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What a Week & Singing in the Evening?!?

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

If you follow me on Instagram (@eastcoastcreative) you know that we had a crazy week.  If you don’t follow on IG (what are you waiting for) and let me catch you up a bit…

Callen (my youngest) had been having a sore neck for about a week or so. We gave him a new pillow, ice, heat, etc… We assumed he just pulled a muscle playing outside or something.  Sunday and Monday it started getting worse- he was getting up at night complaining and not moving it much.  We made a Dr’s appointment for Wednesday.  Well, Monday night during the night it got a lot worse and he was pretty much a sad, little mess.  I was filming an episode of Knock it Off but decided to take him to the doctors in the morning and go into work late.  What I thought would be a quick trip to the doctors turned into an appointment and then an x-ray at the outpatient area of the hospital.  After that, Eric came home and I headed over to the set to work on our KIO makeover.  About an hour later, we got a call that there was a “mass” and we needed to get Cal a CT-Scan right away at the emergency room.  The term “mass” is never awesome and especially when it’s being used to talk about your kid.  I finished a few quick things for the show and then headed to the hospital in time to take Cal for his scan.  He wasn’t feeling well, but wasn’t awful either.  About 15 minutes after the scan the doctor was in to talk to us… Umm, that never happens- it’s always like forever long waiting right?  He told us that Cal had an abscess caused by an infection and we needed to take him to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) by ambulance.  Whoa. What? Come Again? Apparently, it was really big and near his breathing passageway.  We took about 1 minute to process this and then we were in action mode.  Eric running home to get clothes for us, getting coverage for our other 3 kids etc…  Within the hour, Callen and I were in the ambulance headed to Philly.


So yeah, it wasn’t an ideal situation and there’s a bit of a backstory as well.  The day all of this went down was October 29th… it’s my least favorite day of the year.  It’s the day (8 yrs ago) that our twin sons came into the world and the day they left.  It’s just a blah day for me usually- it’s gotten easier with time, but still a day to remember.   I had one moment when Cal was strapped down to the stretcher heading into the ambulance where I worried about losing another one of my boys and on the very same day. Thankfully, I only let myself even think that way for about 30 seconds.  I kind of knew I had a decision to make.  Panic and dwell on the negative or be super thankful that even after losing the twins, I had Callen and the privilege to be with him and take care of him when he was sick.  I chose the later and I can honestly say I didn’t have one more moment of worry throughout the whole week.  I don’t really feel like I hear God speak super clearly like some people feel they do, but I do think that verses and song lyrics are a big way that I can be encouraged or reminded of Truth.  The past few weeks I’ve been having this line from Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons” running through my head…

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.29.45 AM

I had a “dude, how can I be ‘singing’ during this crappy day” moment and then I made it my resolve to do just that.  Well, minus the actual singing, because I don’t sing much, but you get the idea.  So no, it wasn’t a picture perfect no bumps in the road end to Cal’s situation, but I really felt like God chilled me out and reminded me that it was up to me to choose joy.

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We ended up spending 4 days at CHOP and Cal had neck/throat surgery to remove his abscess.  The doctors and nurses were great and my boy was a trooper!  He’s home now and honestly you’d never even know he was sick- it’s actually crazy how fast he bounced back when we got home.

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So, all that just to share a little bit of my world and a bit of my heart. Blogs can make life seem really cookie cutter perfect, but I promise you this girl’s life is filled with messiness and reality. I’ve gotta work hard to make sure I’m singing when the evening comes- on Oct 29th, and any other day of the year too.

The comments +

  1. Maryrose says:

    Oh my… the show… the story even more. So often God speaks to me thru song……..

  2. What a blessing that he’s okay!! Kids are so resilient, aren’t they?!

  3. Elizabeth Oaten says:

    Bless you Monica! So glad to hear your son is doing well! I have learned over the past few years that if we don’t have “Tests” in our lives, we would not have a “Testimony”! It truly is amazing how when you look to God for guidance, wisdom, or plain old Help…How he is Always there!!!! I find it is so much easier to get through the days knowing Gods plan is the best plan and not worrying is much more peaceful! May you always remember that one day you will see your little guys in heaven! I often see you at Calvary and look forward to maybe meeting you one day!
    God Bless,

    Elizabeth Oaten

  4. What a beautiful perspective! I was thinking of you and your boy all week and am so happy to hear how smoothly it all ended. Lots of hugs to all of you!

  5. Poor little boy! im glad to hear he is doing better now!!!

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh my goodness, what a scare for your family! I’m glad to hear your son’s doing so much better after having the surgery.
    Debbie 🙂

  7. Teresa says:

    So glad your boy is ok! Two years ago we had a “mass” scare with our middle son. It was the scariest 10 days of my life, but the doctors, nurses, and staff at CHOP were wonderful. I hope I never lay eyes on any of them again, but so glad they were there for us! Best to you and your family.

  8. Renae says:

    Glad things went well. It is never fun to go in for something you think is routine and something major comes out of it. We had one of those times earlier this year too. 5 days in the ICU after a broken arm incident wasn’t what I had planned. But thank goodness for modern medicine and skilled doctors.

  9. Crystal says:

    So sorry Callen & your family had to face this! Thanks so much for your testimony of “singing when the evening comes!” It was a real blessing to me.

  10. Runt says:

    WOW. So glad to hear your boy was okay!

  11. Traci says:

    Monica, as I read this through my hot tears I am thankful for your blog and how much of your heart shines through to uplift the brokenhearted. Many blessings upon your son. God is so good in all circumstance!

  12. Tiara says:

    Hey. First I just want to say that I almost cried at my desk (eating lunch at my desk at work). I have 3 boys & medical things are scary. I’m glad he’s doing better. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your show!! Me & my seven year old watch it together. You two are AWESOME!

  13. Diana says:

    Oh Monica, I’m going to cry. You’re a strong, amazing woman, with a strong, amazing family. All my love. xoxo

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