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Friday, June 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Anniversary, In-laws & Running Buddy

Well it's that time of the week! It's Thankful Thursday!! Time to sit back and reflect on things in our lives that we can be thankful for. No matter how big, small or insignificant they may seem, there's always something to be thankful for. So..... What are you thankful for this week?!

Monica's List:

(To be filled in when she's not feeding, burping, changing a diaper or sleeping, lol)

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for my in-laws! While I was out on paternity leave (that's what it's called for the dad), Monica and I got to take two vacations almost back to back. We owe that blessing to our in-laws. They got a wild hair and decided to take a trip to Gulf Shores for a week and wanted us to tag along. We happily and gratefully said yes! I know they probably only invited us so they could spend the week on a beach with their grand babies, but we were super excited none-the-less! It was an awesome trip! One where I got to experience deep sea fishing for the first time. I recently got into fishing the past few years thanks to my bro-in-law. Let me tell you, deep sea fishing is worth doing! It was a BLAST! We caught red snapper almost the whole time we were fishing! My father-in-law and I were rakin' em in buddy! We caught more than anybody on the boat, and there were over 30 of us.  The second trip was a week long stay at Table Rock Lake here in Missouri. It's an annual trip for Monica's family. Once again, my in-laws made it possible! Usually everyone stays in one house. 20+ people in one 4 bedroom house! It's packed but a lot of fun! This year since we had the twins, we stayed in a condo with my in-laws. If it weren't for that we couldn't have gone. We'd have kept the whole house up all night, lol! It was also a blast! A week of fishing, tubing, wakeboarding (I learned to get some sick air this year) and riding waverunners! I caught two channel catfish, a white bass, and 3 Kentucky/spotted bass this year. They were good eating! We catch fish all week and have a big fish-fry at the end of the week! They were two phenomenal trips and a great way to end my paternity leave!

I'm thankful for a running buddy! As I mentioned Tuesday, my buddy and I started back running this week. This go around we know a lot more about running and should be able to catch back up to where we were pretty quick. We already almost ran 3 miles on our second run. Granted it was a snail's pace compared to what we used to run, but it's a start. One I'm happy with.

I'm thankful for my wife!!!!!! Today we celebrated 4 years of marital bliss! ;) I mean it too. They have been the best 4 years of my life. I married my best friend. She completes me! (sappy sigh) I never would have imagined I would end up with such an amazing wife! She's so much fun to be around. She makes me laugh. She has the same goofy sense of humor I do. She's everything I prayed for in a wife and so much more! People ask me all the time when they see a picture of her, how I managed to get a girl like her. I respond in one of two ways. Either 1) I'm still trying to figure that one out myself, or 2) I snatched her up before she realized how HOT she was and how much better she could have done, lol! I am that dorky, goofy looking guy with the smoking hot babe for a wife! :) Must have been my awesome personality and charm, lol. My wife is the best! She's an amazing mother! I can't wait to see what the rest of our lives together have in store for us! Love you sweetie pie! Forever and ever!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Running" Back on the Band Wagon

Since the boys have been born, life has gotten much... busier. I don't like to use the word harder. Nothing about raising twins is physically hard. It can be exhausting at times running off little sleep. But hard I feel is the wrong word. Now having said that, let me remind you all that we have had a tremendous amount of help from family and friends. I've heard of people raising twin babies by themselves with no help at all. THAT I would classify as hard! It definitely tests your patience, an area I need a lot of work in. It is very time consuming, especially in the beginning.

When we first had the boys, they would eat every 3 hours. Sometimes we had to wake them up and make them eat, but they ate every 3 hours. Each boy would take about 45 min to eat. They were still learning how to latch and were so tiny, it took a lot of energy. They would eat, take a break, eat some more, take a break, and so on. You could tell that the slightest bit of exertion seemed to drain all the energy they had in their tiny little bodies. To add to their exhaustion, the poor, little guys were loosing weight as all babies do once they're born. We only had an hour and a half (if we were lucky) in between feedings. They took a lot of our time and attention. We didn't mind one bit. They're only the cutest babies in the history of mankind! :) It's gotten 10x better though! Now they eat less than ten minutes a piece and it goes much quicker! Lately they have been sleeping up to and sometimes exceeding 5 hours in between feedings at night! Mommy and Daddy are happy, happy, happy! (Thumbs up)

With all that going on, I was only fitting in one set of treatments and no exercise. Most of the time we were just wiped out. Any spare time we had, we slept. I knew going in, that it would be hard to fit in treatments and exercise. The doctors and I had discussions about staying on top of treatments and all of us expected that I would probably see a dip in my PFT's by my next clinic visit after the boys were born. My CF doctor has a set of twins, so he understands. In my mind, I wasn't going to have a "dip" in my numbers. They had been steadily rising for over a year with no hospital admissions. I was determined to keep that up.

I failed.

I haven't been doing two sets of treatments and exercise has been non-existent around our house these days. Well, Monica has been doing her ab exercises. Her abdominal muscles separated so she has special exercises she has to do to pull them back together. Since her ab muscles are separated, she cannot run or do any heavy lifting. In fact, she is supposed to stand up and get out of bed by turning/rolling onto her side and standing/sitting up that way so she does not engage her ab muscles. Any use of her ab muscles will pull them apart further.

