Monday, November 26, 2012

Miche Handbag Giveaway

Thank you all for reading and following.  To spread the word about my blog, I've joined a number of others to give away a great gift this holiday season, a Miche handbag.

Miche was started by a young homemaker who spilled something on her purse and came up with the bright idea of switching purse covers when something like that happens.  She pitched her idea and now has a successful business that has turned into an up-and-coming company.

To get an idea of how Miche handbags are different than any other bag out there, check out the image below and read Kara's full review here.


One lucky winner will receive a Miche prima bag with the Tereasa shell {pictured above - $79.95 value}. This giveaway will end on 12/15 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time and is open to U.S. residents. Please enter on the Promo Simple form below.

Catching My Breath is not responsible for choosing or shipping the final prize.

To all my loyal readers, I thank you for being a part of our journey.  For those of you who are new, take a few minutes to catch your breath with me from the beginning.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!

While I have so many things to be thankful for, one of them is you.  If you are reading this, I am incredibly grateful that you are following our journey.  Your love and prayers bring me so much warmth on the toughest of days.

I strongly believe that all things happen for a reason, and appreciate all I've gained on this road.  From new friends to new perspectives, new hopes and even realizing my own strength, there are many glints of silver hiding in the grey.

Give thanks to God today for all the little miracles in your life and if you like, share them here, I'd love to hear what you are feeling blessed with in your corner of the world.  And again, thank you for being rainbows when my skies are black.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Charlie Brown

Have you ever noticed that there are times when you are just getting a handle on one piece of news, another follows right after?

After grasping yet another road block, the phone rang.  This time it was the elementary school.  In my head I wondered which of the girls was sick.  While it was the school nurse, neither was sick.  Instead, she needed to alert me that another student had just received the varicella vaccine and was already back in class.

Immediately the mad rush of calls began.  Not only did I need to talk to immunology, but needed to find another place for Gwyn in case she was not able to come home.  Within twenty minutes arrangements were set for where she could be for the next week.  Then the wait for the doctor's call back began.

Fifteen minutes before needing to pick up the girls, the call finally came.  Fortunately, the virus would not begin to shed until the next day, so since the student had just had the immunization hours before and Gwyn was separated from them, the likelihood there would be an exposure issue was limited.  Unfortunately, that would not be the case after the first day.  It was possible we  would need to keep Gwyn out of school for up to two weeks due to the possibility of stow-a-way germs making their way from her to Cole.

My heart broke when she sat at the table after school, bubbling with excitement for her Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at school the next day.  I had to tell her she would not be able to go.  When I broke the news, she put her head into hands and sobbed in a way I had never seen.  She was a statue, silent, yet as her tears fell danced down her cheeks and around her hands, I felt as if I had stolen something from her.  It wasn't her fault she couldn't go to school, nor was it the other student who needed her shot.  It was the rarity that struck our family like lightening, unjustly stealing more of the innocence away from our children.

Of course I'd stage our own Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but no matter what I could do, it was not quite what my five year old feels she had missed.  Her look of dejection was one I have never seen in my spunky Gwynnie girl.  Seriously, it was a rip your heart out and stomp on it sort of feeling as a parent.  

Now, I can be tough as nails when I need to be, sacrifice anything necessary and in our family's best interests, but when I think about my daughters and how this journey has impacted them, my heart aches.  Childhood should be a time of innocence and dreams, not a time for worries.  Yes, we have kept things as normal as we can, and I am so proud of the girls, always happy with what we can do instead of what we cannot, but I know they worry.  I just wish I could wipe away their disappointments as easily as an Etch-a-Sketch picture, giving them a clean screen without limits for the next day's adventure.

Today I tried my best to make the day the best it could be, even though we had to start with another doctor's appointment.  We went for a hike, found various animal tracks, and even saw some deer along the way.  In the evening, a few girls joined my daughters for their own Charlie Brown celebration, and even though Gwyn did not have the special placement she made in school, she had a smile on her face at the end of the night and said it was the "best day ever!"  Maybe I don't have to be so worried about disappointing them after all.  In the end, each day is a new day, a fresh canvas to paint.  And, I have to say, the girls are learning to make my signature fresh squeezed lemonade, just the right amount of sweetness to offset the sour.  After all, what goes better with jelly beans and popcorn than a tall glass of lemonade?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


For those of you who know me personally, you may have seen my month of gratitude posts on Facebook.

