Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Head on over to Pitter Patter Art and enter for a giveaway for an awesome key fob! She also has a ton of other customized things that are adorable!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Well, I guess it should be called "summer cleaning". Chris and I decided to take advantage of his three day weekend and clean like crazy people. Now, we did spend some good family time together in between the cleaning. We went to the pool on Saturday. The boys had a blast! So far, Chris and I have cleaned all of our drawers, cabinets, and closets downstairs. I have to clean out the pantry today. I figured that was something I could do without Chris here since I know what we should keep and what we should give away.

I cleaned out the boy's bedroom closet which was a crazy task and cleaned my side of our bedroom closet. All of the boy's clothes are now in the dresser in their closet. The other dresser/changing table is completely empty now and moved into the nursery along with the crib and my grandfather's rocking chair. It is all ready for our sweet baby coming in December. Walking into that room is so fun! I can already picture a sweet little one sleeping in the crib. Chris put up a new book shelf in our bedroom. We had SO many books just sitting around our house with no home. It feels so great to have a spot for them now and it looks really nice in our room!

All we have left to do is put the boy's daybed back together. They are currently sleeping on their mattresses on the floor. And, we have to fix the changing table/dresser because one of the drawers in broken. Tonight, poor Chris is tackling all of that and the attic. He is going to take the 5+ bags of clothes into the attic and go through everything to see if there are things to give away.

It feels SO nice to clean and get rid of things! I feel like we have a HUGE head start on getting our house ready for a third child.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Soon to be family of five...

So, most of you already know this but I wanted to post it on here...we're PREGNANT!! We are SO SO excited! We've been trying for 13 months! I will be nine weeks this Friday. I am due on December 31st. I wish it was going to be a New Year's baby! My parents and my sister/brother-in-law's anniversaries are on New Year's Eve. However, I get induced about a week and a half before my due date so this won't happen. I have a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. So, during all my pregnancies I have to take a blood thinner. Since I am pregnant, I can't take the pills because of the baby. So, I have to take two shots a day in my belly. Usually I take Heparin, but this time they have me on Lovinox. I love Lovinox because they are pre-filled syringes and Heparin is not! Lovinox saves me a lot of time. Granted it cost me $30 for a 60 day supply where Heparin is free but it is totally worth it! And, no, after two pregnancies I still don't give them to myself. I love having a doctor as a husband : ).

So far, this pregnancy has been a ton better than my other two. I threw up a lot with Bryce and Kael. I've only thrown up twice so far. I am just nauseous from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. I will take that over vomiting anytime! I am hoping it end soon though.

So, if my calculations are right and if they have an opening on this day, I will be induced either December 20th or 21st. I'm going to really try to get booked on the 20that so Chris will be home for more time after the baby is born. He gets either Christmas week off or New Year's week. We like him to have New Year's week off, but this year we are going to ask for Christmas week since I will be induced that week. So, if I can get induced on the 20th, he will have six days off after the baby is born.

We have a boy name picked out...Cohen. We have it narrowed down to three girl names. There is a poll to the right for you to go and vote for your favorite. There is no guarantee that I will use the most popular : ). It is just for fun!

Friday, April 16, 2010

End of the journey

Well, I think we have reached the end of the journey of medical tests for Kael. All of Kael's biopsies came back NORMAL and I am praising God for that!!! Chris was the doctor that got to look at them which I think is so cool. We are extremely happy that Kael has no other issues and that he will be able to eat whatever he wants! I haven't actually spoken with his GI doctor but I don't think there will be any more investigation. It is my understanding that since all of his biopsies are normal, then his stomach issues are due to his IgA deficiency. I am hoping that when I do speak with the doctor that he will be able to suggest some type of medicine, vitamins, etc. that might help Kael. He is almost 2 and potty training is right around the corner which could be difficult in his current state : ). Thank you all so much for the prayers for him!!

