Monday, April 17, 2017

Prayers for labs

I wanted to let you know that we need some prayers for Mr. Blake.  Last week, he was supposed to have his monthly lab draw.  For those of you unfamiliar, he still has his port up by his left collar bone that the nurse has to access each time.  Last Tuesday when we tried she got a pull back of blood and then it stopped.  She manipulated the needle, got a pull back of blood and then it stopped.
We tried another needle and we couldn't get any blood.  After that, we were out of needles and had to wait for another shipment from Iowa City.
This port has been with us since 2013, which is super awesome.  It also makes me scared that it has finally crapped out on us.

We have repeat labs to try again tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.  If you would, please pray and think positive thoughts that it works.  If it doesn't we'll be heading to the hospital locally to get some blood thinning stuff put through the port to check and see if it's clotted.  If that doesn't work, I'm assuming we'll be headed to Iowa City, which nobody wants to do.

Thank you all in advance and I will keep you posted!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Big Changes for the Burdorfs!

I'm going to steal a line from my husband when I say that I have mixed emotions writing this. I can officially announce that Aaron accepted a job offer with the Shenandoah School District, so our family is moving to Southwest Iowa.  This is something that is incredibly bittersweet for our entire family.

While it has always been the plan for Aaron to finish his masters and get a job as an administrator, it is crazy to think about we are finally where we had always planned to be.  When we moved to State Center, we initially planned to stay for 4-5 years.  Now, with plans that were put on hold after we had the twins, it's 12 years later!

Aaron's official position is full-time Activities Director (AD), with other assistant principal/admin duties as assigned.  He starts July 1st, so we will be heading down at the end of June.  I can't say enough what a happy and proud wife I am right now.  He is going to rock it at that position, it is totally in his wheel house.  I can't wait to see what great things he does!

The entire family went down to Shenandoah a day over spring break to tour the school and town.  Everybody was very welcoming and ready to help us in whatever way they can, which was a huge comfort!

As for me, I will still be working remotely, at least for awhile, at the paper here in State Center.  It will be similar to what I did when Blake was in the hospital.  I will look for something in Shenandoah once school starts and everybody gets settled.

We are looking at this as a new adventure for our family.  It's a part of the state we know absolutely nothing about, so we will learn a lot of new things. The kids are taking things in stride, as kids do.  Their biggest thing is to just know somebody that first day of school, which is to be expected.  The school district is comparable to where we are now, it's just one big town instead of five small ones.

Lots of changes in the upcoming months!  We are attacking this like we have many other big things in our life - with a positive attitude. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The way I see it....

Blake's appointments
I haven’t talked a lot about Blake in my column lately and how he’s doing because there hasn’t been much to say.  A good problem for sure!

Last week Blake had labs on Wednesday here at home and the results  were mostly good except his kidney function numbers went up (that’s  bad) for the second month in a row.  When I say they went up, it  wasn’t by a lot.  That being said, my mind works into overdrive that  it’s trending in the wrong direction and that he’s going to have to have surgery and we’re going to have to start cathing him again, etc., etc, etc.  Yes, I know I have an overactive mind.  It’s not my  best quality.

Blake had his six month check-up in Iowa City last Friday.  On the docket for the day was an ECHO for his heart (done yearly and standard transplant procedure), an ultrasound on his kidney and bladder (done every sixth months and standard procedure) and consults with the urologist and nephrologist (kidney) doctors. Aaron teases me that I’m “Miss Expert” at the ultrasounds for his kidney and bladder.  I can’t help it.  He’s had so many and I can  generally tell when something is wrong.  He texted me afterwards and asked how I thought things looked.  I told him it didn’t look like a ton of fluid around his kidney (great news), but there was a weird  floaty thing in his bladder that I had never seen before.  I was kind of puzzled.  I think Aaron was doubting me.

After the ultrasound we met with urology in which Dr. Storm said, “kidney looks stable, but there was this strange thing in his bladder that we aren’t really sure what it is.”  While I’m not happy I was right, I kind of did feel like a semi-expert at that point.  Long story short - the doctor had a couple of theories, but no definitive answers as to what it was.  He said we could open him up, but nobody wanted to open that can of worms since it appears to not be doing any harm.  We’re just going to keep an eye on it.

Dr. Jetton, our kidney doctor, was really happy with how Blake is doing.  The two best parts of that appointment were that she said we would shoot for the summer to get his g-tube (feeding tube) out of his   stomach and she knocked two more meds off of his daily list.  At the worst of things we were at 20 plus, so to be down to five meds just twice a day is so, so great!

