Monday, June 6, 2016

Spry's BIG News

That's right, not because of circumstance.... But because of choice. 

Joel and I were born and raised in South Dakota... Went to college and were married there... Had our first two babies and purchased our first home there. We are SD people. 

Eight years ago we moved to Missoula MT and have loved every moment of it. We have met friends here whom we will always consider family. We met Jesus here and have the most amazing church family. We had two more babies here. We started Scentsy here that has blessed our lives beyond measure. We love the mountains and rivers and everything in between. Our softball community is the best. It's going to incredibly hard to leave here. 

Now here's the reality of our hearts. Everything about moving back home feels so right. We are currently 11-13 hours away from any family and all family (minus the military siblings). This means that almost every birthday, celebration, and holidays are spent without family and sometimes feel like any other normal day. Two summers ago, we lost Joel's father to cancer. We travelled back as often as we could to see him and spend his last months together but by being so far away, it was difficult and we always wished we had more time together. This past year, with Anchor's super early arrival, our family bent over backwards to help us out. Some of them spent their annual vacation time off to come serve our family at the drop of a hat. Another component is that my grandparents are still living and I want nothing more than my children to have time to get to know them better and hear their stories. We want our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews to be a present part of our lives. We want them to be there to cheer for our kids and celebrate life's precious moments with them... And us for them too. Being away for 8 years is long enough for us. It's time. If we could move them all up here, we would. But we can't... And so we must go. 

Some may ask where?.... Philip , South Dakota (population about 800) in west central South Dakota. Our kiddos will adjust to small town life just fine I think. They spent 3 weeks last summer there with family during our last weeks in the NICU and they had a blast! They loved the simplicity and joy of riding bikes, walking around town, and swimming twice a day. This is how I grew up and have wondered if and when my children would experience it.... Now they will. 

Joel is transferring with Progressive. They have been so gracious to us the past 12 years and especially amazing this past year. He will be able to work from our home (which we have to build but do have a contract on a few acres!) It will be an adjustment living and working together all day every day, but honestly we miss that about our NICU days when we were together 24/7. 

I will still and always be a Scentsy girl... Your Scentsy girl! Because of the way we are able to do business, I have customers and hostesses all over the US and Canada. I'll always be able to serve our Montana customers with the click of a button and maybe a post office trip or two. I'd be happy and excited  to serve you always... Unless you want to join my team and be the Scentsy girl for you and your friends. That's be equally as exciting!  We have an incredible team of consultant in the area that would be just as happy as I if you joined our family. Training and connecting is easy through social media and smart devices so you'll never get rid of me :) As for our business in SD, we are beyond thrilled to work with our consultants there and in NE and WY more and train them like we never have had the opportunity to do in person before. It's going to be exciting!

What about Anchored Hope? Oh yes, this new project, we pray, will continue to thrive and grow. We will find a small group of friends here to be our basket assemblers and deliverers when needed. Our 501(c)3 will hopefully be finished by the end of this month (first have to get this house on the market!) We will continue to head up the fundraising and needs for Community Medical NICU baskets and plan to eventually bring this little mission to SD NICUs and families. 

We will be back to visit often as we are keeping Anchor's specialist doctors here. Hey know his history and we trust them so we will take the trip out annually and see friends and family and enjoy this beautiful place on earth. 

So.... "From purple mountain majesty to amber waves of grain"... The Sprys are 'double backing' in August 2016. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Telling My Story

What would the world miss if we didn't tell our story?

It would miss my mess ups, my failures... it would miss my messy and my mundane.... but the world would also miss the miracles I've witnessed and my heart when it is overwhelmed, humbled, honest and overjoyed as well.

This past year has been an incredible ride.... really, my whole life has been.  Even though I think I'll remember every detail forever, I know that's impossible because every day, new memories, new moments are being made and at some point my brain will get full and start erasing moments. I know our days are short and I know that these moments, that these days that we live every single day, are worthy of being shared. They are worth the memory. They are meant to be shared. Even if I'm yelling, even if I'm falling flat on my face... but to share what falling on my knees looks like too. I want to remember the good, the incredible, the messy, the crazy. So I share it here.

What story do you have to tell? Are you brave enough to share it? What if you did? Would people see you differently? Wouldn't the honesty feel so right? Let's step back and let Jesus shine in our every day.

