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29 July 2011

A big day for a little heart

Yesterday was Truett's big surgery day. We woke up early, dropped Maren off with Brett's parents and made our way to Children's Hospital in Denver. Here's me with Truett just before we left home.

Brett, Truett and me waiting to be registered for surgery.

We spent quite a long time waiting for the surgery to begin. We could tell that many were praying for us as Truett, who was incredibly hungry at this point, remained calm and restful as we waited. I was dreading the time when I'd have to say goodbye, and again God was incredibly gracious to us in providing us with a kind and wonderful nurse to take him away. I felt perfectly comfortable placing my baby in her arms. And then I cried buckets! Here we are waiting for the big moment...

We felt an incredible peace while Truett was in surgery. Our surgical nurse, Esther, was excellent about keeping us informed about Truett's progress. Evidently, the coarc was quite severe and would've quickly become much more problematic if we hadn't had the surgery done right away. Again, we're so thankful with how God worked out so many details in our sweet boy's life. When we finally got word that the surgery was completed and was successful, we were so thrilled!

It was so hard to see our little angel all hooked up to so many machines and tubes. I keep reminding myself what a gift it is to have this technology available to us. We pray that Truett will live a long and healthy life as a result of the interventions done now.

A first visit from Daddy...

Finally getting to see my baby!

He looked so small and helpless...the small white rectangle under his arm is where the incision was.
We were able to get a bit of rest last night. Truett continues to show signs of strength and improvement. His drain tube came out this morning, followed shortly by the breathing tube and the tube going into his stomach. I was able to hold him for the first time, which was such a gift!

27 July 2011

The Day Before

Our busy day started out like this...
Doesn't he look so peaceful? We stayed in a hotel room up in Denver since our appointment was so early in the morning. Truett woke up around 5 and he was freezing (you know how temperamental hotel heating and cooling systems can be!), so I enjoyed some early morning snuggles.

At 7:30 am, we met the sweetest lady, Lindsey, at the hospital. She took us around to the first portion of our meetings. Our first stop was the lab for a blood draw. After the initial poke of the needle, Truett just stared down the guy who was doing the draw. He was such a little trooper.

Here we are at the start of our day...

After the blood draw, Truett had a chest x-ray and then we moved on to the cardiac area where he had a check-up, EKG, and an echo (sonogram). Here we are all hooked up for the EKG. Truett did not enjoy this part of the day very much at all. I don't blame him...look at all those wires!

Finally the poking and prodding portion of our day ended, and Truett totally cashed out.
He slept through our tours of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU-where T will go as soon as he's out of surgery) and the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit (CPCU-where he will go on the second or third day after surgery and remain for the rest of his stay). We had great meetings with the surgeon and with the anaesthesiologist. I feel so confident in their ability to do their jobs well, and to take great care of our sweet boy tomorrow. We felt as though it were an incredible blessing to have the opportunity to become familiar with the facility and with the staff during our visit today. The hospital is beautiful and there are so many wonderful ways in which they care for the families of heart babies.

After we finished up at the hospital we enjoyed a late lunch, and Truett did some more of this...

They sent us home with a special soap to clean Truett up with tonight. He wasn't all that thrilled with his 'spa treatment'. Ha!

And, right there on his left side is where the incision will be. They will cut from his side around to his back and then separate 2 of his ribs in order to perform the surgery. He'll likely have a breathing tube down his nose, a drain near the incision, a central line in his neck, 2 other lines in his right arm and an i.v. in the left arm. I do not look forward to seeing my little boy all 'messed up' but I have great hope that this will help him to live a long and healthy life. We pray for the Lord's hand to be evident throughout the coming days. I know he will watch over our baby boy tomorrow while he's in surgery, and I know that he will give us the grace to wait patiently throughout the day.
Thanks so much for following along with us as we embark on this unexpected journey. We are so grateful for all of your prayers during the coming days!

26 July 2011

Not what we'd hoped to hear...

Well...our doctor's appointment did not go as we had hoped this morning. Our sweet boy's little heart is getting worse, and he is scheduled for surgery on Thursday morning. I am feeling overwhelmed and quite sad at the moment. It's such a scary prospect to know that your 7-week-old baby is going to have major surgery. I hadn't prepared myself for the possibility of things moving so quickly, which is making it all seem so much scarier.

I am clinging to the fact that God is still in control, even when I feel like things are very much out of control. Truett's name means 'small and honest' and I can't help but think of how true both of those meanings are at this point. He seems so small to be facing all of these big things, and he is still so sweetly innocent.

For my entire adult life, I have loved 2 Corinthians 9:8...And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

I am very much relying on God's grace to sustain us in the coming days. My faith is being tested and strengthened in a way unlike anything I've experienced previously. I have always believed in God's sovereignty, but it is a difficult thing to really let go of that which you hold dearest and to surrender it to the Lord in such a tangible way.

