Monday, October 29, 2012

This Crazy Life We Live (yet ANOTHER update on Landon)

I appoligize ahead of time that my family is so confusing and hard to follow. Don't feel bad you're not alone. Most of the time, it seems that I don't really know what's going on either.

Okay read on...

I had a feeling there might be a reason why I just didn't feel peace about Landon not going to Amplatz this month...

I FINALLY got to talk to Dr. Kochilas. We've been playing phone tag for the past couple days. Do doctors ever go home?? I would call him in the morning and he'd finally return my call at like 7:30PM. By that time I had given up hope of hearing from him and didn't have my phone on me. I've learned my lesson, doctors obviously don't have personal lives. We all need to show ALOT more gratitude to these special people because I can't imagine what they sacrifice so that they can save lives and change the future of our children.

Sorry, that was a tangent and I didn't even give you a warning.

He was very easy to talk to and seemed very interested in how Landon is doing. I was surprised by this because I was expecting him to tell me that Landon is fine and they're not going to worry about him unless he takes a turn for the worse. Instead, he told me that he wishes he could get a better evaluation of Landon and that his postponment of the cath was simply based on what Fernandez told him about Landon. "You mean you haven't even seen his last echo?" I asked. "Not his most recent one, no" he told me and the one he did get sent to him didn't show everything he would of liked to see (I guess I'm going to have to be that mom who's picky about who does his echos from now on). He told me that they will want to see Landon anytime between now and his first birthday, but he didn't want to ask us to make the long trip since right now it doesn't seem urgent. I told him that we are planning on being in Minneapolis over Thanksgiving if any time around that would work for them. He was VERY happy with this news and I was amazed at how he said he could get Landon in.

So as of now "the plan"(no guarantees it wont change AGAIN)  is to bring Landon to Amplatz the day before Thanksgiving to have a COMPLETE evaluation. Do our pillow pet project Thanksgiving and the day after. Then most likely Landon will have a heart catheterization done on Monday.


I'm kind of in shock and don't know how to comprehend all these changes. It seems like just when I get used to an idea BOOM!! It changes!!

This is the crazy life we live.

Prayer requests:

Pray for our sanity. I don't know how many more changes I can take!

Pray for SPACE BAGS. We thought we would have time to purchase pillow pets in Minneapolis the day before we hand them out but now I'm sure we'll be at the hospital all day. Maybe we can go down another day sooner, but Ryan does have a job so it's difficult. We don't know how much work he will have to miss because of Landon so we want to use his vacation time wisely.

Pray that Landon's eval. goes well. Maybe there's a chance (I don't believe in chances I believe in miracles) he wont even need the heart cath.

Continue to pray for the special kids God is going to bless. We are still VERY... OH SO VERY excited about the pillow pet project. I just read an article in the brochure we get from the Ronald McDonald house and it told the story of a little boy named Isaac. Isaac is only 3 years old and has had to endure 30 surgeries already. After spending 4 months in the NICU after he was born, he suddenly took an extreme turn for the worst and was close to death. He was then transferred from his hometown in Virginia to Amplatz Childrens hospital in Minneapolis where his family stayed with him for 14 months (14 months!!!) His family lived in the same Ronald McDonald house that Ryan and I stayed at. They are still, to this day, making once a month trips to Minneapolis. As sad as it would be for them to have to spend Thanksgiving there. I so hope that I can hug this sweet child and give him one of these special gifts!

Reading that story gets me even more excited for what God is allowing us to do. It's helps us put a face and a story to these pillow pets. 

The article also says this, "The Twin Cities medical community is treating some of the world's most complex cases, sometimes involving extensive surgeries and procedures, requiring patients to stay nearby for weeks or even months. Due to the critical nature of the diseases treated in this community, the Ronald McDonald House - Oak Street (Me and Ryan's home for a week) supports families for longer average stays than any other Ronald McDonald House program in the world."

