Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dear God............

One year ago last week, we were told that Lindsay was officially listed for a heart transplant. At first it was ok, any day from that point, we could get "the call". Cell phones were charged at all times and numbers to everyone in the immediate family were given in case for some strange reason they couldn't get a hold of us. The wait and the journey to me, officially began there. Thankful. The next week was Thanksgiving. A little strange to have our thanksgiving dinner in the hallway at the hospital, but we made due. The meal was delicious by the way and probably the best turkey that I have ever tasted! A catering company donates their services to the families of the children in the hospital every year. It really was a great dinner. Just strange. It was strange to not have the whole family together sitting at the beautifully decorated table and eating until we couldn't possibly fit anything else in our bellies. It was even strange to not have the conversation around the table that we usually do. I remember eating and then I went and found a reclining chair in the ICU waiting room and fell asleep for about 2 hours or so. My mom spend that whole time loving on Lindsay and to be perfectly honest, I was so exhausted from the previous months ups and downs, I can't even tell you where the boys, husband, and step-father went off to during this time. Apparently I needed to catch up on some sleep and relax a little. Thankful. In Lindsay's short little life, she had already missed having two holidays at home. More my sadness about that than hers I guess. The next holiday, (deep breathe) Christmas. In this past 1 1/2 years, I have really made HUGE strides in just letting things fall as they should instead of being the planner that I always have been. I would really get bent out of shape when plans would fall through or my day didn't go as expected. I don't do that anymore.....because I can't. I can't do that because if I did, I would end up in the loony bin!!!! Thankful. I have also grown closer to God........Thankful! He has given me strength when I needed it the most and He has also taught me to "go with the flow" a little better. We almost lost Lindsay 4 or 5 times that I can think of and one of those times.....well, If you have been following our story, you know what we had to do. Something no parent should EVER have to think about or even discuss. But we did. Crazy as it sounds, I'm thankful for that as well. I think because of that, my husband and I grew even closer. They say that in tough times like this, married people tend to drift apart and to be perfectly honest, in some ways we are closer. Thankful! At this point, the Lindsay Dean Heart Fund committee went into full force trying to raise enough money to keep us out of the hole and not loose our home. Well, we are here, still have our house........Thankful! I have been asked are you guys doing financially? Really, I don't how to answer that one. I think we are struggling like every other American out there but ours is a little different. We did have to fall from a double income household to a single income and trust me, I have fallen asleep many nights with migraines worrying "what in God's name are we going to do?" And then it happens. Some generous persons gave us a gift(you know who you are) so that our children will have a memorable Christmas at HOME and to take the burden off of us to be able to enjoy it instead of worrying about how we are gong to pay off the credit card when the bill comes. Thankful. And this is just one. There have been many "surprises" our way. Thankful. Now, I have always been a "do it myself" kind of person and really have never asked for more than $20 bucks to borrow. So, the generosity that has been given to our family.....ahhh....well, Thankful. I have been trying to "pay it forward" already with a few things that all of you will read about in your Christmas letter, but I struggle with repaying all that has helped us. I don't even know if that is possible. I know what you are going to say, "Suzie. You are crazy. You will NOT pay us back because we know that you would have done the same for us." But that is how I am feeling and I think I will always struggle because that is how God made me. Thankful....I think. ;-) We are blessed beyond what words can explain. I think that maybe that's my dilemma. I don't know what I can say that could possibly express how we feel towards all of you. I just don't know. All I know is that we are THANKFUL for all of you and we will always hold you near and dear to our hearts because if it weren't for you, we would be living in a one bedroom apartment in the slums. No joke.
So, as I prepared some super yummy potatoes tonight in preparation for tomorrow, I get teary eyed knowing that we don't have to go find a chair in the hallway to eat, or go home to get the kids so that we all can be together. We were blessed by a selfless donor family that has given us this opportunity to share with our daughter, as a family. Thankful. They have given us Christmas, New Year's, Easter, etc. to share with her. Thankful.

Dear God~
Thank you for making this day possible for our family. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to thank all of our loved ones and who have prayed for our family during this past year and a half. Thank you for letting us serve you and getting to learn and know you better through Lindsay. I believe you did this all for a reason, and reasons I have yet to have clarity on, but maybe that is your plan and I will accept that. I have learned to accept what you have given us and sometimes I may not know how to handle it, but in time you show me how and everything turns out as it should. You knew Lindsay had a purpose. You sent the donor family our way and your plan is coming together. I pray though for those that don't get to have this precious time with their loved ones. But, that is your plan and hopefully people are learning from you and what you have layed out for them. Thank you for our boys. Thank you for giving them the strength to know the mommy and daddy will be back home together soon. And......thank you for being you. For that, we are THANKFUL.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Heart Blessings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Working, Parade, Concert, Pictures, and Crawling....

I am going to start with the most exciting news first............Lindsay is crawling!!!!! WOOHOOO! What a joyous day this was when she started to do this last week!
So proud of herself!

