Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer...

So sometime around the beginning of June I sat down at the kitchen table and said, "Wow, these really are the dog days of summer."
 
Dave started laughing at me and replied, "Amber, this is like the very beginning of summer....that phrase is meant for the end of August."
 
At the time, I was annoyed he thought that was so funny but as it turns out...yep....SUPER over hot, sticky, no cold brisk morning's ever!!
 
So, just so you all know, I now understand how to correctly use that phrase and I agree with it wholeheartedly. :-P (I'm sure you will all sleep better tonight knowing that).
 
So, before moving forward to almost FALL (Wohoo)! I will do a quick re-hash of our last couple months...
 
This is where you would find us pretty much every afternoon. Clara and Corban put on quite a "Shamu Show" by the end of summer!
 
Um, I can hardly take this picture in my mommy heart but we got all dressed up and went to a 4th of July parade in Omaha and the kids LOVED it...then we headed to Lincoln to celebrate with my mom, Gigi and Jim and Dave almost killed himself with a firework but that is another post for another time. :)
 
Somewhere during this time, Dave's parents were super sweet and gave us a date night with a Hunter Hayes concert and hotel stay at the Casino. And, I won $95 within the first 5 minutes of being there so not.too.shabby.....we had a blast! :)
 
 
The next weekend, we headed to Colorado with my mom's family...It was so much fun, tubing, wakeboarding, riding horses and just hanging out. Unfortunately, my phone wasn't taking pictures so I have like 2 but here we are on day one during our early morning horse riding adventure.
 
 
We got up early and headed up the mountain where a gourmet chef made us these maple pancake amazingness things, sausage, eggs and coffee. It was just so fun (and beautiful) to get to watch the sunrise from the mountain...and it was cold out! (Win.Win).
 
The tour guide was so sweet because she let Clara drive the horses home part of the time. She was so so excited!
 
 
The kiddos slept half the way home which was cute...and nice for mom and dad to have some time to chat. ;) (However, I will add that my cousin Justin thought it would be funny to send all the kids home with musical instruments so Clara played her recorder and Corban honked his duck call 90% of the way home during the time they were awake....but I have a little payback up my sleeve for him) ;)
 
Corban remained fairly healthy throughout the summer, he just had one additional hospital stay in June and one last week but each time we do learn a little more about his condition.
(He's not actually drinking that but I just thought the pic was too cute not to post). :)
 
The hardest part is staying away from other kiddos because his immune system simply doesn't handle germs like most immune systems do. 
 
We ended up heading back to Mayo Clinic last week after his liver continued to swell from a virus and as hard as watching him go through all the testing is, we came away with some very helpful results...they just have so many tests his doctors here don't have the capacity to perform and I swear it's like the Disney World of the healthcare system there....everyone is always so kind and smiling which is so helpful when you are facing such difficult days.
 
(Sleeping between appointment's - He has become such a daddy's boy and wants to spend every second with his "da da da da da" :) )
 
Unfortunately, as I mentioned above we ended up in the hospital at Mayo because he developed some breathing trouble after a procedure. It took 5 different steroid/breathing treatments  and epinephrine but by the next morning he was ready to come home.
 
 
 
He is such a brave boy and he just made me and Dave tear up all week  because even during his shots he doesn't cry...all the nurses and doctor's said they had never worked with an 18 month old who was so calm and part of me knows it's because he has been through so much in his short life but I also believe Jesus is absolutely holding him even closer than we can. I don't know why Corbo has to face all these health challenges but I trust with my whole heart they are growing him into the man Jesus has called him to be.
 
Okay, and now onto Clara bear ...SO it turns out she is the new Michael Phelps of the swimming world!! :)
 
She had competitive swim tryouts the end of July...
 
So, I felt like the worst mom ever but I didn't realize in order to swim competitively with the millard swim team you needed to know all 4 swim strokes so we get there and I'm up in the bleachers watching her (with girls who are like towering over her in an Olympic sized pool which she's never swam in before) and realizing I just set her up for total failure.
 
So, she gets in the back of the line with the older girls and does the freestyle stroke..so she did kindof knows this stroke but I had no idea if she could actually swim the entire 50 m of the pool, so by the time she reached the other side of the pool I am literally jumping up and down in my seat! However seeing the next girl jump in backwards and start the back stroke I call down to the coach and tell him she doesn't know that stroke and to send her up to me. However, instead he leans down once she reaches him and he says something to her and the next thing I know Clara is in line with the girls preparing to do the back stroke (which she's never done in her life)!?!
 
