A Week Without a Husband

Day One:

  • Kissed Joey goodbye at Lord-knows-what-time in the morning. He’s off to Colorado without me and I’ll try really hard to forgive him. He took 4 college guys and another sponsor to climb a 14’er north of Durango. I can’t even talk about it anymore…soooo jealous.

    Taking the train from Durango to Chicago Basin.

    Taking the train from Durango to Chicago Basin.

  • He left a sweet card for me on the kitchen counter. He’s forgiven a teeny tiny bit.
  • Wear a hat. Need to take a shower, but I’m just going to get all sweaty again soon, so I’ll take one later. Spray extra Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue.
  • Dropped Finn off at daycare. He said, “Yo-ee, yo-ee, yo-ee!” the entire way. Does he really realize that Joey’s not taking him to daycare like normal?
  • Left too late to get Starbucks. 😦
  • Trained clients until 3:00. Groceries at Target and Sprouts.
  • Picking Finn up from daycare is my favorite. I LOVE his face when I come around the corner. He smiles really big and balls up his fists.
  • Practiced moving in the chariot and wheelchair after a bath. He pooped on the towel as I was drying him off. Awesome.photo-4
  • Picked ripe Roma tomatoes in the garden. Hung cloth diapers on the line to dry.
  • In bed early. Clean sheets make me feel wealthy.

Day Two:

  • Wear a hat. Took a shower but didn’t feel like blow-drying, so I didn’t wash my hair. Thankful I have a job where it’s appropriate to wear a Nike hat.
  • Took Finn to daycare, though I just wanted to cuddle with him all day long. They told me there’s a vomiting flu going around. Perfect.
  • Picked up Starbucks for myself and my first client. photo-6
  • Trained clients until 12. Taught a full spin class. Trained more clients and taught another class until 7:00. Though exhausting, I seriously love my job.
  • Major oversight: my sweet friend, Cassie, was picking Finn up from daycare for me. She called and asked where Finn’s carseat was. Whoops! It’s in my car…so Cassie had to borrow one from a teacher so Finn didn’t have to be strapped to the floorboards.

    On the fridge at daycare.

    On the fridge at daycare. Spoiled?

  • Once home, I quickly wiped him down on the changing table with a baby wipe, put a nite-time diaper around his bum, slipped on his baseball jammies, sang a few renditions of Jesus Loves Me and kissed that porcelain cheek goodnight.
  • House chores.
  • 8:30pm: Watched So You Think You Can Dance while eating a left-over turkey sloppy joe. I remembered these wheelchair dancers they featured in 2011–Axis Dance Company. Googled them and emailed the director thanking her for encouraging disabled people.
  • Think about painting the kitchen. I’m tired of my yellow walls. Decide I’m too tired to paint.

Day Three:

  • Wake up to the colossal crash and flash of thunder and lightning. I love storms that don’t bring tornadoes! Wish Joey were beside me. (Realized cloth diapers that were on the line are now drenched…dang.)
  • No hat today! Curls.
  • Trained clients until noon.
  • Mowed the lawn. I love it. It makes me feel independent or something. Like, “Hey stranger-driving-by; I don’t need a man to mow my lawn…”
  • My mother-in-law, Becky, arrived to help take care of Finn and to keep me company for a few days.
  • We picked Finn up from daycare, went to Syrup for lunch and shopped at the mall for portrait clothes for the cousins (Ev and Finn). Gap/Baby Gap is having a 40% off sales price deal…my heart raced with glee.

    Kisses for Nana B.

    Kisses for Nana B.

  • Bec and I had such a great conversation once Finn was asleep. I’m so blessed she’s my mom-in-law.

Day Four:

  • Jersey woke me up at 3:30am to go poop outside. Really? I wanted to kick her.
  • Finn went to bed 30 min early last night and got up an hour early as a result. Ugh!
  • Trained clients and taught spin class 8-3. No break. Thankful client Chelsea brought me coffee and the 11:00 ladies let me go to the bathroom.

    11:00 ladies on TRX.

    11:00 ladies on TRX.

  • Accidentally swung by the OK Runner sidewalk sale. Bought three pairs of shoes for literally the price of one. It was exhilarating.photo-9
  • Becky and Finn had a fun day together, though he was really fussy and clingy from dinner onward. It took us forever to get him to sleep.

    Boy's got an opinion these days! (This is not a Nike ad.)

    Boy’s got an opinion these days! (This is not a Nike ad.)

  • Went to Laura’s house for monthly girl’s night with Pascha and Morgan. These women are smart, funny, beautiful and they love me and my family so well. Oh, and we all loooove food. On the menu tonight: Laura’s homemade pesto and bruschetta, Bread and Wine’s risotto and maple glazed pork, strawberry and almond salad and mini desserts from La Baguette. Delish.
  • Finally heard from Joey! They arrived off the train in Durango and are preparing to drive home through the night. I could hear the inside jokes being tossed across the car seats in the background. So glad they are safe.
  • Came home to find that Jersey threw up SIX roma tomatoes from our garden and my poor MIL had to clean it all up. This. Dog. Arghhh…

Day Five:

  • Woke up to yet another thunderstorm.
  • Met Laura at the Y to swim. It was her first time since she was 10, and as expected, she did great. Swimming’s not my fav, but it’s fun to do something different; and good for my joints.
  • JOEY came home!photo
  • Finn was so happy to have his daddy back…he just snuggled in on his chest and smiled. I love these boys.photo-1


My seven year old self thought it was cool that the Burger King kid’s meals included a kid in a wheelchair nicknamed, “Wheels.” Very PC, you know?