There is no update on me yet. I have an appointment with a new doctor next Wednesday. I was not satisfied with the other doctor that I went to the last time. I waited for an hour and a half and he was only in the room for about 3 or 4 minutes and was not listening to my questions and treated me like my concerns were silly. My concerns might be silly to him but he should still look into them since I am the patient. He just wanted to write me a prescription for a fertility drug and get me out the door. I'm not quite ready to have a higher risk of multiples. I am praying that the practice that I am going to on Wednesday is the right one. There are only a few to choose from that take my insurance and deliver at the hospital that I like. Chris and I are praying about our options. God is good and faithful.

Meanwhile, both of the boy's birthdays are coming up in a few weeks. I am planning an airplane party for them on the same day. I figure this might be the last year I can get away with them sharing a party. I can't believe they will be 4 and 2 in just a few weeks. Next year, this time, I will be registering Bryce for kindergarten. CRAZY! I feel so blessed to be their mom. God is so wonderful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kael's endoscopy

Kael has an endoscopy scheduled for Monday at 12:45. They are going to make sure that it is the IgA deficiency that is causing his diarrhea. I can't really get deep into details because I don't understand it all but since he has the IgA deficiency it somehow effects the blood test for celiac disease. Apparently, the blood test for celiac disease isn't really accurate to begin with so it is a double whammy for Kael. So, the main reason for his endoscopy is to rule out celiac disease. I think they will be checking for a few other things while they are in there. If the biopsy shows that he is not allergic to gluten, then that will probably mean that his loose stools are from his IgA deficiency and there is no solution for that.

I'm not nervous at all right now about the procedure. I am sure as they are rolling him back to the room the anxiety will come. The procedure is something they do a lot so I'm not worried about that part at all. It is the anesthesia that is the scary part and the waking up from the anesthesia that is not fun (lots of confusion and crying). We've already been through Bryce being put to sleep so we know the routine and know what to expect. I am so glad they are doing the procedure. I don't want him to have to go through it but I want to make sure IgA deficiency is the answer and that there isn't something else going on. God is faithful and good.

The most amazing thing about this whole thing is that Chris is going to be one of the doctors reading the biopsy on Tuesday. He is not on that service but talked to the doctor that is and asked if he would hold Kael's biopsy to the side until Chris could make it down there. I know my husband is just in residency but, to me, he is the best at what he does. I completely trust his eyes and am so glad that he will be the one reading it!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Medical Updates from the Alley house

Hello all! So, Kael and I got some of our blood work back this week and I thought I would share it with you. If you are in the medical field, don't judge my explanations ; ). This is just how it makes sense in my head...haha. Here goes...

Kael had blood work done to test his levels for his Immunoglobulin A or IgA (one of the many that help us fight infections), Celiac disease, and major food allergies. HE ISN'T ALLERGIC TO MILK OR SOY...WOOHOO!! His test for Celiac disease was negative. However, they came back showing that he has ZERO IgA. The normal range is 12-73. This is fairly common. One in 600 people have it. A lot of people have it and don't know it. However, it absolutely explains all of Kael's respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal issues. It is also great to know he has it in case he ever has to be given blood. Giving blood that is full of IgA to someone that has no IgA can cause serious and sometimes fatal reactions. Praise the Lord that we know!!!

The next step is to make sure that he doesn't have any other Immunoglobulin deficiencies. They are also going to take more stool samples to rule out and parasites that could be attacking his system. After that, we will talk about doing a scope. It is my understanding that doing a scope is a pretty likely outcome. We will see. I will keep you all updated. I am SO SO glad to be getting somewhere! And, I'm so excited that he can eat whatever he wants even if it doesn't last but a couple of weeks : )!

