Sundays on Silverado #198

Evie's first dance recital

Life Lately

I am one-month post-op now, and I think I’ve finally turned the corner. The pain is manageable, and I’m up and moving better. Wow, that was a rough ride.

Especially when you add that the last month has been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

One of my dearest friends passed away three weeks ago, at the age of 42 after a 6-month battle with cancer. She was truly one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever known.

She was my work buddy, my partner-in-crime for nearly 20 years of taking middle schoolers on D.C. trips, one of the most talented teachers I’ve ever known, and one of my very favorite people.

I have so many special memories of her through the years– going for “groceries” after school (our code for grabbing a drink after school so that kids didn’t know what we were talking about!). “It’s been a long day. You wanna get groceries after school?” 🤣

I would never have been able to pull off our annual Spring Break trip to D.C. for hundreds of kids without her. We were always roomies, and after long days of planes, trains, and buses, and shepherding kids to every monument and memorial and museum, we would fall into bed exhausted but still manage to find some silly thing that had happened that day that got us started laughing hysterically and unable to fall asleep.

She was a talented cake maker and offered to make the cake for my wedding. I gave her a pic, and she produced exactly what I had in mind. Not only was she in charge of the cake, but she practically functioned as my wedding coordinator and made sure the day went off without a hitch.

I could go on and on about what a special person she was, but I will end by saying that there is a huge hole in the world because of her loss. I will miss her more than I can say.


My emotions were all over the place this month– some very low days of coping with a difficult surgery recovery, visiting Keri in hospice, and then her passing the very next morning.

But the month was infused with some of the most wonderful days as well…

Mother’s Day weekend was only 2 weeks post-op, but it was filled with important family events that I had no intention of missing. With the help my my cane, and some serious pain meds, I managed.

First, on Saturday, we watched our youngest son graduate from the University of Iowa. We were so proud to celebrate this success with him. He’s had his first “real” job lined up since the fall and begins in a couple of weeks.

On Sunday, we went to our miracle girl’s first dance recital.

Evie's first dance recital

Those of you who have been following for awhile know Evie’s story, and will understand why this recital was so joyous for our family. Lots of tissues were needed.

I borrowed this picture from my daughter’s Facebook page, and also her words to explain what we were all feeling as we watched our tiny dancer on stage.

Evie's first dance recital

“This photo shows it best.
That girl, 5-day-old Evie, lay tangled in cords and wires supporting her life in the NICU as we listened to her doctors tell us that if she ever saw life outside the NICU, she would never be able to walk or talk or interact with us, and would never have good quality of life…..
That girl is now THIS girl- this beautiful blonde little girl, smiling as she takes the stage with her friends. This girl who did such a great job following along with her teacher and doing her dance, and clapped for herself all the way off the stage and back to the dressing room!
This looks like a quality life to me! 😍 We are so proud and she is so loved.” –Evie’s Mom

Evie's first dance recital

Evie had an entire fan club in the audience of family, and we all showered her with flowers. She was thrilled. 💕

Evie's first dance recital
Gigi & Pops
Evie's first dance recital
Mom, Dad, and baby Hayden sporting is Fusion Dance onesie to support his sister.
Evie's first dance recital
Our beautiful girl waiting for her turn on stage.

Evie turned 2 1/2 this week. Her smile melts my heart.

Evie 2.5

Here are more words from her mom, giving an update on her progress:

“Evie is 2 1/2 today! 🎂

She weighs just over 30 pounds, is 36 inches tall and is wearing anywhere from 3T-5T clothes.

Evie attends speech therapy twice per week, physical therapy once per week, and occupational therapy once per week, as well as Kindermusik once per week, and she just finished dance and swimming lessons! She is quite the social butterfly and loves to be friendly. Her expressive speech is quite delayed, however her receptive speech (what she understands) is great. She says a handful of word really well (mom, dad, pup), and otherwise has her own language of sorts that people who spend a lot of time with her can understand. She is great at communicating with gestures and signs, many of which she makes up herself and then continues to use consistently to communicate her wants and needs. Her speech is definitely our biggest focus right now. Otherwise, follow-up appointments have overall slowed down from what they once were. Her shunt is working well and there are no major concerns other than her developmental progress in different areas. It’s quite obvious to everyone who meets this girl that she is nowhere near what the doctors originally said she would be, and for that we are so thankful.