(Hot Dish From Our House To Yours, Fall/Winter 2012)

How awesome is that! Ryan and I can't wait to go back there. My only concern is... that we wont have ENOUGH pillow pets to go around. This House provides rooms for 48 families, assuming each of those families has one or two children...well that pretty much wipes out our pillow pets without even getting to Amplatz. I'm not sure if we will go to the House or the hospital first. I almost think it would be better to go to the house on Thanksgiving and the hospital the next day... so you can see my concern.

We are so grateful for all of you and how you have blessed these special children, but there are so many of them and I can't imagine what I would do if we didn't have enough for them. I'll leave it between you and the Lord, but know that if you have already given, we are SO grateful. I never want this to come across as begging or ingratitude for what has already been accomplished through each of you.

God has got it..  we can't forget what He did with barley loaves... I'm not worried :)

Some may think that the news we received today was bad. I wouldn't call it that, in fact, I'm relieved. I'm relieved that Landon is going to be evaluated by some of the best cardiologists in the country. We are his advocates and that means doing the hard things to make sure our little man gets the absolute best care possible. I'm choosing to look at this as an answer to prayer. Thank God He put that mommy instinct in me to keep calling until I got through.

Yes, this IS a crazy life we live, but one look at this face makes it ALL WORTH IT.

Thank you for your support and your continued prayers.
We love you!!

Even If

This is the video we made to show for church yesterday.

The Great Exchange

  When we lay down our heads on our pillows at night I may not feel like I’ve changed the world or made huge accomplishments, but Lord flood my heart with peace in knowing… we HAVE changed the world simply by our love. Whether tough or tender love ALWAYS counts. A man yesterday came up to me after church and gave me a check for the pillow pet project. He told me that you gave him something for me. He leaned over and showed me what he had written on the memo of the check, “Landon’s Legacy of Love.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but when I told Ryan he said, “maybe that is what our new website should be called?” Since then I’ve thought about it a lot. Yes Lord, that is what we want our life to be… a legacy of love. It all started with that tiny 6 month old that’s sound asleep on the other side of the wall I’m sitting by. That small, brave child who, just yesterday, had an entire congregation in tears, I am so amazed Lord. I am so amazed how You have used our child, even as young as he is, even with him never leaving the confinement of this apartment, you have used Him to immensely touch and inspire others. I am blown away and the only words I can find are the small words that this English language I speak uses to express gratitude, but I know you deserve so much more… so take my heart Lord. I know that is what You are always after anyway. Words are nice, but only if they're inscribed on a heart that lays in outstretched hands. Here I am Lord. Have me. Wreck me for Your purposes. Break this heart and sew it back together with Your thread of passion, each time giving me a little more of Your heart Lord. Because you see… we are both after the same thing… You want my heart and Abba, Oh Abba, all I want is YOURS.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What are you doing Lord?

That was my response when I hung up the phone with Dr. Fernandez yesterday. Seconds later a sick queasy feeling overtook my body which hasn't left yet. I am the type of person that needs to know the plan. And once I know the plan, you better not change it on me! I've been this way since I was a child. The ONLY way I actually like change is if I make it happen myself, like if I make the decision to get a new comforter for our bed or arrange the living room furniture, that kind of change... I like. That kind of change... I welcome. The kind of change that happened yesterday... I don't really know what to do with it.

Okay okay okay, I wont leave you hanging any longer. This is what happened... So last Friday I got sick of waiting and I called U of M and asked what the heck was taking them so STINKIN long??? Not in those exact words of course, but that's what the bolder silent me said. A woman called me back shortly and told me that they didn't seem to have any information saying that Landon needed a heart cath done.


I actually said that and I used that many exclamation points too.

She told me that she would call Dr. Fernandez and get back to me early the following week (this week).

I waited...


So I called Dr. Fernandez on Monday



So I called the lady at U of M back on Tues. She told me that Dr. Fernandez said he would call me. I explained to her that he didn't. Then she told me that as far as she knew the doctors and surgeons were still discussing Landons case. I took that to mean, they were still trying to find a date that works for the heart cath. I told her thank you and hung up.

