Friday, November 18, 2016

Answered Prayers!!



Many of you have been praying for Madi over the past year or two, so I wanted to let everyone know the latest update on her health issues.

If you haven't been keeping up with it on FB, I'll give you a brief overview. Madi was diagnosed with asthma when she was two years old. She has had pneumonia twice, strep throat three times, and other various illnesses for the past 5 years. Madi missed 19 days of school last year due to wheezing and coughing which we assumed was part of her asthma. She has been on many, many variations of medications to treat her asthma, none of which have helped.

Finally our Asthma/Allergy specialist referred us to a Pulmonlogist. That has been a God-send! After a bronchoscopy, blood work, and a CT scan - we have a diagnosis!!! Y'all - I have been praying for this for years. To say I was elated is an under-statement. After reviewing her CT scan, Madi's dr informed us that she has an illness called Bronchiectasis (I didn't even have to use spellcheck!). Bronchiectasis is not curable, but it is treatable and very manageable. I will give you the American Lung Association definition:
Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition where the walls of the bronchi are thickened from inflammation and infection. People with bronchiectasis have periodic flare-ups of breathing difficulties, called exacerbations.
So, all of those weeks of uncontrollable wheezing and coughing were actually exacerbations and not asthma flare-ups.

Thankfully, we have a wonderful doctor and he had already started Madi on one of the medications used to treat this, even before he knew what she had. That medciation that we had trouble getting insurance to approve - that is the one that is helping. After a month and one week of being on the medication Madi's lungs sound GOOD for the first time in a year!! We went to the doctor on Monday and left without doing a nebulizer treatment or even checking her pulse oxygen levels. That is HUGE. Typically a simple doctor's visit lasts 2 hours for us because we never get out of there without at least one, usually two, nebulizer treatments. Praise Jesus for her new medication!! (OH! And on Wednesday Madi had tennis practice - I have never seen her run so fast and so freely!! She could BREATHE y'all. I wasn't worried about getting her inhaler to her or her being out of breath. It was amazing!!!)

The other course of treatment will be a vest that she has to wear. The vest will stimulate her lungs and push the mucus out which is not currently happening on its own. Her doctor did say this would also be a fight with insurance but he's ready to fight for us so please keep this in your prayers.

Unfortunately, she will still need to continue taking her steroid inhaler and her rescue inhaler (prior to exercise) but we are hopeful that once this condition is under control we will be able to ween her off of these.

We do still have a few other things we have to do though in order to find the cause of the Bronchiectasis. This condition is cause by an under-lying condition. Her doctor thinks he knows what that is but wants to be sure. She is seeing an ENT in a few weeks and he will do a biopsy of her nose to look for cilia. Cilia are the tiny hairs on your nose and your lungs that push mucus/infection out of your body. If she does not have this, that would explain the Bronchiectasis. There is not really anything they can do if she does not have it but it would simply give us an understanding of why she has this condition.

SO if you made it through all of that - good job! We are really blessed and thankful that it is not something more serious. We are all tired of doctors visits and hospital trips but are so glad we have answers. This will be a continual effort - especially because this condition does cause her immune system to be weaker - but we are going to do everything we can to keep her healthy! Thank you again for all of your prayers and concern. We love y'all! <3

Friday, October 21, 2016

To My First Born


You may or may not have noticed that we have not posted any pictures of Madi and Carson together, or a family picture. I see all of the sibling and family pictures on Facebook when newborns arrive and imagined we would be posting the same. However, Madi is not ready to take pictures with Carson. She is not ready to kiss Carson or hug her. She is not ready to share her mommy. This letter is for my first born - the baby girl who taught me what unconditional love feels like - so this is for her and my keyboard is already almost soaked with tears.


Dear Sweet Girl,

The picture above is one I took of you last night after you fell asleep. It was the first time I put you to bed since having Carson and it was wonderful, yet painful - for the both of us. 

I knew that having a sibling was going to be hard on you. You and I have been inseparable since you were born. We have spent so, so many moments together - just the two of us for almost eight years. These past nine months have been hard on me - because I didn't want our special times to end either. I cried many tears thinking about it not just being you and me anymore. But I also know that Carson is a gift for both of us. You and I will always have our special time together. We can still be best friends. But maybe some times Carson can join in on our fun. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but she will be your best friend for life. She will be there for you and you will be there for her. 

I wish I could make you feel the depth of love I have for you. I wish I could make you believe me when I say that having Carson has not changed that depth of love or how I love you. Mommy has enough room in her heart to love you and to love Carson - to love you both with every depth of my soul. 

I pray that you will warm up to having a sister very soon. Not for any reason other than I don't want you to miss out on this time with your baby sister. I want to put you to bed even when I have to feed Carson. I want to hug you even when I'm holding Carson. I want you to be okay with that, but I can be patient. I can wait on you to be ready. I just pray that God will give me the tools I need to help you through this difficult time. 

I am so happy that you have Paul in your life and that you are trusting him to be there for you right now. Lean on him as long as you need sweet girl. We are all here for you and always will be. And when you are ready, I know that your little sister would love to be hugged and held and kissed by her big sister.  

