14 September, 2015

N is for Notebooks

The day has arrived.
My baby started Kindergarten today!



He's my more timid one, but he's still outgoing and has been looking forward to this forever.
As usual, because it was the first day for Kindergartners, the hall was absolutely crazy. He was sitting with his new classmates, out in the hall, waiting to go in the room and there were so many parents in the hall, I couldn't even see him for awhile, so I just waited in the classroom.
He was the first one in when it was time and he immediately went over to his cubbie to put away stuff.

He had a smile on his face the whole time and I knew it was going to be a great day!
He went over and found his spot at his table and he let me take a couple pictures.



 Then I was told, "No more Mom!"
I stood there for a few more minutes in a corner of the classroom and observed while he started to color and other parents took pictures and said goodbye.
I walked over to say goodbye and give him a hug.


He said, "Can you kiss me Mom?"
I smiled and kissed him goodbye and just like that, my baby started school.

Grade: Kindergarten
Age: 5
Color: Blue & Green
Food: Lasagna
Movie: Pirate Fairy
Season: Winter
Thing to do at home: Play Minecraft
Thing to do at school: Recess
What he wants to be when he grows up: Video game designer

11 September, 2015

A timeline of 11 years.

Married on September 11th!
Josh left for USMC boot camp.

Got through 10 months of separation.
Moved all the way across the country to our first duty station and home in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Adopted our first "child;" our dog Sydney.
Prepared for our first long deployment: Josh left for Japan in Sept.

Trip home to visit family and friends in OR/WA
In May we discovered we were expecting our first little blessing!
In November we unexpectedly found out that Josh was deploying in 10 days.

Welcomed our beautiful baby girl!
Survived 9 months apart while Josh deployed to Afghanistan.

Celebrated Turtle's first birthday.
More time apart while Josh went to school in VA.
Found out we were pregnant in October!

Finally got orders.
Moved back across the country again to Camp Pendleton, California
Welcomed our sweet baby boy

Prepared for another deployment
Spent more time apart while Josh went to Iraq.
Celebrated Monkey's first birthday.
Reunited just days before our 7th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.

Flew home to OR/WA for the first time in over 5 years.
Made the decision to get out of the USMC

Became a civilian family.
Moved 3 times.
Mystery illnesses start to invade my body.
Turtle starts Kindergarten
Josh shreds his ankle 6 days before Thanksgiving.

We celebrate 10 years of marriage with our first getaway trip since having kids.
We move again and buy our first home.
I am diagnosed with Lupus.

Josh injures his knee and is out for another 2 and half months.
Monkey starts kindergarten.

We thank God for all He has blessed us with in our 11 years of marriage.
I pray we always lean on Him in good times and in bad,.
We look forward to the many years ahead of us!!

Happy 11 years Babe!!

09 September, 2015

C is for Classroom

Today was Turtle's first day as a 2nd grader!!
Her teacher moved up from 1st to 2nd, so she was super excited to have the same teacher and most of the same class back from last year! (She goes to a large school and you normally don't get to have most of the same classmates in class every year.)

 Reunited with a friend from Kindergarten!!!

Her favorites this year:
Grade: 2nd
Age: 7 and half
Color: red
Food: lasagna
Movie: Tangled
Season: Winter
Thing to do at school: Make new friends!
Thing to do at home: paint
What she wants to be when she grows up: a Coach

30 June, 2015

Last Day of 4.0

When I was 8 weeks pregnant my husband said we were done.
I laughed at him and said whatever.
At 15 weeks I started hemorrhaging horribly and in those first few hours as we found ourselves in the ER, I cried and pleaded with God on all the reasons why I needed this baby.
The nurse couldn't find the heartbeat for awhile and I even said to God I would be perfectly fine if it was another girl, just please don't take my baby.
We finally found a faint heartbeat and I was taken by ambulance to the city ER for an ultrasound a few hours later.
As we sat with the tech and saw that our baby was perfectly fine, I timidly asked if she could see what the sex was. Josh and I were so sure it was another girl. We had prepared our hearts and minds.
The tech looked at us with a smile on her face and said, 'I know exactly what it is."

"HE isn't being shy." She said.

