Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pregnancy Update

This pregnancy is coming to and end and I'm not that sad about it. I usually really enjoy being pregnant and feeling the baby kick and nesting and getting ready for him.....but the last month has just been so stressful. Since I've been diagnosed with Cholestasis I've been on quite a bit of medication and I'm being monitored twice a week. I go in on Mondays usually for a non stress test. I love that part of the week because I can just sit and hear his heart beat and know that he's ok. I can just relax for 20-30 minutes and not worry about anything. Then I usually meet with my Dr for a little bit, then get my blood drawn for more testing. Then on Fridays I get an ultrasound. I love seeing his chubby little face on the monitor. The ultrasound tech usually gives me a few 3D pictures and I love seeing his little face. I don't know exactly how accurate those are, but he definitely has the same mouth and nose as his brothers.

He is measuring big, which is nice. Most babies around 33 weeks weigh a little over 4 lbs, and he was measuring over 6lbs. Again, I don't know how accurate those ultrasounds can be, but I would love for him to be a little bigger since he will be coming about 3-4 weeks early. At my last ultrasound they were measuring my amniotic fluid, and it turns out I have a little more than normal. Which brings along more complications and monitoring. yay!......... my Dr. doesn't seem too worried which is comforting. And it definitely helps explain some of the symptoms I've been having. Hard to catch my breath/breathe when i'm in certain positions, bigger tummy, and contractions. I've been having tons. It's so weird to have had 2 totally healthy pregnancies then get slapped with all this on the third time around. Pregnancy is hard enough as it is, I wish there weren't all these complications.

So the plan is to have the baby on my 37 week mark, which is October 18th. Since I've been on the medication, my bile levels have dropped and my liver levels have kind of evened out so they think the baby will be safe in there until then. If there's any spike in those levels then I will have him sooner. I'm having a c section......and the closer the date gets the more I freak out. I'm nervous about getting an epidural when I haven't been having painful contractions before hand. Usually I'm like yeah, shoot me up that sounds great! But now that I'll just be walking in the hospital, not in labor, I don't think i'll be as excited about that...... Then I just get nervous about the surgery and recovery. It's going to be pretty different this time around then it was when I had Damon. My mom is coming to stay with us and help me out for a few weeks. It's been so long I've kind of forgotten what to expect about the recovery, but I know I'll need all the help I can get with these two crazy boys running around!

I'm excited for him to be here and to know that he's healthy and ok. 10 days seems so close....yet so far away!

Damon's in Kindergarten

Damon is LOVING being a big shot kindergartener. I say big shot because he always throws it in Rafe's face that he gets to go to school, and Rafe has to stay at home. Little does he know Rafe gets to do pretty much whatever he wants. He watches the shows he wants, plays with Damon's toys, Rides Damon's bike, get's lunch dates with mom and dad, and Target trips with Mom-which almost always mean something new from the $1 bin.

He's learning so much and I am so glad he has such a great teacher and is soaking it all in. The kid comes home with a new little song for EVERYTHING! Colors, days of the week, and the most random things. I think he sings most of his sentences these days. hahaha but it's working and he knows how to spell colors and the order of the days of the week so now I've found myself putting things to a tune for him if he's struggling with something.

One of my favorite parts of the day is getting him on and off the bus. He gives Rafe and I the biggest hugs and says he loves us, and he's off. Then when he gets home, Rafe usually gets the hug and I get his back pack, shoes, and jacket. He's usually hungry and tired and has quite a few stories to tell about his day. I love hearing all about his day and his friends and all that he's learning.

I emailed his teacher to make sure he's doing ok and that he's not running behind in anything. I told her how I was getting ready to have a baby and just wanted to make sure he's doing ok. Her reply was so sweet. She told me how he is just the sweetest boy and a friend to everyone and that he's right on track. If you know Damon, you know he can get a little distracted so I've been nervous about how he would be at school. So I was so relieved that he's been a good little guy.

I've been loving my one on one time with Rafe. I just let him do whatever he wants and try to make him feel special and like he's got my attention. He loves to cuddle and watch a show or he helps me with little chores around the house. He's just the sweetest quietest kid when Damon isn't around. The two of them together can get a little crazy, but when it's just Rafe he is so quiet. It's weird to me sometimes. He's always such a ball of energy, but sometimes I just think he misses his partner in crime.