Continued to wait to hear back from them...


FINALLY Dr. Fernandez called me yesterday (Thursday) and told me that... get ready for it... He talked with Dr. Kochilas (Landon's cardiologist at Amplatz) and he told him that because Landons oxygen saturation levels have been so good they want to wait a year to do the cath and the Bi-directional Glen.


I didn't know what to say.

I asked some questions to which Fernandez threw back some quick replies. He told me that he will continue to do echos on Landon once a month and if his sats drop at all, they will make plans to get him to Amplatz right away.

We hung up and I just felt sick.

What are you doing Lord??

This doesn't make sense at all!

What are you doing Lord??

Our apartment is getting overrun with pillow pets that need to get to their kids.

What are you doing Lord???

Fernandez was just freaking us out a couple weeks ago and telling us that Landon will most likely need the Glen very soon.

What are you doing Lord??

I don't understand.

It's a day later and I still don't understand. I still feel sick, but truthfully I think that's more a side effect of the flu shot I got yesterday. I called Dr. Kochilas today and was told he would get back to me. It's 5:42PM and I haven't heard anything yet. I have so many questions I need answered.

Will the heart cath be in a year or when Landon is a year old?

How much do his sats need to drop before they will want to do something?

Why has our cardiologist here in Bismarck been giving us such a different picture.

Is it safe to take him to places like church if we don't let anyone hold him or let him be near anyone who hasn't had their flu shot?

So many questions...

I woke up today with a different perspective then yesterday. This is GOOD news. UNEXPECTED news... but good news nonetheless.

This is what we've been praying for. This truly is a miracle!! Landon is doing SO WELL!! He will only get bigger and stronger so if he does need another surgery in a year, he will be more ready for it. We wont be any more ready for it and we just wanted to get it over with, but we're just going to take one day at a time, keep praying, and cross each bridge and climb every mountain as they come.

This is a HUGE blessing for the pillow pet project!! At first I was worried, but God has worked it all out. My family was already planning on gathering at my aunts for Thanksgiving so, as of now, our plans (do I dare even say "our plans" anymore?) are to travel to the Cities the day before Thanksgiving (Ryan was already planning on taking a lot of work off this month so that works perfect) and spending the day scouring Minneapolis and the surrounding areas for pillow pets. We will spend most of Thanksgiving Day at Amplatz bringing smiles and giving the families who are forced to spend their holiday cooped up in a hospital room, something to be thankful for. Not that a pillow pet from strangers makes up for family, turkey and mashed potatoes, but it's something. I can't really think of a better day that these families will need to be encouraged and feel the presence of God. If we still have pillow pets that need little arms to cuddle them, we will go to the Ronald McDonald house and give them to the kids there the next day. I would love for this to happen because the atmosphere is much more relaxed there so we could play with the kids and really get to know them and their families. Yesterday (before we received our unexpected news) I was able to get connected to the childrens administrator at Amplatz. She told me that they usually only accept donations and they don't allow people to deliver the gifts in person, but she LOVED the pillow pet idea.  She told me her two children have pillow pets and they love them. "What an awesome thing for these kids to have in their rooms with them." she told me. She said to call her when we know when we'll be there and she will personally escort us around so we can give them out.


God is just blowing open doors for this thing. I didn't really think we would make our goal, but now we just may go above and beyond... so like God :)

It seems like (especially this past month) I am constantly standing back (more like getting blown back in shock and knocked on my keister) at God. He is so STINKIN AMAZING!!! I tell Him this on a daily basis so if you have a problem with me using the word "STINKIN" in my praise to God, don't worry He's used to it :)

God is doing so much in our life right now. He has been speaking very loudly to us and making some things very clear. I SO want to share with all of you the direction God seems to be leading our family, but the time just isn't right quite yet. One thing is for sure... "As the Heavens are higher then the earth, so are His ways higher then our ways and His thoughts then our thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

You will want to stay posted :)

Just a footnote for those of you who jump to conclusions and make everything baby news... no I'm not pregnant :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NO SMALL thing!!

