Friday, October 24, 2014

Cancun

The Husband and I just got back from Cancun.  Seriously.  It was the most incredible trip and what made it most impressively amazing was that it was completely paid for.  Yup.  It was a promotional trip for us and some of our business partners, provided through the online company that we help direct internet growth through.  (Just a side note, our company is expanding rapidly and having just launched in May, we are still getting the word out.  If you want to know more details, I'd be happy to talk to you. Just send me an email.)

So, we had some lovely friends help with the kids, and we couldn't have been more excited for what the next four days would bring.  We took a red-eye flight for the first leg, so things were pretty empty in the airport.  I was all alone in the airport bathroom, so I took this first picture, and then one with The Husband, of course.


 We arrived in Cancun, after a long layover between flights, around 11am.  After customs and long lines upon arrival, we found our shuttle and went to our resort, which was a huge all-inclusive luxurious location.  We could not have been treated any better.  Everything was included, from food, drinks, snacks, desserts, activities...I could get used to this lifestyle.  This was so different than any other vacation I had ever been on.  First, because it was my first time out of the country.  Second, because it was so much beyond the pricepoint of our usual vacations.  We felt so spoiled.

Although we traveled there alone, we were joined by about 60 other business partners in our company, many of whom we didn't know very well, so we had lots of opportunities to socialize.  However, the other two couples in this next picture are very dear friends of ours, and they are who we spent the majority of our time with, whilst in Cancun.


We had a private beach to enjoy, specific only to those staying at our resort.  It offered water activities, food, drinks, and plenty of relaxation.


We enjoy making out in front of people.

 We enjoyed kayaking, swimming, and other beachfront activities.  The water was gorgeous.







 Every night, we went to one of the restaurants located at the resort.  Although it was all-inclusive, these restaurants still required reservations and they were very fancy.  We were very well fed all of our days there.  We also went down to a mexican market to browse the local fare.

 The pool was massive.  It would probably take you 20 minutes to walk all the way around it.  It went on forever, through the heart of the resort.



We enjoyed the architecture of the resort.  During the day it was lovely, and at night, it was lit up and gorgeous.






I wore a bikini for the first time in my life.  I still can't say that I felt 100% comfortable, but I did it.  I'm still on my weightloss journey, but the past few months I've made significant progress.  I'm hoping by the next trip, I'll be more confident.





 I loved the hours I spent on the beach.  Reading. Relaxing.  Sleeping.  Watching.  I didn't have to worry about kids playing in the water, or getting pulled under by a wave, or keeping everyone safe.  It did more good for my soul than anything else, to simply lie there and relax, without a worry in the world.

We had plenty of time to get to know the other people in our company, and we were priveledged to be able to spend some time with the CEOs and founders of our company, which was priceless.


 Our room was huge. It was a suite.  We didn't spend a whole lot of time in it, but we loved it all the same. I did, however, have a few jacuzi baths.  It was heaven.


Our last night there, after we ate at the fancy French restaraunt.  Everything was so pretty at night.


We had to head back to the airport about 8:30am, so right before breakfast, we wandered down to the beach again and said goodbye.  This will not be our last vacation like this.  It's the first of many, and we can't wait to go back again!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Preparing For Another Year Of Blanket Donations!

This will be our 5th year of donating blankets to the Denver Children's Hospital. Can you believe it?  Our boys are turning 5 and sadly, one of our families moved away this summer.  With that in mind, it might be our last yearly donation, although we might do it every few years from now on or during a big milestone. This picture was taken on the 4th of July, when we said goodbye to Chance and his family.  It was so sad, because we are family to each other.  Through all of our struggles and heartbreak and anguish, there have been some amazing times with each other and I wouldn't trade any of it.  I love my heart family!!



So with one month left of collecting blankets, we need your help!!  Please donate a blanket!  The babies, children, and teens at the Denver Children's Hospital ask for so little.  They have hope and positive attitudes and loving spirits. A blanket is such a small thing to us, but it means so much to them.  Having lived in the hospital myself, during all of Kimble's care, I certainly know how drafty and cold those hospital rooms can be during the winter months.  A warm blanket offered is indeed, a cuddle from the heart.

