Designer Diaries #3

Just need to share my journaling from Inspiration #3! If you haven't been over to Designer Diaries, you need to check it out! I love these gals and have really enjoying working with them!!! http://designerdiaries.blogspot.com

The title is...

"A Hidden Danger"

I have been an extremely healthy person most of my life. As has been the rest of my immediate family. Thankful for my health, I rarely gave it a much thought. My father & I have both suffered migraines our entire lives but still considered ourselves lucky. Little did I know we also had another similarity. One that was hidden. One we never knew was there. One that was very serious & very scary.

A week after Kennedy was born, April 2005, I got an early morning phone call from my step mom telling me my father was being rushed by ambulance to a hospital. She told me of the horrific night he had endured, how he seemed to be getting worse and worse until terrified, Jodie decided he needed to go to the hospital. But my father couldn’t move he was in such bad shape. Here is where she called 911 and my father waited for someone to help him. Being 3 hours away from my father and feeling completely isolated and helpless, I began to cry. This feeling of helplessness would continue for some time, as over the next few days I learned about my father and his condition. Apparently, my father had suffered a stroke.

Stroke is something I never gave much thought to that point. I thought it was just something that happened to the elderly. But I was so mistaken. My father, 53 years old at the time, was in the best shape he had been in years, running and working out daily. How did he have a stroke? What caused it? Why? Stroke has totally changed my life and I now know so much more about it than I wish I did.

It was excruciatingly painful to first hear my father on the phone. He hiccupped every 5 seconds non-stop for over 3 days. This did a real number on his vocal cords so he didn’t even sound like himself. It was terrifying. When I was first able to visit him, I was numb.

I watched him in therapy and I wanted to scream and cry at the same time. My father who months before was running 3 miles a day was now struggling to stand up straight without falling over and was barely able to take baby steps with a walker. He had to relearn everything; from feeding & bathing himself, to talking & walking. It was like looking in on another family’s life; it all seemed unreal.

Weeks later, I was home lifting up Kennedy after changing her diaper. I blacked out for a second and got an instant excruciating headache. When my vision cleared I realized some of it was gone. I tried to walk out of the room but was too dizzy so I handed Kennedy to Jeff. I climbed into bed to sleep off what I thought was a migraine. Those were actually 4 of the 5 warning signs of stroke, but I didn’t know the warning signs. A day later I still had vision loss so we visited the ER. For 3 months I visited doctor after doctor, had test after test, to try to determine was had happened to me. We eventually realized I had had a minor stroke caused by a blood clot entering my brain. I never knew that someone my age could even have a stroke.

So here my father and I are, 53 and 26 years old, both told we had strokes. Granted, my father’s was much more severe. Over the next few months we learned an enormous amount about our family medical history, stroke, migraine and a condition called arteriovenous malformation (or AVM). It turns out my father and I both have irregular veins in our lungs. Instead of depositing blood clots to our lungs to be dissolved, these veins runs right back into the heart. In both our cases this allowed a blood clot to pass through and enter our brains, causing our strokes. These malformations are not caused by lifestyle or age or ethnicity. They are simply gene abnormalities that cannot be cured. We both have now had surgery to plug the irregular veins to prevent any more strokes. However, we will continually monitor our lungs to watch for the growth of more irregular veins and abnormalities.

This hidden danger has plagued our family for generations. But now that we are aware of it and have a better understanding of it we can be on the offensive. It doesn’t have to be hidden anymore. And I hope our future generations do not have to suffer strokes to learn about it.
This photo still isn't the best, but you get the idea!


Louisburg Cider Mill

So, I did have a chance to create a layout last week. ONE. It was with the Heartina kit from Jenna Lynne. YUMMMY pinks!! For some reason I could not get a great photo of it. But alas, here it is:

Sunday, our family went to the Louisburg Cider Mill with the Miles' family and Grandma Rhodes. Everyone munched on donuts and fresh apple cider while the kids played in the pumpkins! It was a great time and I took WAY too many photos! And the ones below are just a sampling!!!!

Kennedy and Logan had a great time running in and out of the apple washing house. They did circles for quite some time1 Squealing the entire time!!


Mother - Daughter Weekend

Jeff left earlier this week for a mini vacation with his guy friends. They are spending 4 days at Tablerock Lake and I am sure they are enjoying themselves! So Kennedy and I have been having a great time together! It feels like the summer all over again!