Anyways, I sure love these two and how big and independent they are getting. It's going to be quite the adjustment getting back into the newborn stage, but I know they are going to be the best helpers!

Life Lately

I've been trying to soak up these last few weeks with my boys. Not that I won't be seeing them just as much when the baby comes, but adding a newborn is going to make life a little crazy for a while. And where we live, it's going to be getting cold soon. So a few weekends ago, my parents came to visit and we all jumped in the car and headed to yellowstone. It was most of our first times. It was so much fun! Dan and I decided to buy the year pass to all the national parks with the hopes that it will get us out of the house and do some exploring.

We saw old Faithful, and had some ice cream at the lodge. We walked around some of the docks to get a closer look at some of the hot pools. Then to top it off on our way out, we got stuck in a traffic jam for 45 minutes. There were a bunch of buffalo trying to cross the road and it took forever! We did get some cool up close and personal views of them though. But when you're stuck and your 3 year old is yelling from the back seat that he has to go #2....... 45 minutes is FOREVER! Luckily he held it;)

We went back just this last weekend. I have more pictures on my phone. I need to do a giant photo dump on here because I have so many pictures of stuff we've been doing. The weather was perfect this last weekend. The colors are changing and the drive was beautiful.  We went with Tim and his girlfriend, and when we got home Beth and David were here for the weekend. We had fun all weekend playing games and staying up late. The boys loved all the attention, and Dan and I like having other people to entertain the kids for a while. It was nice to have company to keep us busy and our minds off real life for a bit. That sounds dramatic, but you know when there's so much stress sometimes in life that the days just DDRRRRAAAAAAGGGGGGG by, having family here helps speed things up.

The baby is coming in just 10 more days. I can't wait to see his sweet face. But I am loving getting out and doing things with my little fam before life gets a little crazy!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pregnancy update!

I've been having some complications with this pregnancy and blogged all about it at my other blog!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sickness for everybody!!!

I am pretty much ready to pull my hair out. For the last week we have been sick and it's just getting worse and worse. We went to Boise last Wednesday and stayed at my parents house for a few day. While we were there the mountains were all on fire and the smoke was horrible. Rafe and I started coughing up a storm and started feeling pretty crappy. Damon broke out in hives all over his face and arms and hands. I took him to the dr while we were there to see what the heck was going on with him. It looked pretty similar to fifth disease and I wanted to make sure it wasn't that. Turns out it was hives.... Viral hives? I didn't know that was a thing.....And again, it started out almost unrecognizable and each day just got worse and worse. So by the end of our trip Rafe and I had full blown chest and head colds and Damon was starting to clear up a little. 
So here we are, a week later, I am coughing so much and so intensely that my ribs are killing me and I can barely sleep at night even drugged on unisom. It's hard being pregnant because a lot of the good cough medicines aren't allowed. I finally got some robitussin today so we will see how that works. Poor Rafe is so sick. His cough is awful, he's got goopy eyes, a fever, runny nose, the works! So we took him to urgent care today and the amazing dr actually gave us a prescription!! Do you know how many times I have taken my kids in with horrible coughs or colds and we get no help?! So many times that now I wait until they are this bad so we for sure get a prescription. Almost every time they just say it's viral, buy something over the counter that'll be $150, thanks. Then I take them back a few days later and they're like oh yeah, that is bad! Another $150 and a few days wasted that should have been treated with an antibiotic! Ugh! I hate that! So I was thrilled he gave Rafe a prescription. 
We get home and about an hour later I notice Damon had a goopy eye. GREAT!! Then he spikes a fever. I get them in the tub and let them play for a bit in some lukewarm water to see if it'll help because they both felt so miserable they were crying. I didn't have the prescription yet because I guess this Walgreens takes like 10 hours to fill three things. They finally calmed down and said they wanted pancakes for dinner. So I work up the energy to make some pancakes and their favorite blueberry bread. They ate two bites and laid down and were asleep within five minutes. We woke them up for their eye drops and some more medicine then tucked them in bed. Rafe took his eye drops like a champ, Damon took 30 minutes of coaxing and he still freaked out when I gave them to him. They both are miserable and being pregnant and the sickest I have been in probably the whole 6 years we have been married is pretty dang exhausting. I just can't believe this all hit and has escalated to this within the last week. It doesn't help that the air quality is HORRIBLE right now!! I'm sure that's playing a big part to our chest colds. I'm seriously coughing so hard I'm either gagging at the end or almost peeing my pants. Yeah. You're welcome for that.
The only thing helping is my sweet husband and me replaying sweet honey brown in my head..... "Lord Jesus there's a fire!" And "I got bronchitis! Ain't no body got time for that!" Too true sweet honey brown, too true......
So basically what I'm saying is feel bad for this ol pregnant girl and my sick kids, and for sure my husband who probably wants to run away right about now. And if anyone could wipe Jared fogle, josh dugger, Kylie Jenner and her long lost mother Caitlyn Jenner, and bill Cosby off the earth that'd be great. Or we could ship them all to their own island together so they can all be weird perverts together that works too......

