SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, August 27, 2018

LEMONADE // WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS VOLUME II

As many of you know, Tyler was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma and needed surgery immediately to remove the tumor from his brain. I wrote my first blog post about it earlier this month, and we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayer since. 

The L E M O N A D E is ready, and its really sweet! Here is VOLUME II

This past Friday, Tyler was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 5am for surgery. The night before both of our parents arrived in town and after spending a little time with them we got him prepped and ready for surgery. He slept great the night before (lucky him) meanwhile I was so anxious I couldn't sleep a wink. When we arrived for surgery on Friday morning they took him back and started prepping him- we were able to meet with the doctors and staff beforehand and both of our families were allowed back to come say a prayer with us before surgery. 

Tyler was taken back for his surgery at 7am. The removal of his tumor consisted of a three part surgery- and we expected it would take six to eight hours. The surgery is very delicate because it involves the ENT moving all nerves leading into the brain, and then a neurosurgeon removing the tumor from the brain. With the surgery, Tyler's ability to ever hear out of his left ear was taken- they had to completely remove the hearing nerve and also the balance nerve on his left side. One of the largest risks of the surgery is the facial nerves are also in the same location, and sometimes they can be compromised leaving facial palsy. 


The doctors and staff worked diligently and after ELEVEN hours of surgery, I am so happy to report Tyler's surgery was a success! The surgery took much longer than expected, but they were able to  completely remove the tumor and carefully keep the facial nerves in tact. Before surgery I told the doctor he couldn't mess up the baby face, and he really got a kick out of it! Since Tyler is so young, I kept reminding him this was very important! The nurses in the OR were calling me every other hour with updates, and they kept going on and on about how good he was doing. 

We know we could not have made it through this surgery without everyones prayers. We truly felt the comfort and peace knowing others were lifting us up and God was going to take care of us. I was shocked at how calm I was able to remain on the day of surgery, something I know the Lord made possible. I really did well staying calm and at peace, until about 3:30-4pm and then I was just R E A D Y to see my husband! 
We also are blessed with the best family around who surrounded us on surgery day, beyond family we had some amazing friends who drove all the way to Dallas to be with us. Shoutout to Cavanaugh Church for supporting us with a visit from Fort Smith - and also Tyler's new co-workers stopped by! We truly felt so loved//I spent hours updating Tyler on everyones texts, calls and prayers! 

There was so much unknown with the surgery that we were just praying for a miracle and for things to go well. And thankfully the really did! We were called back for consultation with the doctor around 6pm on Friday and he explained the surgery went well but Tyler was really going to have a long road to recovery as far as his balance and and dizziness were concerned. On Friday evening, almost twelve hours after seeing him last, I was able to meet Tyler up in ICU and stay the night with him. It was without a doubt the hardest and most difficult twelve hours of my life. From 4pm on Friday to 4am Saturday morning I kept wondering if we were going to make it. It was such an emotionally draining day, an exhausting day and just really hard! He was in so much pain and was so incredibly sick from all of the anesthesia. It was heartbreaking to see him in so much pain, but we survived, and knew a new day was on the horizon.
Early Saturday morning Tyler had a CT scan that came back clear from bleeding on the brain. At this point, it was a pain management conversation. Since his vitals looked great and he was stable, he was able to move from ICU to a regular room Saturday morning and I had a chance to go home and shower :) His parents were able to spend time with him and he started to make progress quickly. 

Tyler was determined to make it home by Monday the entire weekend, something everyone just smiled at... But he did everything in his power to get home. He quickly moved off of morphine and once his nausea was under control pushed as many foods and liquids as possible. He was so set on coming home, he fought through sleepless nights with a smile on his face knowing what was to come. I have been so impressed with his drive and happy spirit. 

One of the biggest obstacles in front of him is the ability to regain his strength and find balance again. He was unable to walk post surgery, but started working with a PT team on Saturday afternoon. He wanted to dive right in, so they started working with him and he started walking with a walker and lots of support. He went from not walking, to using the walker, to blowing down the halls over this weekend... Seriously! When he couldn't sleep, we would walk. AKA we were in the halls at 4am just getting our steps in! (PS we were really a sight for the nursing staff.. we about caused riots! I am seven months pregnant and hubby just had brain surgery and couldn't walk... but we managed to walk together and everyone would just follow us around to make sure we didn't topple over) The entire staff was so blown away by his progress and I am happy to report he is doing great. We have lots of exercises and things we are working on to find our new normal, but things are going well. 

