Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No More Naps!

Over the past several weeks, Steve and I have wondered about whether or not we should get rid of Amaya's naps. We were hoping that she'd gradually "grow out" of naps, but after several nights of her laying in bed awake until 10:30, 11:00, 11:30pm, we decided to get rid of them altogether. She typically wakes up on her own between 7:30-8am and won't be ready for a nap until after 3pm. Once 3pm rolls around, it generally takes her a little while to fall asleep and once she's out, she's out until 5pm! When we're ready to tuck her in bed, read books, and pray around 9pm, she's still wide awake begging for one more story and one more sip of water. So, for the past four days, she's been waking up around 7:30-8am and going to bed around 8-8:30pm without much of a fight. Amaya is very proud of herself and is pretty excited for NO MORE NAPS!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Amaya's First Manicure

We were invited to a graduation open house on Saturday evening (one of my co-worker's sons) and since it's been really warm out, I decided to wear sandals. But - I couldn't wear sandals with naked toe-nails! So, out comes my nail polish and Amaya wanted her nails done too. I've been hesitant to get Amaya started into doing her nails because I was afraid she'd want to change colors every day. Anyway we'll see how it goes! Here are a few snapshots of her manicure!

Holding still...

Blowing them dry...

All done!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oxbow Zoo with Grandma Horning

The weather on Thursday was absolutely perfect - so perfect that I thought it would be a great day to go to Oxbow Zoo. We invited Grandma Horning along and all four of us had a wonderful time!

Right away, Amaya spotted the otters! (One of my favorite animals.)

The bear was especially active - normally when we've come in the afternoons, he's usually sleeping.

Steve has had quite a bit more energy, so it was fun to walk around the zoo with him. But, every so often, we needed to rest a little on the benches.

Amaya and Grandma checking out the cows.

Isn't he cute?

Amaya got up the courage to feed this little guy some grass, but for some reason, he didn't really like the smell or taste of her hand!

Oh, well... on to the next exhibit!

Wild Turkeys!!

Amaya was having the time of her life - so much in fact, that her I caught her singing, dancing, and AIRBORNE!

I absolutely love the little house. Wouldn't you just love to live here?

Amaya thought she could.

"Mom! We can even make cookies with sprinkles here!"

While Amaya and I were in the house, Steve and his mom were enjoying the view of...

...the buffalo!

Steve, Amaya, and Grandma Horning.

Like I said earlier, the weather was perfect - high 60s and gorgeous sunshine!

Next, Amaya and I went over to the swing.

Don't you just love these little hands?

And don't you just love this little girl?

Picking dandelions...

....for Grandma.

What a special day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crohn's and Colitis Walk Pictures

Thank you once again to everyone who supported our family in one way or another for the Crohn's and Colitis Walk. The event was a smashing success, the weather was beautiful, and our team raised 748 dollars for research for a cure! Honestly, words can't express how grateful we are for your love, encouragement, and support!

Each participant received a maraca and pedometer. If you raised more than 100 dollars, you received a t-shirt. And if you raised more than 250 dollars, you got a hat as well.

A meal was provided for the participants including hot dogs, chips, apple slices with caramel, carrots with ranch dressing, granola bars, and bottled water. Once we got a little sustenance, Amaya wanted to get involved in all of the activities - especially the bouncy house.

I thought Amaya might be a little intimidated by all the big kids jumping, but I guess that didn't really matter much to her. She had a blast!

The kids could also get temporary tattoos, face painting, and crazy hair! I wanted Amaya to get her hair colored purple, but she said she'd only do it if Grandpa Lowell and Mama got their hair colored first!

Amaya's got Grandpa wrapped around her little finger, because here he is getting a lovely shade of green put in his hair!

And I chose the color pink...

But after all that... Amaya didn't want to get her hair colored after all and back to the bouncy house she went!

Before the walk started, we also signed a banner in Steve's honor.

Here's a group shot of our team: Kevin, Andi, Caiden, and Caellum McClure, Lowell and Ruth Ann Horning, Me, and Amaya. Missing from the picture are two of my coworkers and my coworker's stepdaughter: Becky Severson, Tricia Stevens, and Kimberly Stevens.

The walk kicked off shortly after 6pm. I was surprised at the great turnout and like I mentioned earlier, the weather was amazing!

Amaya initially said she wanted to walk the whole way around the lake - about 3 miles, but chose to ride in the stroller instead.

We made it!

After the walk, participants were given door prizes, and we celebrated with a few songs from Elvis impersonator, Brad Boice.

The Hornings after a great walk!

Thanks everybody - hope to see you again next year!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to the Land of the Living

Since Friday night, I've slept over 25 hours.... Amaya graciously shared her nasty cold with me and while I wasn't sick enough to stay home from work on Thursday and Friday, the cold caught up with me Friday night. I think the stress and hectic schedule from the last two weeks caught up with me and getting hit with a cold didn't help matters. I'm back to the land of the living and feeling so much better - so much better that I somehow decided that today would be a good day to clean out the fridge and freezer! And I mean clean! Everything out and shelves cleaned and reorganized! I wish I could get paid to clean and organize! Perhaps I should work for a professional cleaning agency - ha! There's a story behind that...