I cannot believe that I once thought this pillow pet idea God laid on our hearts was something small. We quickly realized last night that this is definitely no "small" en devour. We bundled Landon up yesterday and went out in search of these cuddly creatures. We only found 3 left at Walmart and 4 left at Target. We took that as our confirmation that kids LOVE these things! After noticing that it only took 3 to fill up our grocery cart Ryan asked, "Babe ummm do we plan on bringing anything besides pillow pets to MN? Don't you think we might want to bring some extra clothes or something?" He was right!! How are we going to fit all of these in our vehicle???

We bought a couple x large space bags, but we're going to need a whole lot more than a two.

Having exhausted Walmart and Targets pillow pet selection, Landon and I ventured out again today to try some other stores. Having been to two with no luck I was getting a little discouraged. We really don't want to be stopping at every Walmart from Bismarck to Minneapolis to buy pillow pets, but if that's what it comes down to, that is exactly what we'll do.

Kmart I owe you an apology. I've never liked you and I've even said before that your stores have weird layouts and your stuff is cheap... sorry. YOU CAME THROUGH FOR US!!! BIG TIME!! I will forever return to you with all of my pillow pet needs!


I practically screeched with delight when I rounded the corner of an aisle and my eyes fell on a large tower stuffed FULL of pillow pets!! There was a woman who was searching through them... the poor soul. I would love to know what she was thinking when I proceeded to STUFF my cart full of every different one I could find. "OH look Landon! They have a butterfly! Isn't it pretty?" STUFF in cart. I hope she thought I was some kooky lady who collects them for a hobby LOL. Seriously I had to walk on my tip toes to the checkout because I couldn't see over them. Good thing Landon had his helmet on because I'm sure that ride wasn't the safest haha.

There it is folks! The growing wall of pillow pets that is invading our apartment. Don't feel sorry for us though, they're very welcome guests :) Ryan's favorite of course is the blue dino in the back. According to him, "We have to get a lot more of those because all the boys will want them." I'm loving the neon pink hippos and how cute is that little Thomas the train!!

I think Landon is a little confused by them. He may think we're going a little overboard and spoiling him a bit... I don't know haha.

 I cannot tell you how excited we are... (pause for dramatic effect) WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!!!! Something has happened in me and Ryan now that these things are actually residing in our home. We are beginning to understand why God has called us to do this. We feel like God has an invisible name on each of these animals. A name that belongs to some special little child out there who is going through a lot of junk that kids shouldn't have to worry about. We know that we can't answer their prayers or give them a normal childhood, but we can make this special delivery from God and tell them that they are loved by Him. He knows their name, their story, the waiting list their on, how many rounds of chemo they've had etc. It's blowing our minds that God is giving us this opportunity to not only bless these amazing children, but be blessed by them.

This would NOT be happening if it wasn't for You!

Thank you just doesn't seem like a big enough word to tell you guys how grateful we are. Your support is what made this possible. I know we still have a ways to go to make it to our goal, but you guys believed in this, when to us it seemed like an out of reach, crazy idea. Now look!! It's taking shape and taking over our home!!

So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! (hopefully the caps and the repetition help you get the picture... we're extremely grateful!)

With that said, it's time to really roll up our sleeves, link arms and get going. These are the things we need to really make this thing happen for these kids.

~ First and foremost PRAY! Please, pray for all of the details that have to go into this. Pray for the kids who are going to receive these. Pray for us, that we can empty ourselves and enter that hospital completely filled with the Holy Spirit. Pray that God leads more people to give and be a part of this work He's doing.

~ If any of you have space bags that you wouldn't mind giving to us we would SO appreciate it.

