One Year Ago…

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Isabel’s unifocalization surgery. I can remember it like it happened last week.

  • Jen and I walking across the pedestrian bridge to the hospital at 5:45 in the morning.
  • Not wanting to let Isabel go back with the nurses even though we knew she was in the best hands possible with the nurses and doctors.
  • Waiting for what seemed like days in the waiting room.
  • The surgeon finally coming out and telling us that she is doing well in the abstract way that surgeons do.
  • The smile on Jens face when Isabel opened her eyes.
  • Cringing when Isabel started to crawl across her crib a few days after surgery.

That day will not be something that I ever forget. I am thankful to everybody that said an extra prayer for Isabel.

So a year later, how is she doing?

Isabel is talking, walking, running, crying, EATING, and drinking! She is very close to no longer needing her feeding tube. She is no longer on oxygen and we have reduced the number of medications she takes throughout the day. Her last doctors appointment went well and we are working with the doctors at Duke to figure out when, and where, her next Cath is going to take place.

If you are interested in learning more about Isabel’s story you can check out the posts about Isabel’s Birth.

A Family Trip

Last weekend we went to my Grandparents house in Smyrna, South Carolina. I haven’t been their in over 15 years. When I was growing up we used to pile into the car for 16 hours from Houston. I hated the drive but I always loved spending time at my Grandparents “Country Home”.

I had a lot of fun showing Jen and the girls all the neat things around the house. My grandfather had multiple gardens that I would point out, even though they are just grass fields now. The different sheds were still filled with all the old junk he would save because you never know when you might need it. My grandfather died my sophomore year of college. This was the first time I had been there since his passing. My dad was driving down the street and told me that were were going to see the church my parents were married in and the same place I was baptized in. I didn’t even realize that it was the same place that my grandfather was buried. I walked back to his gravesite with my mother and It was a much more emotional walk then I thought it would be. There are a million things I wish I would have gotten to talk to him about as an adult. He would tell us stories about his life but I was too young to pay attention and learn like I could now. So many questions I would ask him… I am sure that is the same thing everybody thinks when they have lost somebody. I have been lucky enough to not have to go through it much, but I also realize as I get older that is going to change.

On a happier note, it was a great trip. More emotional than I thought it would be when we headed out that morning, but we got some good pictures of the girls and I was able to share a little bit of my childhood with my family. I haven’t gotten all the pictures together yet but will post them when I do.

It’s Been a Busy Week

Isabel was 1 week post op from her first open heart surgery at this time last year. It is crazy to think about how much has gone on in a year. We are very blessed that she is as healthy as she is right now. The picture is from her Heart-aversary party!

It was a busy week for us. Isabel had her first cardiologist appointment in North Carolina and the initial visit with the early intervention people. The cardiologist said that she was doing excellent for her condition. It was our first time seeing this doctor so I don’t think anybody really knew what to expect. He was a little too non-conversational for us at the beginning but after he started to realize that Isabel was doing well he started to loosen up. The early intervention visit when well too. The ladies we worked with in Colorado set the bar very high so it was important for us to be comfortable that she will be getting as good of, if not better, care than before. They were very nice and had some fresh ideas to help Isabel with her eating.

Isabel has been adjusting to the lower altitude very well. She is keeping her saturation levels high enough to not need O2 during the day. We still need it at night while she is sleeping but it is very nice to not have an oxygen tube laying around everywhere.

We are getting settled in as well. Addison and Isabel are sharing a room now. Addison loves having her sister in the same room as her at night. I am hoping we will have their room pretty much unpacked and setup by the end of the weekend. There are still a lot of boxes to unpack but we will get to those as they come.

I was not planing on making this a summary of our week each time. It worked well this week with how busy we were and the fact that it has been almost exactly a month since we left Crested Butte. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday we were having fun day Friday pizza with our friends and then other times it feels like ages ago. It sucks that we had to leave so many of our friends behind but seeing Isabel already being off oxygen makes it all worthwhile.

2015 Goals

It is time to share my 2015 goals. I figure if I share them with you, then you will hold me to them.

Post Once a week

One of the things I loved about doing the Post a Day was that it forced me to do something different and out of my comfort zone. I think posting once a week will do the same thing. Each week I am going to release a post on Thursday. Hopefully there are others during the week but Thursday will be the main post each week.

I am also going to start focusing a little more on the images that I post. I have been slowly learning more about photography and want to be able to use this platform as a place to showoff some of that as well. I have joined a Facebook group that does a weekly photo challenge and will be posting to that each week as well.

Schedule Time with the Family

Last year I had a lot going on with work and trying to get to all of Isabel’s doctors appointments. This year I want to set time to spend with my family. I know it sounds silly to “Schedule Time” but what I really mean is to set time aside away from my phone and computer to spend quality time with the kids and Jen.

I want to set time aside to go visit family as well. It was great to see family during our move and it made me realize that it had been too long. One of the things going back and forward to doctors has made me realize is that my job allows me to travel and still get things done. We should take advantage of that more often. This year we are going to schedule trips to Oklahoma and Texas to see family.

Get Into Shape

I haven’t spent any time working out since football back in college. I am going to eat a little better and get back down to a weight that is easy to manage and allows me to spend more time running around with the kids. It was a little ridiculous to run the bases during softball last year and feel like I was going to die just getting from first to second. I am starting off the year at 216 lbs. When I was at NAPS I weighed 175 lbs. I would love to get back down to that but realistically I would be happy to be down to 185 lbs.

Be More Spiritual

Living in Crested Butte, I had trouble finding a church that I fit in well with. Now that we are in North Carolina I want to find a church that my family and I can go to and participate with consistently. I have always wanted to find a good Bible study group to join and just haven’t made the time or effort to do so. I have been trying to finish the Bible in a Year reading plan for two years now. This year I is the year that I am going to get through it.

Now that I have set my goals, How do I make sure to keep them? That is always the problem. Does anybody have any good suggestions for making sure I keep up with my goals this year and not let them slip out of site? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Thank You – 2014

2014 tested me in every way possible. I have learn more about myself in the last 365 days than the last 30 years.

There is a long list of thank you’s this year but I wanted to start by thanking my wife. It would have been impossible to make it through this past year without you. I have full faith that there isn’t anything that can keep us down. I love you.

I have had a lot of family say that they really liked the Post a Day series I did back in May. Thank you for the encouragement and support from all my family and friends. I think I have figured something out that will let me post a little more this year.

My family and I moved from Crested Butte, Colorado to Jamestown, North Carolina a few weeks ago. What better way to cap off our year than moving during the holidays right? It was difficult to leave but we really needed to get closer to family, doctors and to a lower altitude for Isabel. I am going to miss all of the amazing friends we made while in Crested Butte. You helped my family and I though the hardest time of our lives and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to lean on.

Thank you to everybody at Wolf Track for giving me the opportunity to be with my family at doctors appointments and the hospital. Thank you to everybody that has referred Kindred Web Consulting to their family and friends. I have been very luck to have jobs I love and the ability to work while traveling back and forward to doctors appointments.

Thank you to everybody that has read and commented on this blog and followed us through Isabel’s Facebook page.

It is impossible to list out everybody that has helped me though the last year. I thank god every day that I have such wonderful family and friends to help my family and I at a moments notice.

I am looking forward to sharing more with you in 2015.