Friends, will you please join us in praying for this precious boy? And for the medical team that will be performing surgery on his little heart Thursday morning? And for our family as we walk through these hard days ahead?
Thank you.

My first quilt

I did it! I finished my very first quilt! A few months ago, I joined the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild. It has been one of the most fun and inspiring things I've done in quite some time. I've also been blessed to make some wonderful new friends.

One benefit of being a guild member is having the opportunity to participate in various challenges. For this quilt, we were given [yup...for FREE!] a charm pack of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids. The 'rules' chosen by our guild were to include at least a portion from each color in the pack, to only use one additional fabric for the front of the quilt, and to create a quilt that was at least 40 in. by 40 in.

Here is my finished quilt:

I love how cheerful and summery the quilt turned out. The flowers and leaves are raw-edge appliqued, and I used a simple grid pattern for the machine quilting.

After the quilt was washed, the edges of the flowers have a cool, messy texture.

I had an equally great time finishing the back of this quilt.

I'm officially hooked! There are 3 more in-progress quilts sitting on the table in my craft room. I'm so thankful to have a creative outlet. It's nice to have something to keep my hands and mind busy during my evenings. If you've got a spare moment or two, check out what some other quilters from across the country have created for their own Robert Kaufman challenge quilts here. There are some mighty talented individuals out there in the quilting world!

25 July 2011

Getting sloppy and why I love my husband

Happy Monday! This was my view while I ate my breakfast this morning...
Not bad, huh? [Notice the little sneak peek at our new floors? I'll show you more later!] Truett is enamored with his big sister. She can make him smile bigger than anyone else. I'm glad to be reminded of the good mood he was in this morning...he's had a fussy afternoon.

We had a nice weekend. Yesterday while I was sitting on the couch feeding Truett, Maren approached me and eagerly asked if she could go get sloppy. What?! We'd just had a huge rainstorm pass through, so I thought maybe she was wanting to go jump in the puddles...I could not imagine what else she could possibly mean by 'getting sloppy'.

Me: I don't know what you mean, sweetheart...you want to get sloppy?

Maren: I want to get sloppy...please?!

Me: Honey...do you want to go outside?

Maren: [Earnestly pleading at this point] Mom...please can we get sloppy?

Me: I'm so sorry, Maren, but I don't know what you're talking about...

Maren: [Perplexed that I don't know what she's referring to] Mom...it's a drink!

Me: [Finally making sense of what she's asking] Oh...you mean a Slurpee?

Maren: YES! A Slurpee! [And she lets out a little giggle of glee.]

Fifteen minutes later she was off to 7-11 with her dad, and I was still chuckling on the couch. I love that girl so much!

I also love my husband. He knows me so well. We have, after all, spent nearly 9 [!] years of our lives together. This past week was emotionally draining for me, and I was thoroughly looking forward to a weekend with no agenda. Friday night Brett showed up at the door with these:
I am so thankful to have a husband who loves me dearly, and knows me well enough to surprise me in the moments I need it most. I couldn't think of a better person to walk alongside through this season of life. He is such a gift.

Tomorrow we have our follow-up appointment with Truett's cardiologist. Please pray for us to have wisdom in asking the right questions and in making the decisions awaiting us in the coming weeks and months. In case you're not sure what I'm talking about, you can read about our sweet baby's story here.

Stop by tomorrow morning for a peek at my very first quilt...I can't wait to share!

Be sure to visit Heather's for some lovely Monday inspiration:

22 July 2011

Straw Painting

Maren and I have been having the most fun lately doing all sorts of crafty things. I am thrilled to have a little girl around who shares my enthusiasm for creativity!

While Truett was doing this...

Maren and I were doing this...
Using regular old Crayola watercolors, we started by making a line of green. We were sure to use lots of water so there would be something to 'blow' with the straw.

Once we had our green on the paper, we used straws to blow the excess water all over the place, creating grass for our flowers.

Finally, we added big, colorful blooms to the grass. This proved to be a really fun painting project, as {almost!} 3-year-old Maren was able to complete her very own masterpiece from start to finish.

This is what happens when you use the same technique on big circles of paint instead of on a line. Maybe when Truett is a little bigger he'll make spiders with me!

20 July 2011

A post I never thought I'd write...

I almost don't know where to begin. My life has taken a turn I never imagined it would take. I read stories like this on other people's blogs and find them heart-wrenching, inspiring, encouraging, hopeful, devastating...all at the same time. I never imagined this to be my story. But it is, and I want to share it in hopes that someone else might find a ray of light, a flicker of hope, a renewed joy in reading of God's work in our lives.

Most of you know that we welcomed our beautiful nine-pound boy into our family on June 11. I wasted no time in falling head-over-heals in love with him. It's true what people say about boys...they steal a mother's heart! Truett proved to be an absolutely delightful baby almost immediately. He ate well, slept great, hardly ever cried. We were beside ourselves with the joy that this little gift had brought to our family.