The moral of this post is that starting Monday, Monica and I agreed we will do what has to be done to ensure that I am getting two sets of treatments in a day and exercising. My FEV1 had dropped from 66% to 60%. It's going to be difficult at times, because I can only do so much to help when sitting doing my vest and treatments. Especially now that I'm going back to work full time. I wish I could do more sets of treatments a day or exercise more, but with a 40 work week it's just not doable. I'm hoping to find a job that is more flexible so I can do more treatments and exercise more. I've been praying about it. Any prayers my way are much appreciated! :) Obviously something needs to be done to ensure that I'm getting my treatments and exercise in. Now so even more than before. Now I have THREE people depending on me! It just so happened that my best bud and former running buddy (until we both stopped running) called me Saturday and was telling me how he really wants to start running again. Perfect timing! We went for a run on Monday. It was awful, lol! To know how far and fast we used to be able to run and see how much we struggled was a bummer. We only have ourselves to blame. We weren't as far gone as I would have thought, which is a plus. So, I'm "running" back onto the band wagon!

Time to whip myself back into shape. I know I'm a much better husband, son, sibling and friend when I'm feeling good and my numbers are up. So I assume the same is true with fatherhood. I can't take care of my boys, my wife, my family if I'm not taking care of myself. (Swift kick from myself to myself in the rear)

On a side note it felt great to lace up my running shoes and get back out there. We were sweating bullets and breathing like freight trains. I had full on stabbing rib pains through most of the run, but it felt awesome when it was all said and done! It's an accomplishing, rewarding feeling knowing I'm taking the right steps to being healthier for my family.

God always knows when we need a little motivation too. In the midst of realizing I need to make some changes and get back to taking the best care of myself as possible, I read a post by an awesome guy. A fellow CFer who I consider a buddy even though we've never met. He did what I, and most people I know, would of thought as impossible. He was admitted to the hospital with an FEV1 in the 20's and sent straight to the ICU. After 52 days in the hospital he left with an FEV1 of 50%. Doctors told him they'd be happy if he could bump it to 55% but not to count on it. He is the type of guy that when he's told he can't do something, will prove everyone wrong and work his tail off to accomplish it. He has been kicking some CF tay ever since and has his FEV1 up to 75%!!! Talk about motivation!!! His name is Ronnie. I've mentioned him several times in this blog. He's an inspiration to CFers around the world and does A LOT for the CF community! To read his post that I read yesterday, click here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gulf Shores & Table Rock Lake

Whew! It's been quite the stent with no blogging for Monica and I. We've missed a couple Thankful Thursdays too. I offer my sincerest apologies for that. I intend to get back to a regular schedule of blogging from here on out.

With the boys here now, life has been quite the adventure. Everyday life has it's own challenges now. Challenges far different from our previous life, everything from June 27, 2009 - April 11, 2013. Our boys are our world now! The days of scheduling things is gone and we now have to play everything by ear. Still not sure how you play something by ear, but anyhow. It's getting easier everyday! For the past 2 weeks Monica, the boys and I have been doing some vacationing. That is the reason for the absense of blog posts. We went to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a week with my in-laws and then to Table Rock Lake here in Missouri for a week with the entire in-law clan. We had the time of our lives! It was a blast and the boys did amazing with all the traveling!

I'll keep the chatter to a minimum on this post and give a picture and video recap of our trips!

I was also ecstatic to test the waterproof ability of my GoPro camera. They turned out pretty rad if I say so myself! The two videos posted were shot with it. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to do adventurous things in the water! I did some wakeboarding with it as well, but that video needs to be edited. Ya know, to take out all my wipeouts and make me look gooooood! I'll post them when they're done so you how terrible, I mean awesome I am. :) Enjoy the pics and videos!!!!

P.S. There's a video of the boys in the crib that I meant to post a while back so I'll add it to the mix.

Gulf Shores

Table Rock Lake


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2 Months Old Today

Today is June 12, 2013 which means our boys are 2 months old today! My goodness time has flown by! It seems like just yesterday I was sleeping on a couch in a hospital, spending hours staring at, praying over and crying tears of joy at my 2 precious gifts from God. They are two little miracles that is for sure. Miracles from God and miracles of modern science and technology. The last 2 months have been some of the most joyous of our lives. It's all still surreal until you see them make they're entrance into the world. It's kind of an aha moment. Makes you think "So there really was an actual baby in there." In our case, two babies!

Jace and Jeriah have changed our lives for the better. I find myself desiring to take even better care of myself to be around to see them graduate high school. To be a better person overall so as not to influence them in a negative way and teach them to be good citizens and men. To draw even closer to God so they have an example to follow and teach them to be righteous men. Most of all, to seek Him for His wisdom and guidance so I don't mess things up trying to raise my boys by my own insufficient knowledge. It's funny how suddenly your perspective of life changes and all your priorities change in an instance. I can't express in any amount of words how much Monica and I love our boys. I spent several nights at the hospital holding them and crying tears of joy over them. They are a dream come true!

It's only been 2 months, and Monica and I talk about wishing we could rewind the clock back to when they were teeny tiny and hold them again. Jace is a solid baby! He feels like a sack of potatoes in your arms. His hands are thick and wide. We think he's gonna be a strong boy! Jeriah looks like he's 2 years old with how tall/long he's getting! Okay maybe that's an exaggeration, but he's getting so long! We were noticing that he was looking almost a little skinnier in the face. We started to get concerned, but the scale says he is gaining weight. We realized when he was laying next to Jace and just by looking at him, that he is growing length wise while Jace is growing width wise, lol!

We ABSOLUTELY love our boys! Happy 2 Month Birthday Jace & Jeriah!

Here's some pics to show how much they've grown and changed.