Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Numero Uno

We had the Hunecke/Heater/Burdorf/Knippel Christmas weekend in Mankato the weekend of the 13th and 14th.  Aaron had to ref Friday night, so we weren't able to head up until Saturday and we celebrated with my mom on Saturday and my dad on Sunday. 
 It was unseasonably mild in Minnesota, unfortunately.  Justin kept texting us to hurry up and get there because the snow was melting quickly.  By the time we made it to Mankato, it was 50 degrees!! 
 Saturday was spent drinking wine, eating cookies and catching up with family. 
 My mom, Bill and the whole crew. 
 The comedy started when we tried to get a Grandma Jo and grandkids pic.  Total chaos.
 The best we got! haha.
 Saturday night we went to Sibley Park for the Kiwanis Light show.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  Seriously, there was no way you could walk through the park and not feel the Christmas spirit!

 We decided we should wait in line to see Santa since the line wasn't terribly long.
 Our four and Mr. Claus
 And then the fun began.  Carter wanted no part of it.  I love the look on Santa's face.
 And...the photo that may haunt poor McCoy for years!  Classic.

 Sunday, it was Grandpa Larry's turn.  We played many hands of UNO and Sequence. 
 After a yummy meal, it was time for presents round two. 
 Carter loves his cousin Jenna. :)
 And, it's not a complete day until all three Burdorf boys are all wrestling.  All day loooonggggg. 
 And of course wrestling fan Aunt Mandy had to get in on the action. 
It was a good weekend.  Too short, as always, but still a lot of fun and always a good time with family. :) 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lab Results...Today...Christmas Card

First things first, let me tell you about Blake's labs on Monday.  They aren't perfect, but they are stable enough to keep us home!  His iron is a little low, his creatinine went from Mary Greeley normal 0.6 to 0.7.  Honestly, I'm not concerned since he's been sick and is probably still a little dehydrated.  That iron stuff is a pain in the rear, so we have scheduled an infusion on January 8th, when we have another appointment in Iowa City.  

We are thrilled at the possibility to be home, but we know that at any moment, things can change.  We pray they don't, of course, but we are excited thinking about home!
 Aaron had an in-service day today, so it was just me and the four kiddos.  We had a very Christmas-y day around our house.  I took these pictures when I got back from my workout this morning.  Morning is my favorite time - quiet.  Peaceful.  Productive. :)
 We (ok I) decided to make a double-batch of star cookies this morning.  Star cookies are a Burdorf family favorite!  I had plenty of helping hands, as you can see. 
 Last minute wrapping, also on the agenda...
 The final results.  Soooo....good!  Soooo...addicting!  'Tis the season I guess. 
Raise your hand if you like to read cheesey Christmas stories during the Christmas season? *raises hand*  Yep, me too. What can I say?  I am my mother's daughter. :)  Although, I am way behind on my reading and it makes me sad.  Hopefully over break I can catch-up a little.  I  started reading this Junie B. Jones book with Brody and then Jenna decided she should read it and finished it today. 
 One of Santa's reindeer...Bowen.
 We put on our pjs and watched "The Polar Express" tonight and made some popcorn.  Believe it or not, that's the first time I've ever seen this movie!  I liked it though. 

 What are your favorite Christmas movies?  We seem to have on Elf, Christmas Vacation and Home Alone on the most here.  Plus....the Hallmark Channel.  Non-stop. 
Christmas cards are kind of "my thing."  I love doing them!  Last year was the first year since we were married that I didn't do one (for obvious reasons) and I missed it!!  This year, I had them out earlier than usual, which sort of made me feel organized, even though I am the farthest thing from it.  
 These photos were taken at my cousin's wedding in Minnesota that was at Macalester College.  Aunt Mandy took our family photos.  I thought they turned out great.  It was a beautiful time of year, beautiful campus and beautiful day!
Merry Christmas to ALL of you!  
We wish you HEALTH and HAPPINESS in 2015!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


It's amazing to me how fast days go by.  I looked at my last post and was like, that was already ten days ago?!  We've been busy around these parts lately.  It seems like that's how it goes this time of year.  Last week Aaron and I were not home one nite together!  One of us home; the other not. Aaron did take a personal day on Thursday and we knocked out a bunch of our Christmas shopping.  Yay for that AND for a day date!