Friday, July 24, 2015

Family Pictures/ Pictures of the Boys

One Sunday we decided we should drive up to Cambridge and try and snap some family pics before I got too far into my pregnancy. We have a few family pics that are fairly recent, but I wanted something where we all match and all that. Well turns out, our boys don't really like taking pictures and out of like 200 pictures we maybe got 2 nice family pictures. But we got a lot of the boys that I love! So here's some of my favorites!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Baby Boy #3!!!

Can I just tell you guys how excited I am to have 3 boys???

I can't wait to meet our next little guy and hold him and kiss his cheeks! There is just nothing like having a new baby, and November can't get here fast enough!

So if you've been following along with my blog, you know the last few years have been CRAZY. So we actually really wanted to have another baby about a year ago. That was the plan anyways. But when we started talking about trying for another baby, our life was so hectic we decided it would be better to wait. We thought maybe it would just be a few months, not another year/ year 1/2. Right after we decided to wait I started getting gall bladder attacks. I had no idea what it was at the time and just figured I had an ulcer or something. So the more I researched it, the more I wanted to get it out BEFORE I got pregnant again. I didn't want to risk having to have surgery while I was pregnant and all of that. At the time I didn't have insurance, So I applied to school so I could get student insurance, get out my gallbladder, then have a baby. So I did all that only to find out online students no longer get insurance. At that time we were dead broke and Dan was between clients. My attacks were becoming more frequent and worse so we decided to go see if we could get on Medicaid. The first time they told us we couldn't because he was self employed and his average income over the last year was too high. So we waited a few more months and things didn't improve, so we tried again and were able to. I got in ASAP and got it all taken care of. That was the biggest silver lining to us going through such a hard time. I am so glad I was able to get on some insurance and get that taken care of.

Anyways, I'm rambling, as always. So we started trying right away once I was all healed up. We've been so blessed and never had to "try" for very long before I'm pregnant. This time around was a little different and it took a few months. Dan had been traveling a lot for his job with Jennifer and it was just hard to time everything right.

So I took a test and it was negative. Again. So I just tossed it up on my dresser and tried not to think about it. I thought for sure that that was the month it was going to happen. I was so bummed but tried to just brush it off. Maybe we were under too much stress or it just wasn't the right time. So the next day I was cleaning and I looked at the test again and was feeling all bummed when I saw the faintest second pink line........ I called Dan in and he's like, let's wait a few days and take another one.

Well I'm not a patient person. I lasted one more day then I took another one, and sure enough! There were two pink lines! We were so so excited! We had been stalled for so long and everything in our life was being post poned, so to finally be moving forward with a decent job (we thought!) and a new baby on the way, we were on cloud nine!

