Thursday, September 25, 2014

The CRPS Chronicles

Well, as most people know, I've had Complex Regional Pain Syndrome since I had a knee surgery when I was 16. I'm 23. Just a handful of weeks after having Eli, I witnessed miracle after miracle that finally led to me getting a Spinal Cord Stimulator that has literally changed my life.

Feel free to ask me if you have anymore questions about that, but that's not the point of this post.

I was given just one rule that made me sad upon getting the SCS, I had to turn it off before my next pregnancy. As most people also know (I'm not very secretive about it), that time is coming up.

Just to clarify.

Anyway, I was holding out some hope that maybe they would make an exception for me and I would get to keep my stimulator on. Well, they didn't. I went to my pain care specialist today, and though he assured me it was still my decision, I did not get the super enthusiastic green light I was hoping for. This means I'll be turning off my stimulator as soon as we decide to start trying (which I will be a little more quiet about, but I can't really hide a limp :P).

I really try to follow the commandment "Fear Not." I'm not going to say this has become a strength, but it at least has become something I'm thinking about. When it comes to making the decision to put myself back in pain — and possibly aid the CRPS in spreading — I'm not just scared, I'm terrified. I've spent many the night panicking to Garrett about all the things that could go wrong, everything that could be negative. I spend very little time having faith.

But Garrett is perfect, so he's always able to be the voice of reason. He told me that if he only looked at all the things that could go wrong he would never be in medical school. He wouldn't be pursuing dermatology. We probably wouldn't have had Eli. We probably wouldn't have gotten married. Things can always go wrong. That's life. It's the risk we took coming here. But we've received the commandment to "Fear not" because it will all work out. I'm not saying the next year of my life is going to be the best, but I know it's the right decision. We've prayed, fasted and now it's time for us to trust.

How else do we grow?

Well, I'll keep everyone updated in my own slow little way. Probably not as updated as my family would like, but they now know more than they knew with Eli :P

Friday, September 19, 2014

iPhone Family Photo — and an update

Last Sunday we all happened to match. Now, if you know me, you know this is rare. I hate matching. However, it turned into something good this time — an iPhone family picture :D

Things are going really well around the McCoy house.

Garrett is studying hard and realizing how awesome it is to have Kendell, Phil, Justin and Jordan go through medical school before him. Their advice has been so helpful and has really spurred us into action. Garrett is already preparing for boards, studying for his 2nd year classes, continuing his research, serving in the Elders Quorum and being an amazing father and husband. I don't know how he does it all — but he does fall asleep on the couch a lot ;)

I'm doing really well. The past few weeks I've actually felt normal. I don't get stuck in bed anymore, I can leave the house and, best of all, I'm actually doing chores around the house. This in no way means my house is immaculate, but I've cooked dinner every day this week and Garrett has yet to run out of underwear. That's pretty good in my book.

And little Eli. I love that kid so much (another thing that's really made me feel normal). He has started to color and doesn't actually eat that many crayons, which is nice. He also says Mom, Dad and Jesus and has specific noises for Yes, Hello and Car (Vroooooooom). He's so mellow and happy — and crazy! He never stops moving unless he's asleep. I've even taken to letting him have a toy car at dinner so he doesn't throw his food. Oh, the things I swore I'd never do... :D

That's really all I can think of from the McCoy family. Life is normal, crazy and wonderful. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Autumn Wind is a Pirate

...blustering in from sea,
With a rollicking song, he sweeps along,
Swaggering boisterously...

Friday Garrett and I left Eli in the more-than-capable hands of the Sloan's and went to see a Raiders game. That's right. There was a Raiders game in Wisconsin — it was at this little place called Lambeau Field where some random team known as the Green Bay Packers plays. Not important. ;)

Believe it or not, we weren't the only Raider fans there.
That's Raider Nation for you.
Garrett was seriously on cloud nine. I could tell, because he called me multiple times to make sure I was getting everything ready — which at one point made me cry because I had just moved a million couches into different people's homes and I didn't have time to curl my hair before we left.

I'm not pregnant, I swear. Apparently I'm actually that irrational.

We went up with our friends, Kedric and Kelli Glen. They're first years at MCW and they're in our ward (isn't it crazy to think that was us last year!?). We also met up with Steve Nelson at the game, though sadly, I didn't get to see his wife :(

Anyway, the Raiders were not able to pull a win on this one. The score was 31-21, but it should have been 31-28, however, as Garrett said, "It's pre-season for the refs too."

