Tuesday, July 23, 2013


This Sunday we went for Gavin's first trip to the Minnesota Zoo. (It ended up being free...but more on that in a second.) He loved watching the monkeys and especially the penguins. Much more interactive than I thought he would be!
Look at those eyes! He was so intrigued.

After we wandered through the aquarium part of the zoo, we went outside and I changed his diaper. I noticed that he was doing rapid shoulder shrugs on his left side. He didn't stop. Gavin was in the middle of a seizure. Jason held him for 3 minutes before he finally calmed down. 

My heart sank. 
Absolutely crushed. 

I think in the back of my mind I thought that he would have another one, but I desperately prayed against it. 

The zoo staff was kind enough to refund our $47.00. Who knows - maybe God thought that was too much to pay for a day with His (free) creation. Thus the FREE trip to the zoo.

We took Gavin down to the U of M Emergency Room for the umpteenth time. He was seen by neurology, and we will be having an EEG done on August 6th. For now he is on Keppra for the seizures and we are praying that they don't happen again.

It has been a very un-expected journey, full of twists & turns, and little hiccups along the way. Last night I found myself in a very emotional place. I haven't felt this way since we were residents of the NICU. After my shower I put on my favorite lotion. This lotion isn't my favorite smell. It isn't even one I bought myself. It is one that my daddy bought me from the gift shop after my c-section. (My skin was so dry from the magnesium they gave me.) It reminds me of my mom brushing the matted tangles out of my hair when I couldn't raise my arms after the surgery. Every morning I woke up in the hospital, I put it on - hoping that the new day would bring hope - GOOD things. I now associate that smell with starting over, new days, HOPE. 

Funny how smells bring on a flood of emotion. The ER uses the same hand soap that I had to wash with every time I went to visit Gavin in the NICU. Emotions. Walking through the hospital hallway, smelling the coffee shop brought back memories of my many mornings in the hospital - waking up, getting my coffee, spending the day with my little miracle. Most of the time the emotions are good. Sometimes they are enough to stop me in my tracks - trying to hold back the tears. Last night I didn't hold them back, I let the tears flow. 

I am weary. I have begged God for mercy, that He would take the seizures from Gavin. For now the answer may be "wait", but we are hoping that His answer someday will be "YES!" 
Until then we wait, expecting the un-expected.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Luke 6:42

I do this all of the time.

Today was a classic example. It wasn't anything that anyone experienced with me, it was in the quite of my devotions that I found myself reading Exodus 20:4-5a "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above, or on the earth below or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God."
GREAT verse. Not a thing that I don't agree with. Sadly, I found myself thinking about all of the people who have an abundance of things - lavish homes, fancy new cars, tons of toys, money-money-money. I thought about how they need to read this verse.
Allison....Allison....Allison - what am I doing? I am thinking about other's "faults", not looking at my own heart. Not focusing on the idols that I put in front of God - looks, clothes, and even my loving family.
Then I started thinking about how many times I am in church, hearing the truth of God's word spoken - wondering if others around me are being impacted. If perhaps my husband got something out of the message.
What about what God is speaking to my heart? It is ignorance at it's finest! How sad.

Why am I sharing this? I'm not proud of this massive fault of mine, but I do want to change this part of my heart. I want so desperately to mind my own business. I feel like a big chunk of Christians struggle with this. Often called "holier-than-thou"  or "cardigan" Christians. Now while I may not fall into those categories, I probably absolutely have a problem with my heart. Whether you are outwardly judgmental - or more of the silent type, neither is good. Both create a cold heart, a sense of entitlement, and give non-Christians the wrong idea about what it means to be one of His children.

I also share this because this slap-in-the-face revelation came to me - not in an hour long quite time with God. Not even in a 1/2 hour. It was a 5 minute devotion time. God can speak to us fast, and concisely. Other times it takes years of molding. Sometimes he whispers to our hearts, other times he may use His booming outdoor voice. Either way, we need to be willing to listen to what He has for us, not what we think others need to hear.

My goals: Change that (ugly) part of my heart. Listen to His gentle whispering as well as his booming outdoor voice.

Side Note: Gavin has a love for books - just like his daddy.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Summer seems to be flying past, without so much as a warning. I thought by this time that we would have been fishing, sat on the beach by a lake, or even just sat outside to get some sun. Nope!
Life with a new baby, new house, and LOTS of changes doesn't allow for the "typical" lazy days of summer. That's alright though! We are having fun anyway!

This weekend we had bonfire with family, BBQs with high school friends, and our first bonfire in our own backyard!

Loving on his feet.

This little man is made for the outdoors!
Lounging outside during the bonfire. 
 This weekend we also found Gavin's first tooth! He has a little one coming in on his lower left side. Thankfully, he has been happy in spite of teething!
He may be tanner than his mommy.
 The highlight of the weekend was Gavin getting his first taste of baby food. He has had rice cereal already, but that doesn't have much of a taste. We were told by everyone to start with the "yucky" foods first. They tend to not eat the yucky stuff  if you start out with yummy sweet potatoes/squash.

We started with peas.....

Yes, that is is acutal reaction! I don't think I have EVER laughed so hard! Non-stop gaggy faces!

Well folks, that's a wrap!