Until tomorrow,

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sniffles and Snuggles

There's something a little magical when you come home from a trip.... Even a super quick trip. Especially when you haven't been away from your kiddos for months and months. True smiles and the 'so glad you came backs' just make a mama melt.

Then I find out that we are battling a cold with Avin, who lets just say doesn't have the best hygiene etiquette when it comes to a runny nose and cough. 

Today I was in full on nose blowing, hand washing mode with her while stealing a few snuggles and wrestling to keep her at arms length from her baby brother. (News about his last lung appointment soon!) I have borderline fear about him getting a real cold with respiratory yuck that would likely admit him to the hospital almost immediately. 

I'm so thankful we have are able to flip a switch and try to alleviate these cold symptoms. 
Now here's my shameless plug because I love it and truly believe this little device would bring value to your home and lives too. Our Scentsy oil diffusers are pretty much amazing and in my and many others opinions, the best diffusers on the market. With a LIFETIME warranty (yes you read that correctly), 16 LED lighting options and 3 diffusing settings, this beauty will be beautiful, and useful, addition to your home. I'm thrilled to tell you that it is 10% off which makes it $117 for this month only. I'm telling you, from experience, you won't regret the decision to invest in one (or two) of this little miracle workers. 

Now, I'm off to steam up the babies in the bathroom with some Eucalyptus and Lavender oils. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lungs! Are they big enough yet?

Anchor Joel has a big appointment tomorrow. His daddy is taking him to see the pediatric pulmonary specialist. He gets to show his doctor what a strong boy he is and how much his lungs have grown. For the past month, Anchor has been using just a tiny bit of oxygen during his naps and through the night. For the past few days, only at night. 

We are excited to hear what his doctor has to say about his progress. 

If you remember, please say a prayer for our little guy's lungs to be restored and healthy enough to say bye bye to the cords and machines. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Anchor Update (kidneys)

On the outside, little Anchor Joel looks like a healthy, growing baby boy. And for the most part he is. 

But there is no doubt that he has overcome many challenges and still has a few he will be facing head on probably sooner than we will be ready for. 

Just days before we left the NICU after our nearly 3 month stay, Anchor started showing signs of hypertension. His blood pressure was considerably high, enough to medicate him immediately. After a renal ultrasound it was assumed that the hypertension was caused by a blood clot sheath that was most likely left behind by his picc line. We'd leave him on medicine until that sheath broke down and dissolved and that would likely take care of the hypertension. 

After working with Seattle Childrens, we were able to 'borrow' a blood pressure monitor and check his pressure measurements twice a day. The bigger Anchor got, the more meds he had to be on.  

The end of October, we went back to the pediatric nephrologist (kidney specialist) and had another ultrasound of his kidneys. This time it showed that his right kidney was noticeably smaller. Unsure if that was natural or caused by prematurity, we were told it was likely caused by restricted blood flow to that kidney. 

Last Wednesday, we had a follow up with his nephrologist. We are understanding now that there is likely a blood clot in his right kidney causing stunted growth or worst case no growth to that kidney. We will have more answers the bigger our sweet boy grows and we are able to track and trend kidney growth through ultrasound. 

We know whatever the outcome, we will continue to trust The Lord with everything. How can we not? He has never once left us with anything but peace and comfort during this journey. Sure, this can be uncomfortable... But I know there is good to come from every little thing in not only this boy's life, but ours too. 

I'm asking for prayers from you. Please pray for the healing for our precious sons kidney. Pray for normal function and growth. Please pray for lower blood pressures (which Joel and I continue to monitor here at home daily) and a chance for his little heart (more on that soon!) to get some rest from working so hard.  Oh and don't forget about his lungs.... We will have more news on that after Wedensdays appointment. God is good and full grace and hears every prayer. 

Now I just can't quit smiling at this photo. Today,  Joel and I found some diapers with anchors on them and we just HAD to have them for our boy. I melt. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Clean House - With the Whole Family

I have to share with you what IS working for our family and it may work for yours too! 

House Cleaning! House cleaning?!  We have tried many (and I mean too many to remember) ways to get (and keep) our home clean. 

We've tried separating out the chores per day of the week, we had hired housekeepers not once but twice, we tried challenges and contests, we even pretended that Adele was coming over and we wanted to impress her and would run around like crazy people to get things picked up. But.... None of them worked long term. 

