Saturday, June 29, 2013

Books for Charley {2013} - Round #1

I'm baaa-aaack...and insanely behind.  Behind on unpacking boxes.  Behind on getting our internet hooked up.  Behind on birthday posts, party planning and 12 month pictures of Harrison.  Behind on most everything.  I'm trying not to let myself be overwhelmed by it all, but life sure feels crazy right now! 

I'm going to try to play "catch up" here on the blog over the next week or so, and thought that the PERFECT place to start was with a Books for Charley update!  We're not quite ready to make our Omaha donation yet, but we've heard word from a couple of our heart friends that have made their big drop-offs over the last few weeks. 

First up was our buddy Mason in South Carolina!  Earlier this spring, Mason's mama Neysa noticed that things seemed a little off with her little heart hero.  He's been going in for more frequent check-ups to keep an eye on things, and they've been told that another surgery is likely in his future.  Through all of this, plus a nerve-wracking heart cath, Neysa still wanted to help with Books for Charley.  I assured her that it was ok to bow out...but her response was that the books were a sort of distraction amidst the worry-filled days.  What a blessing to have this family as a part of our support system, and to be a part of theirs in return.  You can click HERE to read about their donation to Mason's local cardiology clinic.  Thanks to their family (and all of those who donated to their collection), 84 books were donated back in May!
The next donation was made by Logan and his family in my home state of Iowa.  If you remember, Logan is one of the newest kiddos to join Books for Charley.  I had such a good time watching the whole collection process through his mom's blog posts and Facebook updates.  They even inspired the idea of an Amazon Wish List to make donations easier (Thank you, Stefanie!) All that I can say is, you Iowegians really know how to rally in support for a cause!  A few weeks back Logan had a cardiology check up and they were able to drop off 167 books to the Pediatric Cardiac Cath Lab at The University of Iowa Children's Hospital.  Stefanie recently posted about their donation on their blog and included LOTS of awesome pictures of her kiddos putting stickers on the books.  Click HERE to see them all! ( favorite part of the post is when Stefanie quoted Logan saying "Awww, Little Charley!" while they were stickering them.  What a sweet little boy she has on her hands!)
A big HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to Mason and Logan's donations this year.  We are strangers to 99% of you, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to give you all hugs!  I cannot thank you enough for helping us honor our little girl and for celebrating our BRAVE heart friends in the process!

Two donations down, and lots more to come here on the blog!  Later this summer we'll be hearing from our friends in Michigan, North Carolina and Texas, as well as our California donation.  Such a fun time of year!

South Carolina - 84 books
University of Iowa Children's Hospital - 167 books
Total - 251 books


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Signing Off (...until after our move)

A countdown of months turned into weeks...and now has crossed over to days.  Our dream of once again living in a home of our own is so close within reach now, and our hearts are overjoyed.  In this new home we will have a fresh start of sorts, never forgetting the past, but finally feeling like we can take some big steps forward toward healing.  It will be a place where we can  surround ourselves with reminders of where we have been, and start building a lifetime of new memories.  

Please keep us in your thoughts this weekend as we make our 3rd move in only 2 years.  Our rental won't be difficult to say good-bye to, but there is something about the whole moving process that stirs up a lot of emotions in me.  

Can't wait to share some "We're Finally Here" photos in the next week or so!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

SO SO SO Close!

The amount of progress that has been made at our new house in the past week is pretty astounding.  Having said that, though, it still feels like there are miles to go before things are "move in ready."  There are less than two weeks to go until our big closing day and I'm having moments of scepticism that things are going to be done in time!  Must.Stay.Positive.

The kitchen is getting closer.  We finally have countertops but are still waiting on cabinet hardware, fixtures (light and plumbing), and 3 of the 4 appliances. 

Matt and I knew that we wanted a pretty farmhouse sink, but also knew that they are significantly more expensive than a standard one (EEK!).  Our solution?  For the past 2 years we have totally skipped gift giving.  No birthday or anniversary gifts.  No Valentines.  Very small Christmas gifts with strict spending limits.  Sometimes we find ourselves buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts...with this approach we both got something we really wanted that will be with us in this house until the end of time!

Wood floors were going in on Tuesday when we stopped by.  We had some unfortunate mis-information about the price of our original selection (they ended up being DOUBLE what we were told)...but I really think it was a blessing in disguise.  Our round 2 selection is perfect!
Our pretty staircase just waiting for a carpet make-over.  In true last minute form, installation is scheduled for the same week that we close.
A rainy, rainy May/June has really held up the progress on the outside of the house.  We're "patiently" waiting for concrete, sod and sprinklers (EEK!), all of which need to happen sometime in the next 10 days.  On Tuesday the sun finally decided to come out and they were finally able to get our deck started. 
 And today when Matt went out to mow, they had started painting!
We're getting so close now and our excitement about the new house is really making us antsy to get out of our rental. Now that the rain has stopped and the weather is warming up, we've been spending lots of time outdoors.  This little explorer loves crawling through/eating mulch, throwing the ball for our beagle, and splashing around in water intended for his puppies.  He's going to absolutely LOVE all of the wide open space at the "farm."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Officially Counting Down

Mark it on your calendars, kids!  Three weeks from today Matt, Harrison and I will be waking up in our new home for the very first time!  I'm so super excited...but at the same time have hit "panic mode" as I realize everything that we have to accomplish between now and then.  Things have finally started coming together at the house (on the INSIDE at least!). 

I stopped out at the house on Friday after about a week away and was SHOCKED to see the progress that had been made in such a short period of time.  For a while I felt like we were at a total stand-still, but now it's all starting to feel real!

 I am SO in love with our kitchen and it's not even finished yet!  Some of my favorite details are yet to come.  Looks like this girl better brush up on her cooking skills!
 I didn't realize how exciting doors could be until I saw these.  EEEEE I'm so excited!
 Wouldn't you know....they were ONE tile short for our fireplace.  ONE TILE.  
I never get good pictures of this little corner of the house because its the one part where there is no natural light.  Right off of the garage we have a mudroom, powder room and our laundry.
 Hooray for closets!

The next three weeks are bound to be jam packed with activity.  Boxes are being packed and plans for the big move are coming together.  SO SO SO Excited!  

Anyone know anyone who runs a "free piano moving" service?? :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The 31st

Two years.  

The thought of it makes my breath catch in my lungs, my eyes sting with familiar tears of grief.  It's like all of the healing that I've done over the past 2 years just flies out the window on days like yesterday.  Suddenly I'm back in that mental haze, walking blindly through my day, uncertain of how I'll get from point A to point B.  I tried to keep busy, to keep myself distracted, but a heavy heart is hard to ignore.

Despite it all...yesterday was a "good" day.  Good in a way that only a terribly painful day can be.  I spent the morning with my Harrison, a good chunk of the afternoon sitting in the sun with my Charlotte, saw family, checked in on our construction, and had a full house for dinner.  Thanks to all of you who showered us with extra love.  Your kind words, prayers and hugs (both real and virtual) go a long way towards carrying us through difficult days. 

My sweet girl never leaves my mind, and on days like yesterday I'm sure that she never left my side either.  I know that she is always with me...snuggled inside my heart, alive in all that I do.  

Oh baby girl, I miss you so much.