Thursday evening I was exhausted from work so we had a quiet night. Friday night we went to the mall. I had a certificate to Gymboree that was burning a hole in my wallet! Plus they had their 30% off coupon! So we hit Gymboree for her and Dillards for me. I got a pair of 75% off sandals!
Yes, I love a bargain. We also shared a slice of pizza at the food court. Not delicious, but she still enjoyed it! Before we left we hit the kiddie play area - always a hit with her! We had to make a stop at Costco as well to get fun things like diapers and toilet paper. ;)

This morning we took Isabel to the elementary school down the street to play on the playground. Kennedy was feeling extra extra brave today and went down the tall, curvy, circular slide multiple times! She played and played and wore herself out! After lunch and a nap we had to run to The Scrapbook Page to drop off my latest design team work. The owner, Carolyn, said they will be getting some of the Crate Paper in! WAHOO! Kennedy and I also hit Walmart on the way home. She had a great time munching on grapes while I filled the cart with stuff! We got 2 new Barney DVDs and a potty chair! Oh boy! Before we ended the trip we stopped at Ernie Miller Nature Center. It is less than 4 miles from our home but we have never been there before. It seems like a GREAT place and we will definitely be going back! Kennedy walked the entire time and was soaking up the wonders of nature! She touched a huge grasshopper AND a daddy long legs! What a brave girl! I had to share some photos of her enjoying the park!!!

This is Kennedy with the spider...


Sharing some work

Just wanted to share a layout I am in love with. Likely because I love the photo and the feeling it brings me!!! I had a blast doing this one!


Scrapbooker's worst nightmare!

My fellow scrappers will completley understand why I am STILL kicking myself and muttering curse words under my breath. I completed a scrapbooking sin yesterday. I took Kennedy to her 2nd parade and forgot the memory card in my camera. I know. I am hanging my head in humilation and shame. And the worst part is I was taking photos of Kennedy and her nephew for a good 30 minutes before I realized the card wasn't in the camera. You can bet this won't happen again any time soon!

But regardless of my camera misfortune we had an excellent time! The weather was PERFECT and Kennedy LOVED it! It was Old Settler's Weekend here in Olathe. Very fun parade with all the junior highs and high schools participating. It was fun to watch current and former students. Kennedy of course loved the bands and music and danced her little tush off! And she was mesmerized by the many horses. "Horsey!" she kept saying! We got really close to a few and her mouth just dropped open! After the parade we were able to walk through the many booths and meander. We also got Kennedy finger printed and a photo taken in case we should ever need it.

Last night Jeff was supposed to go to the K-State game but his buddy backed out last minute. So we went to Jeff's company party instead. It was at Cool Crest and we had a great time. We had a grilled dinner and then got busy having fun. We took Kennedy to the arcade. She was able to ride a carousel and a small ride that simulated a roller coaster! She loved them! But she was most taken by the Dance Attack machines...or whatever you call those things! She was so intrigued by the floor that lit up! Finally we went go carting! And I have to admit it was my first time ever riding a go cart. Shameful - yes. I wait 28 years - why? I have no idea! But Kennedy had a great time watching the cars zoom by and I had a blast!

Today Jeff went to the Chief's game so Kennedy and I hung. We had a dance party as this seems to be her new favorite activity. Though reading is still #1! I even managed to do some scrapping during her nap! I am working on an autumn set for The Scrapbook Page. I am using the Gypsy Harvest line by Daisy D's! YUM! Next will be my inpsiration page for Designer Diaries!!!


Labor Day Weekend and a peak

I haven't been posting all of my new work online lately. Many calls are asking for never before seen work. I am really torn. I love sharing my stuff and getting that instant feedback from my friends. But I also want to get pubbed more. I go back and forth on this. So I just decided to show a tiny part of one of my latest! Just a corner. I love how it turned out - I was using the new Cosmo Cricket line. YUM!

Aren't those pups too cute?! We went to Iowa for Labor Day weekend. The golden is my grandparent's dog and the brittany is my mom and her hubby's dog. They were observing the game of croquet in the front yard!

Speaking of croquet - here is Kennedy attempting to get into the game! :)

And this was her playing Grandpa Randy's harmonica! What a hoot! While in Des Moines I sewed Kennedy her first outfit. I had picked a pattern that read 'Easy to Sew" and gotten some cute orange velour. I brought my sewing machine with me all the way to Iowa! So my mother and grandmother helped me make Kennedy's little jumper. It was SO much harder than I had imagined. But I hope to make more.

We also went to Fort Dodge to visit Grandpa Doug and Grandma Jodie. We did some major relaxing! In fact, Jodie and I never got out of our pajamas! :) The photos are of Kennedy hanging in the back yard with Grandpa. Jodie was kind enough to let us take home 2 beautiful Hosta plants from her yard and a huge container of Wandering Jew. Yippee!!!!

So it was back to the grind this week. A nice 4 day week but a busy, stressful week for me. Another migraine. Gosh I hate those things.