Thursday, October 25, 2018

Football and Cheer

We are well into this year's football season! Peyton is playing JV and Varsity football. Well, they only had one JV game :( He was able to start and play that entire game and had the best time! Unfortunately for him, he got the rough end of the deal when it comes to football. Last year, when he was in 8th grade he would have been able to start all the games with it being his last year in middle school. Well, the team was dissolved due to not having enough players. We had a not so great coach at the time and people didn't want to play for him. Last year he was bumped to varsity and it was good for him but also sad because he had put in so much to not be able to play. This year has been better for sure! I really love our coaching staff! They care about our kids. They pray with them and they strive to teach them. They are what I think coaches should be! I've seen our head coach put his arm around Peyton's shoulder more than once to just talk to him. I'm thankful. And, our team is better because of it! We have a very young school and the football team has had to grow from nothing. So far we have a winning record this year and school spirit is really on the rise in our community! :)

Reece is cheering for our youth league again this year! They just finished up their games and they are preparing for cheer competition!












Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Catch up!

Time for another catch up post! haha! All I have time for!

I mentioned in the last post that we have moved! Hubs was feeling cramped in the old house. Everyone had their own room except for Mia and Reece who shared a room. But we just needed more space! We found a house not too far from where the other one was and it has TONS of space. Everyone has their own room, the littles have a playroom and the teenagers have their own den AND THEIR OWN WASHER AND DRYER! AMEN. We are pretty much moved except for the animals, y'all know they are coming with me anywhere I go! The chicken coop and goat pen are under construction and hopefully they can join us soon!

I WILL DIE IN THAT HOUSE. NEVER moving again!!! Josh agrees.




































While packing for the move Brooks decided to slice his thumb wide open with a pocket knife. He snuck and got it from Josh's things. We were about to leave to head to one of Peyton's football games, Josh wasn't even at home. It was so bad I could see bone. I threw him in the car, sat Griffin beside him to hold pressure and got us to the doctor as fast as I could. I forgot my shoes in the process. oops. Josh met us there. It took 4 people to hold him down. He got himself 6 stitches. This is the second time he has had to have stitches. But, who is counting.

We recently celebrated Big Mama's 90th birthday!! We had a party for her and there ended up being 100+ people there! We only invited immediate family and church family! She is so loved! She loves so many people!!








Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Happy 16th Birthday Griffin!

On October 14th, we celebrated Griffin's 16th Birthday! Holy cow, we have a teen driver. Everyone always says that time flies but it really does! I can't believe he is old enough to drive.

We moved the day before his birthday(whole other post for THAT lol) so we didn't party until this past weekend. We did our usual family dinner on his actual birthday, Japanese was his choice! This weekend he invited friends and family over to hang out, eat pizza, watch football and eat cookie cake! My kinda easy peasy party!

I'm not sure if I posted or not about his car. Probably not. We bought him a car back in June so that he could get some get practice on it before hitting the road alone. It turned out to be the best thing. He can drive it much easier than mine or Josh's vehicles so it worked out well. He was completely surprised when we gave it to him which made me SUPER happy. Surprises are my fav!

Since his birthday was on a Sunday we had to wait until the next day to take him for his driving test. I took him first thing that morning and he passed with a 93! YAY!

















Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Mia!!

Yesterday Mia turned FOUR! I mean, we don't even have a baby anymore. :( We spent the day celebrating our girl! She wanted a Frozen party at our local trampoline park so that's just what she got! Then she wanted cheese dip for dinner so Mexican it was! Even though when we got to the restaurant she changed her mind and wanted to eat somewhere else. UGH! Too bad, so sad! haha! She was just SUPER tired from the party! :) It was a fun day!

Saturday night I was SUPER sad. I couldn't get Mia's birth mom off my mind. Josh reminded me it was already her birthday in China so that was why. I was thinking of how four years ago she may have already been in labor. She loved Mia first...she knows what time she was born, how much she weighed, how she liked to be held, nursed her I'm sure. She loved her for nine whole months before she made the ultimate sacrifice to give her up so that she could get the medical care she needed/needs.  That hurts my momma heart so much. And at the same time I KNOW she was meant to be ours. It's weird if you haven't been in the situation.

Anyway, time for some party pics!





 The candles caught the cake on fire! Whoops.






As you can tell, she was PUMPED to be turning four!! Happy birthday sweet girl!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Breast Reduction Story

Today I'm dusting off the blog to talk about something SUPER personal...my boobs! About two months ago I had a breast reduction and lift. I have decided to document it all here for other people who want to have it done and want to hear how things went for someone else! People tend to not want to talk about plastic surgery and "what they've had done" but I am happy and proud of my decision and in my old age I don't care what people think!!