~ Bismarck friends, if any of you are good at using a printer and have some extra time on your hands, we would like to make tags to tie around each of the pillow pets. Pretty simple, just "Jesus loves you" on one side and on the other. I am technically challenged and can't even imagine how I could find time to print all of these, let alone figure out how. I get stressed out just thinking about it, so if this sounds "fun" to you. AWESOME!! Let us know and we'll connect.

~ Lastly, we still have a ways to go to reach our goal of 100 kids. So here is a challenge... I know so many of you have generously given already so I'm not going to ask you for another big gift, but I am going to ask that everyone who reads this give $2. That's nothing right? BUT I know that at least 100 of you are going to read this so that small $2 will easily turn into over $200. How beautiful that God can take something so small and multiply it through His people. Also PLEASE SHARE this post on your facebook, tell your friends to share it on theirs. We know WE NEED YOU.

God is so amazing! We are anxiously waiting in expectation for the works He is going to accomplish.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A special kind of beautiful (update on Landon)

Oh yesterday... how long you were. How you turned from excitement to heartbreaking disappointment, back to excitement, and eventually led me to a night of gut wrenching laughter and deep enriching conversation. Oh yesterday, how I hated you and loved you all at the same time.

Yesterday I woke up excited because I sent in my final assignments the night before and I was beginning a whole week of guilt free, no due dates living before I have to start up a brand new term of courses. I had a relaxed morning full of sitting on the floor playing with Landon, reading, and browsing the webernet (no spell check that's really what I want to say!) It's so easy to lose track of the time when you don't have a care in the world. I looked at the clock and it said 10:50. Ahh Ryan was getting off work at 11 and I had to be ready with the babe so that we could head to the hospital as soon as he got home (cue mad rush). I hurried and made Landon a bottle, packed his baby bag, got him up from his nap and into his car seat and piled everything by the door, including Landon. Ryan got home and away we went. I was SO glad that Ryan decided to take off a half day of work so he could come with me. We both knew that this was going to be a very important appointment. It was going to be our last appointment in Bismarck before we go back to Minneapolis. We checked in and headed up to heart and lung. As we were sitting in the waiting room, I leaned over and whispered in Ryan's ear, "I think Landon is the youngest one here." We both laughed because everyone besides our family and the receptionists had to be over 60. It's always such a strange disturbing thought for me to think that most of the people who are there because of their heart, have lived such long lives and their hearts are now beginning to fail them. Then there's my boy, and tons of other kids like him, who possess hearts that have failed them before they were even born. It's such a tough thought and one I try not to dwell on because it leads me to ponder questions that can't be answered this side of heaven.

Landon's echo was an... experience. I don't know what was up with him, if he was just showing off his rebellious side for his papa to witness or if his teeth were really bugging him, but he started SCREAMING when we laid him on the bed and they started the echo. Usually he just lays quietly the whole time and lets the nurse do her thing, but not yesterday. She had to stop what she was doing three times so that we could pick him up and calm him. I thought we were going to be there all day. Ryan laid down on the bed with Landon laying on his chest and that worked for quite a while, but then he got fussy (again) and everyone left us alone (again) for 15 min so we could get him calmed down. He finally decided to take his bottle and that seemed to help a lot. I sat awkward and uncomfortably on the side of the bed with my poor exhausted scantily clad babe in my arms, while they maneuvered the little cold wand around on his chest, getting every which way angled pictures of his heart. So finally after a long hard battle they were satisfied and said that we could go. Uhh what a relief after being in that small dark room with a very irritable baby for an hour and a half. The open door was a light at the end of a very long LOUD tunnel.

We then went to a different part of the hospital for our appointment with Fernandez. Have a stated how AWESOME it was to have Ryan with me. I can't imagine how I would of handled the echo by myself. By the time the nurse finished getting his sats and EKG Landon seemed much happier. Fernandez came in a little later and spoke with us about the future. Usually our checkups with Fernandez are very encouraging. I know last time I posted that he told me Landon may not need another open heart surgery because his RV has been growing. I don't know if he was just trying to give us hope at all those other appointments and this one he decided to shoot straight with us or what, but he talked with us in depth about the bidirectional Glen. He showed us pictures and gave us a bunch of medical mumbo jumbo that I tried so VERY hard to understand.