We took Truett in for his one-month check up on July 12. Our pediatrician noticed a heart murmur that had previously gone undetected, and recommended that we take Truett to a pediatric cardiologist. We scheduled an appointment for Monday the 18th, and didn't think much else of his little murmur. I assumed it would be no big deal, and that he'd outgrow it eventually.

On the morning of the 18th, we took Truett in for his appointment at 8 am. After three long hours filled with pokes, prods, an EKG, an ultrasound, multiple blood-pressure screenings and a discussion with a pediatric cardiologist, we left with information that no parent ever wants to hear. Truett was born with a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. In layman's terms, he has a narrowing of the aorta and is hypertensive as a result. My sweet baby will be having heart surgery sometime before his first birthday. It breaks my heart to type that. He is currently taking medication for high blood pressure. We will return to the doctor on Tuesday the 26th for a follow-up screening to see if he is remaining stable enough to postpone the surgery until he's a little older and his heart is a little bigger. Those are the nitty-gritty details of our life right now.

It's amazing how quickly perspective changes when one is faced with some sort of crisis. All of a sudden 'things' don't seem to matter quite so much. I am valuing and loving and cherishing each moment I spend with my children. One way or another, those moments are fleeting. I am reminded that there are no guarantees when it comes to life on earth. We live in a fallen world, with imperfect bodies, and spirits in desperate need of a wholeness only found in relationship with our Creator God.

I have experienced a deluge of emotions and thoughts over the past few days. I have cried...or more accurately, sobbed. I have laughed uncontrollably with my sweet Maren. I have been much stronger than I ever imagined I could be under these circumstances. I have experienced a confidence in the Lord unlike any I've experienced before. I've shared some of the sweetest snuggles with my baby boy. I've questioned God...why our baby? Why not me? Why, why, why? And the truth is...I already know the answer...to bring glory to God. I now have an incredible opportunity to put into practice what I've claimed to be true for much of my life.

Since shortly after Truett was born, I have been reading and studying Philippians. (Mostly reading and re-reading...if you are a mother of a smallish child, you know how unlikely any true in-depth form of 'study' is while tending to the needs of a toddler!) I did not realize how God was already preparing me for the news we were to hear on Monday. I have spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the words of Paul found in Philippians 2:12-15 (NIV).

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

I actually had been asking the Lord to reveal ways for our family to 'shine like stars in the universe' in order to fulfill his 'good purpose' for our lives. I just never imagined something like this to be the vehicle by which we'd have that opportunity to shine.

As we embark on our journey with Truett, I admit that I am very scared. I am scared to watch my baby suffer, I am scared of something going wrong, I am scared of losing my baby. BUT, I know that God loves Truett more than I could ever imagine, and I know that He has a plan for my little guy's life, however long or short it may be.

Fernando Ortega has a song that I love, and it means even more to me now.

I Will Praise Him, Still

When the morning falls on the farthest hill,
I will sing His name, I will praise Him still.
When dark trials come and my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt, I will praise Him still.

For the Lord our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave.
And He gave us life in His perfect will,
And by His good grace, I will praise Him still.

So, today I choose to praise Him still...for this happy little guy. His sister was making him smile while I took the picture. They are both such gifts to me!

15 July 2011


We've got a cherry tree in our backyard and this summer we were able to harvest cherries for the first time. Maren and I went out bright and early this morning to collect as many as we could before the birds came around.

Now we just need to figure out what to make with all these tart cherries! Any suggestions?

06 July 2011

Happy 4th on the 6th!

I do realize I'm a little late with the 4th of July well-wishes, but that's just the way things go with 2 kids around! We had a lovely weekend spending time with friends and family.

Here's Maren and Truett all ready to head out to the parade. Maren was beside herself with anticipation. She got to bring her tricycle to ride in the kid's parade and you'd have thought someone was sending her to the moon. I really do love being a mom, and these are the times that make it so very special. Experiencing life through the perspective of an almost-3-year-old is so refreshing!

Maren and her friend, Abby, ready to ride in the parade.

Is there anything better than a snow cone on a hot summer day?

Brett, Truett and me...there was no pulling Maren away from the parade at this point for a picture. Ha!

Maren loved waving to the people in the parade. It probably helped that they were throwing candy her way!
I hope you all were able to enjoy your own celebration in some special way! Happy 4th of July!

01 July 2011

New in the shop and a sale!

Happy July! Do you have any big plans for your holiday weekend? We're looking forward to some time with good friends and a little parade on Monday. Maren will get to walk in the parade, so it's a much-anticipated activity around here!

I restocked the shop with lots of fun new things yesterday! I have a few new designs as well as some best-sellers in new colors and patterns. To celebrate the Fourth of July, I'm offering free shipping through July 8...use the code FREEDOM at checkout.

Happy weekend!