As for me, I am going to try to keep this short. My thyroid test came back normal. However, my progesterone level is a 6. It should be above a 10. This is why we're having trouble getting pregnant. My doctor is tracking my cycles and Chris thinks he will probably test me for PCOS and hyperinsulinemia. PCOS would explain why I have been busting my tail working out for the last 4 months and haven't lost any weight. I also have quite a few other symptoms that are associated with PCOS. This is all speculation, of course. The only concern I have is about the medications to help this are ones that I can't take. I have Factor V which is a disorder that causes my blood to clot more easily. The medications used to help with PCOS also increase the risk of blood clots. Of course, there may be other meds that we don't know about. We will see. I am sure I will be having another appointment with my doctor soon.

So, there you go. I am praising God today for answers and wonderful doctors that are really working to get to the roots of the problems. We will just take it one thing at a time. None of these problems are crazy serious so please don't think that this is me complaining or wanting pity. I just wanted to give you all an update. We are very blessed!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random List

I'm going to do a list today of updates or just neat things that have happened over the last couple of weeks. Here we go...

1. Chris and I made an executive decision to let Kael eat dairy. His stomach is still completely messed up so we don't see the point in doing a dairy free diet when it does not seem to help him. We'll see how it goes. It was nice grocery shopping last night and not having to check labels. Bryce said as I was giving him "cow's milk yogurt" as he calls it..."Leeeeeet's see if he gets sick. I think it's gonna make him sick. I think he's gonna cough." Haha!

2. Church at the Summit West Club campus yesterday was awesome! Clayton King brought an amazing message from the word and I got to serve with some awesome people at Starting Point. Shannon did a great job! Everything ran really smooth for our first reception style Starting Point session.

3. I go for blood work on Friday to get my progesterone levels checked to see if that is contributing to us not getting pregnant. I'm not anxious or worrried. I have two beautiful boys that I am blessed with. God has really given me a patience with this just in the last week. He is so good!

4. We go to the GI doctor for Kael THIS wednesday! I am pumped about getting some answers in that situation.

5. I started my community service this last week. I am working at a thrift store called Cause for Paws. It supports the local animal shelters. It is sort of dirty work but I would much rather be doing that than picking up trash! I have been greatly humbled by this situation.

6. Just in the last couple of months, I have gotten an extreme passion for our neighborhood. I know, it should have been extreme all along but I'm just being honest. I think it has a lot to do with the girl's Dgroup that I am in now and with the current series we are doing at The Summit in Ephesians. There are a few tools that are in the works that will aid us with building relationships with our neighbors and showing them the love of Christ. We already have great relationships with quite a few of them. I am really excited about these and will tell you more about them later!

7. Chris and I leave on the 19th to go to DC with NO kids! That's right...I said NO kids! I love my boys but Chris and I are PUMPED about getting to spend some alone time together. AND, it is being paid for by his work since he will attending a Pathology Conference. He is submitting a poster presentation in a the pathology competition.

8. Pepperidge Farm 7 Grain Deli Rounds are AWESOME!! You must try them! I got them at Walmart. Put a piece of turkey, some mayo, and a slice of meunster cheese and you got a low calorie, YUMMY lunch.

9. Kael has started biting. He has only done it to Bryce but I fear it is only a matter of time before he gets another child in the nursery. Ugh. I have no experience with this so wasn't really sure how to handle it at first. Then, I decided that spanking works for every other disobedient thing so I am going to go that route first. I didn't spank him the first couple of times. But, I feel like if he understands (which he does) that he is not supposed to bite then a spanking is in order. Let me know your thoughts. I may or may not take the advice ; ).

10. My car is finally fixed and I am SO grateful. You don't even know. It has been a long road of no license and then broken car. It is SO nice to have both of them back now!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sweet Valentine

Chris and I don't ever do anything much for Valentine's Day. Normally, we just use it as an excuse to get a date night. We will be going to see "Valentine's Day" on Monday since Chris is on call this weekend. I am so excited about his movie! This year Chris had something he said he wanted to do for me. I, of course, responded, "We never spend money on each other on Valentine's Day". He told me it was only going to cost about $5. So, I decided we should start a new $5 Vday tradition. I went shopping today and came home to the most wonderful surprise. My boys had been working very hard. I am so blessed.