Tangent alert!

Do you ever have those moments where you wish so badly that you could go back in time and give yourself a good peptalk. This happens to me every time I listen to doctors tell me about Landon's heart. I wish I could go back to when I was still in high school, struggling through textbooks that I thought were full of boring and useless information that I would never have to know because I had 0 desire to ever be a doctor. Back then I may have thought something like, 'why does it matter if I know the names of all of these valves and arteries and what they do?" How I would answer myself today, "Oh you stupid girl! Is it not enough of a reason that God has places all these amazing organs in your body and that's what makes you able to live and breath? If that isn't enough reason for you though, how about the fact that someday you will birth a child who's life depends on you getting what is broken inside of him fixed. Someday you will look at your perfect child and hope beyond hope that you could understand what is going on inside of his special little heart. Maybe if you would pay a little more attention to these pictures in your text book and stop skimming over words that are longer than 6 letters long and actually try to learn how to say them, you wouldn't feel quite so helpless when you become me in the future!"

Fernandez told us that of all of the different forms of Pulmonary Artresia, Landon has the most mild case, but his RV may still not be strong enough to sustain his right circulation. "There is no way of knowing for sure, what needs to be done until they get him in the Cath lab. I asked him if they do the cath and they decide he needs the Glen if it's something they will wait to do for a while? He told me that they will want to do it right away. He said he would email the University that day and we could be expecting a call from them early next week. This was a lot for me to take in because we've been expecting Landon's next visit to U of M to be pretty short, BUT if they have to open his chest again, we'll be looking at a week or maybe longer stay

He went over with us about the synagis shot that Landon was going to get and why it was so necessary and important that he get it every 4 weeks now. We talked a little more and then he was gone. I watched the door close behind him and I just sat there, trying to process everything we just saw and heard. I feel like up until this appointment I was so hopeful. I was hearing that God was growing Landon's heart a little bit more every month and I couldn't imagine why He would do that if Landon was still going to end up getting the surgery that will make his RV practically useless. Truthfully I just wanted to cry. I wanted to go through my familiar ritual of going into a bathroom, locking the door, sitting down on the dirty disgusting floor and letting the tears fall where they may. "I can't do it again Ryan. I truly can not imagine watching him go through that again. It's going to kill me." Ryan was standing up bouncing Landon who had fallen asleep covered underneath his hooded monkey blanket. "It's going to be hard Natalie, but it's going to save his life. We don't have an option." I know he's right, but mommies and daddies just process this kind of stuff so differently. Ryan can see the big picture and how it is going to help Landon, but all I can see are the horrifying pictures in my mind of my baby boy sedated and covered in cords and tubes, surrounded by beeping monitors. All I can think about is watching this child, whom I have coddled and protected from every germ the world has to offer him for the past 5 months, disappearing behind an OR door that I can't follow him through. Seriously I have a hard time even writing it. I desperately hope that the surgeon will tell us, after his cath, that everything looks great and he is going to be fine, but I realized yesterday that whether I want to or not, I need to start preparing for another surgery. Right now I feel a lot like I did when I was pregnant with Landon. Like I'm just kind of holding my breath... waiting... praying like crazy... depending on Jesus... cherishing every moment of the present... and waiting.

Ryan is going to explain as best he can what Fernandez told us about the Glen surgery...

So for the Bidirectional Glenn surgery the doctors will attempt to attach the Superior Vena Cava to Pulmonary Artery and send blood directly from the head and upper body to the lungs; bypassing the heartbidirectional glenn for HLHS

 This is the only picture I could find showing the Glenn and this is for Hypoplastic Left Heart.  The idea is still the same except Landon's right side is small not his left. This whole process will alleviate some of the pressure from the right side of the heart and stop the oxygen rich and poor blood from mixing.  In normal cases another surgery is required to complete the process for rerouting the blood. We still don't know if that's what Landon will need so I'll wait on explaining that one.