Evie loves: Taking baths, showers, playing in her water table outside, swimming, bubbles, playing outside, playing at the park, walks and stroller rides, “driving” dad’s truck, her brother, playing with other kids, cleaning, doing anything that she sees mom or dad do,

Evie dislikes: being told no 🙃

Evie and Hayden
Evie- 2 1/2 years old. Hayden- 4 1/2 months old.

These two bring me a kind of joy I never even knew was possible. ❤️

The Weekly Features…

Lemons and lavender seem to be the theme this month…


The Weekly Features!

PS. Please be sure you’re following The House on Silverado on Instagram so that I can tag all features in my weekly Sundays on Silverado IG Story. Plus, you might catch some extra sneak peeks of the sweeties on IG as well!

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25 thoughts on “Sundays on Silverado #198

  1. Wow, you really have had quite the rollercoaster recently. It’s wonderful that you are able to celebrate the highs and at the same time it doesn’t minimise the lows. It’s so important that we can find the joy wherever it is. I hope your recovery continues to progress well.

  2. Niki
    Your update on Evie warms my heart. She is adorable and I know you are so proud of her. My daughter has a shunt and we were not given a great prognosis when she was born. She’s 41 now and no one would ever guess that she had such a rocky start in life. Keep the faith and I know Evie is going to be amazing. (She already is).

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Rachel, and for sharing about your daughter. It was so scary when Evie had the shunt placed at only a couple of weeks old, but it made such a difference in her healing. Now that hair covers it, I often forget it’s even there. ❤️ Miracles of modern medecine.

  3. Seeing your two grands in the chair smiling is such a miracle and blessing, Niky. So glad you’re making great progress after your surgery. Thanks for having us over!

  4. Lemon and lavender… two of my favorite Spring fragrances! Oh, Niky – my heart goes out to you as you grieve, remember and celebrate the life of such a special friend! I’m so glad that some of that sorrow has been tempered by the joy that is Evie! Your heart must overflow with love and thanksgiving for the gift she is to you all! 💕

  5. Hi Niky-
    Wow! You really have had quite a rollercoaster lately. I’m glad you are starting to feel better after your surgery but I’m so sorry about your friend. 💔 Too young and too fast! We’ve had some unexpected tragic losses in the last year. They hit hard.
    But I love seeing the pictures of Evie! How far she has come! Amazing little girl!
    Keep feeling better.

    1. Thank you, thank you, Mona for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. You are right-definitely a roller coaster this past month with so many moments to suffer and rejoice.

  6. I am her biggest fan. Followed her since she was born and what a remarkable, smart, happy BIG girl she is. She sure love her baby brother.
    I will keep watching. Thank your for sharing you life with your wonderful grands. God bless.

    1. Oh Janet, thank you for taking the time to comment this morning. It’s good for my heart to read all of the support for sweet Evie, which is why I continue to share her journey. I know she has so many people rooting for her. God’s blessing for you as well. ❤️

  7. I’m so sorry about your friend and your surgery. I remember the day I saw Evie with all those tubes. She has made amazing strides. She has a smile that can light up the world. It was amazing to see her in the recital. Thanks for hosting and for the feature.

    1. Oh my, thank you sweet Cindy for your kind comments. Evie truly is our pride and joy, and all of her accomplishments never fail to amaze me.
      Thank you for taking the time to visit. 💕

  8. You have been through the wringer. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend. I know the feeling of losing a dear friend to cancer and the giant hole it leaves in your heart. The only thing that helped was time, but I’d be lying if I said you get over it. You just get used to it.

    I’m so glad your second hip is doing better now!

    And wow! Evie is doing so well given her dire prognosis. She looks like such a happy girl.

    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your kind words of support and empathy. I agree, there is a huge hole in my heart. I lost both of my parents just two years apart in 2018 and 2020. I am just now at the point where I can focus on all of the happy memories, although it still brings a little twinge of pain to my heart at the same time. It definitely takes time.
      Thank you so much for stopping by today. 💕

      1. I sorry for the loss of your Dear friend……I glad your doing better ……Evie is a Blessing great to have a treasure and a fabulous family

  9. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. And Evie really is a miracle! Hope you continue to heal and recover.

  10. I am glad to hear you are recovering after everything and managing the pain.

    Lovely photos. Thanks so much for hosting. I hope your having a lovely Sunday.

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