This is Tyler working so hard to regain his strength, only ONE day after surgery

This morning we met with the doctors and teams and they were able to remove Tyler's huge head bandage from surgery. Once that was gone, and he was able to shower he started to REALLY feel like himself again! I am so thankful I have been able to be there with him through all of this, we have really been leaning on each other and I think we are better for it already. 

AMAZING N E W S 
Tyler worked so hard at getting stronger and ready to come home, that he was released today from the hospital! We were given discharge papers this afternoon and have made our way back home to the cavapups and our little corner of Dallas. Right now we are working on his balance, and managing the pain he is in. Most importantly he (we) both need sleep! Praying for some good rest and maybe he can relax a little now that we are home!  At this point, we are in the clear for most major disasters, but are monitoring him for brain fluid leaks. We go back for a post-op appointment in a few weeks and will just monitor his recovery until then.
This afternoon I think we both smiled bigger than we ever have! 
As for me, I am doing really good! The first night in the ICU I was offered a job, lol of course they were kidding.. I think! This is really funny for anyone who knows me. Taking care of him was the only thing I knew how to do, and although a needle normally makes me pass out I was able to help get him through the night on Friday. Since his parents were in town on Saturday evening, I took time off from the hospital and came home to sleep for the first time... and boy did I.  Little Ella Jane of course made things very exciting during all of this- she behaved herself on Friday but decided she needed a little attention over the weekend :) I started having Braxton Hicks contractions and they DID NOT STOP! Welcome to the third trimester right? I did use this as a small reminder of how thankful I am that the doctors were able to schedule us for surgery when they did. We are 11 weeks away from her due date, and this was maybe one of the last few weeks we could have gotten this surgery done with enough time for recovery and the ability to take care of each other! 

I was obviously very occupied with things happening this weekend, and taking care of Tyler so I don't have many pictures at all. But wanted to show a few progress pictures on this post- it is so amazing how far he has come in such a short amount of time. PS- Selfies at 5am are not easy! Our last picture before the tumor came out :) 
Every day is a new challenge, but every day our God has shown up bigger and better than ever. We are so THANKFUL for where we are. This has truly been a remarkable journey, and although it is not over I am grateful for how far we have come.

 I am so blown away by the miracle I have gotten to witness, and to me, the baby face has NEVER looked better! 
XOBARNETT 
Thursday, August 23, 2018

MAXI-MUM STYLE//MINIMUM EFFORT

What is better than having an outfit ready to go with no effort, time or thought?! Nothing in my book! 
I have recently fallen in love with maxi dresses. For some reason I think we all have a notion that they are for a certain body type... aka not mine! But its not true at all. There are so many great maxi options out there for everyone!
I love maxi dresses on all my petite friends, I have always felt like they were better on shorter people - turns out I was just being dramatic. Since finding this off the shoulder black maxi dress I have literally wanted to live in it... and actually have.

Tyler and I have been searching for a church here in Dallas, meaning almost each Sunday we were at a different church... Leading me to my really honest confession! This became my uniform :) I love this dress so much, I found myself putting it on for church every Sunday! It is just so easy to throw this on and be ready to go. Tyler probably hasn't even noticed and no one else knows us... so how about that. 
My black maxi is actually one of my *only* maternity items. I really didn't go crazy buying maternity clothes - mom took me to get some cute things and I have a friend from college who was sweet enough to mail me a box of her maternity things! Other than that I have just been wearing my normal clothes :) Although this dress is maternity, I will totally be wearing it after little Ella Jane is born. It is so flattering, cozy and easy to move around in I know its going to be in my closet for a long time... Here is the best part, we found it at Target and its under $30!
You can shop this exact dress by clicking HERE // THIS MAXI is a super cute non-maternity option
 This dress is a blank canvas - its so fun styled with hot pink tassel earrings or whatever I am feeling that day! 
 One of my favorite little bump pictures! Can't believe how big she is getting. Also, can we have a moment of silence for this H E A T! I am so thankful the last month of my pregnancy will hopefully not be in 100+ weather... I am dying! 
Yesterday we had an appointment to check on Ella Jane! Y'all it was a disaster... I was there for my glucose test and to go over all upcoming milestones in the pregnancy, we also discussed Tyler's surgery etc. Long story short I literally tried to stand up after having my blood drawn and going over everything and I went totally white. My doctor had to bolt across the room to catch me because I was passing out and lay me down - then I started crying - and it just went downhill from there. Like one unfortunate event after another. When I called mom to tell her about it she couldn't even breath we were laughing so hard. There was a medical scribe in the room and Tyler told me on the way home she was typing so fast he thought she was going to blow her little laptop up. All that aside, Baby B is looking great and very healthy. I am measuring right on track!