I've always been on the larger side in the boob department. I'm a small person, only 5 ft and small framed so that made them look even bigger. I've had pain in my shoulders, neck and back for as long as I can remember. Not to mention it was SO HARD to find swimsuits that fit and even clothes.  I've planned on eventually having a reduction for a long time but I wanted to wait until I was finished having babies and breastfeeding before making the decision. Soon after Brooks was finished breastfeeding we started talking about adoption and so I put the reduction thoughts in the back of my mind. Once our adoption was complete and I felt settled enough I started thinking about it again. I started researching and made a consultation appointment with Dr. Gunn at Hedden Plastic Surgery in Birmingham.

My consultation was at the end of May.(Hubby went with me) At this point I wasn't for sure settled on having it done right now. I just wanted to talk about it with the doctor and learn everything I needed to know. Dr. Gunn was awesome at explaining everything. Our insurance policy will sometimes cover this surgery but only if the amount they want taken off is done, which in this case was 500 cc's per breast. Dr. Gunn pulled some implants that were close to that amount and if we removed that much I wouldn't have had much left. I wanted them smaller but I didn't want to be left with nothing. Dr. Gunn said he would do what I wanted but he would rather not take that much...he didn't want me back in 10 years asking for implants and I SURE didn't want that to happen. We paid for the surgery out of pocket.

My next question and concern was "How long am I going to be down?" We have 5 kids and I'm not one to just sit around and be lazy. I get bored fast. Dr. Gunn looked at me and said, "two weeks." I basically said, "How about one?"  He told me he thought that would be ok as long as I only went to the office and worked a little and didn't pick any of the kids up...or anything over ten pounds.

The doctor spent a lot of time with us. He explained all about how the surgery would go, exactly what he would do and how I would recover. It was an outpatient procedure but I would have to come into the office the next morning to be checked. Since we live an hour away I quickly responded that we would just stay in a hotel and he agreed that would be best. He was very thorough and took time with us. They have surgical suites in their office so the surgery would be performed there.

After we left the appointment I pretty much already knew I was going to do it. I just needed to work out when. I called a few days later and scheduled it for July 16th. I wanted to wait until after the 4th of July because I knew we would be at the beach. I had my preop appointment on July 3rd and we left for the beach right after. The preop appointment was just a nurse appointment, she got a ton of information and did blood work.

The Friday before my surgery I found out I would need to be there at 6:15 the morning of surgery. We decided to go ahead and stay the night before surgery in Birmingham as well. This would allow us to go ahead and be settled in our room before the surgery so that was a plus. AND allowed us to have a date the night before surgery!

I didn't sleep much the night before surgery. I rolled out of bed at 5 am so that I could take one last long shower and dry my hair. I wasn't sure if I would be able to wash my hair or dry it after surgery for a while. We left the hotel about 6am. When we arrived we got checked in. I was soon called back by a nurse who had me change into a robe and she took pictures. Next the anesthesiologist came in and talked with me...I explained that any time I have surgery I always wake up vomiting. He promised to give me all the things to help with that. Then, he started my IV. After that Dr. Gunn came in and we talked again about how much to take off. I told him I wanted to be a small "C". I also told him if he got in there and was in doubt to take more off. I told him he could leave too much but he couldn't take too much! haha! He then drew ALL over me with a sharpie. The anesthesiologist came back in, shot something in my IV and told me to come with him, that I would be loopy by the time we got to the surgical suite. I laughed and said, "I already am!" I made it to the operating table where he placed a mask on my face, that's all I remember. The next thing I knew I woke up ABOUT TO PUKE in the recovery room. I asked the nurse for Josh and she said, "He's pulling your car up, here's a bag in case you puke." She got me dressed and put me in a wheel chair. My surgery had lasted about 4 hours and I spent an hour in recovery, so by this time it was lunch time and SUPER hot outside. As SOON as I got in the car I puked. I feel like the recovery room nurse rushed me out and I plan to talk with Dr. Gunn about that at my next appointment.

Thankfully, our hotel was only about three miles away. Once we arrived I was still pretty out of it. Josh stayed with me and my Dad went to find a wheel chair. I was SO nauseated. He came back and said they couldn't find it, I think there was mention of them just carrying me but I'm sure they were scared to pick me up for fear of hurting the boobies. Dad decided he was going to look for the wheelchair again and came back with it! They got me up to the room and settled in an upright position with a ton of pillows in the bed. Dad sent Josh downstairs to eat and stayed with me. If I would have smelled food I would have just died.

I spent the remainder of the day sleeping and fighting nausea. It was rough. I remember one time that I got up to use the restroom, Josh was helping me...I looked down as I walked and laughed and said, "Oh my gosh, I can see my thighs!" It was a totally different view! haha!

I slept ok that night. I was propped up by tons of pillows and just slept on and off as I could.

