunday was Bereaved Mother's Day, yesterday was Birth Mother's Day. And although I think it's great that there is awareness for these days, I think all of the moms should be celebrated today. Please tell me the comments mother's you're honoring today because there are so many that may not be recognized today.
Abigail, show me how much you like your outfit💃🕺 Swipe➡️ Swipe➡️ Okay, show me how much you like your clothes without moving 🤨👍 We do our best to let Abigail be herself, dress how she wants, do her hair how she wants and let her dance in church all by herself. It's not always easy and sometimes I have to stop myself from wanting to suggest what I think she should do. AND we do have to tell her to change a lot still because if it were up to her she'd wear pajamas 90% of the time or wear this outfit without the pants and we can't have that 😳.