Josh didn't hear her at first and had to look to me for the answer.
We got our boy.
The boy we so desperately wanted.
Our retirement plan. ;)

At 22 weeks we got a phone call from one of my Dr's.
"Mrs Ramer," he said,
"We're going to need to refer you to a specialist."
"There's a good chance your baby might have down syndrome."
And then he just hung up saying that the nurse would be in touch.

And here it was again.
Even though I knew God would see us through anything, I found myself pleading to God once again.
That he wouldn't have it.
This wasn't how it was suppose to be.
We had so many things planned for our little boy.

So as the story continues and we turn over another chapter at midnight, I look back over the last 5 years and I see how much I have pleaded and prayed and begged God concerning this little boy.
It didn't stop at 8 weeks, 15, or 22 weeks.
It didn't stop in those first few months of his life when I didn't know how I was going to do it much longer and I spent many a night in tears.
And it certainly won't stop when he's 5 or 95.

God had a plan for him before he was even thought of and it's the perfect plan for just him and HE gave me the responsibility of mothering him, so I must be able to handle it.

Happy last day of the 4.0 you, Npp.

05 May, 2015

"Awareness" Day

May is National Lupus Awareness Month and May 15th is National Lupus Awareness Day.

I have Lupus.

I want to share to inform people.
Last year at this time, I barely knew what Lupus was, let alone knew that it had an awareness day.
I had heard of the disease before, but had no idea what it really was.
When I received my diagnosis last summer, we were shocked, but I was simply amazed as I read up about it. It was SO nice to have an explanation for how I was feeling and so thankful that it wasn't all in my head.

What is Lupus?: 
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better).     Source

 My story: 

Two years ago when we moved to the PNW, I started feeling achy, severely fatigued and ill all of the time. At first, I just chalked it up the major life change we had just been through and all of the stress our family was under during that time. I just didn't understand why I had no energy and why I seemed to be getting sick constantly. I swept it under the rug though and continued to tell myself it was just stress.
As most of you know, in August of 2013, my arch collapsed in my left foot causing major swelling, (at the time we didn't know what happened,) and I began to experience severe nerve pain throughout my left leg, along with other symptoms. After months of seeing specialists and taking different medications, we finally got the swelling down.

At this point, I blamed the problems in my leg and foot as the cause of how I started feeling after we had moved. I began again to tell myself that I would feel better when I adjusted. And I continued to tell myself that it was all in my head.
Months later I was feeling absolutely horrible, and there were many mornings when getting out of bed brought me to tears. I knew I had to get in to see my doctor, but I won't lie, I put it off because my worst fear was being told that nothing was wrong and that I just needed to suck it up.

Ironically, a few days before I went in for testing, we were discussing with a relative about what my dr was going to test me for and I mentioned lupus as one of the things. Thinking that lupus was only a skin disorder, he quickly looked at me and replied, "oh you don't have lupus, your skin is fine." I shrugged and said ok.
I had no idea what it was either.
So as you can see, when we got the results back, we were quite surprised. 

I had Lupus and my #'s were through the roof.


I have good days and bad days.

I take as little of my meds as possible because they are also bad for my body. That way I can double up when I'm feeling worse.
I have cut out all red meat and alcohol, (both of which are big inflammation triggers.)
So far my major organs are still in good condition. 

Severe joint pain, nerve pain and fatigue are my biggest problems.
On most days, I accept what God has challenged me with, but there are days where I struggle.
I am not afraid of dying, as I know where I am going, but I fear leaving my children and husband. I also fear leaving them with medical bills if it's a long drawn out and painful process.
During one of my toughest days, my son said that he didn't want to have a sick mom anymore and that really hurt.

Having a disease that effects the insides of my body means that a lot of people, even some friends and family, don't understand when I still "look" perfectly fine and they think it's all in my head.

So this is life as I know it now.

And even though I know there are thousands of diseases out there, and everyone has their own story, today I wanted to share with you about mine.

If you want to know even more about lupus, here are a couple of links: 

Lupus. org
Lupus Wiki page

Please feel free to email me if you have any more questions.

22 February, 2015

Still That Girl

Based on what I wanted to be when I was growing up, I am living the dream.