The next morning we had to be at the doctor's office at 8am. When the doctor came in he and the nurse removed the bandages. I was standing in front of the doctor with a mirror behind him so I could see. As soon as they pulled the bandages off I looked at Josh and said, "Look at my cute little boobies!"  I had surgical glue and tape all along my incisions that were to stay in place for three weeks. Everything looked great so we headed home! Oh, and stitches on the inside.

I spent that week laying around and managing my pain. It wasn't too terribly bad really. Towards the end of the week I got to where I couldn't sleep for several nights in a row. That was awful.

Let me pause here and give some MAJOR credit to my husband! Y'all, he is the best! He did the best job taking care of me and doing ALL.THE.THINGS. when I was down! I heart him!

Week 2 is when the itching started. MY GOSH the torture. On Wednesday of that week I called the doctor because I had some blood coming through the tape. I had some drainage the first few days after surgery but that had stopped and this looked different. The nurse on call got me to pull the tape off and send some pictures to them. They all but freaked out. They told me not to eat or drink anything for the rest of the night and to be at the office the next morning. I was likely headed back to surgery. SHAT. I had two holes under the tape that looked horrible. And looked like they needed to be cleaned out. I was super sad and super upset about the whole situation. I DID not want to have to recover from being put to sleep again.

We got there the next morning and got checked in for surgery. My doctor was out of town and I was going to see another one. I had heard tons of wonderful things about him, plus his name is the one on the sign so I wasn't too worried about seeing Dr. Hedden. I was called back to the same room I was in before my original surgery. The doctor came in and looked and said, " I don't think I need to go back in." I COULD HAVE KISSED HIS FACE. He went on to tell me how worried he was the night before when he saw the pictures and how we needed to proceed from there. I walked back out to the waiting room with tears in my eyes to my husband! I was SO RELIEVED. We went straight to chic-fil-a because I was STARVING. Then home to rest.

The next week was spent doctoring the bad spots and trying not to over due. I would feel great in the mornings but by lunch time my energy was gone. This went on for a few weeks and honestly 8 weeks later I finally felt like myself! One of the holes continued to get bigger, I went weekly to my doctor so he could monitor and it came to the point where I was having to stick a q-tip inside the hole several times a day to keep it cleaned out. FINALLY, my doctor decided to change the type of gauze we were using on it and TWO days later it closed up! I'm going to have a nasty scar where that place was. Right now, I don't care. No one sees my boobs but me and Josh  so I just want to be healed so that I can go back to wearing a regular bra!

Well, that's pretty much it. For now anyway. I go back to the doctor Thursday and he is going to be super excited when he sees things have closed up!

Honestly, there were a couple of times that I was mad at myself for having this done BUT now that I'm pretty much healed I'm so glad I did it!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Adults Only Trip to Disney!

Friends, if you have never had an adults only trip to Disney you are missing out! Oh my, we had the BEST time! Josh and I left Wednesday evening and stayed close to the airport because we had a super early flight Thursday morning. My sister, her hubs and our Dad came late Friday night. We did it this way so that Josh and I could have a few days to ourselves!


Our dates were June 7-10 and it was an EXCELLENT time to go! We thought it would be super crowded and super hot...it was neither!!

When we arrived on Thursday we went to our resort which was Port Orleans-French Quarter. Which was fantastic, by the way! Y'all, Disney's attention to detail with EVERYTHING is unmatched. Period. Anyway, we caught the bus from there to Disney Springs because our room wasn't ready yet. (We knew that would be the case) We spent some time there but honestly I was bored and hot and didn't feel well AT ALL. We had been up since 2am after only three hours of sleep and I was feeling it. haha! We had a dinner reservation at O'Hana at 3:45 so we went back to our resort-our room was ready-and chilled out for a bit! We decided to head to the Polynesian Resort super early so that we could check it out before dinner. It is beautiful and had me dreaming of Hawaii! As it turned out we had the first reservation of the night at the restaurant! Score! We sat beside the window and had a great view of the castle across the water!

This was our first time at O'hana and y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT.WAS.SO.GOOD. I highly recommend!!

That's something else about this trip, the food was the best! Last time we went to Disney I was disappointed in the food but this time made up for it!

After dinner we went back to our resort and we were asleep by 7pm. We were SO tired! And we knew the next day would be super busy so we got some good sleep!

I'm an early bird so we were up and at em around 6 am the next day! (For some reason people don't realize that getting to the parks when they open is the BEST thing to do! Seriously, you can get to rides you don't have fast passes for with no/little wait, the crowds are SUPER low and it's not so hot!) We split an order of beignets for breakfast and headed to Hollywood Studios! We had fast passes for everything we wanted to do there and ended up only using 2 of them but still riding the third because there was no wait! We rode the Rock n Roller Coaster, the Tower of Terror and Star Wars-The Adventures Continue! I'm not into Star Wars AT ALL but the ride is fun! The other two are always fun too! Somewhere in between all that we split a Mickey pretzal! My sister has to be very strict on not eating gluten so I HAD to get one before she arrived! haha!







