Ahhh, the fresh start of a New Year. The Christmas decorations have been put away and the house has had a good cleaning as everything has been put back in it's place. I have plans for this to be the year of "reorganization." The storage area in our garage is about to stage a revolt and start spilling over into the house, it must be conquered. Closets must be tamed, the kitchen cabinets need to be addressed and I don't even want to think about the stuff in the attic. You know it's funny, when Chad and I moved into this house 10 1/2 years ago we didn't think we would ever need to use the attic b/c the house had so much storage. Now the garage and the attic are both full, I guess that's what 10 years and 4 children will do to a house, huh?
I feel as though a look back is in order just to see where we have come from and where we have been this year. The year started off a bit rough for our girl, she continued to deal with the never exiting kidney stone, seriously I think we are going on a year and a half now. We also found out in Feb. that SK's fundoplication had come undone and on Feb. 26 she had her second fundo surgery done. It was an extremely rough recovery the second time around and I pray that this one holds and stays intact. If you are confused by this big long word, there is an explanation of what it is on the right hand sidebar of the blog under Sophie Kate's Diagnoses.
March brought a much needed Spring Break as well as Grey's 3rd birthday. We also went to our first CP (cerebral palsy) clinic with SK, that was a tough one but we did get to see one of our doctors along with lots of therapists and a nutritionist all at one visit, it was another first on this journey with our girl.
April and May were just one huge baseball blur and that was with only 2 boys playing. Spring 2010 there will be 3 boys playing baseball, SK get ready for lots of time spent at the ballpark. April 13 was Sophie Kate Day at Chick-Fil-A. I can't say enough about our God, our friends, our family, our church and our community that made that day so sweet and memorable for our family. Your outpouring of love will never be forgotten.
Our summer was spent making sweet memories...SK's first VBS in our church's first ever Special Needs VBS class, compassionate teachers who loved and cared for her and gave her some new experiences. There were baseball camps, swimming at Grandma and Grandpa's house, a week long trip to Smith Lake and a certain 6 year old that turned 7. Chad and I celebrated 12 years of marriage this past summer too. I don't want to brush by that or take that lightly. Our marriage has never been under such strain, stress and neglect as it has been over the past two years. There is no one I would rather be on this journey with...this man, this husband...you know, my baby daddy.
Sadly August came and brought with it...school. I sent off a 3rd grader, a 1st grader and a 3 year old preschooler, sniff sniff. The fall wasn't entirely easy, but our Father uplifted us, strengthened us and brought us through. SK's seizures came on strong and right before Thanksgiving we had to put her on seizure medication. Oh, I remember the day I found out she was having seizures it was heartbreaking. As if enough wasn't enough, Jacob had his ear surgery in which a huge cyst and all of his hearing bones were removed from his right ear. That was a rough 4 1/2 hour surgery, but he did fantastic. Jacob's a tough one. Bless him, he's still facing another surgery in 2010.
It wasn't all bad, we had lots of bright spots. SK was happy and smiley all summer long and has been on an upswing now for about two months I'd say. We also celebrated Cooper's 9th birthday and Sophie Kate's 2nd. Also, we took a much needed family trip to Chattanooga for Fall Break and I am sure we would all agree that it was a super fun time. It was refreshing and fun and not that far away, the kids have been begging to go back.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were so special this year. We spent them with family, family and more family and it was delightful. All the while, our girl has been an absolute doll. I feel like I can really say that she is enjoying life and we are enjoying her, what a blessing!
I feel like we finally have our heads above water, we aren't just surviving we are living and thriving. God has helped us take another step through this grief process that I had no clue how to move through on my own. He has loved us, held us and taught us in such an amazing, tender way. Our hearts are healing in spite of me. We have encountered Him through this situation and as with any encounter with the Creator and Savior of the world...we will never be the same again.
I would like to leave y'all with the verse that God has used over and over again to speak to me this year..."I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16.
For the first time I can actually say that we are excited, not fearful, about what the new year holds. Thank you for loving us and continuing to pray for our family.