Thursday, October 5, 2017

If you build it the adventures will begin...

Camping is in my blood.  It all started with a character tent and backyard adventures with my little brother.  As a teen when I went to friends houses we had slumber parties, but if the party was at my house we were popping up a tent at the edge of the woods and sneaking a bottle (or two) of Boone's Strawberry Hill.  The camping continued with my husband, Kevin and our boys.  We went from tent to pop-up to travel trailer.

A couple years ago our boys became busy teen's and the camping became less and less.  So we got got rid of the travel trailer and went back to a tent which limited when we could camp since tent camping and humidity don't mix well.

Last fall while camping at the beach my husband brought up the idea of building a tiny camper big enough for a comfortable nights sleep.  Something small enough we could pull it with the jeep.  Basically an air conditioned box.  I told him it sounded like a plan to me.  Winter came and went and nothing every happened with the tiny camper idea.  Spring got here and still nothing.  June rolls around and we now have a trailer, some wood and big ideas.

By the first of July we have a BOX!

Once the box is built its time to get it on the trailer and make sure it will all fit together...

Part 1 is a success now onto doors and windows oh my!

Next was LOTS of painting!  We primed and painted the entire box inside and out.  Even put a epoxy coating on the roof to give it extra protection from the weather.

I wanted to add a cool touch to the ceiling!  It took me hours, but was so worth it!

This guy left a part of himself in Orlando...

We have some lighting

Time for some AC!!

This camper box is just shy of 5x8 feet and the height is a little less then 4' so we wanted a nice cushioned flooring to make it easier on our old knees.  We went with a foam flooring that looked like dark bamboo wood.

Kevin wanted to paint some graphics on the camper and what better then a silhouette of the famous Sasquatch!

And here is our Tiny Camper...

She is ready!

This was a fun family project for us summer that we hope to enjoy for years to come.  We have learned over the years when you do something yourself you appreciate and take care of it a lot better then when you just go buy something.  Our tiny camper was built for around $1000 (the trailer we already owned).  I am in the process of making curtains and Kevin has a few finishing touches to add, but she is ready for her maiden voyage!

We need a name for our tiny camper--yall got any ideas??

Stay tuned for details about our maiden voyage!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Finding the Blessing...

It’s just shy of 21 years since I walked down the aisle 9 weeks pregnant wondering what life had in store for Kevin and I.  Getting pregnant the summer before our last year of college was not in the plans, but we knew we were meant to be together and were excited about the baby.  Little did we know that just 4 weeks later our world would get rocked yet again when I had a miscarriage and lost our baby.    That summer in 1996 was where finding the blessings in everything really started for me.

When I lost our baby just one month after being married I was so mad.  I was mad at God.  Why would He do this to us?  Why would He let us get pregnant, get excited about being pregnant only to take our baby away.  I had to do a lot of praying and talking with God.  In the end I found the blessing.  We weren’t ready to be parents, but we did need to grow up.  During that first year of marriage/last year of college we went from college kids having fun to responsible adults.  He was preparing us!  Just 2 weeks after graduating from college we found out we were pregnant with Baily and before the summer was over Kevin was offered his first job and we were moving to Owensboro, KY.

Throughout life things have happened that have not been planned or expected and it seems in each of those things I have found the blessing. 

Over the past year my husband has not been feeling 100%.  When it first started I didn’t think much about it.  His father was sick in the nursing home and that can take a toll on a person, but his health issues continued.  He kept going to the doctor and they kept checking things, but really not getting any answers.  He was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea so we got him a machine and that seemed to help, but still not 100%.  His blood pressure was shooting up really high so the doctor played around with different BP medicines until that was under control, yet he still didn’t feel like himself.  Finally back in May she did some fasting labs and one of the test concerned her so she sent him to a hematologist.   Three weeks ago he met with the hematologist and they took 7 tubes of blood and told him it is probably one of 2 things.  On Monday we got our results and I went right to the World Wide Web to scare myself to death with all the what ifs of his diagnosis.

Hemochromatosis is what my husband has.  It a genetic disease where the body doesn’t know to get rid of iron.  It’s a disease that over million people have, but might not know it.  Sign’s usually don’t start till late 20’s or early 30’s and if not caught it can lead to organ damage (liver and heart especially), arthritis, cancers, Alzheimer's, depression and early death. 

Yesterday we had our first appointment to start getting his iron levels down to where they are supposed to be.  Yesterday was a scary day for us.  We didn’t know what to expect, we had lots of questions and we were not prepared for what we walked into. 

Kevin's doctor is located in Huntsville Hospital's Cancer Center.  We get checked in and called back to a small room so the nurse can draw some blood.  The nurse then directs us to the next room and tells us to sign in.  I grab my bag and am looking down at my phone following Kevin and as I look up to see where the sign in sheet is my whole world stops.  We are in a room full of cancer patients getting chemo treatments.  My heart stops as I look around the room at each person.  I see people of all ages, some with no hair, some are asleep, some have someone with them, some are alone...