There is no requirement to the blanket donation, other than the fact that the blanket must be new.  It can be handmade or storebought.  It can be fabric, knitted, crocheted, quilted, sewed, knotted, or any other method of construction.  It can be any size, from newborn to teen.

If you email me, (kamyrensmiles@hotmail.com) with the subject line "blanket drive", I will send you my address if you want to mail me your donation. You can even buy a blanket online and have it shipped directly to me.  I promise you, it is such a good cause.


This stack of fleece fabric was made into 20 blankets last week.  A group of women gave of their time and turned the fabric into warm and cuddly blankets.  It was such a fun night of service.

One month left!!  It might be the last donation for a long time.  If you can, please donate a blanket or two.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Should I try to catch up?

I'm not even sure how to begin blogging again.  I feel like I have so much I can talk about from the past 18 months or so, but not even sure what details are important anymore.  I do have lots of pictures (haven't stopped taking pictures!) but they are too many in count to just do monthly catchup posts.

If I just start today, and go forward, I feel like everyone would be lost, like picking up a book in the middle, and not knowing what is going on because you didn't read the first half.  Ugh.  I really like blogging, and feel like I might have the time and focus again for it, but feel like I need to catch up before I can begin.

I'm not even sure who reads blogs anymore.  Since I stopped blogging, I sorta stopped reading blogs as well.  Just got too busy for it.  So I guess if I started blogging again, it would simply be to document our family life, as I did before.  Not really for any other reason.  However, I do have a sorta relationship with you, my readers, and feel deeply regretful that I have stopped documenting.  You all read my blog for one reason or another, and kept coming back, and I owe you that continuation.

At any rate...I had some time this morning, and thought: "I should blog".  So I did, but I'm not sure it was worth anything.  Perhaps a picture will help.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Paleo, Running, And Kids!


The kids are having a great summer. We have been going to lots of parks, swimming, hiking, church camps, and a bit of driving around our beautiful state.  We will go camping in a few weeks, and everyone is looking forward to the time away!

In other news, I decided to commit to running.  Again?!?  I know. I thought the same thing.  All the past failed attempts were brought up and dissected.  Why can't I master it?  I'm determined to succeed.  We sold the treadmill a few months ago, and I don't have a gym membership, so I was left to try running outside.  For a few weeks, I ran around my neighborhood...which I've done before and never enjoyed it...and this time was no different.  It was boring and unmotivating. An obligation to fulfill, and no more.

Ah, but then I discovered a sweet trail, nestled alongside a creek, with lovely overhanging trees and little wildlife hopping and jumping around me.  It's perfect, and I'm actually starting to enjoy my training.  My sister inspired me to begin again, and she got me to commit to training for a 10k, as well as agreeing to run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon with her next May.   I'm also listening to an audiobook while running, about a girl who thought she could never be a runner, but decided to run a marathon, and now she is an inspirational motivator for all girls who think they can't run.  That's me to a T. 

I'm really good at following through with a goal, once I commit to it.  So here goes!  Running.

I also decided to revamp my diet strategy again.  I researched Paleo and it is discussed so much in the "thyroid world".  I thought it would help with my symptoms.  I'm on week 2, and I feel fantastic.  So much so, that last night, as I was driving past my very favorite burger and fry place, the very place where I love munching on an endless supply of shoestring fries, big patty burgers, dipping fry sauce and  ice cream desserts, I turned a cold shoulder to it.  It didn't even look tempting.  In fact, the picture in their advertisement looked so overloaded with grease, dairy, and gluten, that I actually shuddered.  Good for me.  I'm sure eventually I'll crave that again, but for today and now, I am doing great.

So that's what I'm up to now.  Also, I'm hangin' out a lot with this guy.  :)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Results Normal

Well, my bloodwork all came back "normal".  I have studied thyroid dysfunction a lot in the last few months, and I now know that most thyroid tests come back "normal" and that I need to find the right kind of doctor to help me.  So, my journey continues.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Struggle


I've been struggling lately.
Mostly emotionally, due to physical issues.
If I had to narrow it down, it's been due to my inability to lose weight.

