Wednesday, December 31, 2008

home, and a few more words

We are home safe and sound. Overall we had decent travel. The wind was awful from Minnesota to Kansas City, but we had clear skies for the long drive today through Missouri and Arkansas. The boys did okay too. Ayden is awesome in the car. Balin did better today, but has a horrible diaper rash. We had great luck going up and comming back with hotels. We had enough reward points for a room on the way up and my dad had enough for us a room on the way back at a beautiful Hampton Inn.

Minnesota was both wonderful and horrible at the same time. How difficult to say goodbye to someone you arent prepared to say goodbye to. The schock and grief comes in waves. Moments will surprise you and then the laughter too is so much sweeter. We had so much time this trip to just sit and visit with people we rarely see. I was able to put faces to names of lifelong important people in Lucas's life. We met our nephew Aston who is amazing and sweet and has the best cheeks for an auntie to pinch, ever!

The funeral was moving to say the least. Jim was a longtime emmber of the Patriot Guard Riders. I'll write a post later explaining them. But we drove up to a funeral home SURROUNDED by men and women, many of whom served in the military or are children of heros, standing guard over the services in a flag line. So like 40? I didnt count, but many many many flags encircling the tnire funeral home. We carried in Jim's leather jacket that bore his PGR patches. It was so moving to see their faces as they recognized what we had and who we were. They loved Jim and we loved their presence. Their website is HERE. Read for yourself the wonderful things they say.

The funeral also had a traditional native american drum. I'll have Lucas post to explain that, but I will say it was the most haunting and physically moving song I have ever heard. Ther funeral was led by a catholic priest. He was sincere and empathetic and had good words to share. Even the funeral home staff seemed moved. There was standing room only. People had to stand in the hallway all the way back to the doors. Even being on the children list didnt ensure us a front seat:-). We sat in the back which was good because I had to escape to a side room with an unrulley Balin.

There will be more tomorrow with pictures.

I am sending out a new years letter when I get us pulled together. I've been planning it and had actually just finished it when we got the news. If you think I may not have your address and you want a letter send it to me at emilymichelle AT gmail !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

where we are

I need to share some sad news with those non Tilsen readers of this blog. On December 23rd, 2008 we lost Jim Lewis, Lucas's step father to a presumed heart attack. He was snowblowing a sidewalk and colapsed, EMS was unable to revive him. We are currently very sad. We will be traveling tomorrow, Christmas Day to Kansas City and then finish the trip Friday on to St. Paul to be with Lucas's mom Judy and 11 year old brother Dominic. We are not traveling today because of the weather prolems accross the country and we are spreading our trip up into two days to ensure that we arrive safely. My parents have graciously offered us the use of their Tahoe. The memorial service will be on Saturday. To lose a parent is not a grief anyone is prepared for. Please pray for Lucas and the 7 other adult children and step children of Jim's, but especially for Dominic. We were blessed to share a trip this past October with Jim and Judy to celebrate Jim's 61st birthday.(We called it his 16th) We went to a pumpkin patch, ate alligator at a local cajun restraunt, but most importantly just spent time together. Balin and Ayden both adored Papa Jim and Ayden is confused, and sad about what is going on. We hate that Balin will not get to grow up knowing this wonderful loving man with a spitfire attitude. We joked during the trip that Jim and Balin spoke the same language. Balin was entralled the entire time. I'm sure there will be more words later, but for now I'll leave you with my favorite picture from that trip. We are seeking comfort in the normal. Today is Christmas eve and we will go to church and then have dessert. We will open a gift and then read the Christmas story from Luke. Tonight Santa will come and in the morning we will enjoy our children's wonder. We celebrate during this difficult time the Prince of Peace.
May He bring you peace tonight that we pray he will bring us. Merry Christmas,
Lucas and Emily