I'm not joking when I said I checked out my attire to see if I could swim in what I had on because  I was entirely convinced I was going to have to jump in and save her because for her to jump into a 14 ft deep pool backwards was something I couldn't fathom and to then try to swim a stroke she'd never done!?! But guess what my little sweetheart did...
 
 
She swam the entire length of that Olympic sized pool in the correct form of the back stroke like a total pro!!!!!
 
I'm certain I may have tinkled in my pants and I'm not even sure what the other parents thought because by this point you would have thought she won the Gold at the Olympics with my reaction but I was just so proud of her!!
 
When I finally got down to her and asked her how on earth she just did that she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I just watched the other girls mom."
 
SO, you are hearing it here first...Clara will probably be competing with team USA in the 2026 Olympics (and even if she doesn't I will still be the most proud mom in the world for what she accomplished as a 6 year old at swim trials). :)
 
And, last but not least...I haven't shared something else we learned this summer...
 
 
Baby Guderian #3 is arriving in December!! :)
 
We were 1,000 % surprised and thrilled to find out we were going to be having a third baby!
 
 (And thankfully my husband was kind enough the other night to drive to 2 grocery stores and a gas station to find me the only drink that sounds good at the moment).
 
So, now cheers to what is hopefully truly the end of the Dog Days of Summer and onto 3 straight months of maternity leggings and sweatshirts!! :)
 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

A MAYzing MAY

 (and Yes, I realize it's June but I had to back track a bit) :)
 
I'm alive!!
 
Do you like how well I've done keeping this blog updated like I promised?! Eek!!
 
So just to give you a little update of where we've been...
 
We tried Whole 30 for 9 days...not too shabby for the Guderian's lol. It actually helped a lot in the 9 days but then Corban got sick and that went out the window because you can't really grill out at the hospital but we did feel quite a bit better for that period of time. :)
 
Then we set up our own outdoor adventure park because Target had a sale...Clara wanted the $495 inflatable rockclimbing water gym but we settled on a $10 slip in slide and lounge pool. She wasn't thrilled at the time but after a couple times down this bad boy she changed her mind. :)
 

 Corban just liked hanging out by the wading pool and cheering on his sister in his girl crocs (so I learned that apparently black crocs do not necessarily mean they are boys' but he is comfortable in his masculinity and has been rocking out in them all summer lol).So - a little lesson to mom's of new boys....strap over the top= girl crocs. No strap = boy crocs. You.Are.Welcome. :)
 
Nothing really to report here...I just think Corban looked so cute waking up this morning and wanted to share it with you all. :)
 
When your son has some immune system problems you have to make your own fun time...like riding a lift with your neighbor! :)
 
So, Clara and Corban's new favorite activity is making Corban E.T. He literally prefers to walk around with his blankie on his head now days lol. I'm not sure why but I prefer that over his second favorite activity...playing in the toilet! :)
 
Lastly...I bet you were all wondering about my songwriting....
 
Welllll :)
 
JESUS IS MAKING MY DREAMS COME TRUE!!
 
So, I mentioned the mentorship I went through last month with my sweet mentor and now friend and she gave my songs to a gentleman named Joel Lindsey. Joel has over 800 songs published and multiple dove awards and grammy nominations....and guess who emailed me?!?!?! :)
 
And guess what he invited me to??
 
 
His Annual Co-Writing Retreat!!
 
I was one of 40 people selected across the US to go sing and write songs for an entire weekend!!!
 
AH.MAY.ZING.
 
(I'm on the bottom left with one of my new besties from the retreat, Laura).
 


 
Everyone was so gracious and amazing. Basically, they have a bingo wheel and your name is drawn into a co-write with 2 other people. Then that night the songs are performed. Many of the songs from the retreat will then later be heard on the radio, or in musicals or various other publishing venue's so for the first time in my life, I can actually call myself an official songwriter as several of the songs I co-wrote with are being demo'd and submitted for publishing!!! EEEEEEEeeeeeee!!! (And Sue and Gene were my last co-write of the weekend and Sue often writes with Travis Cottrell and for any of my Beth Moore bible study friends you will understand my excitement even at that lol...sooo I'm pretty much like best friends with Beth Moore now because I wrote with her worship pastor's friend one time at a retreat in GA in May of 2016. (At least that's what I'm going to tell people).
 