"Just do this and you'll lose weight!"
"Refrain from eating (insert food here) and you'll lose weight!"
""Eat small meals throughout the day."
"Drink lots of water."
"Follow a workout plan."
"Do Cardio."
"Do weights."
Or my favorite: "Just keep lowering your calories and it's bound to happen sooner or later."
"I did this (insert amazing plan that worked for them) and I lost all the weight in 6 weeks!"

Everyone has something that worked for them.
But doesn't work for me.

I get the skeptical looks that say "no matter what you say you are doing, I don't believe you; because you would be losing weight if you actually did all that you say".

"You look great.....................for having five kids." 
"You don't need to lose weight!  You are just fine with your curviness.  You have a balanced hourglass figure".

I want to feel healthier. 
I don't have unrealistic notions about what size or weight to be.
I simply want to be at a healthy weight, without fat protruding through my clothing.

I'm willing to work for it.
I've been focusing on losing weight since Kimble was 9 months old.
He is 4 1/2 years old now.
My goal was to lose 50 pounds (which would result in about a size 6).
I managed to lose 35 pounds, and basically had to starve myself to do it, and it took 2 years.
I've gained 12 back.

No matter what I've done the past 4 years, I can't seem to reach my goal.
I've all but eliminated dairy and gluten and refined sugars from my diet, cutting it down to less than one meal a week.

I work out at the gym 4 times a week, with a friend.  
We follow a plan on Bodybuilding.com (Jamie Eason).
I eat less than 1200 calories a day.

So..I'm trying hard.
Even though I'm not seeing results, I don't give up.
However, it's taking it's toll on me.
In other words: I'm struggling.

I've thought that I have thyroid issues for a while now.
Hypothyroidism, to be specific.
I have so many symptoms that correlate.

I'm tired all.the.time.
No energy.
No metabolism.
I'm always cold.
I'm gaining weight despite eating right and working out.
Heavy cycles.
Depressed (although with all those above symptoms, it's understandable).

I went to a doctor a few years ago, and shared my struggles and requested a blood panel.
She told me to reduce my calories to 500 a day and then I'd see results.
I have never been so upset at a "medical professional" and didn't go back to her again.

So I finally decided to go to someone I trust. 
My OBGYN.

I figured he would be the one that could help me figure out my symptoms;
especially because some of my other symptoms (not listed) correlate with hormone imbalances.
Plus, I needed a yearly exam (4 years in the making).

I made a list of my symptoms.
I made a list of everything I was doing to accommodate those symptoms.
I shared with him my struggles.

He agreed that there are things happening that need to be figured out!
He didn't just dismiss me.
He is willing to work through all the options until we find something that helps.

I feel validated.
It's been so long that I've struggled with this, that I didn't fully realize how heavy of a burden I was carrying, until it was released by my doctor simply agreeing with me.

Every decision, every moment, every action always came back to my struggles with my body not responding to what I feel are simple requests, and things that work for everyone else, but not for me.

We are starting with a blood panel, which was done immediately after the appointment.
Even if the TSH panel comes back within normal levels, my doctor is willing to look further and test more.
That is exactly what I need.

I hope we can get my body regulating itself again.
I'm so tired of struggling.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Wife and The Husband

Kennedy wrote me a story one night.  I love it so much, that I wanted to make sure it was documented.  Thus, I come out of my blogging funk once again to make a minute post; however, I would like to begin blogging again.  I have so much to talk about (and apparently not enough desire to follow-through).  That being said, I really do hope to blog again soon.

For now, I will share with you Kennedy's story.  It begins thus:

 "The wife is walking tords (towards) the husbind (husband)."


 "The husbinde (husband) is waving at the wife."

 "The wife sees the husbinde (husband) and drops the floures (flowers) because she is shoked (shocked)."

"Thay (they) are about to get kissed."

"And thay (they) did kiss."