Friday, December 19, 2008

What a week

This was Balin's big week. On Monday we met with the ENT to talk about Ear Tubes. On WEdnesday morning we had them done! This was our first surgery with Balin, but it was done by the same Doctor who took out Ayden's rock from his ear so we were fairly comfortable! Balin did awesome. He woke up fighting the nurses, came home for a three hour nap and was perfect. He even seemed to feel better than he had earlier. We've heard lots of words that were never clear before! The surgery was at 7:00 a.m. So that means a 6:00 a.m. check in time! We were all pretty tired, but adrenalin and worry about TODAY kept us going. This morning he had his hernias repaired. Turns out that he had TWO inguinial hernias and several hydroceles (the hydroceles are basically fluid filled sacks that develop... they feel like water balloons. The Doctor is a little odd, but clearly good at his job! He put us very much at ease this morning! Again, Balin did stellar! When we got to recovery he was being held and cuddled by a very sweet nurse. He was not complaining, just resting well in her arms. When he saw us he reached and voila, discovered his IV. Which he immediately tried to remove. My stomach can't handle that. I HATE IVs and I've had enough in my life to not need a reminder to know what they feel like when they get pulled. So AHHH. I handed him to his daddy and let the nurse remove it. He then immediately calmed down and fell asleep in his daddy's arms. We got him to drink some juice asap and they let us take him home! He has been very sleepy and not comfortable. He obviously is in pain so we are not being hesitant to give him his tylenol 3! I've made him a comfy spot in the living room with pillows and blankets and he's been sleeping off and on and snacking on some crackers and juice. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and food and encouragement as we've gotten through this week! Hopefully this next week will be a week of healing and rest as we celebrate the coming of our King and the wonders of our Lord! Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Christmas Trip, and the weeks ahead

This past weekend we went to Palestine Texas for a little get-a-way. The ultimate goal was to ride the Polar Express, which we bought tickets for a month ago. When we bought our tickets we were surprised that the earlier train rides were allready sold out, but once we rode it we know why. It was worth EVERY penny. Both boys loved it and I have to admit,standing in the depot and watching the train come in all lit up with lights and steaming was pretty exciting... like I wanted to jump up and down and scream with the kiddos exciting. That was 8:15 pm though, our day started much earlier. about 12:00 we left home and got starbucks. The drive was mapquested at 2 hours and 50 minutes, but we got there in just a little over two. The drive was a bit sentimental for me. I'm really missing my grandmother lately and knowing that I was driving closer and closer to where she and my grandfather both grew up made me think of her and Christmas we spent with her. I miss her cherry divinity. I miss her lace and ribbon filled dresser drawers. I miss her quilts. I miss her.

Once we arrived in Palestine we found Old Town and the shopps:-). Lots of little boutiques and antique stores. We bouth Balin his first pair of See Kai Run shows because they were really cheap! Outside the shops is a park set up like an old texas town with clapboard stores. It was nice to just let the boys run around and play. Sometime around 5 we got hungry and found a yummy mexican restraunt and then decided we did not want to drive home late at night so we also found a hotel. A "Quality" Inn and Suites... not so quality, but warm and dry. They were out of cribs so I slept with Ayden and Lucas wit the baby. Balin only fell off the bed once. (eeek)

As for the Polar Express. Again, wonderful! Ayden has ridden it before with his Dad. I was afraid Balin wouldn't really get into it, but he really did!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday happenings

I have not been posting much because w have been so stinkin busy! It's a good busy though for the most part. We've been decorating for Christmas and hosting and attending play dates. Last week I hosted a gingerbread craft day. I spent all day Wednesday building gingerbread houses and on Thursday 11 friends and their children joined us to decorate them! (Ayden will be making his house this weekend). We had so much fun filling up this apartment with literally as many bodies as we could fit!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

if only his tubes were in the right places...

Poor Balin. He has surgery scheduled on Dcember 19th for a communicating Hydrocele, which is basicaly a hernia or opening that allows water from his abdomen to drain into places it is not supposed to. By the end of the day the poor guy has what looks like a small water balloon in his diaper. It drains back when he lies down at night. Apparently this is a common issue with little boys. something like 1/4 of all males are born with an opening that will spontaneously close within the first year or so. Balin's did not so we have to have it surgically repaired. Yesterday Lucas took him in to get his ears checked. He had an ear infection the week before Thanksgiving so we were following up on that. Now he has a Double ear infection. This poor guy has struggled with these since he was two weeks old. FINALLY our Dr. (who we love) told us to make the appointment with the Ear Nose and Throat Dr. (This is who removed Ayden's rock from his ear, arranged for an "emergency surgical procedure" gathered nurses and anasthesia people and then only charged us for the office visit.. so therefore who we also LOVE.) So it looks like he will also be having tubes put in, a second "surgical" procedure. Not Fair. Our tiny little guy who still comes in around the 50 percentage line and below on height and weight has to spend so much time in the hospital. Please pray for all of this as we prepare for Christmas as well.