It’s funny how some things change and some things stay the same.  I was hit with that hospital smell as soon as I walked in, along with the hustle and bustle of people heading to and from appointments.  The tired, stressed out looks on family member’s faces was all too familiar. On the other hand, I have a five (almost six) year old, who hops up to get his blood pressure taken, who doesn’t need anesthesia for his ECHO, can hold still during his ultrasound and can answer on his own the questions he was asked by doctors and nurses. I was reminded how much I have to be grateful for with those good reports, especially with all the sickness I was confronted with.  I was also reminded to never take a single good day for granted, but 
that’s just the way I see it.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The way I see it...

2017 Goals
How is 2017 treating you all? Are you feeling motivated? Kicking some backside and taking names? Still looking for inspiration to make some changes?

So far, 2017 is going alright in my neck of the woods. As per usual, this girl had to write down some goals for the new year. I'm a list-maker, remember? I decided to not really call them resolutions because I feel like you're asking to fail. There's a negative connotation associated with that word. Instead, I'm calling them goals. I'm not going to share all my goals for the new year, but here are some of them.
  1. Workout 30 minutes five times a week: This probably seems like an obvious one. People are always making goals about working out in January. I feel like this is completely realistic and do-able. Five times isn't every single day and 30 minutes isn't a lot. I feel like if I can peruse social media every day or read or watch t.v., I can most definitely use that time to get moving instead. Even if it's with my kiddos or just on the treadmill with the t.v. on.
  2. Drink 110 ounces of water PER DAY: If you see me running to the bathroom every 15 minutes this would be why. It's really easy for me to get this done in the summer and really challenging for me in the winter. My water intake had taken a nose dive with the cooler weather, so I set a goal. I think I've hit this goal every day except two so far. My kidneys (and other organs) thank me for the gift of hydration!
  3. Take more pictures with my real camera: 2016 was a terrible year for me in taking good pictures with my real camera. I always grab my phone because it's always with me and just easier. The pictures aren't as good though and I need to make more of an effort to haul out the good camera. Every month I need to have a folder on my computer with photos that I've taken. That's the goal.
  4. Read out loud with my kids more: This is directed more at Jenna and Brody, since Aaron and I already read aloud with the twins. I got a text from a friend who shared with me something called the Read Aloud Revival. Did you know that if you read out loud every day with your kids for just ten minutes, at the end of the year they will have read aloud for 30 hours?! That's amazing. And so, so important!
  5. Gratitude Journal: This is an idea I saw online and it is by far my favorite goal of the new year. I went to the dollar store and bought a pretty looking notebook. Every day I write down ten things that I'm grateful for that day. Yes, every day. Sometimes I do it in the morning and sometimes at night. This has completely shifted my days! I am now actively seeking out things that I can write down. The other day, for example, despite the fact it was 30 below, a nice older gentlemen let me head into the grocery store before him. Simple enough, but it was so kind. I have found that it's hard to be in a bad mood when I'm constantly thinking about examples of gratitude that I can write down.
Here's my attitude for 2017. Some days are better than others. Some days you fail. Some days you succeed. That's ok. Life isn't supposed to be perfect. This life is a marathon, not a sprint. Trying to continually create better habits is hard work and takes time. I am just trying to be a little better than I was the day before, but that's just the way I see it.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Burdorf Christmas

Over New Year's weekend we went to Omaha to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with the Burdorfs.  The weather felt more like Easter, but at least it was good travel weather!
Friday we got to Adam and Jill's just in time to see the Huskers get beat in their bowl game.  HOLLA!!  Sorrynotsorry Husker fans. ;)  Nothing goes better with games than game day food.  Yum!
 Saturday was our "official" Christmas.  We opened gifts.  The Burdorf tradition is one at a time, even the kids and they stick to it. ;)
 Miss Sass was super happy to get these new boots.  Not only are they cute, but they added another couple of inches to her already ever-growing self. 
The kids were hilarious.  They had the best time in the basement playing cafe.  You want to know the name of their cafe?  Kozy Korner, of course!!  I know that will make you Armstrong people proud.  We may have talked about it once or twice.  Ha! 
 Adam and Jill were pretty excited to give Aaron his gift.  It was a framed photo from the front page of the Chicago Tribune the day after the Cubs won the World Series.  So cool!
Another Cubs gift for this Cubs-loving kid! 
 I made Grandma Linda an updated photo collage (see below) of her grandkids.  I think she liked it! The one hanging up in her house doesn't include Noah or Claire.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out. 

