Casually Chaotic.

June 2020

We came back from camping and rolled right into June. We spent the first of June taking care of our little Celiac. She had her yearly check up with the gastroenterologist and looked so cute rocking her pigtails that were helping her mask stay on. She had to have bloodwork done and though she was confident walking down to the lab, she flipped out, was close to having to be held down, and had to be stuck twice. She was so embarrassed that she wasn’t as strong as her brother. Especially since last year her bloodwork was effortless. Emmaleigh told me afterwards that she didn’t flip out last year because her brother was at the appointment and she wanted to be strong like he was all the time. Their sibling dynamic is precious! And my mama heart will be SO happy when we can all attend everyone’s appointments together again. My kiddos are each other’s biggest supporters. 

We put LJ’s big waterslide birthday present to great use and had friend’s over to play! 

That week was LJ’s mid-month bloodwork. After he breezed through that we snuck away to Myrtle Beach! It was just the kids and I, Joshua had to stay home because of the military travel ban. As bad as I didn’t want to leave him, I just as bad wanted to see my Nana. So I loaded up the kids and their ipads and they played Minecraft for the thirteen hours we were in the car that day! I was really hesitant about downloading that game but after the quiet trip I don’t regret it one bit!

Our trip to Myrtle Beach was one of the best ones ever. Every trip to see the MB family is amazing, but this one was super special after Nana being so sick. Myrtle Beach was starting to open back up after quarantine and our first dinner out was at PF Changs. The next morning, we took the kiddos to a park and it was so hot they didn’t even want to play. Well I take that back, Em did. That girl almost never complains about the weather, hot or cold, she is just happy to be outside. After the park we met the Merchants at the beach! 

I just love that they are stationed in MB for now! Seeing friends from our first base is so much fun. I love getting to watch their kids grow up on social media but hanging with them in person is so much better! 

While at the beach, LJ made friends with a woman who helped him catch a bunch of little fish to put in his bucket. He was so cute and protective over his little fish. A man caught a fish and LJ was obsessed. The man was just to the left of us and had dug a hole to put his fish while he continued fishing. I though LJ was hanging around that hole, but when I looked back over there he was gone. I had been watching the water and totally missed him wander down the beach. We started to look for him and I could see him walking back with a woman. The man who had caught the fish, his wife was walking LJ back to us. When the man took the fish to his cooler down the beach some, LJ followed him. I was thankful to have my little dude back and he was happy to have had his own little adventure. 

That evening we met my Uncle Tim for dinner at Margaritaville. Emmaleigh loves “the restaurant with the storm,” the girl also loves cheeseburgers! We had an almost two-hour wait at the restaurant so we walked around Broadway for a bit and LJ ran into Spiderman! There was a company with rotating characters walking around and taking pictures with kids. LJ got to have a long conversation with Spiderman. They talked about New York, radioactive spiders, and both practiced the different Spidy poses. It was so precious and magical. 

The next day we got to meet my cousin’s sweet baby kitty, take some gorgeous mommy and me pics, and eat at Mellow Mushroom!

On our last day in Myrtle Beach, Nana watched the kiddos while my aunt, my cousin, and myself went to the Duplin winery! It was a beautiful memory with them that I will never forget!

That evening we got to meet up with my niece and her wonderful mom and have dinner at Captain George’s! We were just lucky to have been in the same town at the same town!

Could my family be any more gorgeous?! NOPE.

While I was living my best life in Myrtle with my babies, Joshua and Jake were working hard taking down two massive trees in our front yard! It is one thing Joshua said he wouldn’t want to make a career. 

The kids and I woke up early and drove straight to James Island to join Torie and the boys at Nature Camp. It was HOT. After sort of long walk to the back of the property, LJ turned really red and threw up everywhere. I’m introducing myself and my kids to new people and LJ was just vomiting. We gave him a bunch of water and took him on a kayak ride where I just splashed him with water most of the ride to cool him off. We came back and he was ready to play and had a great time! Emmaleigh hoped right onto the zip line over the water. She is so fearless. 

We left camp and drove straight to Brittney’s house to meet her new baby Charlotte. LJ and Emmaleigh both were infatuated with her! LJ and Addison played with monster trucks and Emmaleigh fought me over holding the baby.