A few weeks ago, I was picking up some girls to bring to the next mom to take into town for volleyball (yes that sounds confusing but it takes a village to get all these athletes where they need to go, when they need to go!) I asked one of Arly's friends if she got to do anything fun with her extra hour that afternoon since it was Thursday and they get out of school an hour earlier than usual. She told me that on Thursdays, her sister and her clean the house and instead of an allowance or commission, the work they do is rewarded by how they spend their weekend. If they do a good job, they will get to go to the movies, spend time with friends, etc. 

Great idea!!!!!

I needed to figure out a way this concept would work for our family. That weekend I thought of many scenarios and finally landed on this one. We tried it, and now we are 2 weeks in and it's working splendidly! 

We have one night during the week that is currently not filled with another obligation. We use that night to get all of our house cleaning done. 

First I grabbed a chalkboard and wrote down 12 chores that needed done that week. The four oldest Sprys would each have 3 chores to do. 

Then I grabbed a bowl and cut up paper and put each of our names on just ONE. I have the chores broken into categories from hardest/takes the most time to easier/less time to complete the chore. This way, one person couldn't end up with the 3 hardest chores. For example; the kitchen and the 3 bathrooms were one category... 4 hard chores. The vacuuming, wood floors, dust upstairs, dust downstairs were the next category and so on. 

Then we simply drew names out of the bowl. Each would grab one name and we'd work down the list, putting a name next to who was in charge of the chore. Then dos the next category of chores, all 4 names went back into the bowl for the next drawing, and so on. 

This put a absolute end to the 'that's not fair!' and the 'I always have to do that!' and 'ew! Anyone want to trade?!' It's just the luck of the draw and so far, ZERO COMPLAINTS! Win!!!

Then we crank the music (not too loud for the littles' ears) and get after it. It takes about 2-2 1/2 hours to get our whole house cleaned but it relieves us of a weeks worth of stressing out about a dirty bathroom, bedroom, appliances, or whatever we see. 

For a mama that is home all day, this has brought much peace and order to our home. When there is a mess, my brain is a mess. When I feel overwhelmed, intend to shut down. This system is the perfect fix to help me be productive in my every day and let's be honest, keeps me a little calmer and my sanity in check! 

Oh and want to know what else is keeping me sane and is actually quite fun doing? Tidying our home! We're trying a new tidy method that has worked wonders for friends that are currently working through it or have finished. We are seeing success and sin through this method but I'll share more of that here oh so soon. 

Do you have a cleaning system that works for you? Have you struggled like us? I want to know! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Story

When you let fear sneak in and grip your soul, you essentially are welcoming the devil to reside in your heart. 

Unfortunately, we let him tell us lies and we listen. We close up; trap ourselves from what we know and find joy in because we now believe that nothing is good and no one cares. We shrink into a pit. 

That's where we were, both Joel and I... In a pit. A self pity pit and we sat there just surviving the everyday life. Not thriving. Not growing. Just there. Numb to the outside world. 

But then, the Holy Spirit made it very clear that we have this moment, today this season to grow in Him. 

When Anchor was in the NICU and the days leading up to delivery, I knew what it was like to be on my knees. Physically and spiritually I was there.... Praising, thanking, begging, loving, trusting.  There was no room for anger, resentment or fear. I knew what it felt like to be close to The Lord; wrapped in his loving arms. Peace. Even through utter chaos, scary days and isolating weeks.... Peace. 

But then somehow, sometime, in the midst of all the crazy 'back to somewhat normal' life at home, I chose to believe the fear and lies. 

I'm a woman of few real regrets. I've learned from so many choices I've made in the past that I don't regret even poor decisions. But I do however regret not journaling and sharing this story... My story. It has all happened so quickly but yet the days have dragged on and on. I thought sometime I'll record it; but never did. That time is now. 

I want to share my story. All of it. I don't want to forget any day... Happy, boring, sad, crazy, scary, unpredictable, fun day. I don't want to forget any event... Sudden, to be determined, planned, spontaneous event.

It feels so good to be sitting in our quiet, albeit messy house... Back on the keys where one by one, sharing my thoughts. I'm looking forward to opening my heart  again here; being vulnerable in my every day life and doing my very best to glorify our gracious Father for each moment.