Archives For Family

By Eric on February 24, 2014 +

OK, so, we don’t have a real post for today. Our weekend was filled with an Olympic date night slumber party in our living room that actually lasted until this morning. We have yet to move our mattress back into our bedroom.

But, it helped Rooney get a little adventurous:

And I spent 6+ hours painting on Saturday, under and around scaffolding in our stairway. We’ve been putting the final touches of paint in our main living area in preparation for someone’s special golden birthday this coming weekend. We powered through though, unfortunately not leaving enough time for blogging.

We’ve got a seemingly endless list of things to do around the house to get ready for this weekend. We’ll be sure to provide a recap of the party and its details next week (maybe).

For now, in case you missed it, check out our basement project’s wiring progress at The Rockstar Ranch.

What were you up to this weekend?

By Kelsey on February 17, 2014 4

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Last Thursday night, at 8:38 pm, I found out my brother had no active cancer in his body. He is a survivor. At the time, he was still on the surgery table being stitched up, and I couldn’t wait for him to wait up and hear the news.

It’s been a long six months. For a while there, we heard nothing but bad news. First, there was a mass it was most likely cancerous. Then, it was definitely cancerous but it might not have spread. Then, we found it had spread, but we didn’t know how much.

He has worked so hard to kill this cancer. After almost 20 chemo treatments in nine weeks, two surgeries, numerous shots and countless days of feeling sick, he is done. For all those nights he spent throwing up and wondering if it was worth it…he no longer has to wonder. It worked.

The day before Halloween last year, I took him to his 10th chemotherapy appointment. He was halfway through his treatment and it was quite the humbling experience for me. Did you know the nurses have to wear a special gown and hat before they touch the chemo IV bags? It is a chemical you can’t get on your skin, but they were pumping it through my brother’s body. It was very difficult for me to watch this go on, and to see the other patients and their families coming and going. We sat there for three hours, eating Taco John’s and waiting for the medicine to drip in. I drove home that night and realized my brother had done this for several days already and he had to go back the next day to do it again. And not only that, but he often got sick in the evenings between treatments. I can’t imagine the strength it must have taken.

Not only for him, but also his girlfriend and their baby, Carson. If Carson was sick, my brother couldn’t be around him, because his immune system was obviously compromised. This meant Liz had to watch him by herself or find someone else to watch him while she went to work. In the past 16 months they have had a baby, bought a house, found out he had cancer, had two surgeries, completed a very aggressive round of chemotherapy, and found out they have another baby on the way. It has been a ride. Now the focus is on recovery for the next 6-8 weeks until their daughter is born! (After that, I hope they can relax a little.)

Six months ago I didn’t know much about cancer. It has brought our family closer together than I could have imagined and I do not wish it upon anyone, but it did give God a chance to show off. Praises.

By Kelsey on December 20, 2013 +

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A couple weeks ago, Eric came home from work (it was a Wednesday), and we loaded up in the van to go on a family adventure! Rooney had not napped that day and I think most times we would have abandoned our plans and get her to bed early, but this time we said “No! We will go and we will have fun!”

I’m so glad we did.

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By Eric on October 31, 2013 4

It’s almost November. Or Movember as some call it. Typically a month that has given trendy men everywhere an excuse to not shave. I’ve participated in No Shave November before and grew out a scraggly beard. But this year is different.

What the heck is Movember?

As an official global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches on men’s faces around the world. Through the power of the Mo, vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

This year it hits too close to home. My brother-in-law (Kelsey’s younger brother) is battling testicular cancer. He is in the midst of a nine-week intense chemo session, and hearing from him nearly daily about what he is going through has been both sad and inspiring.

Sad to see him have to go through this as a 26-year-old. Inspiring to see his courage as he goes through it all with a great attitude. I’m so proud of him.

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By Eric on July 5, 2013 6

As Kelsey said last week, we recently spent a week in the Okoboji area. This is our 10th summer as a couple, and we’ve spent time there together every year. It’s an awesome in-state getaway for us and we’re truly blessed to have a place to stay when we are there.

Maybe we’re just naive and the only ones who never thought of this before, but for vacation we’ve started to plan not only the week we are away from home, but the week before we leave and the week after we get back. Now that we’re responsible for more than ourselves on vacation (Rooney packs more than the two of us combined), we’ve tried to really think through our time off and how to get the most out of it.

Vacation

Confession: Last year we learned that vacation with a newborn is not really a vacation. It was more like a tornado picked us and all our baby junk up and set us down four hours away in a familiar/enjoyable location, except we still had to be rookie parents who had no idea what happened to vacation as we knew it.

It wasn’t that we didn’t love being parents, it was that for eight years prior, Okoboji had been our place of escape, adventure, relaxation and bliss. Last year, it all changed with a newborn. I was frustrated not being able to relax the way that we had in the past. This year was completely different for a number of reasons that I will get to in a moment. Another important thing we changed this year from last year was our own mental thinking, taking a family approach to the vacation vs. the selfish agenda we’ve always had in the past. (Rooney is not the only one who has grown a lot in the past year.)

A few weeks before we left, we came to the realization that we should think about vacation in three stages: pre-party, party, and the hangover…

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