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Our Finley….an update.

Here is a picture of our Finley McAllister!

Our Finley

Oh, that baby melts this mama’s heart!! As I previously mentioned he’s quite the mama’s boy and that is A OK with me.  He is the baby for sure.  The caboose of four boys, what could you expect.  This little boy’s days have been recently filled with doctor’s appointments as many of you know.  Two weeks ago we had a cardio scare with him and we are able to report that this boy has a healthy heart!! YAHOO!  We still were left undiagnosed at this point and brought our sick little boy home with a referral to an immunologist in Jackson the following week.

{Pause, Insert good news}

In the meantime last weekend was wonderful!!!  The boys and I headed to Brookhaven for the weekend to celebrate our sweet little Hayes’, (my precious nephew) birthday.  While we were there I was able to squeeze in some Art marketing time.  I ran to Natchez Saturday morning and showed my work to Amber & Ashley of A Gallerie.  They have a new home décor store and feature the artwork of a couple of Southern Artists.  After talking at great lengths and enjoying a much needed visit with two of my dearest friends, JoAnn Waycaster and Sarah Russ…..

The Girls

Amber & Ashley placed their large order!!! Holy Cheesecracker Crap!! Did that just really happen? OH. MY. GOSH. “It has happened I thought to myself.”   A lifetime of dreams had just come true! I was selling my art!  So, I hugged the girls {and precious Chandler Russ, our photographer} goodbye and hurried back to Brookhaven for sweet man’s Birthday Party.  Well, the day before I had contacted the owner of an awesome gift shoppe in Brookhaven and she told me her weekend was crazy busy but she really wanted to run by and see my work.  So, after the party I called her and she said, “let me run by and look real quick and then we will talk Monday.”  GREAT!! So, she came by my sister’s house and took a look at my work and by the time she left she placed a huge order too!!! {CARTWHEELS!} Let’s just say my feet are still not on the ground.  I am completely OVER THE MOON excited about my art being offered for sale in these two ahhhh-mazing shoppes!!!

{back to my precious sick baby}

Well, the weekend didn’t end there.  Lee, {my Prince Charming} and I had been talking about getting Finley a puppy and found one in Brookhaven of all places.  I know for the past two years Finley has been begging us for a puppy but I just could not commit to having something else that would need me.  You know, something else to keep alive.  But when your baby is REALLY sick you overlook the hard parts and just go with your heart.  So, we did it! We got him a puppy.

Finley and Ty

{Please meet Ty, yes boy number 5!}

When I gave the boys the surprise {eyes closed, SURPRISE!}, you would not believe Finley’s reaction.  Y’all, that baby sobbed.  I mean, shed tears! He thanked me over and over and told me how very much he loved me and his new puppy.  It honestly beats any “PRICELESS” commercial I have ever seen.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I re-watch the video (thank The Lord my precious sister videoed the moment to send to dad back at home).  Everything is going GREAT with our new pup. Finley is one happy lil’ boy!

{ok, now the bad news}

Following our visit to Dr. Braden for the cardio workup, he referred us to Dr. Haltom, an immunologist in Jackson.  I was so anxious to go see him and have him tell us this was all allergy related and hopefully he would eventually grow out of it, but sadly that was the not the news we received.  We drove home with a list of 4 possible diseases it could be.  Let me just say the list is so ugly, I could not {and still can’t} wrap my brain around it!  So here is the list in order of ruling out.