The first main symptom I started to notice was how tired I was. I found out I was expecting at 3 weeks, which made that first trimester DRAG on forever!!! I was so tired all the time, then the morning sickness started to set in. We were living with my parents so I knew they would figure it out soon, they knew we wanted to have another baby and had been trying so we told them pretty early on. The morning/all day sickness was so much worse with this baby than with Damon and Rafe. It started earlier and lasted until about 16 weeks and I just couldn't handle food. I didn't throw up. I HATE throwing up and talk myself out of it every time. And I knew it wasn't going to make me feel better so I just would fight it. Everything I ate made me feel so sick. I started taking Unisom so that I could sleep at night, and that stuff is pretty much amazing! It took me a long time to get up and going in the morning, but at least I could sleep. Dan slept on a mattress out in the living room for that whole first trimester because I would just toss and turn all night and keep him up. and he likes falling asleep to movies and I couldn't tune it out. So we slept in seperate beds. Hahaha it worked well at the time, but once we got moved into our new place and got our King bed back, we were pretty happy to be next to eachother again.

Since the morning sickness stuff has stopped, I have been doing great! The only thing that's annoying is heart burn! Like what in the world! That started way too quick too. Braxton hicks probably hit me about 3 times a day. This pregnancy has just been so different. I totally thought I was going to have a girl because of all of the differences. So I was shocked that it was a boy. I was set that it was a girl and had even started buying a few things I just HAD to have. Those are now in a box in the top of the closet hahaha. Someday maybe I will get a girl. I was really happy when it was a boy though. I kept telling Dan if it was a boy I was going to cry. But I didn't and I am kind of relieved in a way. I mean a baby is a baby. They can't be THAT different to raise, but I know boys. I have everything I need for a boy. I LOVE my boys and they are so good that I could have 5 more. If they were hellians and crazy bouncing off the walls everyday, I would probably lose my mind at adding another. But they're the sweetest.

Rafe will almost be 4 by the time this baby comes, which is a much bigger gap that I wanted, but I am looking forward to them being my little helpers. When I had Rafe, Damon was still a baby pretty much and I just rolled with that. But i will love having some extra hands to grab me diapers and wipes and all that. They are going to be the best big brothers. They are so so excited.
The boys want to name him Michael.....but that's not really our style haha. You know it's going to be something off the wall, that you probably haven't heard of too many times, if any. We're used to people either loving or hating our boys' names, and this one won't be any less crazy;)

As of today, I am 23 weeks 3 days. I'm kind of hoping the rest of this pregnancy will fly by. The first part has been slow. But I'm sure before I know it, he will be here. I'm starting to get a little bit of the nesting bug. I pulled out all my baby stuff, which is a ton, and started going through it last week. I had donated a TON of stuff because it's all yellowed from being in the boxes and already been through two boys and I kinda want some new stuff. Damons old bedding set, which I loved, is all yellow and so I kept the blanket and sheet, and tossed the bumper pads and mobile and all the rest. I thought I would have a hard time with that, but I think I'm just ready for some new stuff and to get rid of some of this stuff that takes up so much room. This baby's nursery is going to be navy and white maybe with some gray. It's just going to be simple and cute. No real theme.

This baby kicks so much and is so active. With Rafe my placenta was on the front part of my stomach and I hardly felt him. Damon never ever slept or chilled out, and this baby is very similar. He's always kicking and moving and I love feeling it. It's my favorite part about being pregnant.  I can't wait to see what he looks like because Damon and Rafe looked so different as newborns. Rafe had huge eyes and was our little oompa loompa. His jaundice was so bad for such a long time. And Damon had squinty eyes and dark hair with olive skin. They looked nothing alike, so I can't wait to see what this one will look like!



Actually now that I see those side by side they don't look THAT different. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Life Lately