She hasn't quite mastered multi-tasking yet.......talking and crawling at the same time. ;-)

A little preview to what Lindsay wore for her "Christmas" shoot ;-) I'm sure Patti will have a sneak peak for us very soon! Mandy.........My Mom made a pillowcase dress for her.....soooo cute! I can't wait for you to see it!
Cole and his buddies Garrett and Jacob at their Thanksgiving concert. Handsome lads.......
Look at 'em go! So cute! Sad, but true, the whole time I was watching my adorable son sing his heart out, I was thinking....."Oh my god, there are allot of germs floating around in here. I hope this ends soon!" Yes, the thoughts of a heart mom I guess. ;-) Lindsay was safe in the arms of Elaine at home......and away from the germs!
Lindsay at her 1st Holiday parade! It was an absolutely beautiful Michigan day and totally unseasonal weather for sure. We were able to walk around downtown and chat with some friends that we ran into without worrying if the kids were freezing or not. That was a great day for sure!
The boys were thrilled with this balloon! Lindsay couldn't quite figure it out but she ended up smiling at it. ;-)
I hope you enjoyed my little "catch up" post. I have been so busy catching up on bookwork for the business that took a backseat from January until August.......I wonder why?! Anyway, I'm almost caught up and when I had the thought of updating and sharing cute little stories with you, I would look at the clock and it is 1 or even 2 in the morning! NEED SLEEP!!!!!! I promise, the next post won't be three weeks away. I'm planning even another in the next day or two.......we have ALLOT to be thankful for this year!
Love to you all~

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

That would be a GOOD busy! Enjoy!

OK, I'm starting off with the "whopper"! Now if this isn't the greatest sight! Three miracle children all together and NOT in the hospital this time.......priceless. Brittney, Lindsay, and Tommy...........oh how we are blessed to have them all!
Weekend before last, we went to the annual fall picnic that Hearts of Hope puts on for all the heart children and their families. The kids could dress up if they wanted to and they were able to go on a wagon ride, pick their own pumpkins, have all the hot dogs and drinks they wanted, and even got to pet some pretty cute animals in the barn! The above picture is of Lindsay and another adorable little heart sister, Madison. Madison was at U of M in were we! ;-) ha ha

Isn't this the cutest clown and kitty that you have ever seen? Lindsay and Tommy........cute together huh? ha ha Colleen and I were tearing up as we took this photo. Oh, what a journey! AND check out those pretty PINK lips people!!!!! Oh, what a new heart can do!
Speaking of "oh, what a journey", I have quite the story for you! We headed to the hotel that we were staying at the night before the picnic and got an early start in order to watch the U of M football game at the hotel and then after the game, we could take the boys swimming and then order pizza and have a slumber party with all three kids! Sounds good, right? Well, not so much! It was raining when we got to the hotel so we went as fast as we could (yup, hubby still on crutches!) into the lobby and we were going to stay in the room until it stopped raining to get the rest of our stuff. So, in time, it stopped raining and I went down with a luggage cart and loaded it up with our things. Made one quick check around Lindsay's car seat to see if I got everything and happened to glance into her car seat. Hmmmmmm, a g-tube isn't supposed to be laying there! It is supposed to be ATTACHED to her! OMG!!!!! I asked myself.....when in the **** did that come out?!!! Knowing that we only had a few hours before the "hole" in her stomach would close up!! So, I very swiftly went up to the room, started flinging things around to unload and looked at my husband and said, " We can't do anything easily can we?" Hubby: "What do you mean?" Showed him the "escaped" g-tube and he looked at it in disbelief! Hubby: " Oh My God!" "What are we going to do?" Of course I don't have my emergency g-tube kit with, knowing that Colleen and Tommy aren't that far away, I called her to get a recommendation on which hospital to go to. Beaumont Royal Oak was phenomenal but I do not want to go there again! ha ha Lindsay is the proud owner of a new g-tube and was just fine in the meantime. So, instead of a relaxing evening with the fam, we spent it apart for about 4 hours, picked up Burger King on my way back, took the kids for a quick 45 minute swim at 9:30 at night and then went to bed.....or so we thought! Lindsay decided to have a late night party in her pack-n-play and was up from 1am until 5 am. Fun Stuff! Oh well. Attending the picnic was worth it in every way and thankfully, we had an uneventful ride home that afternoon. Thanks Hearts of Hope for such a great day!

Cruz wanted a pumpkin with scary eyes, Cole, of course, a block M, and Lindsay's was a "pretty princess" says Cruz. ;-)

Cole "gutting" the pumpkin. (can you tell that he is in hunting mode now??) Cruz just wanted to watch. He said that it looked "distgustin" . ha ha

My brother's boys were here for a visit and this photo was after a visit to the pumpkin patch to play. Yummy.......cider and donuts always make you feel better......and before dinner to boot!

You can give me an "A" for effort. Attempting to get five children to look the same way at precisely the same time was virtually impossible but I think we did ok.

Lindsay two days after her scary airlift to the hospital. MUCH better as you can see!

This was Lindsay the morning after her helicopter ride to U of M. This is how we felt too!