Jenna and Brody finished up their basketball seasons.  It was Brody's first season and we play in the Upward League through a church in Marshalltown. I like it because it's not crazy competitive and they really do want the kids to learn.  
 Dribbling, we need to work on that with the head up. ;)  Brody is such a little Aaron.  He is so into watching sports and asking question after question.  That makes me proud because that's how you learn the game!
 Jenna finished year three in the Upward league.  This game I took pictures at was physical.  A lot of pushing and shoving and grabbing for the ball.  I finally saw some fire in my girl!  She was actually pretty mad at times. 
 Ponytail flying. :)
 Coach Dad.  Things went pretty well between them this year.  It was the first time Aaron has coached Jenna and Brody.  Aaron was the best looking coach this particular Saturday because....
 we had tickets to "Motown the Musical" at the Des Moines Civic Center that same afternoon!!  Merry Christmas to me!  It was sooooo good!  I literally loved every single second of it and wanted to see it again as soon as it was over.  Sixty-six Motown songs and unbelievably talented actors and actresses.  Wow.  If you have the chance GO SEE THIS.  I think I heard it's going to be up in the Twin Cities.
The two oldest had their Christmas concerts for school on Sunday the 7th.  I can't believe how grown-up these two look. 
 This picture.  I adore it.  The facial expressions - Jenna the drama queen and Brody and his big smile.
 While the first graders were lining up I was sitting in the front row to take pics for the paper and Brody "didn't see me," so his friend was like, "Brody, there's your mom!" haha.

 The third graders.  I love seeing the kids all dressed up and hearing new and traditional holiday music.
Lately...we've been passing around colds.  Blah.  We survived the stomach bug and now colds.  Runny noses and fun stuff like that.  I'm hoping that the Christmas break will get us all back on the up and up.  
This past weekend we had Christmas with my side of the family in Mankato.  It was fun and we had the chance to see an amazing, beautiful light display at a local park done by the Kiwanis.  Anyway, I'm still sorting through photos from this past weekend, so I will post when I get around to it.  
What have you been up to lately?  Are you ready for Christmas?  11 days and counting...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

One year ago...

On Friday night, the four kids and I were uptown at our Old-Fashioned Christmas on Main celebration.  I kept flashing back.  If I'm being honest, since his kidney-versary, I had been thinking about this time.  Weeks prior.  Days prior.  And on Friday, I couldn't really get it out of my mind that a year ago, we experienced the scariest day ever. 

A year ago, on that Friday night, I was driving to Iowa City with Blake after being told that his white blood cell count was 1.8 and he could be septic.  I didn't even really know what that meant at the time.  From being admitted to 3J (the regular floor) to being told we had to move to the PICU because Blake's conditioning was worsening.  

It's really all a blur.  The PICU doctor telling me he needed to be intubated and sedated.  Calling Aaron and making the doctor talk to him.  Aaron coming down immediately.  Staring at that damn monitor.  Willing his heart rate to go down.  Willing his blood pressure to go up.  How ashen and gray Blake looked.  Being told they needed to do a procedure, but they were only moving him two doors down because he was too fragile.  

I honestly think we didn't know how bad it was, that we may actually lose our child, until Aaron looked at the doctor and said, "This is really bad isn't it?"  And her reply, "I honestly don't know if he's going to make it."

Punched in the gut.  I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe.  And all I could think about was the other three kids and how we would possibly tell them.  The tears in our doctors and nurses eyes.  Time standing still.  Waiting, waiting, waiting...Pleading with God to not take our baby away from us.  Pleading with Blake to keep fighting. 

Finally, we heard they opened up Blake's abdomen and his blood pressure started to slowly go up.  This is what Blake looked like when we saw him.  Now, he looks just awful, but he looked so much better at the time.  It was the best sight I had ever seen. 

 Six weeks straight we were at UIHC.  Slowly getting better and making progress.  I won't forget the scariest day ever as long as I live.  I don't want to.  I don't want to forget how precious life is.  I most definitely pray every day that we never have to go experience that again, but also prayers of thanks that Blake is still here with us. 

Sometimes out of the blue I think about that day, about how it could have gone and I just tear-up.  Those are the times Blake gets hugged on and kissed on extra. :)
 What a difference a year makes!  I love his ornery self.  I love that smile of his.  So a year later, I can definitely tell you that I am a believer in miracles, because Blake is living proof that they do indeed happen.  :)