I've been meaning to get on here and update my blog for quite a while now, but have just not gotten around to it! I just re read my last post and oh my goodness. Lots has happened since then. Some good some bad.
So let's start with me "starting my bachelors" yeah that lasted a week. The MAIN reason I was going back to school was to get insurance, to get pell grant/student loans, and then of course for the degree. Well to get all my pell grant money I had to take a full semester, 12 credits. I ended up signing up for 13 because I have done online and thought I could handle it. The boys are older and easier to handle most days, but that first week killed me! There is a huge difference between 13 credits for your associates and bachelors. Don't get me wrong, it's all hard but the busy work and the reading was insane!!! I was staying up until 4 am almost every night and spending all my spare time on my classes and totally neglecting the boys to get my school work done. I'm not ready for that life. Damon is going into kindergarten and Rafe preschool this fall. I only get them for so long before they are in school and I didn't want to put that time with them to the side to do my school. The thing that really made me throw in the towel is they stopped offering insurance to online students. So forget that I'm done. Haha I don't quit many things but that was one I just am not putting my time toward right now.
Second, dans job. Oh man. The saga continues! So Jennifer turned out to be a crazy short adventure. It seemed so good and so promising yet all fell to crap within a few short months. She had some personal issues that affected her business and her funds so cloud nine disappeared real fast. And where did we land? Back at square one. Back to job hunting and dead ends and back to stressing about finances and being stuck in a huge rut we just couldn't seem to dig ourselves out of! Luckily we were still living with my parents and had some money to get us by for a few months. So after about 2 more months of job hunting and no success, Dan made a call to one of his long time family friends to ask for advice. That phone call ended up turning into a job. Now remember how bitter and cynical I have turned through the last two years. When Dan came to me all excited about this potential job I thought yeah right! No way it's that easy! So we came down to Idaho falls and he interviewed for the job and met with the CEO and they offered him the job! I picked dan up after the interview and was on the phone with our insurance and I was trying to read his face while I'm talking on the phone and I just was not getting a good vibe. So once I was finally off the phone dan starts telling me how it went and it sounded good but he didn't make it seem like he nailed it. and then he says, so yeah, I got the job! I pulled the car to the side of the road and just started crying. This was what we have been searching for and praying for. It's a normal corporate job, he is doing something he's passionate about and enjoys, and my favorite..... We get a little normalcy to our life again. After everything fell through with Jennifer we both agreed this whole working for yourself stuff is way too hard to start up right now. We gave it a good run and everything we had in us. It was time to go back to reality and stability. And this job has been a huge answer to our prayers.
So now we are in Idaho falls, in a cute little rental with ALL of our stuff and we couldn't be happier. The other day I was cleaning the kitchen after lunch and I started crying because I'm just so happy to finally be settled somewhere with a good job and a normal life. Of course there are still stresses and little things that come up, but nothing like what we were dealing with before! It's just nice to have a routine and schedule and a steady income. Dans job can be really stressful but we both agree it's nothing we can't handle. What we have been through has made us realize how strong we are as a team and how much we can handle. It makes me appreciate the small things so much more and just the simple ness of daily life with my crazy boys. I love cooking dinner for my family every night. I love cleaning and organizing and making this rental our new home. Our boys are so happy and have handled everything so well and I think they can just sense that mom and dad have taken a deep breath and calmed down about life. I know nothing is easy and nothing stays the same for long, but I'm learning to really enjoy the times when things are good and to look forward to growing and changing as life happens. 

