YEAR IN REVIEW #2 – One Year of The Pink Shoelaces

Can you believe it? I sure can’t! Let’s be real, when I started this blog, how many of you thought, “There’s another thing she won’t stick to!” But HOLY COW! Here we are a YEAR LATER and I’m still writing and you’re still reading!

In honor of my 1 year blog-a-versary, today’s and tomorrow’s and the next few days of blog posts will include my favorite/most popular post from each month so that’s 12 featured blog posts!

Without further ado, today’s blog posts feature my favorite posts from January 2020 – March 2020. Maybe they were your favorite too 🙂


January 2020: The Hardest Conversation

Grab your tissues. January had a lot of good blog posts but none of them made me cry like this one.

Honorable mention (another creative writing piece): The Big One and the Big Buddy http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/the-big-one-and-the-big-buddy/


February 2020: “I’m On A Diet.”

Guess what folks, still on that damn diet.

Honorable mention: My Name is Kalissa and I’m a Workaholic http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/my-name-is-kalissa-and-im-a-workaholic/


March 2020: We Couldn’t Afford Cafeteria Food

A single defining moment in our lives that changed us forever.

Honorable mention: A Case of the Funnies with Carver John http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/out-of-the-mouths-of-babes-a-case-of-the-funnies-with-carver-john/


This blog post is one of four blog posts. Each blog post will review 3 months of “best of” content. Today we covered October – December 2019. Another blog post will cover January – March 2019 and so on and so forth.

After reviewing the blog posts, leave a comment of your favorite blog post highlighted in the post either on social media or below in the comment section.

The goal is to narrow it down to the top four blog posts of the year and then vote on the winner for the best blog post of year #1 of The Pink Shoelaces.

So, are you ready for it? Get set. GO!

Start reading and commenting my dear readers!


Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces

Gannon update

Hey guys – just wanted to jump on here quick and let you all know how Gannon is doing. I’ve gotten so many emails about how he is doing. You haven’t heard from me since last Friday when we had a really terrible day. Read more on that here.

As I’m writing this it is Tuesday afternoon and he has had a fever for 6 of the last 8 days, and his ear infection is 21 days old today. Gannon is not himself, is hesitant to eat, drink, or walk around. He’s pretty grumpy still. Gannon has been on three different antibiotics now and still is having fevers. Last night we were in urgent care again after he wasn’t taking a nap and spiked a temp again.

They did some blood work, Gannon’s white blood cell count was pretty low – normal is 5-10 and his was 2.2. There’s a number of reasons this could be – a virus, antibiotics he was on etc. but it does need follow up. Low white blood cell count can make it harder to fight infections which is probably why this has drug on so long. I’m sure there is a very simple explanation and when we get follow up blood work it will all be just fine. I just need to stay off of google in the meantime.

Speaking of follow up, it’s really hard with Gannon. He’s got a lot to consider. He’s got issues that don’t even have a diagnosis yet so it’s just really hard to approach this like a normal kiddo. Should we go to Iowa City? We only have specialists in Iowa City. Our GI doctor or our neuro doctor can’t help us with this. But Gannon may need more testing or different considerations that is more than our clinic can handle. It’s always a tug between the two.

Today he was woken up after 12 hours of sleep and then I had to wake him up from a 5 hour nap. He’s still punked out, still has a 101 fever, pale, has this sick look in his eyes. My mom gut is on high alert and I’m just trying to chill out until our follow up on Thursday and stay OFF OF GOOGLE. Because if I fall too far down the google rabbit hole I start looking at things like neutropenic fevers and pale and fatigue and low white blood cells and difficulty fighting infections and I’m not allowing myself to go there until we see how Thursday pans out.

I wish I had a better update. I tried posting my regular content but (and I mean this in the most loving way) people were more worried about Ganjo. And I am too. I’m ready to see the spark back in my peanut.

Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces

YEAR IN REVIEW #1! One Year of The Pink Shoelaces!

Can you believe it? I sure can’t! Let’s be real, when I started this blog, how many of you thought, “There’s another thing she won’t stick to!” But HOLY COW! Here we are a YEAR LATER and I’m still writing and you’re still reading!

In honor of my 1 year blog-a-versary, today’s and tomorrow’s and the next few days of blog posts will include my favorite/most popular post from each month so that totals 12 featured blog posts over the past year. These blog posts were either my favorites, reader’s favorites, the most comments/shares, etc.

Without further ado, I’ll start today with my favorite blog posts from October 2019 – December 2019. Maybe they were your favorite too 🙂


October 2019: The Ball and the Box

This was a huge blog post for me. It was my first *popular* blog post. So many people have reached out to me (even though it isn’t my theory) and said how helpful this analogy was to describe the grief they are going through.

Honorable mention: How Do You Do It All? http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/how-do-you-do-it-all/


November 2019: Remember This

I love creative writing pieces, this one is *almost* a poem. I do reference this quite a bit at work – especially now that I work in critical care, good outcomes are few and far between.