I love you more than french fries sweet baby girl. And I always will.

<3, mommy


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sick of Sick.

I probably should not be blogging in the mood I am in but so be it.

I am so so so over Madi being sick ALL the time. I know she is too, poor kid. I need to talk to other mamas who deal with this stuff. Madi is constantly sick. We are at different dr's offices at least twice a month, every month. Oh and these appts aren't quick appts. We spend hours there while they do breathing treatment after breathing treatment even though that's what we do at home. It's a temporary fix so that they feel okay letting her leave. The poor child has been poked so many times. Heck, I even have a stethoscope at the house.

I feel like there is no light at the end of this very long tunnel. She missed 19 days of school last year due to asthma issues. (Don't get me started on how this affects my job...) We give her the medicine/action plan as prescribed and nothing. She's been on prednisone like 8 times in the past 6 months. I finally said NO MORE! It doesn't work. NOTHING works.

She does FINALLY have an appt with a pulmonologist in September, but I'm starting to think her issues don't even stem from her lungs. Maybe I should go back to school and be a doctor so I can figure this out on my own...

Anyway, I just needed to vent and where else is better to do that than on my blog?

If you have words of wisdom or similar experiences, please share!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Culclasure's Move Again!

Anyone remember me???

Goodness life has been crazy! I bring you this very unexpected blog post to share our past weekend with you. We MOVED! We are still renters, but hope to stay in this house for quite a while...probably until the owners make us leave. :) We really did not want to uproot our lives yet again, but this move was definitely for the best. Paul's commute to work went from 30 minutes to well, 1 minute and mine went from 45 minutes to 15!! And those are both one way!

So to say we are excited is an understatement. This move means more family time, less money spent on gas, and less stress over-all.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. We can't wait to get everything set-up but right now we are just recovering from the task of moving - me at 7.5 months pregnant and Paul using his only day off since June to move.

Ready to load 'er up!

First car load. Whew!

Sneak peek of Carson's room

In love with this kitchen!!!

Can you spot Madi?? {I packed this load all on my own. Pregnancy doesn't stop me!}

She's a little excited about the big bathtub.

First meal at the new house! 

First meal...yes, it's take-out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ice, Ice...

I have a little announcement to make! Baby talk is coming soon... :)


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Brunette's Booth

I have been up to a little something lately...

Not sure if many of you recall but a few years ago I went to my first calligraphy class. I practiced a bit and then kind of put it to the side. This past summer I picked it back up again and began practices more often. About a month ago I opened my Etsy shop - Brunette's Booth featuring calligraphy prints, wedding invitation addressing, and other custom orders. I just fulfilled my first order and thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating something for a bride-to-be!

So, if you know some brides-to-be or have an event coming up, please share with them/reach out to me. I would be happy to work with you on creating something special for your event, your home, or whatever it may be that needs a touch of beautiful print.

You can check out my shop here and I've posted a few photos of my work below.

Happy shopping!








Friday, January 22, 2016

The Friday Five: 1/22/16

Work is slow today so I figured I would post a little post. The Friday Five is pretty simple and fun so here you have it:

1. What I'm Reading: 

I just finished reading Lindsey Stirling's freshly new book, The Only Pirate at the Party. I assume everyone knows who Lindsey Stirling is but if you do not, get on the internet people!! (Disclosure: I had never heard of her until about 2 years ago. Paul told me he wanted to go to her concert. I bought tickets. He has good taste.) Lindsey is my bff an electronic violinist which basically means she kicks butt. She dances while playing the violin, well. Her book is about her childhood and experience getting to where she is now. I really learned a lot about who she is as a person and appreciate her music even more after reading the book. She's a down-to-earth person. No, really - she still drives a 2002 Toyota Echo. She's REAL y'all.


2. What I'm Eating:

What am I not eating is a better prompt. Currently I'm unhealthily obsessed with Subway's double chocolate chip cookies. I go into Subway and the deli dude frantically puts his gloves on so he can make me a sandwich. I just keep walking and grab the cookies and he's like wait, what? Yeah. That happened twice.

3. What I'm Listening to:


You probably could have guessed this - Lindsey Stirling. It makes excellent concentration music while I eat my cookies.

I can't figure out the name of the album, but the cover looks like this:


When I'm driving my 70 mile commute each day, I listen to old NewSpring sermons on the NewSpring app. I have found that I do a much better paying attention to the road when I have something to listen to. I do have a problem getting "bored" while driving so this has helped and I have learned a lot to help my emotional/spiritual state as well. Check it out. (It's free!)

4. What I'm Buying:

I love my home state. I just do. But my husband has so gently pointed out that we no longer live in South Carolina. I have decided to embrace this. I purchased a North Carolina Simply Southern garden flag today. I think he will be proud. {But no, I am not removing all my palmetto tree/SC decor that covers our kitchen.}

5. Memes I'm Loving:

Tell me you haven't thought this. 

I work in Insurance so... 
but really.

Grumpy Cat is the only cat I like.


HAPPY FRIDAY!! Stay safe if you're getting hit with this crazy winter storm.






Brunette's Booth

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