The next day we went to nature camp with my mom in tow and had the best time! Emmaleigh played on the paddle boards, LJ got bit by some fire ants, and swung in the hammock. After camp we drove to Folly Beach to make our beach baby’s dreams come true! After walking through the hot sand, both kids took their boogie boards straight to the water! Emmaleigh and I practiced body surfing and LJ got knocked over by wave after wave on his boogie board. But in true LJ fashion, he just got right back up again! 

We came home to the Sellers and jumped straight into the pool. There was just no tiring out these water babies!! We went on a golf cart ride before dinner, ate, and finally got kids to bed!

The next day we woke up just exhausted. The crazy week had caught up to us all and we decided to stay home from camp and rest. Brittney brought the kids over and they all “rested” by swimming! LJ and Emmaleigh both flipped off the diving board for the first time, it was amazing. I’ve never flipped off a diving board and there were my children, especially cautious LJ flipping, swimming to the ladder, and flipping again! The both are the coolest little humans. 

That evening, while in the pool, LJ was hit in the forehead with a water gun. It was obviously an accident, but it was on his head, so it bled a lot. He recovered quickly and was so happy that he was going to have a Harry Potter scar!

The last day of nature camp, Kyle and Remy joined us! Remy was a paddle board champ and chicken wrangler! LJ had fun when they were trekking through the woods, but during the water session, he just wanted to be with his Mama. He was content sitting in my lap and watching his sissy do tricks from the zip line. LJ did have a crazy big spider crawl on him in my lap, so that was fun. We finished our time at camp with a quick stop at The Angel Oak and some froyo with friends!

We got to celebrate Remy’s birthday before we left town! It was such a fun spider man themed party complete with a visit from Spiderman. I knew Megan was coming up to the party with her kiddos but she surprised me and the kids with Deanna and her kids! It was SUCH a good surprise. 

I am lucky enough to have friends all over the United States. I am still close to many friends from high school. I enjoy deeply connecting with people and loving them hard. These five women surrounded me when I was the lowest I have ever been. They have cared for me in ways I didn’t even know I needed for the last two years and five months. It has been so beautiful watching the relationships grow with in our group chat. Women who didn’t care for each other but were my friends so they tolerated one another, now love each other. God knew exactly what he was doing when he introduced me to these women at different stages in my life.  Now we have our own little cousin crew and the best dang village a woman could ever wish for! 

The kids and I started the 10ish hour drive back home and less than two hours into the drive LJ began to complain about arm pain. He isn’t one to complain about pain, the kid didn’t even cry when he had five fire ant bites, so when he does it sets off every mommy alarm in my body. I called Joshua, debating on rushing to an emergency room, but decided to pull over. I pulled him out of his seat, was holding him and he almost instantly fell asleep. I managed to get him back into his seat and got back on the road. About another hour into the drive, LJ just started vomiting. I had LJ throwing up, Emmaleigh screaming and crying, and I was in the middle of nowhere Asheville exit land. I was finally able to pull into a gas station and they have no wipes for sale. I had to ask a mom in the parking lot if I could have some wipes. She was lovely and gave me the rest of her pack. I got LJ and his seat cleaned up the best I could and took a second to make a decision. I had a DIPG kid who just complained about severe arm pain, fell asleep randomly, and vomited. None of that is good in a normal child’s body, much less one with cancer on his brain stem. My choice was to take him to the nearest ER (I had Emmaleigh and with Covid-19 in general that would have been a mess) or get home as soon as possible. After he threw up, LJ was acting completely normal so I decided to just get home ASAP!

We finally made it home and after a long time away from Joshua, it was such a relief to be home!

We went to Wild and Free for the first time since quarantine started and it felt SO good to be doing something normal! We also released two chipmunks Joshua had caught while we were out of town. They tried to jump out of the bucket we had it in and it scared myself and a bunch of other moms and kids. A hilarious memory! 

Next up was a little camping trip to celebrate my 30th birthday and Father’s Day! We woke up really early to finish loading the camper because LJ had clinic on my birthday. In the midst of the loading crazy Joshua found time to make me delicious upside down pancakes. 

Clinic took FOREVER. Joshua and Emmy hung out with Carrie while LJ and I basically spent 4 hours waiting on medicine. We finally got on the road and when we were almost to the campground…we ran in to a very abrupt road closure, in the middle of nowhere, with no service. We got turned around and had to take the long way around to the campground. We finally got to our super cool site, settled in, hung the hammock, and had a late dinner of campfire pizza. Which is a really great first night at the campsite dinner and I think we will keep as a tradition!

Friday started out very calm and ended with a bang. We ate a yummy lunch, took naps, Em devoured a book, LJ rubbed dirt all over himself to look like Black Panther, and the kids made lots of friends at the playground! 

While cooking dinner LJ burned his leg on the Dutch oven. He was running on uneven terrain near the fire pit and didn’t leave enough space between him and the oven. We obviously didn’t have the oven in a very safe spot either. He barely grazed the side of his leg but it was a pretty bad burn nonetheless. He called it a “steam.” We put some burn cream on it and our tough guy kept going!

On Saturday, Joshua made us a delicious breakfast per usual then surprised me with ordering makeup pallets! Joshua and I got to take a walk together while our kiddos played on the playground. We are reaching the glorious part of parenthood where the kids are pretty independent and it’s a great place to be! We found a cool bridge/creek area and got the kids to go explore it. While walking to the bridge, my chest started to tighten so bad. I had to rush past my family so I could sit down on a rock at the edge of the creek. Joshua tried to distract the kids in the creek while I tried to figure out why I felt like I was having a heart attack. I was laying down, feet in the cold creek, Em’s shorts on my neck, but I still could not slow my heart rate. I was crying it hurt so bad and I really didn’t want to have to call 911, we also had no service so there was that too. My heart slowly returned to normal and I felt much better. But later learned that I had more than likely had a full blow panic attack. It was unprovoked, no stressors other than normal life, and really really scary. 

Once I got it together, we walked down the creek a bit. We were turning around to head out. Right before we were going to climb out, Joshua slipped on algae and holding LJ’s hand, he went down too. Of course, LJ was screaming, he just fell in a creek, but we pick him up to find the back of his head busted and bleeding…badly. We are trying to scramble out of the creek, Em is screaming about LJ’s tumor and LJ is screaming in pain. We wrap his head in Joshua’s shirt and rush him back to the campsite. It was a long walk, I prayed with Em following the boys to give her some sense of peace. The bleeding almost stopped on the walk back to the site and a few moms agreed that it would probably do alright without stiches. We gave him some Tylenol and iced his head while he rested. 

WHAT AN HOUR!

Needless to say, when we woke up Father’s Day to a chilly and rainy day, I was grateful that we had to be much more still. We went fishing and Emmaleigh caught the first fist while LJ caught the biggest. It’s so much more fun to go fishing and actually catch something! Oh! And I was able to get a bit of Joshua’s hair in a pony…it was hilarious!

When we got back to the camper that afternoon, Emmaleigh told me the real reason she was so upset when LJ busted his head. Bridge to Terabithia SPOILER ALERT ahead…she had just finished re-reading that book before we went to check out the creek… the girl in the book falls off a rope string, hits her head, and dies in a creek. Poor Em. As if her life isn’t trauma filled enough.

day after he hit his head

We loaded up and headed out Monday morning in the rain of course. As soon as we got service, we found out that Tricia (Joshua’s stepmom) Mom, Grandma Betty had passed away. We were just heartbroken. She was such a beautiful woman that we wish we had more time with as a Grandma!

So, we got home, unpacked, repacked and headed to West Virginia for her services. We made some sweet memories while we were there. Dairy Queen with Mimi and Papaw, Em drawing with Garret, a really late night swim with Katie, and so much fun at a park with a really cool swing!

We came home just in time for our first in person church service! Something about being gathered together worshiping God that is just so good for the soul! And after the crazy week we had, my mama heart needed it! Emmaleigh was dressed for the occasion, and LJ, well he picked out his entire outfit for the first time. 

June was one of the most intense months we had in a while, and it wasn’t even scan month. We had TONS of travel and many injuries. Everything is healing nicely and our world is slowing down a bit believe it or not. Leaning into God was the only way my heart survived this month. Without His constant, I don’t know where we’d be…

June was chaotic, but the start to a beautiful summer!

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