Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stuck in Fast Forward

While our life is always a bit of a fast pace, this past month has felt like we are stuck in fast forward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining and I know this goes with the territory of opening a new business. Although, I will do a little (or maybe a great big) cheer when we are able to start distributing which will allow us to hire a few employees. Right now, it’s a 7 day/week gig for the three of us (Brian, Matt & me). My family is helping out tremendously with the kids and thankfully we have excellent nursing in place for Drake that we can trust implicitly. God is Good! Without our family and nurses, I would not be able to be hands on at our brewery to help things run smoothly on our busiest nights. Technology helps, too, allowing me to work remotely from home on various aspects needed to run our business. Sometimes you gotta love how far we have come with technology (although, I am by no means a techy). Google is my best friend when I need to quickly teach myself how to do something on the computer. Seriously, what did we do before Google?

Drake gave us a bit of a scare on Friday night. We were very busy at the brewery and arrived home after mid-night to check in with his night nurse, shower and crash in bed. A few hours later we were startled awake to a knock on our door. I sat straight up, but I was confused as to what had just awoken me. Brian called out, “yes” and through the door his nurse said, “Drake is having a seizure!” I leapt straight out of bed and rushed to his room. She had already pulled out his emergency meds, but had not yet administered them. She had not ever had to give him his emergency meds before, but for me this was not unfamiliar territory. I asked how long he had been seizing (5min) and we administered his meds. Then we began a timer to see if this would stop them in time or if we would need to move to plan B, 911. Thankfully, with the assistance of his emergency medication, he was finally able to pull out of his seizure circuit. He was, as you would imagine, exhausted from both the extended seizure and the medication. I sat with him in his bed while his nurse closely monitored his vitals until he was fast asleep and seizure free. Then, I headed back to my room to try and catch a little more sleep as the morning sunlight began to peek through the blinds. While I was still trying to calm my body and fall asleep, Brian’s alarm began alerting us that morning had arrived and it was time to get up. Brian quietly got up and ready for the day and instructed me to try and get some rest.

I ended up getting a little more sleep (thankfully) and I waited around the house for Drake to wake up and ensure he was acting like himself before heading up to the brewery. His nurse took things easy on him that day, but she did allow him to do a little time in his gait trainer, which he seemed to enjoy. I had my phone on me at all times waiting for any news good or bad. Luckily, every update was good and included some pictures! Definitely what I needed!

Kennedy and Hayes are about as easy going as kids can be traveling back and forth from being at home, to Mimi & Poppy’s and also Meredith & Aaron’s. As long as they have their security items, Facetime with us, and stay on their routine, our sweet kids are pretty much go with the flow. Plus, who doesn’t like to get a little spoiled by grandparents! Hayes has discovered that he thinks he is quite the Big Boy these days and can do Big Kid things all on his own. His favorite new obsession is brushing his teeth! He still needs our help, but I love that he is all about doing it himself. My phone conversation with Kennedy:
Me – Kennedy you are a good girl!
K – You are a good mommy, too!

Melts my heart! I’m currently 21 weeks with our new little princess and so far things are going really well. Brian is making sure if there is any down time at the tap room, he pulls up a chair and has me sit. Even though I am really good at finding things to do, he is making me rest (which I know I need to be doing).

Our current lifestyle is not a forever thing. This is just a little bump in the road that is all part of starting a new business. Through our hard work, teamwork and family help, we will have a new normal in place within a few short months.    

A little play time!

Such a happy boy!

Gotta love Free Play & Exploring! 

Beautiful weather for our local business!

Hard to believe this guy was struggling with seizures during the night. 

Back in action! 

Loves to brush his teeth! #HealthyHabits 

Missing my sweet baby! 

Silly Cousins! 

Looking sharp with their new hair cuts! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Our Family is Growing!

Much to our surprise, we found out in the midst of construction and remodeling for opening our Brewery that we are having a 4th baby! This came as a huge shock to us b/c we struggled and went through IVF for Drake, Kennedy and Hayes. After 14 years of marriage and everything we went through to have the family that we have, this definitely caught us off guard. After adjusting to the initial shock and then again when my doctor told us we were 13 weeks at our first appointment, we are extremely excited to have our Bonus Baby complete our family! We are now 20 weeks, and we expect our sweet girl to be joining our busy family at the end of May (and hopefully not any sooner).

We have been so busy the past couple of weeks getting our business up and running. This would not be possible at all without the help of family! My parents and my sister & Aaron have been our life savers helping out so that Brian and I can both be up working at the brewery on our busy nights. My mom and I have worked out a schedule to get us through the next month. Every other Friday my mom will be coming to stay with us and every other Friday I will be driving the kiddos to stay with my mom and dad. It’s not ideal, but it isn’t forever. We are beyond thankful to have my mom helping us out until we are able to hire some employees.

Drake is in the process of getting evaluated for Assisted Technology by the school district. This takes place in our home over several different visits. His nurses and I have been frustrated b/c he takes time to adjust to people; therefore, he won’t show his true abilities to strangers. Anyone who comes into our home for the first few visits (all of his new therapists) underestimate his abilities simply b/c he doesn’t perform for people he doesn’t know. It’s easy to see how this is an issue for this type of evaluation. Hearing Drake’s nurses vent about their frustrations with this issue makes me feel so much better and justified with my own frustrations, as well. I think if I didn’t have them, who completely understand, that this would drive me completely crazy. It’s simple…just don’t underestimate my kid…and please believe us when we tell you what he does and can do on a regular and daily basis. 

