Catching Up in Pictures

We had our second annual North Pole Breakfast a couple of weeks before Christmas. I went with a "Gingerbread Lane and Peppermint Twist" theme because I already had a ton of peppermint decor and Dollar Tree had cute gingerbread stuff for cheap. My heart wasn't really in it because Tatum was in severe chronic pain because of her knee and we couldn't figure out what was going on, but I was determined to carry on the tradition for the girls. 

Tatum's big candy cane served more than just a decorative purpose.
 Christmas cuties ready for a Polar Express showing at church.
 Thanks, Pinterest, for the fun snowman manicure idea.
 Our favorite meal of the whole year -- Cioppino on Christmas Eve with Tye's family.
My in-laws set up tables in their garage, we don lobster bibs and then chow down on huge crab legs, shrimp, scallops and clams, with lots of fresh bread and melted butter. It's amazing!
 The aftermath.
This girl is getting dangerously close to becoming a teenager. It kills me to see her leave childhood, but I'm getting glimpses of the kind, gracious and lovely young woman she is becoming.
Miss Middle is pure joy.
 This is one of my favorite ornaments on our tree.
Tatum begged all year for a Kindle Fire and we said, "No way." She couldn't believe her eyes when she unwrapped it on Christmas morning. She has thanked us almost daily ever since. **funny aside -- see the peace symbols on her pajamas that aren't really peace symbols? They are Mercedes symbols. Somebody messed up somewhere and I laugh every time I see it.
Check out those tonsils on Gentry! You may have heard the screams on Christmas morning as we were opening presents. The iPhones weren't going to happen until the last minute when Tye got them through work for a really good deal. We were immediately elevated to superhero status.
 There were actual tears of gratitude.
Then, the big surprise came. We met back at my in-laws' house after we opened presents on Christmas morning. The kids all thought we were staying there for the next 5 days to play and hang out. Little did they know...
A family friend picked us up in a limo and took us to the airport where we caught a plane to Denver, then drove on to Winter Park for 6 days of skiing, tubing, and playing in lots of snow. The kids had no idea where we were going until they saw our boarding passes. It was tricky to get them packed without their knowledge, but so worth their reactions when they found out. We are extremely grateful to Papa and Sharri for an unforgettable Christmas!
 Pristine sky and clouds above a gray and dreary snowstorm.
It was COLD in Winter Park, with lots of fluffy snow. We knew something was wrong with Tatum's knee -- swollen and terribly painful -- but our pediatrician told us it was okay to travel if we watched it carefully for signs of infection (redness/fever), which there weren't. She wasn't able to do very much and she stayed indoors about 90% of the time, but when she felt good enough we bundled up and went out to play! Gentry bought her the teddy bear from a souvenir shop in the village, and it went everywhere Tatum did.
 Reading Junie B. Jones to Great Grandma Freda. Priceless.
Gentry, ever the cautious one, chose to forego skiing and play outside in the snow every day. She is quite the snow angel expert.
Family photo opp.
 Biggest and littlest sister feet.
We came home just in time to ring in the New Year and to spend valuable time with my sister and her family, but then things took a dramatic turn for the worse with Tatum. What we had been told was probably reactive arthritis due to the flu she had before Christmas was actually a raging staph infection in her knee that caused some bone loss in her patella. Very scary stuff. As much as I don't like waiting in hospital emergency rooms, the alternative of being whisked through VERY fast because of the severity of your child's condition is alarming. She had xrays, an MRI and blood tests in record time and was in the OR first thing the next morning. The orthopedic surgeon was frank in his post-surgical consultation, but optimistic that her knee will regenerate the bone that it lost, and she will be as good as new after a long recovery time. God's design of the human body is awe-inspiring. We have follow-ups with specialists, but are thankful that the infection has been eliminated and she is pain-free. God was so merciful in answering our prayers, and we are eternally grateful for our family, friends and the excellent medical staff who took care of our little girl.
I'm slowly easing back into sewing again, but still not at full capacity. I enjoyed the time off and am excited to get back to work, but I'm making some changes and organizing my sewing room to prepare for the new year. I'll be back soon with some updates!

I'm Still Here!

It's been so long since I've updated my blog that I couldn't remember my password at first. So much has happened with our family over the last several weeks that I don't even know where to begin, but I'm working on a blog post that covers Christmas, our very fun surprise trip to Colorado, and then poor Tatum's hospital adventure. We're working on getting back to normal, but she still requires a lot of assistance, so I'm not able to go full steam with my sewing yet. There are a few of you I have already contacted about your orders, but otherwise I'm still taking a sabbatical. I'll let you know ASAP when I'm back up and running. Thank you so much for your prayers and concern for Tatum. That was a scary ordeal, but we felt humbled by the many words of encouragement and prayers for healing she received.


I had no idea my last post would be the last one for so long. Since then the bottom has kind of fallen out of our routine. Tatum has had some health issues for several weeks now, including severe pain in her knee. It's been pretty miserable watching her suffer, trying to alleviate her pain and solve the mystery of its cause. A few days ago we noticed signs of infection and she was admitted to the hospital where an MRI showed extensive infection of the patella and surrounding bone. She had surgery immediately to wash it out and is on a strong antibiotic to combat the infection. Our lives are on hold until we get her home and fully recovered. I'm sorry for the disappearing act, but I need to be taking care of my baby girl right now. There are a few of you waiting for orders and I promise I won't forget about you. Please be patient with me until we can get back to normal and I'll be in touch with you. In the meantime, would you say a prayer for our sweet Tatum? She hasn't been herself in a very long time, and we would love to have our happy little girl back. God bless.