 Grandpa Frank travels a lot for his job, so we thought he needed a new jumbo travel mug.
 We played some Skipbo and even put together a 300 piece puzzle.  This is big because I actually hate puzzles because I have zero patience, but the four oldest and I did it together!
 All eight grandkids.  Not too shabby.
Grandma and Grandpa with the tribe. 
And...all of us.  The whole Burdorf Bunch. 
 After presents, Aunt Jamie was in charge of some New Year's games for the kids and the big kids.  I, unfortunately, didn't get many photos because I was in charge.  We did have a lot of fun with balloons, let's just say that.  We took a break to wish Grandma a happy birthday and have a slice of birthday pie.  
That wraps up our holiday season.  It was definitely a blessed one.  We are so grateful for our family!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hunecke Christmas

The holidays are over! *sob*  I don't know about you, but I always get sad when it's January 2nd and the holiday season is over for another year.  Taking the tree down?  Don't even get me started.  

Anyway....way back on December 17th we had Christmas with my mom and dad.  This year it was my sister's turn to host, so we headed to Cherokee. My nephew Carter's birthday is in January, so we celebrated that on Friday night too.  
We had fun, as always!  We played cards Friday night.  I talked everybody into playing Hearts, a Hunecke favorite, and it turned into a marathon game.  I didn't win and I can't remember who did. 
Jess and Mitch had two real trees.  I'm so jealous!  This one in their fireplace room was ginormous.  I think my sister said that her boss brought it from Wisconsin.  It seriously must have been 11 or 12 feet tall.
When we get together, there's a lot of boys.  Here Blake and Maddox are clearly discussing something super important. 
Poor Jenna.  She's the odd man, er, girl, out.  We let her be in the older girls picture this year.  We all had to wear our "ugly" or "cute" depending on how you look at it, sweaters.

We're not really good at taking turns when it comes to opening presents.  Pretty much it ends up being complete chaos.  That's Christmas though, right?!
After last year's success at our house with games, Jess planned some games for this year too.  Disclaimer:  These cans were already empty when we arrived in Cherokee!  This game was called chandelier and the kids had to stack cans, 5,4,3,2,1. 
For the adults, it was harder.  We had to stack 1,2,3,4,5.  I was on my #5 and my chandelier tipped over and I LOST to the Mr.  Dang it!  I heard about that for awhile...

Clearly my mother didn't have great luck...haha!
Next up was the cracker face game where you try to get the cracker in your mouth without using your hands. 

Our family.  We are loud and crazy and kind of dysfunctional.  I wouldn't have it any other way though. 
Bear looked how I felt after Saturday's festivities.  Sooooo...tired.  I just hung out in front of the twinkly lights and watched a movie.  Pretty, pretty.

Monday, December 26, 2016


If you all know anything about me, you know that I love winter and I love to go sledding.  I have fond memories growing up of sledding and I want to pass that love along to my own kiddos.

When we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family, we were very excited that they had snow in Cherokee and we could go sledding!  An added bonus is that Jess and Mitch's house is on top of a hill, so we could sled literally in their front yard. 

We went Friday when it was snowing and Saturday when it was considerably colder and we could only stay outside for about 30 minutes.  Sunday was the day that it was -22 below and the feels like was -39.  Yikes.

Anyway, sledding...  So much family fun!
 The worst part is always the hike back up the hill, am I right?!
 Maddox is fearless, as always.
 Everybody decided to have a race down the hill.  On your mark, get set,  GO....!
 My favorite part of this photo are everybody's expressions AND the fact that Blake willingly jumped on Uncle Justin's back. 
 Jenna's ride down the hill didn't go so hot....

 The uncles, Justin and Mitch, got the kids involved in a competition to see who could stay upright the entire way down the hill. 
 Guess what?  Justin was the winner!
 Jess and Mitch had to race. 
 Jess didn't win...
 Blake's attempt at going down upright.
 My bearded brother.  He was all frozen and I asked him to take his picture.  I LOVE IT!
 Bowen's attempt at staying upright.  He did pretty well and made it halfway down the hill before...
.... he wiped out.
 McCoy.  Seriously.  The cuteness.

The view from their house.  So pretty, especially while the snow fell. Our snow is all melted here at home, so we're hoping for some snow soon so we can go out and go sledding again!