Monday, October 11, 2010

Dream Bigger

I haven't blogged in a while. Things are going really well with me now as far as the cancer aspect of our lives have passed. I still have checkups every 3 months but so far everything has been fine. I recently had a brain MRI done because of having so many headaches and dizziness but it came back the same day totally normal. Shane said, "Well, at least you know you are not crazy!" LOL Sometimes I wonder.

Anyway, this Post today may just be for me to have it down as a record for myself because I know not many read or check for posts as before when we were right in the midst of "Our Journey". And that is fine. I am glad I don't cancer drama going on to write about. Or maybe the day you do decide to check and see if I updated my blog will be the day you need to read this post too.

Sunday October 10, 2010 I was in church, Shane was playing the drums for kids world across the street so I was by myself. The worship service started and one of the songs that we sang was "It is well with my Soul" If I am not mistaken, the story behind this song is that the writer loaded his family; his wife and 3 daughters on a ship to England. On the way over it sank and his wife was the only survivor. At his moment of despair he wrote, "It is well". I thought about that as we sang and thought that if that man could have that kind of faith, because it had to be faith, how else could you sing "It is Well" when you just lost your children, then I can still have faith that after 2 1/2 years of having the Jacobs Ridge house for sale that eventually it will sell. It has been my daily prayer of late that God would come thru for us on the house. It is listed as a short sale now. If it does not sell soon and the owners do not have the money to put in for the interest payments then the bank will more than likely proceed with a forclosure. I keep hoping and praying that God will send multiple buyers to bid against each other on it and make it go to just the right amount to cover the loan so it would not have to be a short sale.

The choir sang "I know that I can make, I know that I can stand. No matter what may come my way. My life is in your hands." How true those words are! I made it thru breast cancer like a speed bump in my life, I can do this too. It is scary not knowing what will happen. But I have my wonderful husband by my side & 3 beautiful children, we are all healthy and most of all together. So no matter where we live or don't live, it is only a house and us all together is what makes "Our Home" We can make a home anywhere!!!!

The ending song before the sermon was; "How wide, how deep, how great...Is your love for me. Lord I'm Amazed by You...... In my mind I was picturing the Jacobs Ridge house sitting on its 2 acres with its 5,000+ sq. ft. I guess thinking that God loved me so much that he would sell this house. And it was as it God said,"Think Bigger" I was thinking bigger??? 5000 sq. ft is plenty. But that is thought that God put in my mind.

As we sat down for Pastor Ross to start his sermon, I glanced down and the sermon notes for the first time that day. The Title was "Origins of a Dream". The scripture was this: Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I wept before he even started. This was for me today. Anyone who has followed my blog knows that this has been "My Scripture" for "Our Journey" I didn't know why I had to go thru all of the cancer but I knew God loved me and had plans not to harm me but to give me hope & most of all a Future.
It only continued to get better after that. Pastor Rick encouraged us to Dream Dreams that were so big that they were Laughable. Just like Abraham & Sarah, who laughed when told they would have a son in their old age. It is laughable to think that we could sell Jacobs Ridge for a profit now but I am dreaming big. I really just want to be out from under it but a profit would be a bonus for God to throw in.
He paralleled Joseph life with his dream of his brothers and family bowing down to him. Sometimes God has to strip us down, like they stripped Joseph from his coat of many colors, so that we know the dream is truly coming for HIM. Life without struggles sounds great, but might cause us to miss God's Dream for our lives. I sometimes wonder am I living my dream or God's dream for my life. Sometimes the road to God's dream for our lives may not be the road we would have chosen. But we have to remember, I have to remember that he has "Plans"!!!!
I am so ready to embrace God's Dream for my Life. As Pastor Rick pointed out, sometimes the Long Way around can be the best God route to our destination that God has planned for us.
So with nervous & excited expectation, I am looking forward to what God has in store for our lives and future. I truly want God's will in our family's life. Sometimes God wants us to go somewhere outside of our comfort zone, but if we are not willing to "move" he cannot move in our lives. We have to be willing.
So God, here I am totally nervous & scared about our future. But I do know that you have plans for my future. Help me to remember that, no matter what. Help me to realize that my will may not necessarily be your will. Let me be willing to "move". I want to trust you completely. Right now, I don't feel like I have much of a choice but I want it to be a choice. I pray that you give Shane the wisdom to make the right decisions for our family's future based on what your will is. Thank you for the peace that you have given me thru all of this. I do know how bad it could get but I know you have given me "that peace that passes all understanding". Because the calmness that I feel in this situation does not make any sense at all. But it does to You. Help me to hang on to the thought, that I know you place in my heart and mind this Sunday October 10, 2010 to: Dream Bigger!!!!!!
Let this be a "monument" for me in my life that I can look back and say, "Look what God gave me to hold on to!" And some day we can share with the kids God's Miracles in Our Life Journey!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Saying Goodbye April 13, 2010

Caitlyn Placing a Flower on Papa Fred's Grave

Small Memory of Papa Fred at his home church in Tampa, Fl.

