Thursday, January 20, 2011


The hose once it was connected to the sponge which was taped to me, was probably about 7 feet long. Long enough for me to lay the pack on the floor and give my shoulder a break while I moved around a room. Kinda weird being tethered to something 24/7.

The sponge was 3.3cm deep. My wound was 3 cm deep, so it fit perfectly inside.

12.5cm wide. My wound started out at 10cm wide. My nurse had to shave very little off the sides at first, but as it shrunk she would cut more and more off. That was probably the most fun to watch each time she visited.

18cm long. My wound was exactly 18 cm when they first cut it away.

This is the canister that attached to the side of the vac machine. The sponge was constantly sucking drainage (I couldn't really feel it, thank goodness!) which would collect in here. Yeah, kinda yucky. We would put a new canister on almost every time I had a sponge change (3 times a week).

This is the sponge, "tape" (there's a more official name for the tape, but I don't know how to spell it!), and disk with the hose. The sponge would be cut down to fit inside my wound, then taped down, yes, directly onto my skin...that's a lot of tape! Then my nurse would cut a very small hole through the tape on the top of the sponge and the disc was placed over the hole and taped down. This was where the suction entrance was. Then the machine was turned on, which was usually pretty painful. The sponge would shrink and I would be all set until the next vac change. I don't really miss this at all.:)

Sorry, but the pics loaded at the start of my post and I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to move it all around so here's the actual post:

Yes, that's how SMALL my wound is!

I am just in AWE of the human body. And even more, I'm in AWE of our Creator! It's just amazing to have witnessed the change in my body over the last 2 months. No wait, the last 10 months. First, being pregnant is always a reminder of how beautiful life and our bodies really are. How life can exist and grow inside of us, all from such small beginnings. We definitely have an almighty and creative God! Then, after the infections and presence of my wound, how the body has the ability to heal itself in just a matter of time. Now, even though I credit God with the healing of my body (thank you Lord!), I also give huge props to the medical community! Without the knowledge of doctors and nurses and all the other supportive staff out there, I may not be here today. Seriously. I don't say that lightly, but seriously. Even to this day, I sometimes think that I didn't understand the seriousness of the situation. If we talk about it, Kevin just looks at me like, "You still don't get it." I do believe that they kept things from me, and that's OK. I also believe that I was sick, I just down right didn't feel well, and that made things cloudy enough that I didn't understand...again, that's OK. That's where your prayers took over. When Kevin sat in the waiting room as I went through those 4 surgeries, he prayed, but he knew that you were praying too, and by that, we are blessed. What a gift to be part of the family of God! I know...repeat! But I just can't say it enough! I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have you walking beside us, so again, THANK YOU!

Back to the medical community. Whoever thought of a wound vac...another big THANK YOU! As my nurse reminded me 3 days a week, if I had to have this wound dressed with wet to dry dressings (basically damp gauze packed in the wound and then covered with loads of gauze and pads) I would be down a LOT longer than I have been, months, maybe even the rest of the school year, waiting for this wound to shrink. But because of the vac, it was 2 months today since my wound was first cut away, and tomorrow will be 2 months since the vac was put on. I wore it for 40 days and once it came off, my skin has just continued to fill in almost on a visibly daily basis. There have been days that I take the dressing off in the morning and then again at night and think, "Wow! It's smaller tonight than it was this morning!"

It's not completely filled in yet, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be until it does. It really doesn't have much further to go though. When I saw Dr. Hodgson on the 4th, he told me it would be almost closed in 3-4 weeks. Well, it's almost 3 weeks and he was right! I suppose I should trust the wound doctor whose job is specifically to care for wounds. I go back to see him on Tuesday, the 25th, to see what he thinks of it's progress. My energy level is definitely coming back, and I can do basically all of my activities around the house. I can still tell when I do too much though. I can't do too much bending and crazy moving around without feeling a little tender and sore in my wound area, and it may be like that for a while. It's all new tissue and skin and I suppose it will need some time to "toughen up". Just another thing to ask the doc.