Honorable mention: Let’s Talk About Lady Parts http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/lets-talk-about-lady-parts/


December 2019: Living with Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This post is near and dear to my heart – like a page from my diary. I don’t think I need to say any more than that.

Honorable mention: CONSENT http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/consent/


This blog post is one of four blog posts. Each blog post over the next few days will review 3 months of “best of” content. Today we covered October – December 2019. Another blog post will cover January – March 2019 and so on and so forth.

After reviewing the blog posts, leave a comment of your favorite blog post highlighted in the post either on social media or below in the comment section. All comments from all four posts will be entered into a drawing for a prize: A Northeast Iowa local business bundle shipped to where ever you are to thank you for being a loyal reader of mine!

So, are you ready for it? Get set. GO!


Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces

Gannon Report – Genetics Round #2 + Ear Infection

If you are new to the blog, Gannon is my 18 month old son who is currently undergoing testing for what is believed to be a connective tissue disorder causing gross motor delays, a speech delay, swallowing difficulties, GI issues, muscle weakness, joint laxity, I could go on. In his little life, he has had more procedures surgeries and tests than Craig and I combined. Here is a more comprehensive post about Gannon’s issues: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/gannon-joseph-friedman/

It has been such a long ass day. Pardon my French but it’s seriously been terrible. First of all, I have this blog post completely written and a glitch deleted the entire thing. So this is the second time I’m writing it. Second of all I can still hear Gannon crying in his room as I’m writing this. He has spent more time crying that today than not.

In the 40 minutes that I’ve been working on this blog post, Carver has come up with 18 different excuses as to why he should not be sleeping in his bed. I’m so far past keeping my cool, I play the nice mom and tuck him in, I played the mean mom, nothing is working, all of us are in bed, none of us are sleeping 3/4 of us are crying.

Remember Gannon had another ear infection at his well child check last week? On Monday – the 5th day of strong antibiotics – Gannon spiked a fever. All week it has been on and off – up to 103+. But I thought – he’s on antibiotics – I’m sure it’s just teething? Or maybe just a fluke? Today was fever day 5.

Today was also another Iowa city appointment day. Gannon screamed for the last 20 minutes on the way down to Iowa city in the middle of lunch hour traffic. It was super stressful and we were so thankful to finally get where we needed to be. Gannon was super fussy at the doctor and cried every time we went into a new room or saw a new person. He needed to be held constantly.

It’s harvest season so it was really hard for Craig to get the time off. Both parents have to be present for this specific meeting with the genetics counselor. Craig and I both had to get our blood drawn. Most of our 45 minute meeting was going over consent.

While Gannon is the one going through the genetic testing, it may also reveal things about me and Craig that we didn’t know. It can tell us if we have the Alzheimer’s gene, predisposition to certain cancers, and things like that. We have an option to opt out of finding these things out but of course we said that we would like to know if we had some thing like that. We feel like it would be selfish not to you as it could affect the future of our extended family as well. The results should be back in 2-3 months and is sent to a lab in Maryland.

So here we are getting our blood drawn. Gannon obviously isn’t very happy about it. The lab people who drew our blood were super cool. They said they had 275 scheduled blood draws for that day and that doesn’t include walkins. They said that was a slow day for them. I could tell they really enjoyed their jobs.

Then it was off to Home. Craig had to get back to work so that he could help with chopping at the farm. Gannon screamed from Iowa city to Independence which is about an hour. When I say SCREAMED – I mean it – not just crying or fussing. We stopped so many times to try and help him and comfort him but nothing worked. It was awful. It was stressful. I felt so helpless.

So I decided when we got home – day 5 of a fever, after 4 total hours of driving, I hauled him another half hour north to urgent care where Gannon was diagnosed with THE SAME DAMN EAR INFECTION for the third time this month. He screamed in the office, screamed in the car, while waiting at the pharmacy, it was again, awful.

Now I am an ER nurse at heart, I know all of the tricks in the book to get kids to take medicine but Gannon will have none of it. By the end of the ordeal, we both end up covered in grape ibuprofen. It’s awful. This week of antibiotics was bad enough and now we add on another week and more Tylenol and more ibuprofen. He cries every time he sees a syringe of medicine.

Doesn’t he just look miserable? Also bear in mind, Gannon has been on antibiotics for the last 10 days for an ear infection. His fever spiked on day 5 of 10 of antibiotics. He has been on Cefdinir which is a really strong antibiotic specifically for ear infections. He has also already been on Augmentin for the same exact ear infection. He. Needs. Tubes. It’s obvious that he just doesn’t do life without tubes in his ears. His first set fell out already. This is getting ridiculous – third round of antibiotics in a month.

So as I lay here, we are all just spent. Emotionally and physically exhausted.

I yelled too much today. 

I was too short. 

I was too impatient.

I was not the mom I intend to be.

I was not the wife I intend to be. 

I should have taken Gannon to the doctor sooner.

I should have been more patient with Carver.

I shouldn’t have taken this all out on Craig.