Papa worked maintanence at the church until literally the day he could not get out of bed because of a neck injury in 2006.

Papa and Grandmas Resting Place

On Tuesday April 13th, 2010, Papa Fred passed away around 10 am. The week before was Spring Break. The Friday before Easter, Papa was admitted to the hospital for heart problems. We received the call Saturday afternoon. We continued to check on Papa throughout Sunday. He was told he was going to need a stint for his heart and his kidneys were not doing very well. Papa was refusing treatment and had signed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) awhile back. He said he was tired and wanted to be with Mama ( Grandma Rose) It has been 8 long years that she passed away and he has been so lonely for her every since. I can't blame him but for selfish reasons I wanted him here with us. It makes me so sad to think that Caitlyn will never remember him and Chandler and Connor will only have vague memories.
We had our beach trip scheduled for that week leaving on Tuesday morning. I decided to take the kids to see Papa Fred and say goodbye just in case. I didn't want to think the worst but I didn't want to take that chance. So Monday morning we got up and headed to the VA hospital in Durham. Papa was in so much pain. He cried that he didn't want the kids to see him that way but he was glad we came too. We gave him little Debbie strawberry shortcakes. Which will do in a pinch when you can't make it to Parksdale for a real one. Papa loved his strawberry milkshakes. LOL As we hugged Papa goodbye, he said, "I'm really going to miss you girl!" I didn't really think that would be the last time that I saw him. He was doing better when we left. However, I did tell him to kiss my baby for me and to give Grandma Rose a big hug and a kiss for me.
We did go on our trip to the beach in St. Simons Island in Georgia. It was amazing. We loved it. I can't wait to go back. We came home Sunday the 10th. Around 6pm, an hour after we got home and unloaded the truck, Robin called and told Shane that Papa was doing worse and he better come. So Shane packed and left to go see Papa. He stayed until Monday night and came home with the intent to work a day and then go back and be with his Dad and Papa. Shane's brother Chad and his wife Marcella drove up Monday night straight thru from Florida and got to Durham around 8 am. They were singing a song. Shane had called Robin 5 minutes before to check on Papa. Robin called back and said Papa had passed.
The boys were heartbroken. It is their first Grandparent to pass away that they were actually close to and knew. We picked up the kids from school and drove up to be with Shane's family. Shane helped his parents with trying to make arrangements for the funeral, which would be in Tampa, FL. We drove to Florida on Thursday, Friday Shane and his parents met with the funeral director to finalize everything. Saturday was the funeral. It was the hardest funeral that I have ever had to attend. To watch the boys crying their little hearts out was heartbreaking to say the least. When Robin was up practicing his song for the funeral and he saw his grandsons crying was just too much. He came down and sat beside them and just cried.
Robin, Marcella and her mom along with Chad playing the bass sang the song done recently by Alan Jackson "I want to Walk all over Heaven with You". They barely made it thru but it was beautiful. I read a poem and sobbed thru the whole thing. I wanted to say more but just could not say the words.
So Papa Thank you for all the beautiful memories you have given me and my family. The trips to Parksdale & Plant City, deviled crabs and Potatoes and Tropicanna, taking the boys to the Zoo but most of all for loving me as if I was your very own flesh and blood. I could not have loved you more if you were. Thank you for the legacy you have left for my children and for being such wonderful constant in our lives. Shane is the man he is today in part because of the Grandfather that you were to him. You are missed already so much.
All my Love Your Girl,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shane & Rachael Time

View of the ocean at the pool of our hotel in Cancun, Mexico

More ocean views. Beautiful

Eating out at Lorenzillos. Lobster!!!!

Getting ready to take the plunge!!! Whoo Hoo!!
You only live once.

Shane taking the plunge!

A picture of a bridge that Shane took in Vail, Colorado.