I'm including some pics of some pieces of my vac. Of course when I was in the moment of having it on, I never thought of taking a picture of the whole thing. As soon as the vac was ordered to be off, I had to pack it up and send it back to the company the next week. But I did have some opened boxes of the canister that held the drainage and one last sponge pack, so I thought I would share what those pieces looked like to give you an idea of how this thing worked. I'm definitely going to spare you pictures of what my wound itself looked and looks like now. But honestly, if you're interested and have a strong stomach, I don't mind sharing. It's really an amazing transformation to see, but definitely not a pretty one.:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nearing the end

A week ago was a pivotal point in this healing journey I'm on. I had another visit with
Dr. Hodgson in GR at the wound clinic. I had my vac off for the weekend and it felt so good to have the freedom to sit down, stand up, walk around my house, go places WITHOUT carrying around my black purse and 5 foot hose. It was AMAZING to not have to get out of bed, unplug the bag (had to be charged at bedtime each night), throw the bag over my shoulder, then the hose in order to get out of my room to get Keaton...then everything backwards in order to get back in bed. It's just amazing how many things I took for granted when hindered with this bag, but without it my healing would have taken so much longer and I knew that I was making good on to my visit.

I was fully prepared Tuesday to take all of my vac essentials with me to the doctor. I was expecting to have it back on, but Dr. H had other things to say. When he came in my room, he commented on how great it looked, asked me how it went over the weekend, I told him a few things that I wondered about, and he answered my questions. Then he poked and pushed around it a little, measured it, and said, "Well, I think it's time for you to send it back." WHAT?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I started to cry and said, exactly that, "Are you serious?" He put his hand on my arm and said, "Yes." Yipee!! The tissue has come up and filled in so that it's now flush with my skin, and all that it has left to do is for the skin to come together and voila...healed! Now at that point, he still measured it to be 3.5x12.5x.1. This is still a good sized wound, but because it was no longer deep, the vac had no purpose anymore. Wow. The end is now in site! He then proceeded to tell me that in the next 3-4 weeks, it should be almost completely closed. Seriously? I suppose I shouldn't doubt the wound man because he told me 3 weeks before that, that I would possibly have my vac off in 3 weeks...and he was right. Again, I say wow.

Now today, how big is it? I'm not 100% sure. My nurse is still coming, but now only twice a week and she measures it on Thursday. Last Thursday she said it was 2.5x12.5. So it continues to shrink, and it's shrinking more north and south, rather than east to west (sorry, but it's the best way for me to describe it!). She also told me Thursday, after she took the dressing off, that it's so cute! Ha! Seriously, not cute, BUT it's definitely smaller and I suppose to a nurse who sees a lot of wounds, she definitely has earned the right to call them cute!:) I just love her!:) Now I'm doing my own dressings twice a day. I have to rinse it, either in the shower or with a saline solution, then put a healing gel over the tissue, then put 4x4 sterile gauze pads over it and then an abdominal pad taped down over those. So it's pretty padded, yet if it gets bumped, like by one of my kids, I can definitely tell.

So here I am, still home, not allowed to work just yet due to the nature of my job, but I do have the freedom to drive and do light work as I'm able. For the most part I feel great. The pain is next to nothing, except for the occasional tenderness and stinging (and getting bumped), but I remember that I still have a 5 inch open wound on my stomach that's to be expected. If I do too much, I feel achy at night, almost like I have the flu, and just make sure that I lay down extra early.

I just have to say that I am so thankful for such an amazing husband. Kevin comes home from work, usually 11 hours that he's put in, then he pretty much takes over at home so that I can take it easy. He stays up late with Keaton (if he's up late), so that I can get to bed and get a little rest, then he heads to bed once Keaton seems settled in enough. I'm getting up in the middle of the night with Keaton, which is just fine because Kevin needs to rest too and I'm able to get a nap in if I really feel like I need it while the girls are at school and the sitter. Kevin, you are an amazing husband and daddy! I thank God every day for bringing us together. You are a constant reminder to me that God is in control and his will is perfect!

As far as when will this all be finished? Well, that's still to be determined. I see Dr. H again on January 25, but he commented that I could be ready to go back to school by the beginning of February. I'm just enjoying my time home with my son, watching him grow and change, while taking it easy and taking care of myself. I do look forward to going back to school to see my kids and school family too. Again, I just can't imagine how I could have gone through this without the support and prayers of so many people. What a gift to be part of the family of God. When we give each other our joys and burdens we can rejoice and lift each other up to our Maker. What can be better than that? Thank you for continuing on in this journey with us. We couldn't be happier to be nearing the end. Blessings!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


That's right, the vac is OFF! I walked out of my room (where my nurse changes my vac) and almost started crying. No picking up the black bag and swinging it over my shoulder, no wrapping the long hose and wrapping that around my shoulder too so it doesn't drag on the floor, no constant stinging from the pulling on my feels like freedom! That vac and I have been buddies since November 20 and it feels amazing to have it off. Thank you Lord for the break!

