Kensie Kate

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home sweet home...unfortunately

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This post is overdue. I just haven't known how to write it or where to start. I tried to talk myself out of writing it at all, telling myself that I don't owe anyone an explanation. I held off writing until I had more information, until I knew all the answers.

In September, I left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Philadelphia. I came home and was released on New Year's Day for medical reasons. I was sick for 12 weeks before coming home and did everything I could to stay. About 6 weeks after I left, I started blacking out as much as 15 times a day and passing out randomly, like while I was sitting in church. I went to doctors, had blood draws, and EKG, an echocardiogram, wore a heart monitor, and couldn't get the answers I needed. It was a rough decision, but everyone involved agreed that I would be able to find out what was wrong and get better faster if I were home. I came home on New Year's Day. It was decided that I probably had a genetic condition called Vasovagal Syncope, something my uncle and cousin have too. By coming home, I was able to see the same cardiologist who diagnosed and treated them, someone who is one of the leading doctors in the country regarding this condition. Since I've been home, I have seen the cardiologist and had a Tilt-table Test (I'm not even going to start describing what a horrible experience that was). I found out that I do have Vasovagal Syncope. Basically there is a communication error in my body that makes my blood pressure and heart rate plummet until my body yells "RESET" and then I pass out. The doc prescribed a heart medication to keep my blood pressure elevated. I was in the parking lot at Costco about to go pick it up when I had a realization and told my mom, "What if it's $200! No one is going to want to marry me if I have $200 heart medication!" Thankfully for my future husband, it was not that much. I also have to eat lots of salt (I now order french fries wherever I go) and no sugar. If it works and I don't pass out, then I can go back to being a missionary in Philadelphia. So now I'm just waiting for the next doctor's appointment to find out what's next.

So that's pretty much it. I loved being a missionary and I'm hoping to get back as soon as they'll let me. Until then, I'm trying to stay busy. The hardest part is not knowing how long I'll be home, but all things considering, I'm doing pretty darn good for not so good (:

when dad leaves...

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Every time my dad goes out of town, someone gets sick or Owen does something dumb. When he went to Atlanta, my mom got pancreatitis. When we went to Australia, we pretty much all fell apart. (Strep, ear infection, broken arm) About 2 hours after my dad left for Japan, Owen invented a new magic trick. He's really into magic lately. The trick involved putting the back of Finley's earring in one ear and pulling it out the other. Too bad his brain got in the way. A pair of tweezers and my mom's steady hand narrowly prevented a visit to the emergency room. My dad left for scout camp today and this time Owen did something dumb and someone got hurt. Owen was watching a movie on the computer and raised the chair up as high as it would go. He scooted the chair back and then leaned forward. The chair slid out from underneath him and he hit the desk hard. I was sitting on the floor 4 feet away and thought he crunched his nose. Really he got the strangest x-shaped cut near his mouth. At first we thought he would need some stitches, but thankfully it isn't that deep. Dad, you're never allowed to leave again, for our sake. Also whenever my dad leaves, my mom tries to complete a project around the house. While he was in Japan a couple of weeks ago, the project was this wall. We don't have a fireplace so we don't have a mantle and we really don't have any shelves. That means we don't have anywhere that is easy to decorate. This wall has a little shelf on top that will hold pictures, decorations, and stockings.

It is actually painted and decorated now, but I haven't taken a picture yet.

it's great to be 8

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Miss Fin turned 8 the end of June. 8 is a big deal in our church. 8 is when you are eligible to be baptized. We had kind of a crazy day, but it was pretty awesome. We all got ready and drove 45 minutes to a cousin's baptism. Afterwards, we went to their clubhouse to snack and chat with my dad's side of the family. We dropped some kiddos off at home and then went to find some white shoes for Finley to wear with her dress. We were unsuccessful. She wore the Tangled shoes she got for her birthday. She was more than pleased. Everyone got dressed up again and we went over to our church. Their were 5 other kiddos that got baptized with Finley. After she was baptized by my dad, we headed into another room where she was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Everyone is capable of being prompted by the Holy Ghost at times in their lives, but being confirmed gives you the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, as long as you are making the right choices. When a confirmation takes place, worthy priesthood holders are invited to participate. The circle of righteous priesthood holders that placed their hands on Finley's head was quite large. It was really special 1) because those men work hard to be worthy to carry out priesthood duties and 2) because so many family members and friends gave up so much of their time this week to support my family. We bought Finley's dress last year because my mom knew it was the perfect one for her. She looked so pretty in her dress with her hair braided.

After the baptism, we all went to a pizza buffet for dinner. I had visions of a dreamy backyard party filled with decorations, but we chose a simpler route because 1) we were afraid it would be too hot (actually it ended up pouring rain right after we started eating) and 2) we knew had a lot on our plate this weekend. We brought over a bunch of balloons (including a number 8 that was 3 feet tall) and it was great. We weren't stressed out and we had plenty of time to talk to everyone. We had the whole upstairs section to ourselves and everyone had a great time. Since we have another family event in the morning (a baby blessing), 2 of my cousins that are close to Ainsley and Finley's ages are sleeping over. They are spread all over the family room in sleeping bags. I was worried about them keeping my grandparents awake (they are staying at our house since they live 5 hours away) but my grandma said "they are so giggly you just want to giggle with them." I have spent more time with my extended family this week than I have all year and it has been so fun. Everyone has really sacrificed in order to be there and support each other.

sweet summertime

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We had a BBQ at my grandma and grandpa's house tonight. After dinner, my grandpa called into the house, "Kensie! Grab a bowl and come outside!" That's code for "things in the garden need to be picked, but I can't see everything hiding in the garden!" I knew it was too early for cucumbers to be ripe so I thought maybe some tomatoes were nice and red. I ended up finding a whole bowl of juicy strawberries. What a nice surprise. I love summer.

All good things come to an end

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This was our last day in New York. We were super tired I had knee surgery my sophomore year and then I got massive blood clots. Since we've been flying and walking so much, I got to sport these lovely black socks today, but we got to see a lot of fun things. We even tried New York Cheesecake.

We went down to Soho and had a great time. I finally got to go to a Kate Spade store and they even had a Mother's Day celebration complete with fancy refreshments. (P.S. See that yellow shirt? I bought it at Century 21 during the 5 hours we spent there. When I put it on today, I realized it is actually meant to be worn backwards to how I have been. Oh well, I like it better this way.)

We went to Grand Central Station to catch the subway. We stopped in all the stationery shops and saw the funkiest Apple Store before hopping a train.

We went to Central Park, but we were too exhausted to walk very far. Instead I laid down on a bench. That tree was my view while laying on the bench when a bird narrowly missed pooping on me. Trusty camera strap, thanks for taking the hit for me.

The Alice and Wonderland statues...

L: One last view of Central Park.

We left the park, picked up our luggage from the hotel, and jumped on the subway to the airport. There was one transfer to make, but we got so caught up planning the exciting changes coming soon to kensie kate that we missed it. Other than that one tiny mistake, we navigated the subway system like pros the whole time we were there. Or at least my phone did. We made it to the airport and found out our plane got delayed by a couple of hours so I took a nap.

It was crazy to leave the day after I moved out of my apartment, especially since we are leaving another trip (this time with the whole family) in 6 days. Much to do before then, but boy am I tired.