I LOVE strawberry iced from Dunkin' Donuts. There was another one in the box but I had already eaten it...hehe. We never buy them but they are my fav. What a treat!

My sweet Kael colored his little heart him.

Wow. This one really got me...tears and all. Of course, all of these things aren't true, but still sweet ;0).

Bryce was SO proud of himself for this! He put all the stickers on by himself. He kept saying "Happy Birthday, Mom. Do you like your Valentine's we made?".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And The Journey Continues

Well, this past Wednesday was supposed to be my last court date. My lawyer assured me that if I got my license back before we went before the judge that the judge would more than likely dismiss my case. Well, that did not happen. He continued my case until March 16th and will consider dismissing my case pending I complete 20 hours of community service. I walked out of the court room extremely upset and very defeated. It really isn't the hours of community service (well, it is a little but I'll go into why in a minute) it is the fact that it was never mentioned to me as an option. I am a planner. I want to know all the possible outcomes. I just wish my lawyer would have let me know that it was a possibility. She didn't even act surprised. She said, "Man. That's a bummer." Really?

There is only one other thing that bothers me a little. I have done 2 weeks of inpatient rehab, 60 hours of group counseling, and attended 4 AA meetings. That is a lot of stuff. In the eyes of the court, what is the purpose and how will doing 20 hours of community service help me "recover"?

I love to serve. So, the act of the community service is exciting to me. However, it is the humilation that comes along with the reason that I am doing the community service that I have to deal with. I know I shouldn't feel this way but, for now, I do. I am praying that God will take this feeling away from me before I start or at least after the first time.

On Wedneday when we got back home, I sat down to do my quiet time. I had missed my quiet time the day before. One of the chapters I read was Romans 12. Romans 12:12 says "rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer". God is so good. He knew that I need to hear that. I just meditated on that verse for the rest of the day and the next. I am more at peace about continuing this journey.

Now, I just have to get my community service set up. I am really praying (and would love for you to) that they allow me to choose where I serve. Tori Young (most of you know her) is head of junior volunteers at Duke Hospital. She said she would be more than happy to set me up with something. This would totally take care of the humiliation issue. We will see. I will keep you updated.

Also, please pray for wherever I serve. I pray that I will be able to build relationships with people and show them the love of Christ. I pray that God will recieve all the glory from all of this.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Day Has Arrived!!

I just got the phone 508 has been approved so I can go and get my LICENSE!!!! WOOHOO!!! Well, I will definitely write more about this later but I need to go get ready for our girl's disciple group tonight. Guess what? Next week I can drive myself : )!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dairy Free

I have been meaning to do a post like this on my blog for a while now. My son is allergic to dairy products. We found out when he was around 4 or 5 months old (I can never keep up with dates). I was nursing him, so I had to cut all dairy and soy out of my diet. At the time, I was overwhelmed with all of it but was also willing to do anything to make him feel better and help improve his eczema. Now, we have introduced soy to him and he is doing great with it...Praise the Lord. However, we tried him on dairy when he was a year old and it was not good. He will be 2 in May and I am afraid to say that it will be a while before he grows out of his dairy allergy (if at all).

Well, recently a friend of mine found out that she has to go on a dairy free diet because of her sweet baby girl. So, that is the main reason that I am doing this post. I wanted to give her some information on cooking and eating out...dairy free. I figure I might as well post it for everyone just in case anyone else is going through this. Let me know if you have any questions about any other items or things. I might know the answer and just didn't post it on here. However, I might not know the answer but would be HAPPY to research it for you. It can be overwhelming at first.