Even though the vac is off right now, I have to remember this may not be permanent. The reason I get it off for the weekend is because the skin around my wound was showing signs of irritation and redness. My nurse thought it was probably just a yeast infection from moisture being trapped under the tape and not getting cleaned out by the sponge. She called the wound doc to see if he would order me some pills to clear it up, but he had different plans. He just feels that my skin needs a break. He did make the comment 3 weeks ago that the skin can get red from irritation from the drainage, and the redness looks kind of like what he saw then, there's just more of it, and it was starting to itch.

So, the vac is off until Tuesday when I go to GR to see him, and boy does it feel good! It's now covered with gauze and it's something that I have to change at least twice (or more if I want) a day. Kinda crazy to do it myself, but it's going well. This is the way they used to dress wounds all of the time, before the wound vac, and it used to take months and months for wounds to heal. I've had the vac on for 40 days and even though it's a pain and was starting to frustrate me, I'm so thankful for how much my wound has healed. Nurse Jodi has to take a picture once a month to show the progress it's making. If you would see the first pic compared to what it looks like from Friday...oh my goodness!! And she just can't say enough at how long it would have taken to even get to this point. So thankful for medical technology!

Yes, it's still tender, but it doesn't hurt as much for obvious reasons. This sponge isn't pulling on the edges of my new skin and it's just able to sit open and be covered. I was so looking forward to my vac changes over the last week because it was hurting more and more, just to be able to lay there and have it open. So thank you Lord for this break in the therapy! Not carrying around a bag is awfully nice too!!

So thank you for your prayers! We're praying that the redness goes away and that my skin can just be healthy and heal. Praying too that Dr. H has good things to say Tuesday about it's progress and can give me an idea of where we're going from here. I may leave the office with the vac back on, but it's awfully fun to be free for now! Blessings!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Change in Plans

So my vac change went well today. The drainage continues to make me nervous, but my nurse isn't concerned at all. I have had some extra redness and itchiness around my wound, which she noticed on Monday and today it seemed to be a little worse. She said right away that she think it's a yeast infection and that it will clear up with some meds.

Well, she talked to Dr. H (GR) and his answer was not meds, but that I should have a break from the vac. WHAT?? No, it's not time for it to come off, but he said that sometimes the skin around it gets irritated from drainage that doesn't come through the sponge and that it may just be that my skin needs to have a break and breathe. SO, Nurse Jodi will be here tomorrow again to take the vac back off, and then to show me how to dress the wound with gauze. The gauze will be damp/wet with saline solution and put onto the wound, then a large dry gauze pad will be put over that and it will be taped down. It has to be changed twice a day, and has to be done by me until I go to see Dr. H on Tuesday.

This is basically what they did in the hospital after the initial infection of the appendectomy incision. Which is probably what makes me a little nervous since that's what ended up spreading to the rest of my skin and causing this larger wound (or at least a bacteria infection caused it to spread). I don't have an infection now, so it shouldn't be a problem, BUT I guess it just still makes me nervous to have to do it this way right now. In some ways it might feel really good to not have the vac on for a few days. It has been a little uncomfortable the last few days as I said before so maybe this will be a little relief.

Last night I had some struggles with getting Keaton to have a good night of sleep. He was restless and just didn't sleep as soundly as he has been. Plus, my pain was a little more intense the last few days and getting up and down all of the time was more of a struggle. I was tired and frustrated and this morning was the first time I truly got upset about all of this. I haven't really had an emotional meltdown so far. To me, this is just the way it would have to be for a while. While in the hospital, we knew things were at times very serious, and to even be here and be able to take care of my family, even in this capacity, is a blessing! But still, this wasn't the state of health that I was planning on being in when Keaton and my girls all came home. I'm used to running our household; cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, playing, etc. etc. etc, and doing it all with ease. When I have to pick up a bag and hose and concentrate on getting up with as little pain as possible before going anywhere or doing anything, it gets a little old.

We continue to take one day at a time. For the most part, I continue to feel healthy and am very capable of getting around the house to do things. This little irritation on my skin is probably something minor, and I'm thankful that I'll be able to experience life without the vac for a little while. I'm nervous for how it may make the wound feel and how much I'll be able to do over the weekend, but also thankful that it's just the weekend, and even that this will be a little sneak peak into what it will be like when the vac comes off for good. I have been feeling so good emotionally, and I know that God will continue to watch over me and our family as we go through this. Being tired from a newborn is enough, I know, and to have to heal from this just adds a whole other dimension to life. We couldn't do it without His strength and your prayers.

