Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Sister is Held Even Closer

I have been following the story of Stephanie and Christian for a couple of months now, but wanted to share this article with those of you who may not have heard of them:


I read Stephanie's blog and her sister Courtney's blog first thing every morning, and sometimes again in the evening. I have cried over their posts and pray for their family every day. I am drawn to this story for so many reasons:

1. I admire so many things about the way Stephanie mothers her children. She focuses more on loving them and spending quality time with them than the household chores. I want to be like that.

2. I admire her sisters for their bravery and the way they have rallied around them in their time of need. I want to be like that.

3. I love how Stephanie and Christian, after so many years of marriage, would still dress up for each other, court each other, kiss each other, they just cherished each other. I want to be like that.

4. I love how this family is so good at loving and appreciating each other and seek to find joy in the simplest of things. I want to be like that.

5. I am amazed at how this family have relied so much on the faith and prayers of strangers, and have been so gracious in how they have handled this great trial. I want to be like that.

I guess their story just makes me stop and think of how much I love my sisters (my sister-in-laws included). It makes me think about the kind of mom and sister I want to be. It makes me so grateful for my mother, aunts, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers and all that they endured in raising me. It makes me think of the kind of wife I want to be.

I think the pregnancy hormones are turning me a little sappy... but their story just plain and simple makes me want to be better!

Happy brain-iversary!

Sunday was a very special brain-iversary for my sister Jessica. It was the one year anniversary of her enduring one of the most hardcore brain surgeries I have ever heard of. Without getting too graphic, after opening her brain up and playing around to find out where all of the important parts (language, hearing, motor skills, eye sight, etc) were located over the course of a hellish week, they did one final big operation and removed most of her left temporal lobe. Sunday was the one year anniversary of that final surgery.

For those of you who don't know, Jessica is fighting round two with brain cancer. She got her diagnosis in June of 2007 and last October they finally did the big surgery. When she saw the surgeons and they presented her with her treatment options, my sister chose the most aggressive one. I am amazed everyday with her bravery! I know I do not have the strength to endure the things she has in the last year! She is my hero and I love her so much for fighting so hard to stay here with us.

She is on the home stretch now... She did radiation in the spring of this year and is more than half way done with her chemo. To commemorate her special day, Patrick and I made her an extra special cake and took it up to family dinner:

I can't say it enough - I love you Jess!!

Fallish Things

I love the Fall! It is my favorite season. I love the foods, the weather, the holidays, all of it. On Saturday, Patrick and I did our first fallish thing and went to Oak Glen to pick out pumpkins and took his little sister Katie, his mom, and her boyfriend Peter along for the fun. We went to Reily's Farm first. Patrick taught Katie how to shoot a bow and arrow (won't he be a great dad) and she took a try at throwing a tomohawk.

Next, we headed over to the pumpkin patch and found a pumpkin for Katie and 3 for us - one for me, one for him, and a baby one.

If you were wondering what I look like 6 months pregnant, here you go. I can't believe Patrick busted the belly rub... I didn't notice until it was too late!

Then we headed up to Los Rios Ranch where we got some apples, cider, caramel apples, and shared an apple pie. It was all super yummy and we had a great time.

When we got home that night, Katie and Patrick carved her pumpkin. It was Katie's first pumpkin carving experience and I think she did a great job!

What are your favorite fall things?


So, I realize I am guilty of seriously neglecting my blog. I have been MIA these last few months. In some ways, I feel the last 4 months are one big blur. I spent most of that time on the couch trying not to throw up or sleeping whenever possible. My husband took a lovely visual:

I am feeling much better these days. I have a lot more energy and don't need quite so many naps. In addition to neglecting my blog, I am just now getting around to unpacking boxes from the move and am trying to catch up on cleaning my house. My husband has been amazing, and picked up a lot of slack for me while I just didn't have it in me to do it. What would I do without him?

I honestly had no idea how much pregnancy would take out of me. I guess it's one of those things where you just don't understand until you've experienced it. With all of that said, people tell me it will all be worth it once you get to hold your baby. I haven't even gotten to hold her yet (yes, in case you didn't know, it is a girl) and I would already say it's worth it. I love to feel her squirming around in my belly! It lets me know she's okay in there. I know the next few months will bring on a whole different type of discomfort, but the end result will be more than I can imagine.

So, with all that said, I ask your forgiveness for my neglect. I will try to be a more diligent blogging steward!