Don’t Worry, We’re Alive!

5/06/2016

Hello Friends!

It sure has been quiet around here… I’m not sure I’ve ever went so long without posting. There’s a reason, and I’ll explain soon. Sometime grief still gets the better of me and I just needed work through a few things. I feel like I accomplished what I needed to, and am ready to jump back into the online world.

But life is good!

  • Patrick - is staying busy at work, and was able to fly out to see his brother in AZ last month. It was good for him to be able to get away for a few days!
  • Ashley - has stayed busy exploring Ut with the boys and has been taking advantage of the warm weather. Her next door neighbor, and only friend in the area is moving at the end of the month… so as many Girl’s Nights that we can work in are being planned :)
  • Preslee – We miss being able to visit the cemetery. We’ve planned a trip to ID for Memorial Day weekend, and the boys were excited to pick out a few items to decorate her headstone.
  • Ledger - is wrapping up his last month of preschool. Can you believe he starts kindergarten this fall?
  • Cannon - is finally beginning to talk. Both boys talk the day away in their twin language, and it’s been a struggle to get them to speak real English! It’s funny to see how their personalities change once they can communicate. Our rough and tough little dude loves to tell his mom, “You’re bootiful,” multiple times a day.
  • Cruiz – is talking on the same level as his brother, but his little personality is beginning to shine through. He’s been making us all laugh over the silliest things he does, especially Ledger. Bedtime has become a disaster, the two of them just want to play for hours, so we’ve been separating them at nights, and we’re finally all getting some sleep again.

I’ll be updating soon, I promise. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! 

P.S. I’m a little more active on Instagram. If you want to follow along, find me at TheSullengers.

Come Join Me For a Webinar {With Tiffany, From Feel Great in 8}

4/04/2016

Hey guys! If you’ve ever felt stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting, struggled with emotional eating, or felt like you never have the willpower to stick with a healthy lifestyle – I have something super exciting to tell you about!!

This Wednesday @ 8:00 PM MST I'm hosting a FREE ONLINE WORKSHOP with my friend Tiffany Rudd from Feel Great in 8. I’ve completed her 8 week challenge twice now, and am gearing up to do another one. She has taught me soo much about healthy life style. The info that she will be sharing with us is incredibly empowering and has changed the way I look at my health.

This free 60 minute live online workshop is designed to help you break free from emotional eating and the never-ending diet cycle.

Blog Workshop Registration

During the workshop we're going to cover:

• Why your diet is setting you up to FAIL and what to do instead
• Tiffany's 4 step non-diet approach to feel great, weigh less, and love your body NOW
• How to end emotional eating for good (this simple, yet powerful strategy really works!)
• Small, scientifically proven changes that will make all the difference in your willpower

There are only 100 spots available for this free workshop, so I wanted to make sure you got dibs! Here are the details...

Event Name: Stop the Yo-Yo: 4 Steps to create a healthy lifestyle that lasts!

Event Date/Time: Wednesday, April 6th @ 8:00 PM (MST)

This 60 minute workshop is going to change the way you think about dieting and weight loss. We’re going to stop the up/down, on/off, diet/no-diet cycle once and for all and finally create a healthy, happy life you love.

And, if you’ve been struggling with emotional eating or “no self-control”, guess what? I’m going to show you some simple, scientifically proven strategies to overcome those challenges for good.

Sullengers - Square

>>>> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!<<<<

I can’t wait to see you there!!

Love,
Ashley

P.S. Tiffany's workshops fill up every time, so make sure you run grab your spot! - http://blog.feelgreatin8.com/free-workshop-sullengers

We Can Do Hard Things: Tessie Friedli

3/16/2016

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Meet Dakota and his mom, Tessie.

Dakota was born healthy and active. When he was 2 years and 3 months old, a fence panel fell on top of him which left him unable to breathe. No one was next to him when it happened and due to the lack of oxygen, he couldn't breathe or cry for help. By the time he was found, they estimate it took about 20 minutes, he was left with an anoxic brain injury. In an instant he went from a healthy, busy, talkative, active 2 year old boy, to a boy that could no longer walk, talk, eat, or even breathe on his own. He should have passed away, but miraculously, he chose to live. Dakota has progressed over the last 5 years since his accident, but he is still very limited by his body. He cannot use any part of his body as he would like and his only form of communication is through his facial expressions and eyes. He has a g-tube for feedings and a trach for breathing and suctioning. We are so blessed to have Dakota in our lives.

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Q: You and your husband experienced so much that first year, what did you find most helpful during your stay at the hospital?

A: “Some of the best things that were done for us were gift baskets that were either dropped off or mailed. Baskets with snacks, blankets, thank you cards, journal, chapstick, tissue, slippers, comfy clothes, etc were SOOOO helpful because we were literally living at the hospital for 6 weeks. Those little tokens were so helpful and made being in a hospital a tiny but more bearable. Our son's nursery class in church sent him coloring pages from all the kids and teachers which we were able to put up in the hospital room to feel it with cheer. TONS of Toy Story toys were either brought by or mailed because that was Dakota's FAVORITE thing! It was comforting having little reminders of things he loved around him although we realized he had no idea they were there. Our parents and siblings printed off poster size pictures of Dakota that we hung all around the room. This was probably my MOST favorite thing because it allowed the nurses and doctors who were working on him to get a glimpse of who this little boy underneath all the hoses really was, what he looked like, what he loved, and how much he was loved.”