Shane skiing in Vail

Shane and I at the Brad Paisley Concert in Charleston, SC

Shane and I have had a great start to a better year. For our 14th Anniversary in January, we went to Cancun Mexico. It is so beautiful and relaxing. We absolutely love it there. We can't wait to go back. We would love to take the kids someday and say it every time we go but for now it is Mommy & Daddy's escape to paradise.
For Valentines Day, Shane took me to the Capital Grille. It was perfect as usual. Dustin and Yessie had reservations at 5:00pm and ours were at 6pm. They sat us right next to Dustin and Yessie. It was fun. Then we went to a movie afterwards to see Valentine's Day. It was a cute couples movie.
On February 26th, Shane left for Vail, Colorado. He was there until the following Wednesday. We missed him so much, but I am so glad he was able to get away for some guy time and have the opportunity to go skiing in such a beautiful place. He has gone for the last 4 years and loves it. Here in NC you ski down a small mountain and can be done in about 60 seconds. In Vail, you can ski for 20 minutes plus before you reach the bottom. I am tired just thinking about it.
Caitlyn is doing really well with Potty Training. She does awesome thru the day and her naps. Nights are touch and go. Some nights no accidents and others she is soaked. But we are getting there quickly. This morning she got up by herself and went potty. Yeah!!!! Shane changed her bed from a crib to a daybed. So she can now get out by herself. She keeps saying, "Thank you Daddy." "I wuv my bed" "This is cool mommy" "I do it by myself" "Come see my new bed" "I a big gurl now" So she is growing up to fast. But it is fun and exciting. Before she goes to sleep each night when I lay her in her bed & cover her up she says, "Thank you Mom. Goodnight Mom. I wuv you Mom." It makes the whole day worth it. Oh the things we can learn from our children. The sweet innocence, love & thankfulness for the simplest things.
Shane was home for one full day and on Friday afternoon we left for Charleston, SC to go to the Brad Paisley concert. It was so nice to be able to get away just us for the weekend after him being gone for a week. Travis & Audra watched the kids on Friday till 10am on Saturday when Liz came and took over till we came home on Sunday afternoon. Friday night we drove to Columbia and spent the night in the Hilton and ate dinner at Ruth Chris' Steakhouse in the hotel. It was delicious. The beds were so comfortable. Even more than ours at home. I slept so well. The next day we drove to Charleston which is about 2 hours away. We had dinner with Tony & Kim before the concert and then drove back to the hotel which is where the coliseum was also so we didn't have far to walk afterwards.
The concert was awesome. Brad always puts on a good show. This is the second one we have been to. I have never been disappointed.
We had a special speaker on Sunday who spoke about Our Legacy. I have thought about what kind of Legacy I would leave behind a lot in the last year. Will my kids grow up and want to serve God and go to church because they want to and desire to please God or will they go out of duty and obligation? I pray to God that Shane and I raise them with the longing to serve and worship him just because. I hope that they will see and always remember how God was so faithful to our family especially during this past year. I know Caitlyn won't remember, but I have my scars to show her and tell her what a mighty God we serve and how he brought me thru the hardest thing I had ever had to face. I am so glad the boys are at the age that they will remember & never forget. That will be my greatest Legacy that all my children grow up and serve the Lord. It is not the money, nice house, SUV or vacations but most of that they love God and more importantly know that He loves them no matter what is going on in their lives.
As I was writing this entry, a song I have never heard before came on the satellite radio. It is by Josh Wilson and the song is "Before the Morning" Here are the lyrics:

Josh Wilson - Before The Morning Lyrics

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now
Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending somehow you’ll see you’ll see
Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning
My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer
And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time
but you’ll see the bigger picture
Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory
It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning
Would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain you have been feeling
It is just the dark before the morning.
That first verse about how can I feel this pain and go thru this trial if there is really a God out there. (My Summary) Why would I have to go thru it. But like the song says maybe we can't see the whole picture but He does and He is giving us a better ending than we could ever imagine. We really do still have a reason to sing and believe. In my own journey I know I am starting to see the light of morning and I have never in my life been so thankful for it. Joy does come in the morning. We just have to press on thru the darkness & pain, and the joy we will have will be beyond all our earthly understanding.
So if you are in the dark in your life just have faith that your morning is right around the corner. Wait and Pray. Allow yourself to be a pawn in the Master's Hand and trust in Him that he will bring you your unspeakable joy after the stormy darkness that has crossed over your life. He will never leave you nor forsake you. I know that now more than ever.
Love and Prayers,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Did It!!!!