1.) Carcinoid

2.)  Mast Cell Activation

3.)  Vasointestinal Polypeptide Tumors

4.)  Medullary Carcinoma of the Thyroid

I assume with a list that full of ugly long words you have probably guessed it.  Yep, CANCER!  Three of the four are rare types of Cancer and the Mast Cell is a disorder/syndrome.  DENIAL is putting it very MILDLY.  I am pretty much numb I guess you could say.  I am not going to go into further detail at this point because I am refusing to acknowledge this horrible word until someone sees it and tells me.  In my mind we are still looking at something harmless that he will out grow.  I may be acting naive, but for the sake of my mental status and protection of my heart, I will just go with this until otherwise informed.  We go Tuesday to see Dr. Leavengood.  He is the immunologist located here on the Coast.  Dr. Haltom felt it necessary to put together a team of Physicians (thinkers as I like to call them) to hopefully put their heads together and get a diagnosis quickly.  Currently our awesome team consists of Dr. Haltom, Dr. Leavengood, Dr. Neal (my precious husband), Dr. Sigurnjak and possibly adding Dr. Liberman, a nationally recognized immunologist at the University of Tennessee.  I have full confidence in this awesome group of docs and complete faith that God will lead them to the answer.

What’s next?  Today we are completing a second 24hr urine.  Tomorrow we go for extensive lab work. Tuesday Dr. Leavengood and Thursday an abdominal ultrasound and anything else Dr. Leavengood may add.  As you can imagine Finley is missing A LOT of school.  I met with his teachers Friday morning, and let’s just say God knew exactly who to place Finley with this year.  Mrs. Rachel Deroche and Sara Finn are nothing short of Angels!  First of all they love our Finley to pieces.  They both are staying in close contact with me every step of the way.   I was assured Friday to not give school a second thought.  At this point Finley is making straight A’s and they told me they were both going to do whatever necessary to keep him on track.  Even coming to our house if needed.  You have no idea what pressure is lifted from me knowing that school is ok for now.

Finley Beach

I will go for now.  I am asking once again for prayers for our Finley and our family.  Mom and Dad need strength and hope.  Brothers need understanding.  Finley needs strength, patience and healing.  I will hopefully be able to post again Tuesday  after seeing Dr. Leavengood with encouraging news.  Until then, thank you in advance to all of you who love our family and will be praying for us.

Here is an old song that has walked me through many a trials before and I am claiming it once again now.   Please take a second to listen.

{Jeremy Camp-Walk by Faith}


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What a week

Oh my sweet little new blog I haven’t forgotten you.  I have had a strange week.  Well, two weeks I would say.  Last week as you know I was mentally over worked.  The fear of a heart condition was too much on this mama.  I just told my older sister about an hour ago, ” I swear all of this with Finley’s health took 10 years off my life last week.”  I mean it.  That is the first time in my life I have ever felt fear on that level.  And ya know what, there was nothing I could do to “fix” the physical situation.  But there were prayers going up by the dozens.

 Prayer

Wednesday, before the appointment on Thursday, was completely excruciating.  I just knew that tomorrow was going to bring the most horrible diagnosis this heart of mine could bear.  I was dreading sunset because I new the dawn would quickly come on a day I would just rather skip all together.  I cried a lot of tears on Wednesday and when I got to parent pick up to get Fitz he immediately asked me what was wrong.  I explained to him our concerns about Finley’s heart and that I truly couldn’t bear to face what may lie ahead.  Yall!! I am not kidding you.  This is what came from the mouth of my precious 11 year old.  “Mom, now you stop crying.  You KNOW God’s got this! Whatever it is, it is going to be ok. If God is ready for Finley to come to heaven then He will give us the strength we need to go through this.  I don’t think He is going to take him but I promise you God will Hold us.  He is holding Finley right now.  He is holding all of us mama and it’s going to be ok.  Give me your phone mom.  I am going to call Klove (the only radio station we listen to.  If you have never heard of it PLEASE go now and stream it!! It is life changing radio) and ask them to play Hold me Jesus for you.”   Wow!! I could not believe the words my ears had heard from the mouth of my baby.  He said it with such confidence.  Such Faith!!! It made my heart smile for many, many reasons.