Wanted a career.
I wanted to stay home, take care of my own babies and serve my husband with the best of my ability.
I wanted to keep our home in tip top shape, plant flowers and tend to a garden.
I wanted to take my children to school and make sure I was the first smiling face they saw when they got out of school at the end of the day.

Yep, I'm living my dream.

But sometimes I get a little depressed.
All of the main "goals" have been achieved, but there are a lot side dreams that grew along the way, that ended up slipping through the cracks.
There are other things I wanted to accomplish and I've never forgotten about them.
With our lifestyle and how things have turned out with my health, the realization has hit that I just might not get those accomplished and that makes me sad.

{Insert song}

We need the reminder that just because things haven't turned out exactly how we wanted or we haven't accomplished everything that we planned, it doesn't mean it's not going to happen.

And today,
on my 34th birthday,
I know that I'm alive because God isn't finished with me yet.
He still has so much more in store!

17 February, 2015

Best. Day. Ever.

My favorite little girl turned 7 a few weeks ago.
And in case you didn't know this bit of random information, when she was 4 and half,
she planned out all of her future birthday themes out until she was like 15.
Now while I highly doubt her 15 year old self will want a My Little Pony party, she has stuck with her planning to a T for the last 3 years!
So Rapunzel for the 7th it was!!

And she declared it really was the best day ever!!

14 February, 2015

Why Not Today?

We all know my blogging has been MIA/hit and miss for over a year now.
I will never catch up.
But I always wanted to post about our ten year anniversary trip last summer, and I figured that today was a good day to kind of rewind the last 6/7 months.

Last March one evening, I looked at my husband and asked him if we were going to do something special for our upcoming tenth anniversary. Way back when we had our quick cheap wedding, we always talked about renewing our vows and having a kind of a big celebration for our tenth, but now that it was time, that idea really didn't appeal to us anymore. We selfishly wanted to do something for just ourselves.
We threw ideas around, but we both knew we wouldn't have much to spend. I didn't want to let that get in the way though. I really really wanted to do something. Even if it meant staying more local and keeping it simple.
Everyone around here always ends up going to the coast and that's just not our thing. We finally decided on Sunriver/Bend Oregon.
My husband had already picked his vacation times for the year, so we knew we would have to go the last week in July, (even though our anniversary isn't until September,) and I went ahead and just booked the hotel. I knew if I put it off, we would end up not going and I wanted to make sure THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!
We made plans, booked adventures, got a babysitter and I typed up a crazy long list of instructions!
Did I mention that it was only going to be the second time away from our daughter and the first time away from our son??!!
I was SO excited and couldn't wait for the time to pass!!!

Here are some pics from most amazing week: (Sorry for the overload!)

Hitting the road: I was SO excited, you have no idea!!!
See, I was so excited to took a pic of the backseat with no car seats, haha!
 Beautiful Mt Hood:
I Love Oregon!
 And just because Josh was on vacation! ;)
 Because you can't blog about a trip without posting a pic of the bed, duh!
 The view from our room:
 The happiest I was the whole week, finally on the golf course again!!! My foot held up for the most part and the day was so warm and beautiful:
 (I could do without the beard ;) but I love this man so much!!)

 Lost Tracks golf course

 Out for dinner:
 Great food!
 SO so happy!

And it wouldn't be a trip for us without some mini golf:
 Don't you always play some skee ball on your ten year anniversary trip too??
 And go bowling?!

 Not impressed with the food or service here at all, but it looked nice:

Canoeing down the Deschutes:


 The relaxed face of a mom who is taking a vacation from her kids and who just had a massage!

All in all, I didn't sleep well but that's because I never do away from my own bed, and our hotel wasn't that great.
But it was the most relaxing trip ever.
We didn't talk to our kids the whole time.
They didn't miss us and we didn't miss them.
Just goes to show that it was a much needed break on both sides.
It was also one more instance in the realization that the Marcella who used to like rain and cold temperatures, is now a Marcella who loves hot and humid.
It had been almost 5 years since I got to play golf and I picked it up like I never even took a break.
I love it out there on the golf course.

I must say, the only negative from this trip,
Is that I want to do it every year now!