Okay, so that almost makes me have a heart attack again just writing it....so so so so so so thankful at all God is doing but if I can encourage anyone....when you have a dream ...A God given dream...remember to be patient (because I wasn't and that makes it harder lol) but God.Is.Faithful. and He honestly did miracle after miracle in a small amount of time to bring me here. And now, I get to go back every year and have a bunch of new friends and "family" to be thankful for also!!
 
And on a completely unrelated also exciting note...Clara finally lost her tooth...after 3 exhausting weeks!!! And, apparently the tooth fairy is much more wealthy than in the olden days as "most kids get at least a dollar MOM!" (Luckily I had one dollar in my purse or this fairy would have left a very shiny quarter as she felt that was a bit ridiculous). :)
 
 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Please Wait"

 
I went back and forth on whether to write about this...
So, I guess I'm ending on the...forth? (Not entirely sure how to say that)? :)

(And since my family is currently distracted at the moment lol)...
 
I've read authors who talk about the times in their life when they are stuck between the highest highs and the lowest lows. I suppose I've never been there before this past year so I didn't really know what that felt like. I've certainly had sad times (as everyone does) but there have been seasons I just had happy tears every day so I guess until now I only knew the two feelings separately.
 
Well...last October I went to my very first songwriting competition. My friends and family know that since I have been 9 years old it was my deepest desire to be a songwriter but since there is about %0.05 I felt that would ever happen I just simply got depressed each year around grammy time and then went on with life as usual when it was over. :)
 
For some reason though, I felt compelled to go last fall...so I went (with a song about a baby). And, for reasons you will hear in the song below, the judges said it wasn't commercially viable because of the topic so the song didn't even place (along with I'm sure other reasons as well because lets face it this was my first competition ever and I've never actually had real songwriters review my songs lol) but I was medium sad although I understood the critiques. However, there were also critiquing sessions where you can submit one other song for review outside of the competition portion and a publisher in that room felt that song had much more potential from a radio standpoint. Long story short...they put me in touch with a mentor in Nashville who offered songwriting mentorships...and so I entered that competition...and I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
 
So, that brings me to my original point...we spent a good portion of last month with Corban at the hospital. At one point, his hematologist suspected he had leukemia and while thankfully his results showed no sign of cancer, those days felt like years  while we were waiting and me and Dave couldn't help but hurt for other families in that position who may be getting different news than we were. But the truth is while my sweet, chubby bundle of joy looks so healthy, he just isn't for reasons only God knows at this point. But, while all this was going on, the flip side was the fact that I was beginning a songwriting journey I only dreamed about my whole life...deadlines, and critiques and chances to really be published someday. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
 
So, as I tried to sleep on that cold, uncomfy hospital chair/bed thing each night I couldn't help but wonder if God was using these moments to inspire more empathy for others in my songs and if I wasn't able to find deeper places in my heart to write from?
 
So, for the first time ever on this blog, I'm going to share the song I submitted to the competition. My assignment was to post a song on you tube...just put myself out there because I never had before. So, there are a few disclaimers to this song...
 
1) I am not trying to take a political stance or hurt anyone. I am simply asking mom's everywhere to think twice before they choose. I know God made every life with a purpose and for a reason and that is something I am very passionate about.
 
2) I wrote this song because I was sitting at the piano thinking about how sad this situation made me and I wasn't sure what angle to write from when I felt like God spoke these words to my heart..."The world cannot be certain there were no cures for cancer because of abortion."
 
WOAH
 
I'd never thought of that....So, my thoughts just went from there....what about the babies called to be soldiars and save other's lives...the teachers who would change the world one child at a time..
 
This video looks kindof like it was from 1990 but it was the first time I had ever made one so I did my best within the 43 minutes Corban was sleeping.:) I know after the competition there were also things I needed to fix but I didn't exactly have a piano or microphone on the 4th floor at Children's hospital so you get it in all it's "originalness" lol.

Hopefully, at some point, somewhere or sometime a little baby gets a chance at life because of it. I pray so.  This is my song..."Please Wait."

 

Again, my intention is never to hurt anyone...I just want girls to think twice about such an important, life changing....perhaps world changing decision.
 

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