Rafe turns 3, Damon turns 5

I'm so bad at keeping up with my blog! Both of the boys had their birthdays and I didn't write about either of them. Now it's been so long it's hard to remember all the little details. 
Rafe turned 3 January 6, which is so crazy to me because I feel like I was just bringing him home from the hospital. He has grown up into one of the funniest kids I know. His personality is so big and funny, you can help but just love him even when he's being a stinker. We spent a week in McCall before his bday and did all kinds of fun stuff. Then once we got home we had a big party and celebrated his birthday, my dads, my brother drakes and his daughter Harlows birthdays. It was fun to be around family and have so many birthdays in one month to celebrate. We spent the day doing some shopping and took him for lunch at chick fil a then for ice cream. Rafe has added so much to our little family. He is either the sweetest kid or the feistiest little man you've ever seen. I always call him my sour path kid. Luckily he's more sweet than sour and when he's acting like a punk if you just say "don't smile Rafe!" He will break out in the biggest smile and just laugh off whatever he was mad about. He is so sweet and tells me "I love you mommy" at the most random times. I swear he knows when I need to hear it the most. Lately my favorite thing he says is "hey mom! I like that baby in your tummy!" Or he will tell me when he thinks I look pretty or tells me I look like a princess when I get ready for church. I LOVE that. Both Damon and Rafe do that and it melts my heart. Nothing makes me feel prettier than when my 3 guys tell me I am. A few more fun facts about Rafe are: he LOVES his big brother and follows him everywhere. No one can make Damon laugh the way Rafe can. Their bond is so special and sweet. Rafe is constantly eating! We always joke that he's part hobbit because he eats 2 breakfasts every day. He wakes up and eats cereal then asks for more about an hr later. He probably asks me for a snack every hour of every day. Even tonight, right after dinner he asked me for a snack! He loves to play monster trucks, color, ride his bike, and play in our little pool and slip and slide. Since Mother's Day, he comes in my room in the morning probably 3 times a week and says "happy Mother's Day mommy!" I hope that never wears out. He has a hard time saying his L's and instead uses a w sound. His favorite phrase lately is "you cheeky wittle rascal!" He always keeps us laughing!
Damon turned 5 on May 6. I'm having a hard time with this one for sure. A few days after his birthday he lost his first tooth, and he just seemed to turn into a little man more and more every day since then. For his birthday we had a party with all his friends at his favorite park. He had been asking me for paw patrol party for months and I have never thrown him a big birthday party besides his one year, so I figured it was time. And we were going to be moving so it was perfect timing to get him together with all his little buddies. We had pizza and cupcakes then topped it all off with a piƱata. He told me it was the "best birthday ever!!" So that's good! Haha I'm not a big party thrower and like to keep things simple so I was glad he had fun. Some fun facts about Damon are: he is seriously the best big brother.he has been sweet to Rafe since the day he met him. They are as thick as thieves and just love to be around each other. Damon always watches out for Rafe and makes sure he's ok whether we are at a park and he needs help, or if someone is picking on him, he's always got his back and vice versa. Damon is definitely the more sensitive child. Movies scare him easier, his feelings get hurt, and he will often come to me telling me he's sad because of xxxxx. Sometimes it's if no one is playing with him at the playground or if I don't give him enough attention. He's sensitive to his feelings and other peoples feelings which is a good thing and I love that about him. But some days I can get frustrated at all the different emotions. What would I do with a girl??!  Sometimes I think that's why I keep having boys, I just don't know if I can handle the drama and emotions that can come along with girls. Haha that's what I tell myself anyways;) but Damon is just a little sweet heart. He can be rough with Rafe but 9/10 he will take a beating from Rafe and not do anything back to him because he knows he will a) get in trouble, and b) hurt his little brother and feel guilty. Damon is so smart and picks up on things quickly. He has a hard time focusing so sitting him down and doing preschool is always a struggle. He learns much better if I just teach him through daily things. Letters, numbers, his name. But if I sit him down and try he doesn't handle it well. So I'm a little nervous for kindergarten but it will be so good for him to be around other kids and I think if he sees everyone else sitting and doing their work, he will too. Damon's a very social kid. He loves playing with his friends and every time I take him to a park or play place he makes a new friend. He is a very obedient child. I don't have to ask him very often to do something twice. If I ask them to clean their room Damon always gets right on it while Rafe plays. sometimes he will even clean then come tell me he had a surprise, and I'll come downstairs and his room will be spotless! Or his toy room will be all organized the same way I would do it. He's been doing this on his own for a few months now and I'm just amazed at how well he does it. He likes things to be clean and organized. Likes his bed to be made. Every morning before he comes upstairs to my room he changes his clothes and if Rafe is with him he says "k Rafe lets get dressed!" It's so sweet. He likes to brush his teeth and come breath in my face to prove he's done it! Haha same with washing his hands, he shoves them right up to my nose and says something like "I washed my hands mom! And even used soap!" Damon has the softest cheeks and skin you have ever felt! I smooch on him all day long and one of our jokes back and forth is,"im going to eat your face!" He loves to talk and talk and talk and tell stories. He's still obsessed with cars and trucks and trains. We are going to get him a big boy bike soon so he can learn to ride it, we just haven't lived in a great spot for him to ride bikes so he's still on his big wheel trike. He's getting a lot more competitive and we need to get him in soccer or something! Now that we are finally settled somewhere we can do that soon. And lastly, he is the best eater! He will eat anything you put in front of him. Even if he doesn't like it he will eat it if you tell him what a big boy he is after! Haha he did that tonight with his chicken noodle soup. He loves chicken noodle but thought mine was too "spicy" but he ate it all gone.
Well there's a nice novel about my kids! I just feel so blessed to be their mom. Some days I feel like I'm totally screwing them up, but when I think about how awesome they are I can't help but be proud of the little men we are raising and it makes me SO excited to be having another one in November! I love my boys and can't believe how big they are getting!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Peace out 2014!!