Green Bay was actually really classy when we were there. Charles Woodsen and Jameson Jones are two guys who used to be clutch players for the Packers, but who now play for the Raiders. At least three times throughout the game, the announcer announced "Let's give it up for Charles Woodsen's (or Jameson Jones') return to Packer country" and the stands would explode in applause. When Woodsen left the field for the final time he received a standing ovation.

Speaking of standing ovations, I love a state that gives a hearty thank you applause to the service men (and women) who attend the games. I believe there were two separate occasions of military-induced standing ovations.

Another super cute moment, on our way out we happened to walk past the Raider's busses. The players were in this meet and greet area where they saw family and friends who came to the game. Garrett just sat there and excitedly told me, "That's ________. He's a (position in football). He went to (college). He was a (this round draft pick, if applicable)."

Where he stores all this information I'll never know, but I love him for it. And thanks to our friends for letting us sit there for another 45 minutes. It meant a lot to Garrett.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's a miracle! I can craft!

I just wanted to share some of the things I've been making lately. I sew pretty much every gift I give and I only remember to take a picture of a quarter of them. I'm really starting to enjoy it though, and I like figuring out how to make different fabrics work for what I need them to.

I few months ago my LDS church congregation had a huge free rummage and someone dropped off bolts and bolts of fabric, which I subsequently stored in my car for the rest of the day. It's been a wonderful blessing, because we definitely could not afford to keep up with my sewing habit :D

Here are some of my sewing projects:


I've also been trying to have decorations for every season:

St. Patrick's Day
Fourth of July 

My bread making skills have improved drastically as well. Though I am far from notorious for my bread, I do hope people are happy to get a loaf. I've been carefully tweaking my recipe and, except for a few bad adjustments, it's been getting better and better.
My honey whole wheat bread
Pretzel rolls for chicken

French Loaf. I made this one for an auction.
Cupcakes I made for Eli's birthday

Donatello and Leonardo cupcakes.
Raphael was a fruit platter
My Michelangelo Cake

And, of course, because I love Garrett:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Boy is on Fire... Sauce?


Eli will eat anything we put fire sauce on. Seriously. He also chows down sour patch kids.

Does he even have taste buds?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not Perfect, Just Complete: My Thoughts on the General Women's Conference

Saturday I got the wonderful experience to view the General Women's Broadcast. It was seriously amazing — not just because of the spirit. Here are a list of things I loved about the conference.

1. Holy #Hashtag — literally. In the opening sequence where they show Temple Square and all of the pretty flowers and such there was a grayed out hashtag in the bottom left corner of the screen. Don't believe me:

I love the Church's effort to reach out through social media. If you for some reason cannot watch conference next weekend, check out the hashtag #TwitterStake or #LDSConf. I truly believe that the internet is one of those miracles that, though dangerous at times, can do so much to hasten the work.

2. Adorable 8-year-olds. Seriously guys. Meetings just got 10x cuter. I don't know what my favorite part was— watching the choir moms sing with their arms around their daughters, the Beehive that gave a totally bomb opening prayer (Beehives are 12, btw) or the other Beehive who played the violin better than I ever could.

Actually, It was probably during Sister Wixom's talk. She asked all of the 8, 9, 10 and 11 year old girls — those who had never attended a meeting like this — to stand up and sing a song she was going to hum the melody to. Almost instantly, all the adorable little girls in the conference center, and the more adorable girls in the Stake Center where I was, started singing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light." Their little voices joined together in a strong choir of tender testimony. Next, Sister Wixom asked everyone else in the room, while these young girls remained standing, to sing the second verse of the song. The first line really stuck out to me:

"Come little child, and together we'll learn."

The song doesn't say "Come and I'll teach you everything." It says that we learn things together. In other words, I have just as much to learn from those 8, 9, 10 and 11 year old girls as I have to teach them. Probably more.

3. Spiritual Multimedia. I already brought up the Twitter hashtag they had, which was incredible, but the Multimedia Department of the Church was busy before conference. They had two amazing videos that still made me cry this morning when I watched them again. The first was of women from all around the world singing "I am a Child of God" in their native tongue. From little children to adults, it reminded us that we are all children of God no matter our age.

The other video showed the stages of a woman's life from baptism until death. I can't do it justice writing anything here. Please take a moment to watch them. I was in tears.