Please pray that the break from the vac will be just what my skin needs to heal and that the gauze treatment will go smoothly over the weekend. I am confident that it may not be much longer that I will have the vac as my measurements today were 4x11x.3cm. Remember on November 26 the measurements were 8x17.5x3cm with a 3cm tunnel even further into the wound. It's looking healthy and there hasn't been any more infection. Please keep praying that the healing process goes quickly and smoothly so that we can soon say this was something of the past.

We continue to look to our God for all things!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back to Normal...sort of

So the title could be kind of deceiving. Are we really back to normal yet? Well, in some cases yes.

My parents left during the day on Christmas Eve. It was very hard to see them go. What a blessing they have been over the last 2 months. Our girls have never had so much quality time with Grandpa and Grandma Hospers and it was such a gift for them to spend that much time with them in Iowa and then also here in MI. We basically spent our days hanging around the house, feeding Keaton, taking naps (all of us that were home!) and just spending time together. They did our shopping, cooked meals (unless someone brought them in, which was a nice break for my mom), held and fed Keaton, drove the girls to and from school and other things, played with the girls, cleaned my house, did yard work, scooped snow, and the list goes on and on. From the moment they took them to Iowa to the day they left, God showed me what being a parent is all about. We don't just care for our kids while they're in our care, we continue to love on them even when they're having kids of their own and live hundreds of miles away. They dropped everything to come and care for me and my family during a really tough time, not just while I was home, but when I was in the hospital too. My dad called me every morning at 7:30am (6:30 Iowa time) to see how my night went and how I was feeling. Seriously, every morning. Children are a gift from the Lord, and they took this seriously and faithfully. I pray that I am even a fraction of the gift that my parents are to me to my own children!

So minus 2 adults, our house has gotten a tad quieter (although, Keaton has become a little louder:) ), and a little more back to normal. I'd have to say that it's nice that it's still Christmas break so that I didn't have to dive into driving the girls back and forth yet this week. It's nice to just be able to lay low and hang out at home just a little bit longer.

As far as me being back to normal yet...nope, it may be a while. Still wondering how long? Yeah, so am I.:) I continue to take it one day/week at a time. I am still wearing my vac and will be until the wound doc or the home nurses order differently. As of last week Wednesday, my wound is measuring 4x14x.5cm. It continues to shrink, but slowed down from the previous week. Nurse Jodi said it's going to do this and some weeks it will change a lot. I do have to say though that it's changed already from last week to this week. I have another change tomorrow morning which is when Jodi will measure it again and I think she may even take a picture. Monday, she was quite impressed with how it was looking. Will I have the vac off next week, probably not. A new nurse that I had over the weekend said that they won't take the vac off if I'm still having drainage. The drainage has changed a bit, enough even that it's kind of made me nervous, but the nurses have said that the change is normal and as long as it looks the way it does, it's doing good.

Something not so fun about it right now is that it seems to hurt more. I've had to be pretty religious with taking ibuprofen and Tylenol to take the edge off. It never hurt to have the sponge taken off of the tissue, but over the last week it's become more painful. One nurse said it could be due to the fact that there's newer vascular tissue forming which may have more nerve endings in it. Again, as long as it looks healthy, that's what's important.

Next week Tuesday is my next appointment with the wound doc in GR. I'm VERY anxious to go since he's the one who will probably dictate when the vac comes off and the dry dressings will start. Once the vac is off, there will still be quite a bit of healing to be done. There will be a gel that will be put over the wound, then gauze and large pads covering the gauze. This will need to be changed daily or even a couple times a day depending on what it looks like. It will also be my job to do it. It makes me a little nervous to think about this part of my healing, but I know that once we get to this point, it means the end is "near". So I guess this answers the question that some people may be wondering: Are you going to do the skin graft? I'm kind of sticking with "no" right now, unless Dr. Hodgson says that it NEEDS to be done. But according to his reaction to my question 3 weeks ago, he seems to think that just letting it heal on it's own is also a good option, and it's the one that I was hoping to hear. I guess when you're living one week/day at a time and waiting for something to heal, you can't look too far ahead, and that's what I'm trying to do. Continuing to give it up to God and let Him heal me and give me peace about what happens one day at a time.