For everyone keeping up with Tyler's surgery, we are scheduled to go in tomorrow for his procedure! I will work on a special follow up blog post to update yall with the surgery, his progress and recovery. 

XOBARNETT

Saturday, August 18, 2018

HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER

This week means hello third trimester! 
I am just over twenty seven weeks pregnant this week and baby-bumpin is getting V E R Y serious around here 

I seriously laugh out loud because its like I have a basketball I am carrying around these days. No one really warned me of the sudden change in in-mobility (who knew bending over to get something would become so difficult) ... or maybe everyone did & I just was not listening! 

Along with my basketball baby bump, we are getting ready for some exciting things over the next few weeks before Miss Ella Jane arrives. We are currently set to meet our sweet girl in just thirteen weeks. I don't know where the time has gone, but I am certain the next thirteen weeks will just fly by!  
Everyone meet me and baby Ella Jane! She is really getting lots of attention these days! 
I have been so fortunate that I was only really sick the first half of my pregnancy! Now I am feeling so much better, just adjusting to life with the bump. I am working out and trying to stay as healthy as possible before November. I did have to drop all of my weights during workout.. I voted the medicine ball I am permanently carrying is now my weight in the gym! ha I have also started pre-natal yoga in efforts to help the pain in my back and hips :) For all my mom friends- did you have sciatic nerve pain?! I am literally taking epsom salt baths every night and sleeping with that giant pregnancy pillow!
This was one of my favorite dresses I ever wore to market (in my old life) I was telling mom I wore it the market after Tyler and I got married and I have held on to it all these years! Nothing like a very favorite dress that is an oldie but a goodie :)
Tyler and I have so much that we planned to do before Ella Jane arrived, but at this point we are taking things mostly a day at a time! We planned on taking a trip together before her arrival, but now things have changed and that is okay. Tyler is scheduled for surgery next week, so we are concentrating on that and getting him prepped and ready for hopefully a speedy recovery! Once he has finished recovering we are so excited because we have sweet family and friends throwing us baby showers back in Arkansas!

We spent time together a few weeks ago registering for all the *things* for Ella Jane... You guys this is such a hard task!! I was seriously using my friends, google and everyone I have ever met with a baby as a life line for advice. There are so many opinions on what the best thing is to have, and the most used and needed. Hopefully we have registered for all the right things but I would love to know if you have a "must have" item for new parents + baby!

LOL heads up to all my friends without a baby yet who are married...Baby registry is a little different that wedding registry! I felt like I was totally in my element with the wedding registry, I love things for the home, to cook and to host; so selecting items for the wedding registry was seriously my favorite! Tyler and I laughed so much with the baby registry because there was so much we just didn't know! Like of course we know she needs bottles and diapers- but which brand is best?! We also did a registry on amazon this time, along with other places, totally different than our wedding registry days- but how convenient!! 
A few fun facts about pregnancy at 27 weeks-
I still am addicted to the Chic-fil-a kids meals- I finally downloaded the app so I am getting rewards!
Tyler has been so sweet talking to her, apparently she is listening to every word we say (already)
I don't think I would make it without epsom salt baths (lol I wasn't kidding earlier)
I am still cooking all the time and I think the nesting stage has started to set in...
I love eating fresh fruit, cereal and brown sugar pop-tarts!
Her nursery is a work in progress, that is the thing I am so excited to finish
Her little hand-made outfits are coming along, can't wait to see how she will look in them
At night Tyler and I talk about who she will look like and what she will be like, its all so surreal these days!