Cooking meals at home is very easy. EVOO, soy milk, and Smart Balance Light (w/ EVOO or flaxseed) will become your friends. You can make just about any recipe with these three ingredients (unless it is something that contains cheese or creamed soups). I put soy milk in a lot of stuff from pancakes to mashed potatoes and have great results with it! Watch out for chicken and beef bouillon cubes. They contain milk (whey). So, always use canned chicken or beef broth. You will get SO good at reading labels that you just have to look at the label for a couple of seconds check for dairy. The wonderful thing about labels now is that most of them announce in bold letters if there is dairy in them. However, you should always double check for "hidden" dairy ingredients. If I am making pasta or a chicken dish that contains cheese, I will just take out some pasta and chicken (before adding dairy item) and put a dairy free sauce with it to serve it to Kael.

Here is a wonderful little cheat sheet that lists all of the "hidden" dairy ingredients AND it prints out on a business card size so that you can carry it in your purse or pocket...awesome!

This is also another favorite website of mine for dairy free information and recipes. However, their list of restaurant items that are dairy free are NOT always correct. So, I always go to the individual restaurant's website to double check.

Dairy free grocery store list: (These are items that you can find in your normal grocery store. There is a LOT more...this is just a short list)
Smart Balance Light (either w/ olive oil or flaxseed)
Fleischmann's Light Margarine sticks
Oreos : )
Saltine crackers (Most crackers don't have dairy in them unless they are some kind of cheese or butter crackers. Except goldfish...ALL flavors of goldfish contain dairy.)
Wheat thins
Graham crackers
Teddy Grams
Soy yogurt

Potato chips and pretzels of course (as long as they aren't cheese flavored)
Duncan Hines brand of cake/brownie mix/frostings (even buttercream)
Orville Redenbacher's Simply Salted microwave popcorn
Arnold's sandwich bread (I was so excited when I found this. It is only $2 compared to the $4 and $5 that I was spending at Earth Fare. Now, I make my own bread which is much cheaper, but Arnold's is nice to have as a back up.)
Ghirardellis Semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips Also, their baking bars and dark chocolate candy bars do not contain milk. This is their allergy list.

Dairy Free restaurant food list
(Of course, ordered with no cheese if that applies and this is also not a complete list)
McDonald's: Quarter pounder, Southern style chicken sandwich ordered on either a honey wheat roll or sesame bun ( I love honey wheat roll with this), NO fries
Wendy's: Chicken nuggets and fries!
Chick-fil-a: NO meat, but you can eat their fries
Burger King: Chicken fries, whopper, french fries
Subway: any regular sub without cheese
Taco Bell: Spicy chicken soft taco or any fresco menu item
Little Caesar's: You can actually eat there pizza dough and sauce so just order a pizza with only veggies and no cheese...ugh ; ). Also, you can eat the crazy bread ordered with NO parmesan.
Zaxby's: fries
Red Robin: Burger and fries
This is not a good choice : ). You can eat a burger without the bun and no fries.
Barberito's (This is for you, Faith. I asked the Osbolt's.): You can totally eat a burrito just no cheese or dressing on it.
Hardee's: You can have grilled chicken or burger patty on a honey wheat bun.
Panera: Most of their sandwich bread (wheat, white) is dairy free so you can order a sandwich with no cheese.

Well, this is all for now. I will post more in the comments as I think of things. Let me know if anyone has specific restaurants, food items, etc. that you are wondering about!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Iron Sharpens Iron...

I am so excited to see what God is going to do through this new discipleship group that was started tonight through a dear friend of mine, Tori Young. There are about 10 of us...leaders and college students. We will meet every Tuesday and discuss what we have read, ask questions, and seek God's will for our lives. We will also be paired up one on student to leader. We will meet with the person we are paired up with once a week if we can so that we can get even deeper into God's Word and other things that come up in our lives. "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
I am so excited about this! I never really had anyone (outside of family) when I was growing up that discipled me. I have already seen in one evening how beneficial this could be. I encourage you to be discipled and find someone to disciple you. I can already tell that it is going to change my life in so many ways.