{Please listen to this beautiful song}

 Hold Me Jesus, Big Daddy Weave

Early Thursday morning came quickly.  We dressed and headed for Jackson and I was feeling a little bit anxious.  About an hour into the drive I was suddenly overwhelmed with the most amazing feeling of Peace. I quickly texted my two sisters and told them I felt the power of prayer.  I felt God with me!  Carly, my youngest sister replied that at that very moment she received the text she was already deep into prayer for Finley and us.  I truly felt the prayers of all.  Then right after talking with them about feeling the most amazing peace and God’s presence, this song came over my radio.  It was perfect timing.  God’s perfect timing.

 {oh, please listen to this one too!}

He is with us, Love and the Outcome

So, we made the appointment and as many of you already know, his heart is HEALTHY!! Praise God! The next step is waiting for multiple lab results and an appointment Tuesday back in Jackson with an allergy specialist.  We are trying to rule out an adrenal gland tumor and looking at Mast Cell Activation Disorder. Both are rare but being considered.  I will let you know what we find out.

 Faith

Jennifer McCully

I leave you with a heartfelt THANK YOU!  Thank you for the prayers and outreach of comments, texts and phone calls.  Please continue to pray for a treatable diagnosis.  Have an awesome weekend!!!

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Faith, Hope & Prayer

**NOTE- I could not get my pictures to load.  I believe I am just too unglued right now.  So sorry.

 

Life’s storms have been brewing since my last post.  I am so sorry I haven’t been able to post before, but our life is a bit upside down right now. You see that absolutely beautiful, precious gift of life above that God has trusted myself and husband with? That’s our Finley! He is the baby boy of four boys!!  He’s 9 and quiet the mama’s baby and that is just fine with me.

The storm broke the horizon Monday around noon.  I got the call from the school nurse telling me that Finley’s blood pressure was dangerously high, and if I couldn’t be there in 5 min or less she was going to have to call 911!  Thank God we live within five minutes of the school and I was home! I know I made it in 3min!  She met me at the door with Finley in a wheelchair advising me to go straight to the ER.  Well here is where the line becomes fuzzy.  You see, for about a year now Finley has been having these episodes.  Episodes of breaking out in a very red rash, complaining of stomach pain and trouble breathing.  For a year now we have treated this as allergies.  Honestly we have had no reason to think differently due to the many, many food and other allergies he has.  Finley could have booked frequent flyer miles last year for all of the trips to the school nurse he had with these episodes.  Well, yesterday for the first time someone, actually Nurse Carly,  checked his BP during an episode.  Holy Moly yall it was HIGH!!  It was  153/119  !  He is a little fella.  Tall, lanky, all of 85lbs soaking wet.  This just didn’t make sense to us.  Thank heavens my precious husband is a Doctor.  We talked things over and he immediately said, “Call Braden and get him in!” Dr. Braden just happens to be what we consider one of the South’s Top Pediatric Cardiologist and our former backdoor neighbor.  Lee, my husband had Thursday off so I called and quickly got Finley on the schedule for Thursday. Tomorrow.  In the meantime I called our pediatrician to get Finely in and let’s get a BP recheck and see what the reading was now.

Fast forward three hours and he and I were headed to the doctor’s office when I noticed he was getting red.  He said, “whew, mama I can’t breathe to good.”  Now most people would have freaked out, but I didn’t.  I have been hearing these words for 9 to 12 months now and would always give him a Benedryl because on the outside it looked just like an allergic reaction.  Well the next thing he did was wiggle his fingers in both of his ears and I thought to myself, “ears are ringing-BP has to high”, so thank goodness I was coming up on the road that led to our local hospital.  I hit panic and drove straight to the ER.  (Thank you Jesus I was where I was! Right by the hospital!)  They got us on back and hooked him up to everything that had a cord on it.  Now I was out of my league.  I’ve learned a lot of medical stuff just from my husband, but when it comes to reading monitors I am clueless!  I finally asked the nurse for a tutorial and glued me eyes to that screen texting my husband every change of reading I was seeing.  Finley seemed fine.  It was his usual “episode” on the outside.  Shallow breaths, heart racing and red splotches everywhere.  But this time I could see what was going on on the inside and it was scaring me.  Pulse was as if he had just ran a marathon and blood pressure through the roof.  I’m talking readings that would send an adult to the ER.  The only thing that held me together besides strength for my baby was my husband had finally gotten there and I knew I could share the stress with him and he knew exactly what was going on.  Then the results of labs and tests all came back good.  His chest x-ray, EKG and labs all looked good.  I could tell the ER physician as well my husband were perplexed.  They would throw ideas back and forth and talk each one through.  Would you seriously believe that the final suggestion from the ER physician  as cause of the elevated BP was possibly allergy related.  Yep! Allergies again.  He knew we had already scheduled the cardio appointment and said go get that cleared then talk to his allergist.