The Fourth - Part 2 (The Zoo)

Gavin's first ever trip to the zoo was on July 6th! I am still not sure who was more excited - daddy or Gavin. Okay - probably daddy, but it was definitely more fun pushing a stroller around a zoo! We are no longer the random 4 adults wandering around the Wahpeton Zoo!

Here are some of the good ones:

Ready for the Zoo!
                                                                    Getting the Zoo Passes!
My handsome men

Gavin never got to see the barn that I grew up playing in.
I thought this was a fitting spot for a picture! Don't you love their matching hats?

I love these pictures of Gma & Gpa with Gavin! 

Gavin's got a great "Sneaky" face.

 Gavin's Sophie Giraffe came in handy to call to the Monkeys...and the otter. If you aren't familiar with a Sophie Giraffe - it is basically a baby chew toy that makes squeaking noises...very similar to the ones the monkeys were making!

Tuckered-out little boy
First trip to the Zoo was a success!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Fourth - Part 1

Since the Fourth of July fell on a Thursday, we decided to take that Friday off too and make a LONG weekend out of it! We couldn't think of a better place to go than up to my parents! They needed a Gavin-fix, and we wanted to get away. To be honest, it is one of the most relaxing places we go, and the time is never long enough!

Here are some of the pictures from our extended weekend.

My mom will do anything for Gavin - including laying on the floor for some quality time!

Gavin is eating cereal like a champ!

Our little birdy!

Gavin had his foot resting on the table, so Jason told him that it was not proper etiquette.
Grandma said it was okay in their house! Oh boy, folks - he has stolen her heart!

We made a trip up the road to visit Great-grandpa Gene.
Such a sweet time with him!
More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day

Reasons I am thankful for the U.S. of A.

Freedom to Worship. I would worship whether I was free to or not, but I am so thankful that we are able to do so, freely.

Men and Women willing to fight for that Freedom. Thankful for the wives and husbands who stay home, while their loved ones fight for us overseas.

Knowing I can tuck my baby into bed safely. Fed, clothed, and sheltered. So many mothers don't get that privilege. And it is just that - a privilege.

Clean medical facilities that saved our son, and are saving lives each minute. Special thank-you to the University of Minnesota for all you have done for our little family.

Sand under my toenails from last night's sand volleyball game.

Fireworks that will light up the sky tomorrow night.

Thankful that the song "God Bless the USA" has ALWAYS brought tears to my eyes. I remember the first time hearing it. I was sitting in my oldest sister's basement apartment, listening to the song and couldn't understand why I was crying - yet knowing my heart was touched. The pride I have for my country is unreal. Which makes me want to fall to my knees in repentance for the way our nation has turned against God. How long will we say "God Bless the USA", when in reality - we have turned our back on him. How long will we expect him to rain down mercies on us? We started out with the foundation of our nation being on Christ alone. How far we have fallen. God has been patient, and I know that we don't deserve all that we have. However, I do know that we can turn it around. It is never too late.

- Stepping down from my soap box -

Grilled hamburgers & hot dogs, s'mores & watermelon, corn on the cob, sprinklers & sparklers, lemonade & iced tea. Ok- those are mostly just fun summery things, but they also scream "4th of July".


This little dude can't contain his excitement! He's going to Grandma Carol & Grandpa Lee's tonight!

Happy (early) 4th Everyone!

Monday, July 1, 2013


I love you because....
1  You love me deeply.
2  Gavin is your sidekick, and forever will be.
3 You find joy in so many things. When I don't see the good in things, you remind me to look for it.
4  When I am in "a mood", you know how to handle me.
5  You support me when I need it most, and let me have my space when you see that I need it.
6  Being Mr. Fix it brings you joy, and you do it well!
7  You are the leader of our home, both spiritually and emotionally.
8  You can cook - better than me! I love that about you. I know our kids will never go hungry, or eat canned /frozen meals.
9 You have a passion for writing and you are great at it! I hope you follow your dreams someday, and can show others your talent.
10 Lets face it - you're goooood looookin'! I love the way you look in hats. You still make my heart flutter.

You are my once in a lifetime - love.

Past two weekends

Last weekend was indescribably wonderful. Both Jason and I agreed it felt like what we expected parenthood to be like.

We had a night out with our siblings, went to an outdoor concert/fest that night.

Saturday we had Jason's aunt, uncle, and their kids over.

Gavin got to meet his great grandpa Gene and aunt Cindy for the first time! Let me just say how much we love them!
First time meeting
Grandpa Gene is one of Gavin's greatest cheerleaders

Such a sweet woman of God - Cindy.

These two have quite the bond!

Kisses upon kisses
Saturday night we had a bonfire with Jason's uncle & aunt + their sweet neighbors.

Sunday - church, which was so uplifting! Gavin got to try rice cereal for the first time. Didn't make a total mess, but probably got more on the bib than in his tummy.

Jason FINALLY got to mow our grass. Now, normally we relax and just enjoy our Sundays. With the crazy amounts of rain and storms, this was our opportunity to get the sod mowed for the first time. It looks so great!

This past weekend, we were busy as bees. Jason helped his uncle and brother with numerous projects in his yard. Cambria and I went shopping for decorations for our house. Sunday was church. Gavin and I napped for 3 hrs while Jason did yard work. Gavin had more rice cereal and did great this time! He is getting the hang of it! I baked rhubarb crisp, did laundry, went grocery shopping and put up curtains.

We are blessed to feel "Normal".