As we came to the end of last year, I realized I wanted to really evaluate my priorities and make sure that where and I how I am devoting my time is in a way that honors what is important to me and my family. I have spent much of the past few weeks looking at what those priorities are and what my goals are for 2017. In the midst of these evaluations, one of my realizations is that I want to get back to updating this blog on a far more regular basis. So one of my goals for 2017 is to update this blog each Friday. Hope you enjoy catching up with us on a more regular basis again!
At the end of each year and specifically from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I realize how much I miss living closer to family. Growing up our traditions were full of extended family. We always went to my Aunt Trishy's for Thanksgiving and spent a few days with my Dad's side of the family. Christmas Day was spent with Aunt Patti, Uncle Bobby and Mom's side of the family. I have so many memories of my cousins and the fun times we had surrounding these holidays. Times are different for many families and for our family all of our parents and siblings are on the East Coast so make those memories is so much harder.
We were lucky to have my Mom, our beloved Mimi with us for a week in early December. It was so nice to be able to just be. We didn't do anything special, just enjoyed our time together. Mimi got to come to the kids activities and appointments and play endlessly with Maddy. As always our visit was too short.
My Dad, Grandpa, was with us for two weeks including Christmas. Again we just had a quiet visit enjoying our time together. Our visit wasn't as much fun as I had hoped as I had my impacted wisdom teeth extracted the day after he arrived, but we made the best of it and just had a relaxing few weeks.
As these visits came to an end, and we returned to our normal crazy schedule, I was reminded how blessed we are to live in a time when family (no matter how far away) is no more then a phone call or facetime call away. The ability to "see" family on a regular basis makes the distance seem not quite so far.
As we gear up for a GREAT 2017 the kids and I are BUSY! Maddy has therapy three times a week along with kindermusik and cooking once a week. Alex has begun playing violin, taking an acting class ans continues with our homeschool co-op, church youth group, golf lessons, tae kwon do, and Boy Scouts. I am homeschooling Alex, a part of our church Dance Ministry, and sit on the Family Advisory Council of our Children's Hospital. Alex and I also devote quite a bit of time Sharing our story to help Fund raise for Cook Children's Foundation and Children's Miracle Network. We have found we really enjoy sharing and using our story to help others. We have met some incredible people on this journey and are grateful to be able to use our exceptional life in this way.
By now most of you know, but in June our family grew with the addition of a Service Dog for Alex. Zoey has been so much fun and also so much work as she is still a puppy, but we love her to pieces. The bond between her and Alex is incredible and from early on she has been able to alert us when he is not feeling well. We are still working on her training as she just turned a year. She will receive her full training credentials around the age of 2, but she has already made a difference.
Medically we have had a time of stability for which we are so grateful. The kids care is pretty intense and time consuming and leaves me exhausted most days, but I will take it as we went all of 2016 without an inpatient stay or crisis. I was not sure I would ever be able to say that! I am awed daily by the strength, bravery and perseverance my kids display to accomplish a life that is not easy.
I am excited to get back to updating this blog and hope you are excited to join me on this journey. I will leave you with some pictures from the past few weeks.