We are reading two books this semester: Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donal S. Whitney. I am pumped about digging into to these books along with the Word and filling in some gaps in my knowledge of Christian beliefs. I will continue writing what God is doing in my life through this ministry (of course, in keeping with the confidentiality of the Dgroup).

I am also going through a Bible reading plan on to read the Bible in a year. I am learning a ton and loving it! It is the first time that I have committed to reading the entire Bible and am actually following through with it (just being honest). I am anxious to see everything that God is going to show me. I need Him to do a great work in me and I am seeking Him to prune away my fruitless branches.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:1-17

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeling 16 again...

It's almost here! I officially completed my last alcohol/drug treatment group today. I can't even believe it. In some ways I never thought the day would get here and in others it flew by. I will hopefully have my license in hand by the end of next week. Now...want to hear something funny? My car is making a really weird noise so we can't drive it until we can take it to get it looked and pay to have it fixed (which might be a couple of weeks). Ok, so it isn't really funny, but I just have to laugh about it, you know? God is still good. And, I guess, if I've gone this long without driving then I can go a couple more weeks.

I didn't really learn anything new about alcohol or drugs that I didn't know before now. I spent two weeks in inpatient rehab so I spent a lot of time learning about it and how to cope with abuse/addiction. However, I learned to deal with my past and be open about it. I shouldn't be ashamed of my past. I should be thankful for God's grace and use my past to influence others for the Kingdom. I don't, by any means, want to dwell on it every second. But, I do think it is good to remind myself of what I have gone through because it will only strengthen my relationship with Christ.

I also got to be around a lot of people that are really struggling. Right now, at this very moment, they are seriously struggling with addiction to drugs/alcohol. When I say seriously struggling, I mean getting ready to lose (or already have lost) everything. As part of my treatment (in addition to the 60 hours of group sessions), I had to attend 4 AA meetings on my own. These were not offered at the treatment center that I attended. However, there is a place right near our house that is a women's center. It is mainly a homeless shelter but they do a lot more than that. They also do alcohol/drug addiction treatment. So, since it was so close to our house, I decided I would attend AA meetings there. My eyes were opened to so much. There are people there that are truly hurting and struggling. I realize that it could have been easily. I am grateful. My heart is burdened for these women (and men...they also have a men's shelter and sometimes have joint meetings). I don't know what I want to do, but I want to do something. For now, I am praying for them to be reconciled to Christ and fill their hole with His love instead of their drug of choice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ministry of Reconciliation

At our church we are doing a series called, "Resolved...The End of Self Help". Instead of hearing our amazing pastor J.D. Greear, we had the opportunity to hear our young professional's pastor, Andrew Hopper. He did an amazing job of bringing the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation through 2 Corinthians 16-21. He explained it as one complete circle beginning with being reconciled to Christ (v.16-18) and then moving on to the ministry of reconciliation (v.19). Next, we become ambassadors of Christ (to beg people to become reconciled) (v.20). And lastly, we come to righteousness (v.21). We should be resolved to tell everyone because He is our only hope and our only Savior.

One thing that Andrew said that really hit home with me was that we must "not forget to remember" our reconciliation experience. If we stop remembering, then we will not have anything to pull from when sharing the gospel to someone. He explained it as drawing from your well of experience. You must have them and remember them in order to draw from it.

I have a lot of experiences with reconciliation to draw from and I don't want to forget. Believe me, I don't think that I will. However, for years I have wanted it all to just go away. Today...I have decided that I will hold onto ALL of it and put it in my well to draw from when I am talking with unbelievers. I want to use my past to be able to let unbelievers know that we have all been there. We are all sinners and we all have a past. We have all made mistakes. But, in the end, God is our Savior and we have been reconciled to Him so that we might become the righteousness of God. Absolutely amazing.

2 Corinthians 16-21
16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream