This year, we spent Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa Livingstone's! We had such a great time. It was just us sleeping at their house, so we got to hog grandma and grandpa to ourselves! Jeff/Amy & Mark/Devonee were there for meals and activities.
Santa brought Kennedy a puzzle, he brought Lexi shopkins.
Kennedy was soooooo excited for her gymnastics mat from mom and dad!
So, now that I was at least beginning to feel better, I wanted my tree up! It happened in stages, because I got so tired so easily, but hey, thats ok!
We had fun decorating the tree together, as always!
new ornament from Nana this year! To remember our Disney trip!! Love it!
Brian went on an overnight ski trip and I didn't want to stay home now that I was feeling pretty good! So we went to Edmonton to see the family. We met Danielle's baby, Atlas! and went to the Legislature grounds to see the christmas lights.
when we came back, the girls were SOOOOOO excited to see that we had an elf staying out our house! His name was Benji and he wrote us notes and moved all over the house while we were sleeping! Mommy did NOT want an elf, but he came anyway! sneaky little guy!
showing dad the note from benji.
Brian setting up his new toy! The theatre room is slowly but surely coming along!
I had 7 extra kids in the house, because why not! Giving my friend Jordana a break from kids and then Ben came over with his 3 to help Brian set up his theatre room. So we had 9 kids from 1-8pm! But it was super fun and not nearly as crazy as I expected. I made sugar cookies for them to decorate and they played and played!
movie time! We watched Elf
Then...... the really exciting part! Becky had a baby GIRL!!!!!!
I pulled the girls out of school to go up and be ready for the call. We went up Monday morning and she had her that evening. We were all so excited she had a girl!
I love this picture... and becky is talking to Papa.
Ernesto had to run to work so I got to take Becky home from the hospital!! I loved it!
Nana and Papa came to visit and come to our ward Christmas party. The girls were in the primary nativity. Lexi in the choir, Kennedy a shepherd. They did great! We had Christmas with them too, the girls got these cute coats!
found this on Kennedy's white board. (M is for mom)
So November started off fantastic, with Nashville but soon turned not nearly as great. I got a cold, or so I thought, then I started to get very strange symptoms. I was off and on good and not good. When my legs started swelling very badly, I knew something was up and finally went to the dr. He got very worried and sent me to the lab at the hospital to do blood work and urine tests. He was thinking it was my liver, my kidney or an autoimmune disorder. I went back to see him that afternoon, and the next day and he said based on some of the results that had come in, something was wrong with my kidneys. He wanted to put in a request to see a specialist. Well I got a call from the specialist the very next day and he wanted to see me THAT afternoon (which was also my 30th birthday!). I saw my dr that morning and he told me that my kidneys were shutting down but they didn't know why. How's that for a 30th birthday present!! Happy Birthday to me! I cried for a while, then went to have brunch with my girlfriends that we had planned. Brian took the whole day off when he heard the morning news about me, and went to see the specialist with me that afternoon.
The specialist said on a scale of mild to severe kidney problems, I was a medium. He gave me water pills to help them out. My parents also came down to meet us at the appointment in Red Deer and took us out for my birthday dinner. Another of my symptoms was ZERO energy. Just so lethargic so I had my head on Brian's shoulder most of dinner, but it was nice to see my parents. My great friends in Olds had picked up my kids and taken Kennedy to piano and fed them dinner. They are AWESOME.
More doctors, more blood and urine tests over the weekend, then back to see the specialist on the 30th. My blood pressure was too high because of my kidneys not working right and he wanted to do a biopsy and needed my blood pressure lower to reduce the risks of bleeding out. So then I started pills to lower my blood pressure. The side effects of those were leg and face swelling- hey, just what I already had!! (My face was VERY puffy!) so he upped my water pills to counter act that. In the meantime, things got a bit better while I waited on more results. I got a renal ultrasound and the biopsy will hopefully be soon, in January. I'm feeling a million times better now, but still don't know what happened. The thought is that when I got a cold at the beginning of the month, my body created antibodies towards my kidneys instead of the virus. Its very rare, but it fits. It could be a one time thing that never happens again, or when I get a cold, my body could do this again because it will remember the antibodies. November and December were very difficult. My biggest symptoms being fatigue and crazy painful headaches.
Not having your health is crazy and scary and VERY INCONVENIENT!!! I'm a mom! I can't just stop! But I'm thankful I didn't have a job to deal with and very thankful for my fantastic family and friends, especially Brian. I felt so loved throughout this. I know people were putting my name on the prayer roll, keeping me in their prayers, offering to bring dinner or take my kids. Brian switched lots of patients around to try to be home as much as possible and my parents were there to listen to me whine or to get in the van to get kids. and my kids were SO good throughout this as well. So helpful and caring! I'm very lucky to have family and friends like I do!!!
Brian, that crazy guy, well he goes and surprises me with a trip to Nashville with Averley to see the CMA's!! What a 30th birthday surprise! Flights, hotel and tickets were booked, then Averley and I planned a few things too. I think the best part of this, was how selflessly Brian arranged his work schedule so he could be the one watching the girls. He went to work after taking them to school and was there for after school pickup. The girls loved having him around more! (Especially having Daddy make their lunches- much different than the ones mom makes!! haha)
We left on November 1st (super early Tuesday morning) and got to Nashville around dinner time. We found a cool restaurant to eat at that had live music and we shared fried catfish and a turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce hash that was really delicious.
We went to bed early because we were getting up at 4:30 (for the second time in a row) to go see the Good Morning America taping where Dierks Bentley was giving a free concert! Although we did not need to be there that early, it was fun to see him warm up with us and there were only 200-300 people I would guess (but less at the beginning) so it was pretty intimate and fun. It was warm and lovely to be out!
Then we walked downtown and saw a few fun things before heading for breakfast.
Then we checked out the Country Music Hall of Fame
the CMA's were that night, so we headed back to our hotel to have a quick nap and get all dolled up for the show! It was a black tie event which was actually really fun (but we only found out a couple days before we left home, so not much time to shop for something fancy)
steak dinner on the patio
ready for the show at the Bridgestone Arena!
The show was AMAZING!!!!!! It was the 50th annual CMA's so it was a big deal! Everyone was there. Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Alabama, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw, Reba and so much more!! It was so fun watching the show. It was really more of a show than a concert. So we just sat and enjoyed all the live music. We both really loved seeing it live! I would totally go again in a heartbeat!
The next day, Thursday, we did a hop on/off bus tour of Nashville. Its such a neat city. Downtown is busy and fun and has lots going on, theres some gorgeous parks and neat stories about Nashville and it even has a Greek parthenon building (felt just like we were in Greece! ;)
We checked out the bluebird cafe, but the line up had been out the door for hours, so we didn't make it in. We stepped in to take pictures though.
We had lunch at a delicious Mexican place. That night we walked Broadway street downtown and found a restaurant with live music. We ate dinner and sat there a while chatting and holding our table because everywhere was getting packed! Little did we know that the one place we picked wasn't even playing Country music! so that was a bummer. By then, everywhere was full and our parking ran out. We were tired anyway and happy to head home to bed!
The next day we were heading home. We did a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, which was super neat. and then shopped at the mall next door for a couple hours before heading to the airport.
their mailboxes and "address"
We made it home LATE that night, and we were tired, but happy girls! It was a great trip. We saw so many neat things. It was fun touring a city I really like with my friend! Thanks for going with me, Averley!