Each and every day that passes, Steve continues to gain strength and energy. He's managing to get around the house and able to tackle the stairs, however long walks tend to tire him out. Walking with a cane helps him get around for longer distances. There's still quite a lot of incisional pain, but managed (for the most part) with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Steve was hoping to return to his internship on Monday, but it's best that he continues to rest and heal at home for a few more days.

Yesterday was Steve's graduation.... and while I was a little disappointed that I couldn't watch him walk across the stage to receive his diploma and cheer for all of his accomplishments, I'm thankful that he had surgery and is on the road to health. His professors gave him an extension to get his paper and defense completed by January - he'd like to get it finished before we go on vacation. He'd also like to get his internship wrapped up by the end of June. He has all the hours he needs to fulfill the graduation requirement, but he committed to working 9 months, and because he's been sick so much, he needs to make up that time. Thank you to everyone in his class for sending him a card - it was a huge encouragement to both of us! We were thinking about all of you last evening - Congratulations - you made it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Home from the Hospital

Steve was discharged from the hospital on Monday afternoon and we are so thankful to have him home to recover. He's feeling "1000 times better" just being at home. Must be the great care he's getting - ha! He's eating better, drinking better, sleeping better and has a lot more strength. Last night was his first night that he had quite a bit of pain, but he's doing better again today. I suppose that's to be expected - good days and bad days. Please continue to pray for his recovery. Amaya also started with a bad cold on Monday, so please pray that she starts to feel better, and that Steve and I don't get sick.

Friday, May 13, 2011


The past week or so, I've been running on caffeine, adrenaline, and the faithful prayers of friends and family for strength and energy.

We enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day with both of our moms and my brother and his family. We invited everyone over to our house to celebrate. We had ham, cheese potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, rolls, fruit, and raspberry swirl cheesecake. Steve gave me the greatest gift of all - cleaning up the kitchen! (and beautiful white roses - my favorite!) After lunch, we played chicken foot with the kiddos and then went to a bell concert at my parent's church. AMAZING!

Steve's surgery on Monday went tremendously well - we got our miracle after all. Long story short, the surgeon was able to do the "take down" of his temporary ileostomy, resected 15cm of small intestine and fixed the leak. The greatest news of all was that the surgeon said that there was no active Crohn's disease present and if he had opened Steve up again, there would be no evidence that he even had Crohn's. We're absolutely amazed and in awe of the work his surgeon and the team of doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists did - one of the senior residents said that it was, "one of the most difficult surgeries they had done in a long time."

Steve's recovery has been a challenge - difficulty keeping food down, gas pains, and nausea, but today he's feeling a little better. I'm proud of how hard he's working to fit in all his walks despite feeling crummy. His doctors are hoping he'll be able to be released in the next few days. We've been fundraising for the Crohn's and Colitis Walk, and we were hoping that Steve will be able to attend and wheel him around Silver Lake. Unfortunately, he's still not feeling the greatest today, but we'll still walk in his honor and for the hope of a cure! We've raised over 550 dollars to donate to the foundation to find a cure for Crohn's and Colitis! Thank you to everyone who has supported us financially and to those who are joining us on the walk! It means a great deal to our family!

Most of our evenings are spent with Steve at the hospital and during the day, Amaya and I have been at my parents house for my mom's garage sale. My sister and niece were able to come up from Nebraska, and my sister has been the perfect medicine to bring a little sunshine to my week away from Steve. We planned the garage sale a couple months ago, so although the timing of Steve's surgery wasn't ideal, I'm still thankful that I'm able to stretch my time between the two of them. The weather yesterday was amazing - beautiful sunshine, mid-seventies - today, we ditched our shorts and t-shirts and replaced them with jeans and coats - as long as it's not raining, we're not going to complain. We've gotten rid of a lot of things and have already made over 200 dollars!

I'll try to keep updates coming as we know more about Steve's release from the hospital. Thank you to everyone who has come up to visit him, sent cards and e-mails of encouragement to us this week. God has blessed us tremendously this week through our family and friends and we are so thankful for this miracle!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things I love about today...

Love, love, love sleeping in!

Love kisses good-bye from Steve!

Love the sunshine!

Love snuggling in bed with Amaya!

Love Lady Antebellum!

Love organizing and clearing things out for our garage sale!

Love my sister and our long talks!

Love hearing my niece, Hope sing her ABCs.

Love it when Steve comes home for lunch!

Love road trips!

Love being able to meet our brother-in-law, Paul in the cities for supper!

What do you love about today?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bike Riding

For Amaya's birthday, both sets of grandparents chipped in and bought her this bike. She's been anxious to ride it, and finally, we've hit a couple days where the weather is warm and sunny! (Although, as I write this post... it's currently 33 degrees out!)

She still needs a little practice with the pedaling and steering.

But, in no time at all, she'll be cruising around with all the other big kids on the street!

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Never in my wildest dreams, did I think we'd be dyeing Easter Eggs as it was snowing! But, here we are...

Little Miss Amaya was ECSTATIC about dyeing Easter Eggs.

She didn't really remember dyeing them last year, but after showing her the pictures we took last year, she said, "Silly me, now I remember!"

Of course, the first egg to dye would have to be pink!

So many colors... I even had to boil more eggs so that we would at least have one of each color!

We had a great time decorating them...

..even Steve!

Amaya was concentrating pretty hard to make sure the stickers were in just the right place.

Amaya with the eggs all decorated!

Aren't they beautiful?