Burger King Kid's Club Gang 1990

Burger King Kid’s Club Gang 1990

Well, my thirty year old self is now mom to a kid in one. Finn’s officially got wheels.

We received two demos today until Finn gets his own: a dynamic stander (we call it his “chariot”) and a youth wheelchair. The fact that there is such thing as a “youth wheelchair” infuriates me, but, whatever…I digress…We are thankful for a mode for Finn to get around in–to get into things, knock a vase over or something; get into trouble.photoNot so sure about Justin. Is he an ER doctor?


Excuse the jammies, please.

Just give him a book.photo-2

Loves it. He looks like such a big boy!photo-3So proud!

So proud.

The dynamic stander, or “chariot.”photo

Ben Hur for graham crackers. photo-1

Finn has been feeling better lately. Still not sure what was up last week, but we’ve now got an MRI scheduled for September. Maybe that will give us answers. Thanks again for all your prayers!

Quick Update

Thank you all for your thoughts and focused prayers! We felt (feel) them for sure.

Quick update:

  • We were released again from the ER yesterday after many tests, scans, ultrasounds, etc. and the neurosurgeons are convinced it isn’t shunt related.
  • We are still skeptical, as the symptoms are the same as the last two shunts, but we are choosing to trust the doctors right now.
  • ER experience yesterday was much better!
  • Finn woke up feeling just fine…still holding the back of his head periodically, which concerns us, but we are THANKFUL for our funny, happy boy again.

    second ER visit

    second ER visit

  • We are wondering if he gets migraines, had the stomach bug, or possibly still has a problem with his shunt/spinal cord/skull that can only be seen via MRI.
  • We have MRI in August. photo-7

Thank you again for caring about our Finn.


My next blog post was going to be about my parents’ new home in Bella Vista, AR on Lake Loch Lomond. And how we had the best time for the 4th; fireworks off the dock, swimming in the lake, boat rides and relaxing. Lots of great pics. But I’ll share that one another time.

Warning: this post’s gonna be real.

Joey informed me that “Finn was acting funny,” as I came home from work last night. I was hosting a women’s Bible study, so I hurried around finishing cleaning, preparing the snack, trying not to think too much about it. He was holding his head backward at dinner, grabbing the back of his neck (which we’ve seen him do for a couple months now), and fell asleep without a bottle an hour before bedtime. Not our Finn.

Bible study was about God’s provision for Israel during the Exodus. About the miracles He performed, like turning the bitter waters of Marah into sweet waters. He tested their faith and provided only what they needed (their “daily bread,” or manna) to develop intimacy with His people. So they’d need him DAILY, not once a year or only during difficult times. Priscilla Shirer believes the wilderness is where we encounter God. She says,

“There are some things we don’t know about ourselves until we are put in a position where we have to see God’s power operating through us.”

After the women had all left, on my final swipe of the countertop with soapy wet cloth, I heard Finn cry through the video monitor. Joey and I looked at each other–so much pain unspoken–and went to Finn’s room. In the thirty minutes that followed, we found he had a 102 fever, eyes were puffy and it hurt him to open them, and he threw up everything he ate since breakfast all over Joey’s chest. We just knew. Shunt malfunction again.

This was a terrible ER experience. Nightmarish–and fitting for 10:00pm-2:30am.photo-3

Unless you’ve spent literally hours upon hours in the ER or hospital, I can’t even begin to express the impatience, anger, fear, insanity and claustrophobia that creeps upon you within those curtained walls.

The doctor forgot to order the CT scan (usually the first scan that gets the ball rolling. It tells the neurologists the size of his brain ventricles). So we were already behind schedule.

Finn cried and writhed in pain, holding his head, eyes bugging, while they took what seemed forever to draw urine and 8 samples of blood. All tests turned out clear. No infection.photo-4

During x-rays, at one point they lie him on his side; screaming. He’d be kicking and screaming if he could kick. When we left the exam room, Finn popped his head up off my chest and began talking behind his pacifier. Jabbering. His face de-swelled and it seemed we had our normal, happy Finn back.photo-2 photo-1

It took several more ridiculous hours to run the CT scan, the most important one. In the meantime we remembered back to Finn’s first ER experience–a shunt scare where we were sent home to think he had an ear infection. That time he also seemed normal after the x-ray. And another time between malfunctions, he fell asleep on his side and woke up fine. Something about that side position must declog his shunt.

The CT tech was completely–110%–incompetent. It was unreal. At one point I put my hands on top of my head and turned to stare at the wall so I wouldn’t insult her. What usually takes 1 minute took 30.

CT scan

CT scan

CT scan showed ventricles looked fine. So another hour or so later we were sent home; exhausted, frazzled and thankful that we would sleep in our own beds.

I woke up this morning to the Lord’s voice asking me to “Go pray for Finn.” I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. So I did. I knelt beside his crib and sobbed as silently as I could, begging our Father to heal. To turn the bitter waters of Marah sweet.

Here’s how you can pray with us:

  • We believe Finn’s shunt is again malfunction-ing. It hasn’t fully malfunctioned, or clogged, but it’s on its way. Will you beg God for mercy? That the catheter in his brain would fully unclog. It has about 20 holes to drain fluid. As long as one hole is open, he’s normal. All clog, and we get a swollen, vomiting, feverish, miserable little boy.
  • I hate Spina Bifida and I hate that Finn has a shunt; but he needs it to live, so pray that it works. For years. Not months or days.
  • Pray for complete healing of Finn’s body. Spine, brain, bladder, bowels, legs, feet.
  • Pray that Finn would know God intimately.
  • Pray for a friend for Finn. One that thinks he’s funny and doesn’t mind that he’s different.photo-5

Thank you. From the bottom of my hurting momma heart.