As the night went on I was a little more relaxed.  Worried, but better.  My husband on the other hand was not.  I could see his wheels turning.  It was about 9:30 Monday night and my husband stood up and looked at me and said three words of something I couldn’t pronounce.  He said I have no idea why or how I just thought of this, but I’m going upstairs to read up on it.  Well, about 10 minutes later he came back downstairs rather convinced that there was a HIGH possibility he knew what was causing the blood pressure to do this.  I am not going to put the name to it right now, but I will say I am very relieved that  what my husband thinks it could be is treatable.  Unfortunately it would possibly mean heart surgery on my baby, but it would be something they could FIX as opposed to some other options that are not.

So I leave you now with tear stained burning eyes like only a mother could have.  I am holding it together as best I can, hoping to hear good news tomorrow.  I know God is in control of all of this! I know he will meet every need.  My strength, Lee’s strength and most of all I know He is carrying my baby boy.  My hearts prayer is this: For my Father, the creator of the Universe to wrap, swaddle my baby in His healing arms and rock him! I know the power of the God I serve and I know the power in prayer.  I do ask for your prayers.  Prayers for strength for all of us. Prayers for healing.  I will post an update as soon as I am able.

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The belated post

Well last week was one in the books for me.  What I considered my first REAL post with the Family Command Center.  I was busting at the seams to link to as many linky parties as I could find, however I had a major glitch in my permalink that has prevented me from posting a new post for a week now.  Actually over a week EEEEEK!  But with all kinks worked out, (fingers crossed) I hope I will be on my way to regularly scheduled post for MW&F.

As you know I live on the beaches of Mississippi, and about a week and a half ago the temps dropped slightly enough to get me in the mood for fall.  Well, that didn’t last long.  Back up to 95 we go again and that crush I was having on Fall has simply gone to the wayside.  So what’s a girl who is burning up and yearning to feel Fall to do?  Go look at Fall inspiration on Pinterest! I have chosen several pics filled with ideas that I just may have to try my hand at to get this home looking like Fall.  Here are several of my favs.  I hope you are inspired as well and enjoy.

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 Fall inspiration collage

(Source)

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Family Command Center

Family Command Center2.jpg

I can not believe I finally got this Family Command Center done! It’s been on my To-Do list for OVER a year now.  Sad isn’t it?  Oh well, its finally all put together and I wanted to tell you about it as well as show you what it looks like.  My definition of a Family Command Center  is a centralized location of what is going on with everyone in our family.  Its a place everyone knows to check daily to make sure of what they may have going on (exp. dentist appointment, practice, project due, family members birthday, etc…) as well as if mom or dad will be out that day.  Its a place where important papers are placed, mainly papers from school that need to be read or signed.  They know those signed papers will be waiting in their bin the next morning ready to grab and go.  I use this place to post all of the important and maybe even not so important information on the calendar.  This is so helpful,  especially to me for a morning glance as I am guzzling sipping my coffee.

family-command-center-2

My Command Center is composed of a baby bed mattress spring to hang reminders on from school or reminders from me to me.  Children’s artwork, photographs,  scriptures, and inspirational prints can be found here too.  The chalkboard currently has a saying as well as this month’s calendar with important dates noted. Also included here are two galvanized magazine bins that I just love. One is labeled for each child and this is where all items they need me to see or sign from school goes to each day. A metal letter tray on this table is a place for  important things that I need to address.

family-command center-table-view-1

You honestly can make your Family Command Center custom fit just for your needs.  I have only had ours together for this month and am noticing a few resourceful things I may add to it.  But I must say it is quiet a lifesaver timesaver especially in the early morning rush getting the kids off to school.  We stop by it and glance over it then head to the car.