2014 was quite a year for the Morley family! It was filled with lots of changes, challenges, good times, bad times, really really bad times, and great times that I will remember forever! I'll do a quick recap since I haven't blogged in FOREVER!
January started out great. We moved back to Idaho in September of 2013 and lived with my parents until december. So we were finally settled into our own place again. I LOVED our rental. It was a great house and it sat on an acre and the boys had so much room to run around and play. The yard was gorgeous and we spent almost all summer out there. I found a great deal on a swing set that they loved! Damon got a lot of outdoor water toys for his birthday so we played a lot in the little pool and slip and slide. On the side of the house was a big dirt/rock spot that the owner used to use to park his RV. So it was perfect for the boys to go out and dig and play with their trucks. Winter has been a struggle since they are trapped indoors most days! 
Anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself! In April, Dan's little brother and sister came to live with us for a month and half to aerate lawns. Dans other sister Brynne and her husband came for a visit, and his parents came a few weeks later for a visit as well. It was so great to have them all come and see us and fill our house with fun and laughter at a time that wasn't great for us! We loved having everyone,  staying up late and playing games and watching movies, playing with the boys outside, having bbq's and enjoying the summer. 
So Dan has been doing work from home for about a year and a half now. It was kind of a hard transition for me to go from him having a 8-5 to having him home all the time. I really love having him there, but it just kinda threw off my regular routine and it was a hard transition for a while, but now it's great. Dan's first job out of college was with a company who sold online digital goods. He managed accounts for them and gained a lot of great relationships with the people he worked with. When he was let go in January of 2013, he was able to use those contacts to find his job in Austin with Mike Chang. That was a tough environment and so he found something else in the online fitness niche where he could work from home. It's been stressful bouncing from job to job and hitting dead ends with each one, but now that we are settling into his new business, we can look back and see why those things didn't work out. We can see the good that came from each and every job and how it's brought us where we are now. It's been hard, but he wouldn't be able to do what he's doing now without those relationships and contacts and skills he's been learning along the way. The trouble we were having was no one wanted to commit for long periods of time. He was just doing contract work for these people and some would last 6 months, some only 1-3 months. So he was constantly hustling trying to find new people to work for. There were many months with no paychecks, but somehow money always came up and we were ok. But it was so STRESSFUL not knowing what was going to happen the next month. He could wake up to an email or voicemail that would change everything. Sometimes they were good, often bad. People never stuck to their word, and would promise money and not pay leaving us high and dry for months. 
During all of this, Dan was trying to get his own business up and running with his business partner. They have been working on their own fitness product since they've both been working in fitness for a while. Dan has always wanted to work for himself. He's always talking about different business ideas and how to make them work. Sometimes it's a little exhausting to me, but I know it's what he really wants! After clickbank, he ran several businesses social media accounts, and he loved being able to work for himself, and it was the perfect job while we were transitioning to something new. So when he started working from home full time, I knew he wanted to give it another shot. He has an amazing business partner and together they are an awesome team. It was a good time for him to give it a shot. and I wanted him to give it everything we had. I didn't want him to try, and look back and wish he would have tried more. So we were somewhat prepared for what could happen financially, but we also thought he would have other work while they were building their brand. When money was tight, there was investor money we could use. Well, eventually investor money ran out and some of what was promised never showed up. So now Dan and his business partner are just focusing on their job now and will pick it back up when the time is right! 
It has been such a roller coaster ride! The beginning of the year was going great, and within ONE month everything went bad. And didn't pick back up for months. Then it was decent, then nose dived. Thankfully, through it all, we have grown together and not apart. There were times that we resented each other and have been so panicked about finances and how we were going to make it work. I think there was a good 3-6 months where we were just going through the motions and just seemed to be surviving. 
The last 3 months have definitely been the hardest. We've had to rely on friends and family to get us by, which has been incredibly humbling. We have been on welfare, which I only share for this reason...... You know when you're on fb and you see those memes like this....