As I keep reflecting on what it is I am truly grateful for, I constantly think about how lucky we are to live today, with all of the technology around us.

Here is an article about Texas Children's Hospital.  I truly cannot express how thankful I am that there are doctors using cutting edge technology to explore Cole's cells.

Even though we are still waiting for some kind of news, I appreciate the fact that we are in great hands.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Thank you for your stories and warmth.

Just what I needed to keep looking up, keep moving forward.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Give me inspiration.  Some days are tiring, especially when waiting.  I'm doing my best to keep on processing lemonade, but could use to hear some stories that are not my own.

You all know about my lemonade.  Every day I try to make the most of the hand we've been dealt, doing what I can to stay on the sunny side of things despite the unknown, despite changes I never anticipated.  Now, I'm not only sharing here on the blog, I am writing and working towards a dream I have had for many years, one I always thought was down the road.  Without Cole's mysteries, I may not have started to take this step because I lacked the right lemons for a refreshing beverage.
In the end, there is always a silver lining, yet when you are lost in the middle of the cloud, it's often hard to see.

Tell me about your "lemons to lemonade tales" or even your "God laughs when you make plans" stories.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Draw has been sent to Texas.  We've taken one more step forward.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, just keep swimming.

Cole is such a trooper, with yesterday's draw he not only rolled up his sleeve, he sat still and only let out a tiny whimper, so different from the wiggling and crying we've endured in the past.  Such a good boy - I decided he deserved a new train.

We are still waiting for the news regarding his IL10.  Our local doctors expect the call any day.  In the meantime, we have been combating the after effects of his ear infection antibiotics.  Love how one cure, creates havoc elsewhere in his little body.  Looks like the writing is on the wall for ear tubes.  We'll find out next week.  

For now, we will just keep swimming, even if it is upstream.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's always great to have a distraction when you have to wait indefinitely, yet all diversions are not created equal.  Our little man is plagued with yet another ear infection, one step closer to yet another specialist to visit.  At least my hands are so full that the last thing I've worried about is the ominous ring of the phone.

When it did ring, after my greeting, our immunology fellow bubbled that while she still did not have any of the expected news for us, she did have some news to share.  The study in Houston was finally ready to set up Cole's draw.  All of the normal levels in the study are in the process of being finalized, therefore if everything is set on their end, we will be headed to Children's at the beginning of next week.  In addition, she reminded me that Cole's case is being shared at a national immunology conference this weekend and hopefully between all of the experts attending, another may have more ideas to offer regarding his condition.

Even though I was nervously anticipating completely different information, this still gives me a sigh of relief as the sands of my hourglass pace themselves, steadily slipping south.  Time is not infinite, and without these puzzle pieces it's as if all I can do is sit by, helplessly unable to weigh all options, attempting to balance all the gray trapped within the monotonously silent grains.  With so much information on the cusp, I pray as it begins to speak our language, it shatters the glass, altering the urgency of fate, buying time.  

For now, I will take my little man's snuggles, as all he wants is to cuddle up and watch Woody.  Luckily there are three Toy Story films or I might really start to dislike Tom Hanks and Tim Allen!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Patience is easier when you are busy.  Glad for all of the Halloween/birthday festivities yesterday to keep moving and not focus on the phone.  

Now that the excitement has silenced like an empty arena, I'm back to cooking.  Yes, I said cooking, which for me, is better than baking.  Some people clean when they are stressed, me, I'm a tornado in the kitchen.  Once upon a time I would spend the day curled up with pen and paper, but that's hard to do when your toddler is scaling Mount Everest and K2 without his safety harnesses in the living room.  However in the kitchen, I can distract him as he looks for good hand holds on the rock wall drawers.

So today, I continue to wait and I cook.  It is a sauce and meatball day, some for dinner, some for the freezer.  Aromatic all day and end result is fabulously tasty, certainly a way to stay busy and positively productive while willing the phone to ring.

Before the house stirs I need to hide all the loot from the kids' "treating" last night and strategically place our guard dinosaur to keep Cole from the top of the cupboards looking for candy.