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 (Dakota, before his accident) 

Q: After spending six weeks in the hospital, what was most helpful after returning home?

A: “The first few months home were extremely overwhelming to say the least. Dakota was very unstable and needed around the clock care. We hardly slept and we were literally in survival mode. Nothing at all was the same as it once was. Our days were filled with tons of meds, g-tube feedings, therapy, suctioning, mourning, and adjusting. It was a very hard time for my husband and I. We still weren't ready to face the world—our  friends and neighbors who wanted to see us and Dakota. Luckily for us our friends and family understood and were patient with us as we focused on adjusting to our new life. Instead of stopping by, they would text thoughtful messages, leave notes at our door or send them in the mail to let us know they were there for us. (Some people might love a visit, everyone is different.) Our parents were the most helpful during this difficult and dark time. They came up weekly to let us get out and go on a date, which gave us a much needed break. We needed that time alone and together and away from all the chaos. That was literally our saving grace.”

“We also had amazing church members that brought us meals for not just a few days or weeks, but literally a few months! I realize that was probably a difficult task for all of them and how much they sacrificed for us...but those meals were lifesaving. The last thing on my mind or that I even had time for was wondering what to make for dinner. Their kindness and compassion in bringing us those meals gave me a little bit more strength and energy to get through the day. We had random friends and neighbors outside pulling our weeds. The help with those mundane, time consuming tasks was THE BEST thing that anyone could have done for us!! The kind notes, messages, and money that came in the mail also continued...not just for days, weeks, or months but for a couple years, although they got fewer and fewer. I think so often people forget about someone's struggle after the newness and freshness of it all fades away...but it was those lingering notes of kind and encouraging words that gave us the strength to keep going and allowed us to see and feel that our Heavenly Father was still aware of us...sending his earthly angels to continue to strengthen and encourage us to not give up.”

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Q: What are helpful things that people do now, five years later?

A:  “Dakota has progressed into a happy, sweet, INCREDIBLE little boy who radiates a little piece of heaven everywhere he goes. It took a couple years to be able to accept this new Dakota, trust in God's plan for Him, and move forward with faith, hope, and PURE happiness! I no longer look at this trial with devastation and heartache as I once did although my heart still misses that 2 year old boy I once knew. I have been able to see and feel through the grace of God what a blessing this trial has been for me, my family, and ALL those that know Dakota. I now can say with complete certainty that Dakota chose this plan to be a light for all the world to see. His eyes sparkle with a light only heaven can give. He has done more good in his short 7 years then most can do in a lifetime. Saying all of this...it doesn't take away that my daily load is still heavy. He still needs help to do everything! I still have times where I feel overwhelmed or just tired. Luckily for us we have amazing parents who step in and babysit for Dakota since only those who are trained with a trach can watch him. He goes to school and it melts my heart to see the kindness and friendship from the kids at his school. I think as a parent if you can teach your children how special and amazing the kids with special needs are it will make them more comfortable around them and will in turn allow them to be kind and loving towards them. That means the very most to parents of special needs kid. I will never forget when a mom from Dakota's preschool called to see if Dakota could have a playdate. She had no idea that Dakota had any special needs. Her kid just loved him and wanted to play with him!”
 
Website: http://zachandtessie.blogspot.com/
Tessie has also guest posted {here}

Gift Idea: 

dinner on us


Tessie mentioned dinner being delivered for months. Here’s a fun twist. I purchased the ingredients to make spaghetti, printed the adorable free printable designed by Miss Audrey Sue, and threw it all together in an adorable colander. (You can download the printable below)  After purchasing everything, I literally put the basket together in less than 10 minutes, including a note on the backside of the printable. This is a great alternative to delivering dinner when just wanting to drop by unexpectedly. Therefore if they already have dinner planned, they can use it for another night.





Basket includes:

  • Colander (Found {here}, or a smilar one from Amazon {here})
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Spaghetti
  • 1 bag of salad
  • Ranch dressing
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cookie mix
  • French bread (not pictured)
  • Free printable (sign up below)
  • optional: meat to add to the spaghetti sauce.
Note: We thought we would make it easier and deliver the free printable right to your inbox. Don't worry, we won't sell or give your e-mail address to anyone. If this is your first time subscribing, watch and make sure our e-mail isn't delivered to your junk folder :)




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3/13/2016

Happy Sunday!

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I’m excited to share that you can find me over at The Moments We Stand this week. (If you haven’t read Ashlee’s blog, take a minute and look it over!) I’m guest posting, and sharing the many adjustments Pat and I were forced to make after losing Preslee. I actually really enjoyed writing this piece, and hope you enjoy it as well.

Boise, ID

3/08/2016

Last weekend, my boys and I made a quick trip to visit my brother and his family in Boise, ID. My brother is an accountant and is in the middle of tax season, so I figured his wife might enjoy some company. It was a fun few days filled with 7 kids, a lot of food, and very little sleep. And we even snuck a girl’s night in there :)

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Cannon woke up from a nap on Saturday afternoon, with a large lump on the side of his neck, about the size of a golf ball. When I touched it, he let out a cry that I had never heard from him before. I ended up taking him to Urgent Care and though they weren’t sure what it was, they put him on some strong antibiotics. Today, I noticed it’s finally going down and he is turning his neck much better. It makes me feel much better.

And for good a little good news, this little pegged leg pirate, gets his cast off tomorrow! I think he will honestly miss it. He has LOVED the attention, and the fact that it is green.

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