I don't know if you guys understand that, I don't even know if I really do, but thanks babe for trying. Love you!

So after our long day at the hospital we went home, had lunch, and numb as I still was from the news, I left to go meet our pastor at the cutest little coffee shop in town. I haven't had coffee in 12 days so you better believe I got a mint mocha and OH was it heavenly! He asked me about our vision and desire for the pillow pet fund and I told him how we want to carry God's light into the hospital and offer hope and encouragement to these hurting families. He listened to my heart and he caught our vision and totally ran with it. He wants to interview me during one of our church services and have me share our story and how God has transformed (our recent series has been on transformation) our family, our hearts, and our lives forever through what we've gone through with Landon. He would love for our church to help us make this small dream into something much bigger and maybe create some kind of long term hospital ministry. We shared our stories and our passion for the hurting and I don't know when it happened, but at some point, my heart lifted out of the fog and  was able to see this beautiful sunrise that God is painting with Landon's story. I truly believe that God is going to use our painful experiences with Landon to open up doors in the hospital and doors that lead into very dark and depressed hearts. His light is going to break forth and overcome the fear. He is going to bring restoration and hope back into hearts that continue to beat, but haven't lived in a long time. I don't know the answer to the how's, but we are determined to keep living the story he is writing out for us.

I left the coffee shop so encouraged and my heart on FIRE with passion and excitement because of what God is doing in and through his people. I feel so blessed to belong to a church that has accepted the radical call to follow Christ no matter what the cost.

The night continued to get better when I got invited to go to a movie with a good friend. God knew I needed a stupid comedy to watch. To leave my worries about the future at home and get out and just enjoy life. I needed to be reminded that worrying isn't going to change anything and that it's okay to laugh even when my heart is so afraid and hurt.

Isn't that what makes life so beautiful? That God in His artistic perfection ties pain and sorrow and joy and laughter all together to make this extraordinary tapestry, full of such beautiful colors. The suffering adds depth whereas the bright fragments of intense joy make it something to stare at for hours. What a shame it would be for someone to try to cut out all of the deep richness that pain brings into their tapestry, in fact if they do this, even the brightness of their joy will lose it's vibrancy. No, you need both. A life with both suffering and joy is one that people will admire. It's one that will be made into an heirloom and passed down from generation to generation. It will be hung on the wall, pointed at, and the countless inspiring stories that it holds will be told during large family get togethers as well as small intimate moments of openness and growth. It's one that will not be forgotten, but will continue to change those who see it. It will live on through the people it touches.

How blessed my Landon is that God has already sewn into his short tapestry such depth and meaning.

Sometimes my days are full of nothing but sadness and dread and then others are filled with nothing except joy, but for some reason, yesterday seemed a special kind of beautiful because it held... both.

We are calling in the masses of you to pray, pray, pray. We don't know yet when we need to be in MN. It could be a week or a month so we need to start praying now that God will change Landon's heart so that when the doctors go into it during the cath, they will just be able to take out his shunt and come and tell us that he will be fine for now.

Thank you for all of the prayers. They have not been for nothing, Landon is doing so amazingly well. Just the fact that he hasn't gotten sick is a miracle. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers. We are expecting great things. No matter what... God is faithful!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Celebrating 6 Months With Our Miracle

6 months ago, at this time, Ryan and I were getting settled into my hospital room. I was scheduled to be induced on April 3rd, but Landon had decided, on his own, that April 3rd would be his birthday. I had been having very mild contractions for the past 3-4 days, but I woke up at 1am from them and didn't go back to sleep. I tried to go back to sleep, knowing that the next day I was going to have this baby whether I was ready or not, but sleep didn't come. I watched the clock... my alarm was going to go off at 6. I tried to keep track of the contractions on the phone app Ryan had downloaded for this very purpose, but they weren't consistent every time. By the time we got to the hospital and they hooked me up to the monitor they found that they were coming 3 min apart. They decided they didn't need to induce me since I was already in labor. At 2 o clock they put me on pitocin (the death drug) and told me they would be back to check on me in two hours. I played bananagrams with my family, went on facebook, Ryan snuck me small bites of his muffin (they told me not to eat), I was enjoying every last moment, knowing that my life was about to change forever.