Please keep us in your prayers still as my wound has a ways to go yet, and that it stays clear of infection and irritations. Pray that our family stays healthy during a time of year that so many sicknesses are going around. Keep Kevin in your prayers as he has been battling one of those nasty colds; congested, coughing, losing his voice, energy drained, etc. He's barreling through it, but I know he's exhausted with working all day and then trying to do more at home. We are continue to be so grateful for so many prayers being offered for us. God continues to do his work on me and our family and we are so grateful and give him all the praise and glory!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wound Doctor

Again, I let a week go by. I guess I can make the excuse that I have a newborn at home, yet I can't make that excuse because I also have 2 babysitters who hang out with me all day. We kind of let our day pass us by, and before we know it, it's after school and the girls are home and it gets a little busier around here. So I just don't make blogging my priority right now, but I know most of you check facebook (my guiltiest pleasure) and I do little updates on there too. So if you don't check facebook, I apologize! If you do, this will be a little more detailed (or in my case, A LOT more detailed-not so good at keeping it short!).

So this really was a normal week. My vac changes were on Tues/Thurs/Sat this week because I had an appointment with my wound doctor in GR. Let's call him Dr. H. My dad drove me there because I still don't feel comfortable to not take vicadin before my changes and I'm not supposed to drive when I'm on it. It doesn't affect me that much, but you never know, I suppose. My appointment went really well. It was so nice to see him again (very kind man). A nurse took the sponge off, then Dr. H came in and assessed my wound. He measured it, poked at it, and talked to me about it. He really didn't say much other than I would have to have my vac on until after Christmas-duh-and that I should come back in 3 weeks (Jan. 4). He said it looked good, was shrinking nicely and that's about it. He didn't bring up my ever pressing question: When will I need a skin graft? So, as he was making his way towards the door, I asked.

He started it off with, "Well, you do have 2 options. You can have a skin graft or you can let the skin heal together on it's own." He then proceeded to go through a list of things that a skin graft would cause: another wound site to heal (probably on my inner thigh), I would always have a square scar (scars are the least of my concerns), the skin graft on my stomach would probably not look the same and always be a little sensitive to light. WHEREAS, if I did not do the graft, I would still only have one site to have heal, and he feels like it won't scar as seriously as they had originally thought.

SO, how did I feel about this? Honestly, I have been laying awake at night after feeding Keaton and wondering if I really want this skin graft. The thing that has worried me the most is having another surgery, and another site to heal. My built-in babysitters will be leaving soon (and I know there are many others who would love to help, but it's still hard to get that all organized). And I just want to be a mom and heal. I don't want to have another surgery and I don't want to have another wound. I had already talked to my family about how my number one concern was having 2 wounds, and when my mom heard what Dr. H had said about the graft, she said, "Well, then you got your answer, right?"

I basically don't know how long it will take for my wound to heal all the way. Eventually, this vac will come off because there won't be any place for the sponge to go. But my skin will NOT be completely closed around the tissue. Then I will need to wear dressings to protect it as my skin slowly comes together. Yes, it may be a while. Yes, a skin graft will probably heal it quicker, but do I want to have another wound? Not really. Do I care if I have scars...NO! That has been the least of my concerns since I had all this happen. All the doctors have looked at me like I was crazy, but honestly, I'm not a bikini wearing girl, and where this wound is located is not a place I would show to the general public anyway.:) I just want it to heal.

So this is my prayer: that God will give me a clear direction and peace with my decision. I am so thankful to be healthy and just simply healing. Carrying around the bag hasn't been so bad, and I've slowly been doing more around the house and outside of the house (Kevin and I even went out to do our Christmas shopping and dinner on Saturday). I do still get tired and sore when I do too much, and sometimes knowing what too much is is hard, but then I take it easy for a couple days and take some ibuprofen and feel better in no time.

God has continued to keep his promise to stay with us as He does even when times are not tough. We are happy to have our whole family together and happy that progress continues to happen. We just keep praying that this continues in the right direction. Praising God for his faithfulness...

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I said I was going to do better with these posts and I honestly intend to do so. Really, my days are pretty uneventful. Like my mom said, we do the same thing every day. We get up and hang out with Keaton all day until the girls come home. Feeling very blessed. Yes, I know. I have this thing on my stomach that tends to remind me that I'm supposed to be healing too, but besides that, it's pretty great to be home and for the most part healthy.