Well it has been 2 weeks since I have had my reconstructive surgery. It was a piece of cake compared to the mastectomy. No pain at all. It only felt like I was slightly bruised under my arms. It was actually more of a relief without having the expanders and ports in. My skin isn't as tight and things are really looking pretty good.

They were able to construct the nipples so I still have stitches around that area. Caitlyn said, "Ohh Mommy...boobies. No that not boobies. Those are spiders." LOL My stitches are black and she thought I had spiders on my breasts. Funny kid.

I won't be able to have the "filling" in for 6 months. So I am really bummed about that. They only put in the 600cc implants because the 700's looked unnatural. At this point, all of that is unnatural but I will have to trust their judgement. I guess.

On Monday, February 15th, 10 days after my 1 year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer, I finished my last herceptin treatment. I can't believe it. When Shane and I got in the elevator he hugged me and told me he was proud of me. All I could do was wrap my arms around him and say, "I Did It!!!" And I Did. I knocked this one out of the ballpark. Sure there were so many times when I didn't feel good, was tired, no energy or tired of people helping that I would just curl up to Shane and cry. "I want my life back" However, I can't say that I do. Do I really want to go back to my old ways of thinking, how much closer this has brought Shane and I. I want to remember the past and I am so thankful I am here today but I am so looking forward to our future and our next 33 years together.

I heard on a TV program that a little girl told her Dad that she wanted to marry her Daddy because he was her "Anyway Friend". Well Shane is my "Anyway Friend". He has loved me sick, no hair, my moodiness, my frustrations, my crazy family, no boobs, new boobs and still...............He Loves Me Anyway!!!!!!! How Blessed Am I!!! I hate that we all had to go thru with this but it still daily reminds me of how blessed I am and how much we have to be thankful for.

I often look at my scars and wish they would go away because they are not very pretty but then it is part of my life story. Where I have come from and how much I have overcome. And daily I Remember. I am sure there are times when Jesus is totally frustrated at us, his children, and maybe clinches his fists only to feel the nail scars in his hands and remember how much he loves us and what lengths he was willing to go to save us. We all have our own scars. Some not so visible as others but we have them. Hopefully we can learn, remember and help others from our pain & scars. I have probably showed more people I do not know my breasts than I ever thought I could, but it is like a visible testimony of what I have overcome and beat in Jesus Name. Last Sunday Pastor Rick talked about the blind man who people continued to ask, "Who sinned. Him or his parents that he would be born like this?" The answer, It was so that God could be glorified and manifest.

That is how I look at my cancer. I don't think it was for anything I did or didn't do but that God would be given the glory. Yes he could have healed me but I had to go thru treatment. And I am Ok with that. I felt I would have to from the beginning and made peace with it. Yes I took drastic measures (double mastectomy, chemo & radiation) but how many people can go thru that and not really have been sick thru it all. Not many. And I praise God for it. That is my own personal miracle.

On another note, last night we had about 45 people over to have a going away party for Dustin, Yessie & Isabella. I believe it was a success. It was a lot of fun. Dustin talked about how he thought about the Marine Corp again because he knows that. Yessie asked him what his dream was and why shouldn't they shoot for that and be happy with what job he wanted to do. So she filled out the application for the Secret Service herself. Guess what? Within 6 months he had gone thru the whole process. We are very proud of him. We are going to miss them so much but I am so glad they are following their dreams. He is going to be doing a job he loves. He has his wife and beautiful baby girl by his side. What more can a man ask for!!!! He leaves March 4th. Flies out to Georgia on the 8th from DC for 11 weeks of training. Then he will have 2 weeks or so to more to DC then he has another 12 training program. It will be a trying & lonely time for their little family so keep them in your prayers.

Love Your Personal 1 Year Survivor


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reconstruction Day

Today is the day. I have my reconstructive surgery today. I am a little nervous, excited, anxious & scared all at once. I am obviously nervous about going under anesthesia again. Even though it is mild but there are always risks. Excited to see what my new breast looks like. Anxious to have this done and over with it. And scared for the outcome and possibilties for error. But I know it is all in God's plan and He is in control of it all.
It will be a 3 hours surgery and I should be home this afternoon. Sounds like a piece of cake compared to before. LOL

So my prayer for me today is for peace of mind during my procedure and that the outcome will be wonderful and I will be happy with the work they are doing today.

