I wish I could say we have been so busy exploring the world that we haven't had much time to write, but it's certainly not the case. On the contrary, we spent an amazing few weeks visiting with family scattered throughout the South. The roadtrips were awesome - filled with deep theological conversations and always ending with the sweet sound of laughter. The time we spent with family was precious and will forever be engrained in our hearts.
We then returned home mid-January with a heap of things to catch up on. This, of course, includes redecorating and repurposing some really cool antiques we were given and some other ones we stumbled upon during our family vacations. I'll be blogging about those special things in the very near future.
My mind has been RACING with an overflow of ideas for Jitney's Journeys - both our blog and our Etsy shop. Do you ever feel like your mind is pouring out ideas so rapidly that you can't get it down on paper fast enough?? That's been me for about five weeks now. It's a pretty bittersweet feeling. While I'm super excited about all of the ideas, I realize that I just don't have enough hands to produce them all in the quick timely manner I'd like - and even less resources to hire people to help. Fortunately, I'll have some wonderful creative hands-on-deck for about a month soon so that will be a HUGE help! In the meantime, we're in the midst of creating a solid business plan (thanks to JD's business classes and my public relations training in college) that will hopefully carry us through in the long haul. It's tough to have a long-term mindset when you have so much excitement stirring to get things done in the moment, but that's how the tortoise won. And we must have the mindset of the tortoise if we want to be successful.
Starting February 11, we will have all of our burlap products up and ready for production in the Etsy shop. Until then, we have these super cute pillows up for sale...
This one was created specifically with Valentine's Day in mind but you can set this lovely thing out any day of the year!!
We want to introduce you to our sweet little cousin, Emma Kate.
Isn't she precious!? She was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome a couple of years ago.
Emma Kate is our inspiration for a new series we are beginning this week: Philanthropic Fridays.
We will probably only host Philanthropy Fridays about once a month. It will be a chance for you to link up and post about philanthropies or ministries that are close to your heart too. Let's get the word out!
Here's an excerpt about Emma Kate from Meredith's (Emma Kate's mom / my cousin) blog....
The entire time she was at the hospital she was SUCH a trooper. Never shed a single tear or complained about the treatments. Even through all the needle sticks, IV's, night wakings, ect., she was braver than us.
The nurses were impressed.
We were all impressed.
There were so many unknowns, and the doctors were far from encouraging! It didn't help matters that my son (5 months old at the time) was fighting a 104 degree fever and double ear infections. Thank God for family! And thank God for all the people lifting us up in prayer. With so many hard things coming at us at once, we were so thankful Emma Kate embraced the situation so well. Seeing her strength helped us out.
I cried more then than I have in my entire life. Part of the tears were from seeing how the steroids affected my sweet little girl so much. She went from hugging and smiling, to hitting and not wanting to be touched, overnight. Despite the behavioral changes on the second day, she still did well with the nurses and treatments. Thankfully, by the third day the initial shock to her system had calmed down and she was MUCH better. Needless to say I hugged on her ALL day that day, since she hadn't let us touch her the day before. A 2 year old not wanting to be touched or hugged by a parent is so much harder than you can imagine. Especially when all you want to do is love on them and let them know it's okay.You can check out the rest of Meredith's blog here. Daniel and Meredith have changed Emma Kate's diet to reflect a gluten-free, dairy-free and low sodium lifestyle because of her condition. Along with other great tips and wisdom, Meredith's blog has fantastic insight and options on which foods to buy with that diet.
So what is Nephrotic Syndrome?
Nephrotic Syndrome, in itself, is not classified as a disease. However, it can potentially lead to blood clots and very serious conditions such as kidney failure if not treated correctly. In a properly-functioning system, the kidneys spill protein into the blood. With Ns, the kidneys spill protein into the urine instead. This causes swelling, lack of energy and urine output. Though Ns is most common in kids, doctors have yet to figure out the cause. More importantly, there is NO CURE. There are two types: minimal change (what Emma Kate has), and FSGS which is far more serious and often ends with a transplant. Eighty percent of the kids have the minimal change and do respond well to treatment. Though the cure has not been found, high doses of steroids or chemotherapy drugs can help put the body in remission.