Right now though, things are pretty quiet. All 3 of my kids are napping, and Kevin is driving my parents to downtown GR for an evening on the town. As an anniversary/thank you gift we got them a night stay at the JW Marriot, a beautiful new hotel downtown GR, dinner, and tickets to The Nutcracker. How fun! I'm actually kinda jealous! Kevin has been to the JW with his buddies on a guys night out, but I haven't even stayed there yet! Really though, I'm so thankful that they can get out and have some peace and quiet on their own. So, here I sit, Kevin and my parents are gone, all 3 kids are sleeping, a hot cup of coffee, Christmas tree lights on and candle burning...ahhh, serenity.:)

I'm seriously so thankful that they get a chance to do something special like this. After all, they dropped everything, literally, and took our kids home with them on October 16 and have taken the parent roll all the way back with them to MI. My mom took a leave of absence this month so that she could come and help my dad help us. What a blessing! They buy our groceries, drive the girls to school and the sitter, cook dinner, stay up with Keaton late at night, and I could go on and on. They deserve some time away as well, and so glad they get to do it.

I really don't have a lot to report except that I had another vac change today and because it's the end of the week, I also have measurements to share...drum roll wound is now
6.5 x 14.5 x 1.5cm and the tunnel that was at first 3 cm, NO LONGER EXISTS!!! Praise God!! If you don't want to look back to the previous post, the first measurements of my wound were
8 x 17.5 x 3 cm. Wow God! Thank you for answering our prayers. I have been off my antibiotics for a week now, and no infection or fever has come back, so we feel that it's safe to say that the infection is gone too. It's definitely a slow process, but healing is happening, and we're so thankful for that. One of the most obvious changes is how much my nurse has to cut off of the sponge that covers the wound. She only shaved small amounts off of the sides of it before, whereas now she's cutting about an inch off of it all the way around. The sponge is a medium so there is a size smaller that will eventually be used, and while we're not to that point yet, I can see that in a few more weeks, we may be.

People ask quite often yet if I have any idea how long it will be before I can go back to work or will be finished with the vac. I honestly can't say, and I think it's going to be a week by week situation. Even my nurse said they won't be the judge as to when to take the vac off, it will be up to Dr. H and when he feels it's necessary for me to have the skin graft. I now realize that it probably will have to happen in order for me to heal completely. I will admit though, that I'm already nervous for that day. Having another surgery does not sound like fun, especially since they will be taking the graft from another site on my body which will have to be covered and heal. But when I look at my wound from one change day to the next, I have to realize that it would probably take months even after the vac would be removed for my skin to completely cover the wound. It's just inevitable. I honestly just want it to be over and to be able to move around like I'm used to, but I know too, that God is the ultimate healer and in His time these things will happen. It's just not always easy to be patient.

I am thankful though that most days I feel really good, and can move freely around the house. Do I run the vacuum and go to the grocery store yet? No, but there are some days that I can do more than others. I don't necessarily get tired when I'm up and throwing a load of laundry in or put a load of dishes in the dishwasher. If anything, I get sore from too much movement. After all, this wound is directly in line with where I have to bend, and with too much movement, it can get pretty tender, which in turn, puts me on the couch for a while. Again, so thankful to have my parents here to are willing to do the jobs that most days I should not be doing. All in all though, the pain that I have is not intense, rather it stings just as a cut or scrap you would have to cover with a band-aid, it's just a lot bigger.:)

Keaton is doing great and continues to be the best baby alive. Honestly, we almost think there may be something wrong with him. He ONLY cries when he's REALLY hungry, but otherwise he just grunts and coos and stares at the world around him. Not that I wouldn't be thankful for a healthy, colicy baby as well, but I'm ULTRA THANKFUL that God gave us our beautiful baby who's laid back and happy just to take the world around him in with his quiet demeanor. As my mom said it the other day, he's laid back like his daddy, and it's so true.:) Peyton and Addy are sweet as always and continue to be great helpers around the house. This too is a blessing. They play so well together and rarely have pushed the limits of anything. God has given us some parenting relief as we deal with the healing that has to happen on me. Thank you Lord!

Well, that's really about it. We're just busy over here relaxing and healing and doing our thing, and we know that we have your prayers to thank. I could say it again and a million times over, but without Christ, the turn in my health would not be possible. No matter the steps that it took over the course of the last month, His arms were wrapped around us each step of the way, and He listened to your pleading along with ours.

Oh, what a joy to celebrate this gift of Christmas. That God's son was sent as a gift to us, not just to be seen as a miracle worker and teacher of good, but as the One who brings us to the cross...that he paid the ultimate price so that we can live without suffering and doubt. That we know that our life here on earth is not the end, but our witness to what's waiting for us in Glory.