The mom guilt is heavy tonight. Gannon is still crying. Carver is at my door again. This day just needs to be over. I’m out ✌🏻

Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces

Trying New Things

Okay, so you guys know how much I love Rachel and Dave Hollis – I know I made a big long blog post about how offended I was over their divorce and blah blah blah but like for real, I still love them. I just listened to Dave’s new book last week and re read Rachel’s book Girl, Stop Apologizing 2 weeks ago in prep for her new book coming out the end of this month.

They are all about habits and growth and learning and changing and healthiness and waking up early and drinking your water and getting that sleep in and setting goals. I’m always inspired by their content and it makes me want to be a better person and strive to be my best.

So I’ve had this nagging thought lately – which honestly truly started from true curiosity. I’ve battled my demons with self hatred and self loathing, (read more on that here and here) but this is different.

Rachel and Dave have always hosted this Next 90 Days – essentially you live your best life and make a conscious effort to thrive using the Five to Thrive. The five to thrive consists of

  • Waking up one hour earlier than you normally do.
  • Move your body for at least 30 minutes/day.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water/day.
  • Give up one category or kind of food you know you shouldn’t be eating.
  • Write down five things you’re grateful for every day.

So I love the idea of it but I can’t stick with it. Well, I guess I should say that I haven’t stuck with it in the past.

I keep having this reoccurring thought. Once I’ve seen how good change can be in my own life, I want to change everything. I want to try new things! So I got thinking about this thought: What’s something that is so not me?

Here’s a few things that first pop into my head:

  • Hiking
  • Getting my hair/nails/toes done
  • Wearing makeup everyday
  • Piercing my nose/getting a tattoo
  • Anything athletic
  • Coloring my hair
  • Taking time to hang out with my friends
  • Making date night a priority
  • Running
  • Eating tofu

These are all things that I just don’t do! So I want to try them. Every day, from October 1st to January 1st, I want to try something new. I want to switch it up. That starts with hiring a personal trainer. It starts with putting a limit on the amount of time I spend on Facebook. It starts with spending some money on myself and cutting/coloring my hair for the first time in as long as I can remember. It starts with waking up before my kids do and going to bed at a decent time. It starts with making plans and keeping them.

I had never once been mountain biking before about a year ago. Yes, I loved riding bike as a kid but really truly mountain biking? I had never thought that was something I could do. Now, it’s a hobby of ours! Read more on that here

I was SO terrible at managing money. I didn’t think I would EVER make it in life without hauling around credit card debt. But I tried something new. I fell in love with Dave Ramsey’s teachings and paid off over $30,000 in one year. Read more on that here

I was convinced that I was going to stay working at a critical access hospital forever and that was just what was best for my family. Now I know how much I love working at a big hospital with so many opportunities I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Read more on that here

I was so scared to start a blog based on what other people would think of me. Why would anyone care what I have to say? 360 days later as I’m sitting here and typing my 239th blog post, I’m earning close to $250 in revenue from my blog this month and I’ve found a creative outlet for the first time in my 25 years that suits me!

So to heck with it! I want to spend the last 90 days of possibly the shittiest year ever, (2019 wasn’t anything super either) running my life on my own terms, trying things I’ve never done before, and doing things that make people say “Kalissa would never do that.” I want to do things that are nothing like me. Because…WHY NOT! Somedays it may be as simple as waking up at 6 am and doing a full face of makeup to sit at home in my sweats. Somedays it may be going on a run. Someday, it might be getting a tattoo. I want to do things I’ve never done.

So anyway, those are thoughts from a sleep deprived Kalissa. What is one habit or hobby that you thought you would NEVER keep that has stuck with you? What’s one habit or something you want to create for yourself? Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment.

Check out my latest posts:

Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces

A Quick Stop at the Farm…

Gannon and Carver had their well child checks last week. Gannon has ANOTHER ear infection. He was so fussy on the way home. We were driving by the farm, Craig was almost off of work, I decided to make a pit stop and I’m so glad we did! I got some really awesome pictures.

These pictures were taken about 2 seconds apart from each other.

I got some super cute pictures of the boys checking on the cattle.

I love stopping at the farm. I grew up on this farm from the time I was three. These pens, this barn, these sheds all held the same excitement for me as they do for my children now.

I can remember chasing cattle in the middle of the night. I can remember helping dad move cattle between gates/sheds. I can remember when I accidentally wore crocs in 6 inches of manure and dad making fun of me.

I can remember having to sit on the milk cart when I was naughty and milk cows with dad. I can remember playing in the cotton seed. I can remember when my sister was teaching me how to play catch during calf chores with the milk bottles and it gave me a black eye.

I can remember getting the lawn mower stuck and my dad coming over and literally lifting it out of the mud to drier ground. I can remember bringing treats out to the office and blueberry muffins in the summer. I can remember when that old apple tree got struck by lightning just feet away from our living room window where I was sitting. I can remember the old machine shed and the nursery that were here before the new pens were built.

Not only do I get to make memories with my boys on this farm, but I have so many of my own to share with Craig and the boys.

Thanks for reading friends!

Want to support The Pink Shoelaces?
Buy me a coffee!
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Pinkshoelaces