4. Striving for Completeness. Sister Burton talked about the rich man who wanted eternal life, but wasn't willing to sell all his things and join Christ in his journey. At one point, Christ tells the man to "Be Perfect." Being perfect is normally something that gets all the women feeling really down on themselves and beating themselves up — but it doesn't have to be that way. Perfect, in that passage, was translated from the Greek word meaning Complete. All the Lord asks is that we try to be complete. 

5. The Spirit. There was such a special spirit during that meeting. I am so grateful I went. I am grateful for living prophets and apostles who help guide and direct us. I'm grateful there are sisters like Sister Wixom, Oscarson and Burton who take so much of their own time to strengthen others. I am ready to start working to be better.

If you ever have any questions about my beliefs (I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) please feel free to ask me. Or you can press the button on the side column. That will lead you to, which is an awesome resource for any questions you may have but are too afraid to ask. 

And, don't forget to join us for General Conference next weekend. All the details can be found here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"When E.T. Came to Earth" A Story

So, Shutterfly was giving free 8x8 photo books away, and I totally jumped on the idea. (Full disclosure: not free, $8.44, but beggars can't be choosers)

They also have this cool thing where you can share it on your blog, so here it is :D

It's the story about how "E.T." (Eli) came to Earth (you know, because he's our little alien) and joined our family. I had fun writing it.

Also, if you see a mistake, I don't want to know. It's coming with the mistakes in it whether I know about them or not. :D

Presenting: "When E.T. Came to Earth"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm starting to like this spring break thing...

So, MCW actually has a spring break. I'm loving it. Garrett still studies a bit each day, but it's so nice to have him home with Eli and me.

Garrett finished up his second set of tests for this semester and has two more to go. I know he's looking forward to being done, but he is doing such a good job. During his finals week he would leave around 9:00 a.m. and not come back until 3:30... a.m. Yeah, not until the next morning. I don't know how he kept it up, but he is sure enjoying sleeping ALL THE TIME now. :P

This is what happens when Dad watches baby.
Dad's little sports fanatic.

I've been keeping busy. I'm not going to go into details, but I was recently checked in to the hospital because my depression got out of hand. After getting out, I had to attend an Intensive Outpatient Program, which meant I had to go to the hospital three times per week for three hours for group therapy sessions. I am so grateful for the amazing ward we have. I had no shortage of visitors when I was at the hospital, people sent meals for me to put in the freezer the next time I felt overwhelmed and everyone volunteered to watch Eli for me when I had to go, or even just offered me a place to hang out when I needed to. I am so blessed to be here in Wisconsin at this time.

I've also been working on being crafty. I've been making dolls for a while now, but I experimented with a monster for my friend who is having a little boy. It is definitely not perfect, but I think it is adorable.

As for Eli, he's keeping us on our toes. He's a crawling machine and can walk around anywhere as long as he has a hand on something. He has even started to stand — but only if he doesn't realize he isn't leaning against something. I've tricked him into standing for a good 10 seconds, and he only fell because he realized I was no longer behind him :)

Eli has been making lots of friends. He still needs to work
on charming the girls, though —not hitting them.
Eli and his "Big Sister" Abigail.

He has also been very busy saving the world.
He's watching out for crime.
(You know, because he's Batman)

And, finally, our favorite third wheel.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I'm still here

I'm a terrible blogger, I know. I won't even try to catch you guys up on everything that has gone on. Eli is bigger (Like two teeth, crawling and pulling himself up on furniture bigger) and Garrett is officially done with his first semester of medical school... and we have the loans to prove it!

We spent Christmas this year in Spokane, Washington, with Garrett's entire family. It was truly chaos, but it was the absolute best kind of chaos. We had Garrett's oldest brother and his wife and four kids, and his other brother, wife and two kids. Since Eli learned to crawl while we were there that meant six mobile children.

Here's a picture of the boy cousins:
Aren't they cute? From the left we have Blake, Eli, Spencer and baby Benson. Okay, Benson is so sweet he made me realize that we miiiight want to have another child. Maybe.

I jest. I think.

Anyway, upon coming home to Wisconsin we were welcomed by -15 degree weather. Yes, I meant to put the negative sign in front of that number. No, that wasn't the wind chill.

What was the wind chill you ask?



Even though the air is frigid, I still love Wisconsin. It definitely feels like home and I'm looking forward to the years we have here.

Anyway, here's a picture of the cutest baby in the whole wide world (I'm biased).