My outfit details are linked below:
Dress (old but this is the brand) // Sunnies // Patent Pumps // Handbag

XOBARNETT
Thursday, August 9, 2018

A NOTION AND A STITCH

So excited because sweet little things for little Ella Jane are coming together! 
Since we found out we were having a little girl, I have just adored the idea of her wearing handmade clothes. It seems so special and like a wonderful keepsake for years down the road. I decided I was going to make her a few little things, and as it turns out I have turned this into a massive project :) I first mentioned making her little dresses on this blog post... Now we are talking I have over a dozen dresses lined up to make, and the to-do list keeps growing!

As I have mentioned before, I graduated from the University of Arkansas with an Apparel Studies degree- meaning I have spent my fair share of time with patterns, material and behind a sewing machine. But to be totally honest, my career and life path did not require my sewing skills :) That being said, I haven't sewn in years, and its been even longer since I have read a pattern and put things together! Thankfully, I was able to pick up almost where I left off, and since I have been working countless hours to make some cuties for Ella Jane to wear.  

Besides wanting her to have a custom wardrobe, I also insist her name is on... well everything! I know that no one is surprised, but my monogramming machine has been working double over time. I have created so many new things, and taken advantage of my time at home. I am so grateful for this time, and wanted to show y'all what I have been up to! Some outfits are not complete, but I actually love seeing the progress pictures down the road (so why not document it)

This week I designed my first little dress for her - something I am thrilled about!
I drafted my first pattern for her, began to cut and have started making it. It is going to be her little Thanksgiving dress (if she makes it in time) I am due on the 16th, the Friday before Thanksgiving so I figured I would rather be safe than sorry! 

Here are a few of the things I have been working on...
I spent days on end visiting different stores to gather fabric for all her little outfits! Here is the original lineup
I have been monograming onesies, as well as making custom monogramed bows for her! 
This little dress I started last week - its so sweet! 
 Love the little criss-cross back, all we need are some ruffle bloomers! 
 Custom dress and matching bow for Miss Ella Jane 
This is the first little dress I made for her!
I decided to only monogram the bow in case we have another little girl down the road - I want her to get to wear this one as well. 
I actually didn't cut and follow the pattern correctly, so I decided to wing it and just did my own thing! 
 Love this little dress so much! 
The cavapups have been eager to help! 
I am obsessed with this little skirt and suspenders set! This was my first thing to make without using a pattern - cannot wait to see her in this! 
This little number is going to be monogramed in Razorback R E D! No one tell my hubby...
Working to finish it with the gold buttons, and then I will monogram and make a bow! 
Last but not least, this is my first pattern and custom dress I started for Ella Jane! 
 Here it is as a work in progress. Hoping to have our sweet baby girl here in time to rock this for Turkey Day! 
I have been waiting to post until things are complete, but decided life is too short and I should just go for it! I will do a part two down the road and update y'all with new things I have completed and projects that are finished. I also cannot wait to show off her nursery. I spend so much time in here - it is where I do all of the sewing!

Also, from the bottom of my heart- I wanted to sincerely thank each and every one of you who took the time to read, comment, and reply on my last blog post. We have been dealing with so much around here lately, and knowing everyone is supporting us with love and prayer means the world to both me and Tyler. I will continue to update with information as we have it! 

Can't wait to show you more
XOBARNETT 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS...

When life gives you lemons, people say to make lemonade...
although I would suggest making some lemon bars or an icebox lemon pie instead :)

Today’s post isn’t like others on my blog, but it’s real and I’m all about that!
If you have been following along for the past six months you know we have had some B I G changes around here. Since this past March: Tyler took a job offer in Dallas (VIEW POST) we got our cavapups (VIEW POST) we sold our house and said goodbye to our friends and family in Little Rock (VIEW POST) and also found out we were going to be parents (VIEW POST) It’s been a total whirlwind life experience that’s been filled with very exciting times and something new around every corner! We got off to a rocky start when our apartment was flooded a week after moving in (VIEW POST) but have laughed about it over and over. We’ve literally had one thing after another, we have just shrugged and said that’s life!