I want to hug them.  I want to pray for them. I am holding back tears, because I see the look on my husband's face and how this is effecting him.  I am so glad I am here with him.  The nurse tells us to pick an open recliner and someone will be with us shortly.

During our time there we find our sense of humor because laughter can get you through anything, right?  The nurse explains this is basically like donating blood, but his blood is bad blood (insert me singing Taylor Swift's Bad Blood to him as he sitting there) so it gets thrown away.  I also found out I am married to my very own Iron Man since his body is full of it and can't figure out how to get rid of it. 

"cause baby you got Bad Blood"

This is a genetic disease so we had to call his mom and tell her to get tested.  If she is a carrier there is a possibility all her brothers and sisters could be as well.  Our boys are getting tested in August.  The doctor told us we could wait until the boys were in there late 20's to find out, but we would rather know now.  Knowing now means they can avoid taking any form of iron supplement and what signs to watch for as they get older.

   I am thankful my husband continued to go to the doctor looking for answers and for our wonderful family doctor who kept trying until she figured out what was going on.  Now we can get his iron under control before he has organ damage or other issues.  Our boys will know from the get go and be able to keep this from becoming an issue.  If his mom is a carrier she can inform her brothers and sisters and the can inform their kids and grandchildren so that everyone has a fighting chance against this disease.  So many blessings!

My biggest blessing is that we found out!  Had Kevin given up and accepted this is just how I am going to feel the iron would of continued to grow in his body causing heart and liver damage and eventually killing him before his time.  When we got married we made a promise to grow old together.  That when we are very old and ready to go we would get comfy in our backyard and watch the sun go down and slip away together.  

Thanks for stopping by and please say a prayer for Kevin as he adjust to everything.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Noise With Dirt On It

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Baily.  I had just returned home from a book buy for work and was unpacking my bag.  I got to the bottom and saw a box of tampons.  A BOX OF TAMPONS!!! I was supposed to start the beginning of the week and didn't.  I HAVEN'T STARTED!!!!  MAYBE I'M PREGNANT!!! 

7 Week--A Baby

The thought of being a mom was both amazing and terrifying. There are so many things I could do wrong.  So many ways I could totally screw this kid up.  Yet, I couldn't wait to meet my boy!

January 20, 1998
8 lbs 5 oz
20.5 inches 

This day forever changed me!  It was the day I found out who I wanted to be when I grow up.  A mom.  His mom!  They put him in my arms and I was complete.  The love I felt in an instant was unbelievable.  

This boy!  He was and is always making a mess.  Always dirty!  Always full of life.  From the start he had the best imagination and could play for hours.  If there were a way to get dirty or messy he was all about it.  To this day he brings more dirt in the house than anyone else.  It's funny how the things that sometimes get on your nerves the most are the very things you love the most.  

He is the most determined kid I know.  When he puts his mind to something its as good as done. I love this about him.  I love that he picked up the guitar one day and decided to learn a song.  He took a few pointers from his dad and practiced all day.  Since then he has taught himself to play the piano and banjo, too.  He wants to farm so he planted his own corn.  I have watched him take care of his crops from working the dirt to planting the send to watching it grow. 

He loves his mama!  Blessed doesn't seem to be enough to describe the relationship I have with this boy.  Words--I can't seem to find them.  I was 24, fresh out of college and scared to death that I would do everything wrong.  I knew from past experience that when you tell a child NO they will go and do just what you told them not to.  I prayed constantly asking God how do I do this.  How do I raise this boy not to make my mistakes?  The only answer I kept getting with honesty.  So that is what I did.  I was always honest with him.  I may of given him a honest answer a little boy would understand, but I gave it to him.  When he was a teen I gave him honest answers about the things he would be faced with.  I always told him how I felt, how I don't want him to make a bad choice, but in the end its him who has decide if he wants to do something.  

I am incredible thankful for the strong faith he has.  For the willpower he has and the ability to tell someone no.

He has the most amazing heart!  He finds good in people.  He cares about his friends.  He loves his family.  He is an amazing big brother.  He loves God.  At 18 he has the heart and soul of old man.  I have watched him love and take care of his Paw.  I have heard his friends call for help and he drops what he is doing and goes to them.  

He is my country boy through and through!  He is hunting, fishing and farming.  He is all about the outdoors.  He is a noise with dirt on it and he will always be my little boy.

My heart is full!  My son is now a man and heading off to college in 2 short months.  Its been a pleasure to watch him grow up these last 18 years.  I am a proud mother who is ready to see what her boy will do as he goes out into this world.  I am confident that he will be more than okay! :)

Baily you are one amazing kid!  You have made life so much more than I ever thought possible.  You may be leaving for college, but we will always be your home.  I will love you forever--to infinity and beyond.  I LOVE YOU LONG TIME!