"And got a child!"
"The end."



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Huckleberry Blossom: Hospital Pajamas!

I am so excited to announce that I am now selling Hospital Pajamas!  Some of you may remember THIS POST from about 18 months ago, where my sister and I made sets of pajamas for Mr. Kimble, to wear during his recovery time for his next open heart surgery.

Since then, I have received many comments, and many emails, asking me if I had these in my shop yet; if they were available for purchase; if I had finalized all of the sizing so I could offer them.  Now, the answer is yes!!

About a month ago, my sister Sharon called me and told me she was going to spend a week at my house at the end of January and we would get all the sizing done for the hospital pajamas.  We would make a bunch of sets together, and then list them on Etsy, and that is exactly what we did!
 
In turn, we opened up a new shop on Etsy called Huckleberry Blossom.  We currently have sizes available from 2T to size 7 in childrens.  Within the next month, we'll have sizing done for newborn to 2T, and will list those pajama sets as they become available. Here is a blurb from our "About Us" page, that explains our story and purpose with the hospital pajamas.

My whole world changed in a moment when, during my routine 20 week ultrasound, I was told that my child had complex congenital heart defects, and IF he survived after birth, we would be facing a long and difficult road filled with hospital stays and surgeries.

After many open heart surgeries, and many experiences of living in the hospital for a time, I thought about how I could make the hospital life be as comfortable as possible for my little heart patient.

My sister and I worked together to create hospital pajamas that are intended for those children who need to make the hospital their home for a little while. These pajamas provide modesty, comfort, and joy for the patient. They allow access for the doctors and nurses, while still providing warmth and cover during recovery. They are inspired by our real life. We saw a need, and this is our solution.

All proceeds help benefit our little heart patient, who wears his special pajamas when life demands frequent and heartbreaking hospitalizations.


Here is some info about the pajamas and why they are special.

 These pajamas were first developed for our little heart patient, and we soon discovered (upon talking to other 'hospital moms') that the pajamas would work for all types of patients. Therefore, we created a pattern that would be beneficial for all children who require longer hospital stays and who prefer more comfort and modest attire than what the standard issue hospital gowns provide.

The robe opens in the front and folds close with a tie sash. This front opening provides easy access to the body while still maintaining modesty, comfort, and warmth. The sleeves are wide enough for bulky IVs, arm braces, blood pressure cuffs, and other necessary equipment. The long robe also hides cords and wires that little hands might want to pull and play with, allowing the connection wires to be kept 'out of sight out of mind'.

The jammie bottoms are equally roomy and comfy. They have an elastic waist to easily slip on and off. They also have wide pant legs for the same reasons as we have the wide sleeves.

Once the child is mobile, the child can freely move about the hospital while staying modest and warm, without the drafty backs that the hospital gowns offer! Little buns are cute, but not for public display!

These hospital jammies can be worn as a set, or individually, as needed. Cute prints make it fun for the child, and bring a sense of comfort from home during their time in the hospital. Even better, this pajama set is so cute and comfy, that it can continue to be worn as regular pajamas at home.

Here are some pictures we have taken of some cute kids (including Kimble!) modeling our pajama sets.






Please feel free to 'like' our Facebook Page Huckleberry Blossom, and check out our Etsy store for current listings.  We know that these hospital pajamas are near and dear to our heart, and we hope that they can offer some comfort to those who wear them.  Please share this info with those you know who may be in a similar situation.

I know that this endeavor won't make me rich.  This isn't the point. I'm not out to make money with this. It takes a lot of fabric and a lot of time to make these sets, but it is something that is very special for me.  From my standpoint, as a heart mom, I know what it is like to watch my child have life and death moments.  I know what it is like to see them come out of anesthesia and cry in pain and lack of understanding.  I know what it's like to sit next to their bed and want to trade places with them.  I know what's it's like to want to offer all the comfort that you can during their time of recovery.  This is my way to offer my love and understanding, straight  from my heart, and straight from the broken heart of my sweet baby boy.  Thanks for all of the support and love we have received from all of you over the years.