Wish me luck with Lots of Prayer,

Anyone who wants to see I could email you pictures. But for the sake of my fathers I won't post them on the blog.
Talk to everyone soon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Beautiful Journey into a New Year

These are Our latest Family Pictures. I love them and think they turned out beautifully. Each time I look or upload them I admire each one and I am so thankful for the family God has blessed us with. I hope you enjoy seeing how much the kids have grown in the last year. Especially how grown up the boys look. How did I become the parent of a almost 10 year old. I don't feel that old. Even after the year I just had. LOL Oh well it is exciting seeing them each grow into their personalities. Caitlyn is in size 4T clothing and a size 9 shoe. She is not even 2 1/2 years old yet. She is talking so much. Almost nonstop when she is awake.
I was fixing lunch for Caitlyn and she asked for Macaroni and Cheese. I told her I didn't have any. She says, "Well how about some noonles" She is too cute. Each night when I lay her down and cover her up she says, "Thank you Mommy. I love you!" No matter how the day has gone or what she has done or the boys, it makes it worth it all just to hear those sweet little words.
The other night Connor and Chandler had some friends spend the night. Chandler apparently hit one of the other boys in his "privates". This little boy proceeded to tell Connor if you get hit there than you won't have any kids. I heard Connor say, "That is not true." I went in told them to go to sleep. Of course Connor was not done with this conversation. So he asks me. I told him that if you got hurt there very bad then it was possible for things not to function properly. Pretty good right? Wrong. Connor says, "That doesn't make any sense. Boys don't have babies!!!" LOL What am I going to do with him?? Too funny though.
Ok. So for my New Years Resolutions, I figured if I blog them than I would be more apt to follow thru with them if it was all out there for everyone to know and hold me accountable.
1. Lose 10 lbs or talk Shane into having another baby. LOL Contradictory I know. My list. Make your own.
2. Read my devotional/bible every day or at least M-F. Sunday is church. Again my list. Good for you if you do every single day. I am starting somewhere. OK.
3. Not holler at the boys so much. Be more patient
4. Get more involved with the boys school.
5. Make more "We Time" for Shane & I.
6. Make a new friend
7. Be a better friend to the ones I have
8. Don't be so critical of others.
9. Positive Thoughts only
10. Enjoy each moment of every day.
11. Catch up on all my Shutterfly Books.
I think that about sums it up. So now I am held so accountable by all of you.
Well on Wednesday it will 14 years since I married the Love of my Life. I would have to say that this was one of the most trying of all of them. It was 13 of course!!! If I wasn't superstitious of the #13 I am now. LOL JK Kind of????
Anyway, he has been my rock thru all of this. I know most men would stay by their wife's side but I know there are those who don't. It becomes too much and they get scared and run. How blessed am I that I have a husband who has stood by my side thru it all. And it was a lot last year. Not just cancer either. Our motto was, "Just don't cry on the same day!" So if I was down he would encourage me and vice versa. Most of the time it was him encouraging me. My hormones were so out of whack.
But we made it. By the grace of God we Did IT!!! And so in celebration of that we are going to Cancun, Mexico. I am so excited. I love Cancun!! It is very relaxing to us both. I can't wait. We leave Wednesday morning and will be in Cancun by 11:30am. You can't beat it. We don't leave until 4:30pm on Sunday. So 5 days & 4 nights of Heaven on Earth.
When we get back, on February 4th I have my reconstructive surgery. 1 day before my 1 year Anniversary of being told, "You have breast cancer." But I am a survivor. I only have 2 more herceptin treatments. One on the 25th and one February 15th. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!! Then it will only be follow up appointments.
In church yesterday, Pastor Doug was talking about Jesus going into the wilderness and experiencing trials. He asked if we were willing to go thru a trial for ourselves or the sake of our families. My answer: "Not me" LOL I did that last year. The end of 2008 I prayed that God would use me however he chose, without taking my life, to bring our family & extended family to a place of realizing that we desperately needed God in our lives more than ever. We had just experienced the separation of my mom & step dad a few months before. That was a big blow to our family. And so I prayed that prayer that God would use me. Guess what happened about 30 days later. I found my lump. So I am not volunteering anytime soon for any trials this year. Anyone else want to volunteer??? LOL This year is about healing and learning to live again.
This year has a lot of promise and I am still holding to God's promise of Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
So I am looking forward to God's plans in our life, on our Journey in this New Year He has given us. I can't wait to be prospered, given hope & live for the future. I have the opportunity for a second chance in life. Now how am I going to use it? I have a different perspective on life after this past year. I am not sweating the small stuff this year either. I am ready to live with hope for my future.
All my love,