At 3 o clock the pitocin (the death drug) kicked in. Ryan was about to go get another game in the car and I told him ummmm "I don't think I can play games anymore." Our family left and for the next hour I "labored" (it's self explanatory). A nurse came in at 3:45 and I begged her to let me start pushing. She didn't believe that I was ready, but she checked me (I think more to get me to shut up) and found that I was 9cm dilated. "OH, you are ready!! Ok, just wait for 5 more contractions while I go get the doctor and the team." They were NOT ready for Landon yet! The last 5 contractions were 100x worse than painful! Landon wanted OUT and he wanted out NOW! Ryan was so amazing during the whole labor. I don't think I could of done it without his encouragement and support. Around 4 o clock tons of people came into the room and set up their stuff behind a curtain. The doctor never did make it, but the head nurse came. I started pushing at 4 and at 4:32 Landon was born. They took him immediately behind the curtain where he was evaluated. The nurse that delivered Landon told me that it was the fastest first time labor and delivery she'd ever seen. She told me I was made for having babies. hahaha

He was perfect

 Then I got to meet my child, for the first time, face to face.

 I will never be the same.

After a long fight we brought him home and let me tell you that first day I was scared to death of that tiny creature.

But OH how I quickly fell head over heels!!

 He turned ONE month old today!

 His facial expressions had me laughing out loud everyday!!

 2 Months old today! AND It's our 1 year Wedding anniversary! We dressed up to celebrate.

Finally get some tummy time

Happy Fathers Day Papa!!

 Starting to learn how to sit

 Trying to do a back flip over his boppy. Silliest kid EVER!

 Still loves his favorite book :)

 I'm 4 months!!

Papa buried me in my toys!

 First time sitting on my own!

5 Months Old!!

 He loves his ball

Highlight of this month was getting to meet uncle Matty

 Looking up at uncle Matty

 I just learned to grab my toes

AND NOW I'm 6 Months OLD!!

WHAT I'm really 6 MONTHS OLD!!!

Dear Landon,

Oh my child, it seems like just yesterday that I held you for the first time and today you're already half way to a year old. How can that be?  

You are such a joy Landon. You are happy and content from the time I find you awake in your crib to the time we put you to bed. You love being held, but you are happy to play on the floor by yourself too. You love watching the cars go by outside. You love grabbing things and bringing them to your mouth. You love when we read or sing to you. You love it when daddy comes home for lunch. You love when we hold your hands and help you stand up. You love stroller rides and staring at ceiling fans.

I remember how scared I was that I would never get to cherish these moments with you Landon. We have cried countless tears and said countless prayers for you. You are our miracle baby boy. You are covered with Gods finger prints and that's clear to everyone who knows you. You amaze the doctors, Your heart has grown more than they ever thought possible. In whatever challenges you face in the future Landon, you remember that God has you here for a purpose. You are going to do great things.

You have taught us so much. You have changed us. We want to be the people that God created us to be so that as you grow and watch us, you will come to know Jesus. We long for our love for you to draw you to the love of the Father. We will make mistakes, but He never will. 

Always know that there's nothing that can stop our love for you Landon. Happy 6 month birthday love bug!

Your Mama

We would love to hear how Landon's life has impacted you. I know some of you follow Landon from all over the world and we would love to know about you. If our child has inspired or encouraged you in any way, please tell us how. You can leave a comment on this blog or you can email me at
We would love to document all of the comments and share them with Landon when he is old enough to realize how God has been using him since before he was born.

Thank you!