 Helping mommy clean the tap room!
Enjoying some of this beautiful weather on our patio! 

Being able to open our bay doors has been very nice! 

Our little princess! 

Daddy and Uncle Matt working in the tap room!

Participating at her cousins gymnastic class during her visit! 

Aunt Mere is a brave woman! That is one FULL cart! 

Tick-Tac-Toe cousins! 


We are SO glad they were able to play in the snow with their cousins! No snow in Tyler. 

This face!! That's our boy! Not quite sure what to think of the snow. 

Daddy washing glasses in the tap room! 

Our little girl helping to usher at Church! 

Snuggling with Mimi during church! 

Mr. Smiley on his wedge! 

He's one happy boy! 

Sometimes you just get plain worn out! 

He's holding the water bottle!!! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


The past few weeks have literally been a complete blur for me. Half the time Brian and I are not even correct about what day of the week it is from day to day. I even wrote a blog two weeks ago and it is somewhere on my ipad...only problem is that my ipad is currently misplaced. Find my ipad only tells us that it is turned off, which really means that the battery died while it's been MIA. I have not doubt we will locate it sometime in the near future, and probably in a very random location. Lately finding our deodorant has turned into a game itself "Which Drawer?" brought to us by our sweet son, Hayes. I think it might be wise to invest in a few more baby locks.

We have all been working 7 days/week getting everything ready to go with the brewery opening. We have put so much of our time, energy and hard-work into getting our business up and running. We are thrilled to be officially opening tomorrow 1/4/2017 in Downtown Tyler! Our tap room will be open on W-TH-F 4-10 and Sat 12-10ish. The time, energy and hard-work are not going to stop now that we are open, but at least we can start making some income.

Overall the kids have all been doing really good. Drake has had a couple of scares over the past few weeks, but we have managed them and he is on the road to being back to his baseline soon! One of the scares/issues recently was a malfunction with his trach. His trach has a cuff (a balloon) we inflate at night. When it is inflated, it prevents him from being able to breathe in and out of his nose or mouth and rely solely on the trach and vent. This also prevents him from having any drainage or secretions go down into his lungs, and it also helps with his apnea during deep sleep. The malfunction, we discovered, was a leak in the cuff. We have had a leak in a cuff previously, but the leak was on the outside. The problem this time was a leak on the inside! This meant that the saline in his cuff leaked directly into his lungs! Needless to say this caused issues. He had to remain on the vent, required extra CPT (shake vest) to help him cough up the saline, oxygen support and extra breathing treatments. Thankfully, within a few days he was back to himself, and we immediately changed trachs and threw the bad one away!

I had surgery a couple a weeks ago, and my wonderful sister and brother-in-law took Kennedy and Hayes to help us out for a few days and allow me to recover. Not only did they do a great job taking care of our little tykes, but they also took them to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags! The pictures were adorable! I love that our little ones enjoyed such a fun experience with their Aunt, Uncle and cousins!

Even though Brian and Uncle Matt didn't get to take any time off from working to enjoy the holidays, we still managed to squeeze in a little family time. Kennedy, Hayes and I spent our Christmas Eve in McKinney with my family and Brian's family came in town to stay with us beginning on the night of Christmas Eve. Our little house doesn't provide much room for guests, but Kennedy didn't mind giving up her room when it meant a slumber party in mommy & daddy's room!

This past weekend was yet another scare with our sweet Drake. This seems to happen about twice each year. He got stuck in a bad seizure and our emergency medications here at the house were not enough to pull him out of it. Therefore, we found ourselves headed to the ER via ambulance and getting IV meds in route to help stop the seizures. We were finally able to get the seizures under control; then his temp, xrays, cultures and labs were taken. He was running a small fever, Tylenol took care of that. Thankfully the ER doctor at TMF was very open to listening to me and consulting with his pulmonologist and neurologist in Dallas. Pulmonology ordered starting of Tobi (an inhaled antibiotic that we keep on hand), a round of steroids, increased breathing treatments, and CPT (shake vest). We were released! We still spent our entire day at the ER, but the silver lining is that we got to come home...Our Happy Place!

                                                     Helping Daddy at the Brewery!

                                              These kiddos make the grains look cute!

                                                              Daddy is hard at work!

                              My entertainment while cooking dinner! I wouldn't change a thing!

                            Kennedy gave Santa a big hug & Hayes slid right out of Santa's lap.

                                                      I just love when they play together!

                                                                    Cousin Time!

Riding rides with Uncle Aaron! 

Everybody on a ride! 


I love this picture on the Merry-Go-Round! 

Just what she wanted! Thank you, Santa! 

Our little Chef! 

Happy Boy!! He LOVES his Santa presents, too! Lights, Sounds, Textures!!!

The holidays worn this sweet boy out! 

This one, too! 

We're Open for Business! 

Helping Daddy! 

Headed home from the hospital!!