I used to think a little like this. I used to judge people when they would pull out their food stamp card and buy all kinds of things I couldn't afford. Until I was that lady. I drive a nice car, i have an iphone, I try to dress nice and have my kids dress nice even when i'm just going to walmart. Well let me tell you something, I will never judge people as harshly as I once did. I didn't think I was that bad, but when those shoes were on my feet I didn't like the judgmental stares or when people would say rude things about people on welfare. Everyones situation is different. My husband was trying as hard as he could to find a job, I was looking, we were selling things, we were having to borrow money from people to pay our bills, we had been living in hell for months and it was only getting hotter. Not everyone lives off the government. Not everyone soaks the system. Sometimes you just need HELP. we tried to avoid it as long as we could. We didn't want to have to resort to that, and kept hoping something would come and we would be fine. Well, it didn't. But I will forever be thankful that we had that help. It took more stress off our shoulders than we thought it would. Being able to feed our kids, and have healthcare was such a huge relief! 
 While all this was going on, I was having issues with my gallbladder and needed it out. I waited all year because we didn't have insurance, but it was just getting worse and worse. Thankfully I was able to have it out, which was a silver lining of being poor we were able to get on medicaid, and then I had complications after and had to stay in the hospital for 3 days. I had a bile leak that my Dr. didn't catch while I was in Surgery. He thinks he cauterized over during surgery. It leaked for 5 days before i went back into the hospital to get it check out. One of those fluke things that's never happened to my Dr. before, and I was lucky enough for it to happen to me! haha it was miserable, but I'm glad I was able to have my surgery and am feeling great now! 
I got out of the hospital the day before thanksgiving. My bile leak was healing itself, so I just had to be careful with any physical activity and my diet. Once december hit, life was going to get pretty busy. We had to move out of our rental, we were traveling to Utah for Dan's sisters wedding, and Christmas. Christmas was the biggest weight of them all. What do we get our kids? Our credit cards were almost completely maxed and nothing seemed to be coming through on the job end. Then one day, out of the blue, Dan got a phone call from one of his old clients at Clickbank. Her name's Jennifer Nicole Lee.  Jennifer is a big name in the fitness industry and is needing some help with her brand. She remembered Dan and they've kept in touch since he's been gone from clickbank. She has seriously been our angel. She thinks the world of Dan and was desperate to have him on her team. One phone call. That was it. After months and months of being rejected from jobs, not getting interviews, or call backs, this one phone call trumped it all. This is Dan's dream job. The pay is better than anything he was interviewing for, he is using his skillset, he gets to work from home, and gets to travel and gain a lot of new relationships along the way. It still doesn't seem real to me. I've become so bitter towards the world, and I am very cynical. So when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. That has been the way this whole last year has been. But I think we have finally found something that is perfect for Dan and with a team who appreciates him and what he brings to the table. It couldn't have ended the year any better. He is so happy and I am so happy that things have worked out and now we can look back at this crazy year, all our struggles, and see how the Lord has had his hand in our life. Times that I felt so alone and like he wasn't there or aware of us or our situation. Times that I felt like I couldn't take anymore, then we would get hit with something else, something worse. The lessons I have learned, the patience we've had to was all worth it. It's been a long road, but I believe we are on to bigger and better things. 
This post has been hard to write, and encompasses some of the things we've been through and emotions we've had. It's a raw post and reveals a lot about our life we haven't wanted anyone to know. But I know when I look back on this year, I will be grateful for the growth, and the lessons that I've learned. I want to be real with people, and not just blog about the good things and make it seem that we live some perfect life like some people do. I now look at the world a little differently and these last 2-3 years have been tough, but this last year is definitely one I will never forget.
2015 is starting off great! and I am hoping it goes smoothly and treats us well so we can recoup from last year! I'm starting into my Bachelors degree next week and am so nervous about doing school with 2 little guys, but am exciting to doing something for me. I want this year to be filled with new adventures, good memories, good friends and family. I just want a simple life. I don't want anything extraordinary or filled with monetary things. I just want to be surrounded by the good things in life that really matter, and the stresses of last year to melt away!