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Beginnings

Happy New Year
I know there are probably a lot of people who are glad that it is finally a new year for new beginnings, however I don't know if there is anyone more glad than our family. After the year we have had.....Wow. Thank you God that it is a NEW YEAR!!!!!
As a family, we have gone thru a lot of obstacles last year & amazingly and miraculously we have overcome. We are all survivors of 2009. The crapiest year ever. WooHoo!!!!!!
As you can see, Caitlyn received her first fourwheeler. She loves it & looks so cute like a such a big girl on it. The boys got BB guns from Papa Robin & Grandma Chris. They had a blast shooting them out at Grandma & Papa's.
Wednesday evening we celebrated Christmas with Tony, Kim, Chandler & Bryson. We had nachos/tacos for dinner. Not very traditional but it was delicious.
Thursday Shane put "some assembly required" toys together for the kids. We baked and then went to Grandma Lins for Christmas Eve as we do every year. We had homemade soups and bread for dinner. Then we came home and had our Christmas with the kids at our house. Needless to say it was a long day and we finally went to bed around 11:30 or so.
The next morning we got up and headed for Papa Robin and Grandma Chris'. Our ritual for Christmas Day. We opened gifts around 1 and then had an awesome meal of Beef Bourguignon. We stayed over on Friday night. And spent the day there. We cut down a vine in the woods and the guys had to swing. Needless to say, Daddy & Connor didn't make it all the way. They both fell in the water. Later we drove into Raleigh to see syncronized Christmas Lights to Christmas Music. It was really cool. Then we drove home and again didn't get home and in bed till about 12am.
Shane was off the following week. Which has never happened. He did go in on Tuesday to take care of a few things. The boys wanted to go too. They thought it was "Go to work with Daddy Day". LOL They got up at 4:45am. By 11am, Connor was asleep in the truck on the way back home. But they thought it was totally cool to get up with Daddy, have coffee, cheesestick & a granola bar.
We took down the Christmas decor later that week. Caitlyn was so sad to see the Christmas tree come down. She is still singing Christmas songs. Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas are her favorites. Speaking of Caitlyn she is doing pretty good on potty training. Hopefully I have bought my last box of diapers. We shall see. She is talking so good now. I look at her and can't believe how much she has grown in the past year.
Shane went back to work today. I miss him. Other than our cruise to Alaska for 10 days I have never had that much time off with him. It was so nice to have him home with us. I even missed the boys. The house was so quiet. Caitlyn when she woke up said, "I go downstairs and see Daddy." She was disappointed that he was not home. Then the school called and I had to pick Chandler up because he was coughing so much. I think he is getting bronchitis again. Fun stuff. So we started his inhaler again. Hopefully that will work. Caitlyn is finally feeling better. She has had a bad cold and cough the last 5 days or so. Connor is starting too. So I really don't want to spend $75 to take them all to the doctor.
Mom is still visiting friends in Oregon. She is coming home later this week. We miss her. It is weird not having her home while we were all off. The kids keep asking when she is coming home. Soon.
So overall we have been very busy but had a relaxing week at home with all of us. It was very nice. We had some really good family time together with the kids. I really am thankful to just be here for another year. As the new year came in and I sat next to Shane in our living room with the boys, (Caitlyn was asleep) I wept for all we have been thru this year and how blessed I am to have such an awesome family who supported us thru this last year. Thankful that I was here period. But most of all for a second chance at life, a new year & new beginnings.
There are a lot of changes in our family this past year. We have been thru cancer, divorce, car wrecks, job loss, income cuts, & adjusting to new relationships. None of this has been easy for anyone. But guess what? We made it. If we can make it thru this past year....I truly believe we can do anything. I think we are finally on the brink of the top of this mountain we have been climbing. And I am so excited to see what God has on the other side of this mountain.
So to my wonderful family...I know this year is going to bring new changes....especially Dustin, Yessie & Isabella moving to DC for his job with the Secret Service. Other than when my brothers were in the military we have always been close. Only 5 minutes from each other. So this will be a big adjustment. I always thought our kids would grow up together but now.....I guess God has other plans in store for all of us. So Family, if we can just keep trusting that he is in control and let him guide our paths. We will be A OK. I love you all so much.
So here is to a wonderful NEW BEGINNING OF 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May we never take a day for granted. We still our truly a blessed family.