Chalkboard-scripture-calendar-1

The chalkboard is my favorite part.  First of all, I had the BEST time doing my very first Chalkboard Art Project.  I searched the web over and would you believe I could not find what I was looking for?  So, I just went for it.  I knew I wanted the main purpose of the board to be a family calendar, but I didn’t want the entire thing to be a calendar.  So I thought and thought about what to write on the top and decided to go with “This is the day that The Lord has made”. It just really seemed to go with looking at each day on the calendar.  It will work for now, but I cant wait to start thinking of what will appear on there next.

baby bed spring-message-board-1

The items featured in my Command Center came from a couple of different places.  The table that I absolutely love, was previously used for a display area in a local gift shop.  It was in pretty rough shape when I approached the store owner and asked if she would be interested in selling it.  She said sure and I got it for a steal.  One DIY project (Tutorial coming soon) later and there she is.  I just can’t get enough of turquoise and red! (By the way red happens to be my favorite color so plan on seeing more.) The hanging baby bed spring as well as the large chalkboard were both purchased on Antiques Farmhouse.  Oh My Goodness! If you have never shopped there then I say RUN check it out! I cant get enough of that place.  The  wire letter tray is from World Market and the two magazine bins for the boys and the cute white owl are from my go to place, TJ MAXX.  My awesome Humble sign was purchased from Lucketts.  A GREAT place to find vintage hip home décor items.   So there ya have it. I truly hope you give a Command Center a try.  It really has been a fantastic addition to our home.

chalkboard art-scripture-1

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And so it finally begins…..My very first Post!

I have been waiting for this day for a very long time now.  I finally did IT! I jumped in with both feet and landed in the Blogosphere!  I have to tell you I would not be here if it were not for The Blog Class, by Emily & Ryan over at one of my very favorite blogs, Jones Design Company.  I did the class and here it is.  My very own blog, Patina House and Studio.  The name is full of meaning to me.  First of all, I LOVE patina on any surface.  Brass, copper, an aged window, fence post, etc.  I love the natural beauty of time worn things.  When I was thinking of a blog name I kept thinking about the word patina and the beauty that it represents.  One day out of the blue it just all came full circle.  Patina! Yes, Patina House & Studio! The way it applied to me so deeply was the word described “me”, the way I see myself in this amazing season of my life.  You see, who I am today is a result of years and years gone by of heartache, joy, disappointment, happiness, growth, and the list could go on.  It represents the myriad of life experiences and lessons that have brought me to who I am today.  Hence the layers.  The patina.  I am who I am because of the beautiful layers of life that have occurred.  So, with that being said, my hopes are to expose the beauty of a worn and weathered life!  What I share comes from my experiences, my past.  Even though some of my layers are not so pretty, they contribute to my patina.

I do hope you will come back regularly and see what I have going on.  I will be featuring DIY tutorials, projects, sharing things I love, offering stories of how my FAITH carries me and slowly but surely unveiling my story as an artist and sharing with you my work.  Hopefully before too long, I will have selected pieces of my artwork for sale on here! This is so exciting to me! My hopes are to post regularly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s.  Please subscribe over on the right hand side so you will not miss a post.

Jeremiah 29-11

source- Trish Jones, Etsy

 

In the meantime I want you to remember that God has a beautiful purpose for your life! A unique story written just for YOU!

Cherish your days! -g

 

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