Once we had done all we wanted to at Hollywood Studios we headed back to our resort for a few to rest! We wanted to grab some fast passes for Magic Kingdom because we had dinner reservations at Be Our Guest! The only thing available was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride so we took it. We headed to Magic Kingdom. We took a Lyft this time instead of waiting on the bus. It was only like $10 so worth it! Once we were there it was pretty hot so we headed to wait what we thought was a 60 minute wait time for Splash Mountain! We ended up only waiting 30 minutes which went by super fast! I got SOAKED on the ride! haha! We then got in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which also supposedly had a 60 min wait...we only waited 30 minutes. We were the last to ride before the ride was shut down due to the weather!  A few minutes later came a thunderstorm! DO NOT LET RAIN RUIN YOUR DISNEY TRIP! Rain is your FRIEND-Everyone leaves! #winning We put our ponchos on and kept on trucking! We went to the Hall of Presidents! I really enjoyed it! It wasn't open last time we were there because they were adding Donald Trump. We then went across the park to Space Mountain, where there was an 80 minute wait. This wait time was pretty accurate and left us with FIVE minutes to walk all the way back across the park to catch our Pirates fast pass! I could care less about riding it but the hubs was ALL IN. He DRUG me all the way as fast as we could go and we made it with one minute to spare! It was totally just the thrill of getting there on time for him! haha! After that it was time for our dinner at Be Our Guest. I have to say, this was my least favorite meal we had. It was just ok. Their menu changes next month so hopefully it will be better! And, yes, I tried the gray stuff...I guess it was delicious! hahahahaha! After that we called it a night until my sis and bro in law arrived around 1am!

The next day we headed to Epcot bright and early! We fully intended on riding everything we wanted before the World Showcase opened at 11am where we planned to drink around the world! Yep, I said it. We were kid-less, remember? We headed straight for Test Track! This was my first time and I LOVED it! We had a fast pass for Soarin'-this is one of my all time favs. I love it times a million. We rode it twice because why not?! We headed to Mexico right at 11! First stop, margaritas and the Grand Fiesta Tour! We then made our way around the world one country at a time and took how ever long we wanted to at each! We stuffed ourselves into a phone booth, met Mary Poppins(who was upset she didn't get the memo about our shirts lol), wished we were back in the real China, got my sister, Reece and Mia each a Pearl in Japan, had some mighty fine wine(and cheese!) in Italy, got a henna tattoo that means "family" in Morocco...I can't even remember what else we did but we had a BLAST. We ended up in Canada for our dinner reservation...it was SO, SO INCREDIBLE! I had the filet and twice baked mashed potatoes....it was heavenly! We were pretty tired after that, I can't remember what we did but I'm pretty sure we headed back to our room! Full and tired!


CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






Our last day was spent at Animal Kingdom! There were extra magic hours on this day so we arrived at the park about 8 am! We went straight to Pandora because we didn't have a fast pass for the Na'vi River Journey. We didn't have much of a wait, if any. If you are a huge Pandora fan, you will love this one! As for me, I haven't even seen the movie! haha! We had a fast pass for Flight of Passage later in the day. We noticed on our app that there was a FIVE minute wait for Expedition Everest-UM HELLO-fav of all time! We headed that way and rode twice back to back with NO wait! We also had a fast pass to ride it again later! I can't remember if I ended up riding 3 or 4 times! #soextra We rode the Rafiki Wildlife Express Train to kill a little time before our Safari fast pass and realized that we would end up at a petting zoo! HELLO DISNEY! I didn't know! The first thing I did was make a goat friend! :) They also had an area indoors where you could watch through glass and see veterinary exams! They were doing an ultrasound on a turtle, so that was fun to watch! After that was our Safari fast pass...this one is always fun and always different! I believe our lunch reservation at Yak and Yeti was next! Another YUMMY meal! DELISH! Then is was off to what I had been anticipating for six months...Flight of Passage! I was a little nervous that my people had talked it up too much and that I would be disappointed...but NO! I LOVED IT. Everyone LOVED it. Had we not had to leave for the airport soon after I would have stood in line for the 120 min wait and rode again...WORTH IT! We went and saw The Lion King show next! It was fun but Dad loved it the most! haha!

Let's mention our "Hei Girl Hei" shirts from this day! SO many compliments! haha! The cast members LOVED them! :) Josh won the shirt contest for Epcot! LOL





Then it was time to head to the airport. Boo Hoo. But we were ready to see our babies!

We ended up STUCK in the Atlanta airport until oh about 12:30 am. Not fun. We ended up home around 2:30am. Dog tired but full of fun memories!