 With all of our new beginnings here in Dallas we have been transitioning into our new roles and lives and we are loving it here. We have; however, taken on one of our biggest obstacles yet. We have really been leaning on our family and friends but most importantly our faith lately... so what’s going on?
I’m sure you are wondering at this point...

The Story...
This past April Tyler noticed a change in his hearing in his left ear. We thought he just had an ear infection so he went to our family practitioner in May and was treated for an ear infection. Nothing got better so we decided to follow up with an ENT here in Dallas! The ENT had Tyler take a series of tests including an audiology test and determined there was in fact something very wrong with his left ear/hearing. It was decided he most likely had a stroke in his inner ear and the doctor started by giving him oral steroids to treat it. When we returned back for our second visit, his hearing had not improved but diminished even more and so he went to phase two... basically he started a series of concentrated steroid injections into Tyler’s ear in hopes to clear the problem. This past month we went in for a third appointment and we were devastated when we found out his left ear hearing was confirmed almost inoperable. Something so sudden and shocking - the ENT decided it would be best for Tyler to have an MRI just to double check everything and make sure there wasn’t a greater issue. 

A few weeks ago Tyler went in for his MRI and we got a call back last week that he has an extremely rare condition. He was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma, which is a tumor that is on the nerves between your inner ear and brain. This was the cause of his sudden acute hearing loss and the reason nothing the doctors were trying was working. Thankfully acoustic neuromas are BENIGN meaning it’s not cancerous. We are so thankful for this!! That leads us to

 Where We Are Now... 
We have met with two different specialist teams here in Dallas so we could get multiple opinions and the decision is unanimous - Tyler’s tumor is so large the only option is to surgically remove it. The tumor is now over three centimeters and pressed between his inner ear and brain. In some cases it can just be monitored or treated with radiation, but his will require surgery. We feel confident we have found a wonderful team here who is going to take great care of us!! We go in next week to schedule the surgery and will go from there. The surgery itself is 6-8 hours and will be done by a neurosurgeon with the assistance of an ENT. In Tyler’s case his hearing has now suffered so great of a loss they will completely remove his ability to hear from his left ear, but in hopes of a cleaner surgery and keeping other things in tact (think facial nerves etc) and we agree it is the best option. Thankfully the neurosurgeon + team understand our need for expedited surgery, since we have a baby coming this fall, and are working with us to schedule something as soon as possible! After his operation Tyler will be in the hospital for 3-4 days and then will have a 4-6 week recovery period. He is much younger than most patients who suffer from acoustic neuromas, so the doc is confident he will have a safe and healthy come back!

This has obviously been the only thing we can think about lately. We have honestly kept it to ourselves and immediate family because there was so much we just didn’t know. Literally 3 months ago we thought he had an ear infection and now we are talking complete hearing loss and brain surgery. It has been overwhelming some days, but we both know we serve a great God who is going to take care of our (growing) little family. We feel confident in His plan, after all that maybe one of the reasons Tyler got his job here... we picked up our lives and moved and now we are down the street from one of the best Acoustic Neuroma surgeons around. Also, it just so happens I’m not working now, so I am going to be able to take care of him while he is out of commission recovering...and I love taking care of him!

 So Back To The Lemons... 
It is so easy to dwell on all that is going on and forget how blessed we really are. It seems like our devotion each night the past month has been just what we needed to hear and it has really been a huge source of comfort. I constantly remind myself of how thankful I am we caught it when we did, that it’s not cancerous, that he is going to be treated- and more than anything that we have the most precious gift on the way and we are going to (hopefully) be able to handle all of this before she arrives in November!! We are so grateful for the continued prayer and phone calls by the few who knew about all of this, that’s all we can ask for!! I know this was such a long post and very personal at that but I just wanted to share with everyone in hopes that it can be a reminder to not take anything for granted and to be so thankful for what you have.

 We feel super blessed to have each other and to be on this journey together. There is no one in the world that completes me like Tyler!
our out-takes always look like this...

 So thankful for someone who always makes me smile
 Love you big, Beezy
pictures were taken while we were in ITALY  // For our favorite couples devotion SHOP HERE


Thanks for all the love and support

XOBARNETT