Surprise!

My last post was exactly four months ago; making this my longest gap between posts to date. Not exactly the writing goal I had set out for this year. Like always, life happens. I will get you up to speed sometime, just probably not entirely today.

How is Tessa doing? She is actually doing really great. First grade has been fantastic so far. Her health is good and she is becoming a remarkable young lady. This is the first time–in probably her entire life–that things have been relatively calm and consistently normal. She still sees quite a few specialists and has already slightly ventured right into sick season, but this routine change of pace has been quite nice.

The rest of our family is doing well also. Outside of being extremely busy with work and things for the kids, we are preparing for the holidays; knowing they will be here and gone before we know it.

We have spent the better part of the last sixteen months settling into our new place. While this property is unbelievably gorgeous, it does require plenty our time, focus and energy. All of which is well worth the joy of residing here and enriching our children with the unique experiences that country living has to offer.

The more we settled in, the quicker I realized that the goals for our family were beginning to shift. For four years my husband and I had contrasting ideas about what our future might look like. I always joked that we were on a different page…in different books…in different libraries. Our dreams were certainly different. They always had been.

It wasn’t until moving here, that we began to see things together. We envisioned a future with similar hopes. We set goals together and began to find balance that would satisfy us both. Not without conflict or sacrifice because…well…marriage; but there was something about this agrestic lifestyle that opened our eyes and hearts to the possibility of something more.

I sold nearly every last baby related item we owned a few years ago at a garage sale at our old house. I had finally began to accept that we would likely not welcome another baby into our lives. It was a decision that troubled me for a long time, but we had made the decision that our family was complete. There were three things I hung onto, you know, just because. Like the pack ‘n play for nieces and nephews if they would have a sleepover. The solid white bassinet for nostalgic purposes. And apparently a hand-me-down crib that neither my husband nor I remember keeping that definitely made the move.

In early fall, the conversation came up again. The “what do you think about a baby” conversation. It was a topic that had been thrown around numerous times over the last several years and by that point I had grown sort of numb to it. There was a reason this continued to come up, but we were both either too scared or too proud to admit it.

I don’t know. What do you think?” 

We thought of a thousand reasons to not do this again…

But none of them seemed good enough to rule it out.

Photo credit: Little Britches Photography

Photo credit: Little Britches Photography

There was never going to be a perfect time to have a baby. We knew we wouldn’t regret having another baby, but we knew there was a chance we may regret our decision to not.

We are thrilled to share our news! The girls are extremely excited to be big sisters, and we cannot wait for our family to expand in early July. I am almost out of my first trimester and, outside of wanting to eat every carb or meat in sight, I am feeling well overall. We had our first OB appointment and baby seems to be doing great.

Side note. Last weekend, while feeling especially exhausted, I decided to sit in my chair and scroll through Facebook. “Why not take this quiz that will predict how my year will end,” I thought to myself as I saw the results of one of my friends. PREGNANT. That was my ironic result. While I thought it was hilarious and strange, I quickly closed out of it and got back to being lazy–totally unaware that the quiz either shared automatically to my page or I somehow did it without realizing it. Fast forward thirty minutes and my phone is dinging with notifications for my post. Post? What post? Crap. By then, there was no deleting it. I just let people stew on whether or not the result was accurate. That is the last friggin’ Facebook quiz I’ll ever take. Except probably not.

Stay tuned peeps. ❤

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Random Reflections

It has been a wild last few months from moving to a new place in the country, a school change for Tessa, juggling the weight of our workload, traveling and making necessary lifestyle changes. All of which contribute to this transitional phase in our lives right now.  Some days are better than others.

But at the end of every day, my heart is full and my faith is constantly restored. It feels good to find contentment in change…finally.  After a long period of heartache and chaos that came into our lives without warning, I am certain that this adjustment was the right move for our family.

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We are healing and growing from our life experiences; gaining perspective along the way.  None of which happens in a day’s time.  And none of it happened immediately after we were no longer confined by a disease that held my daughter–and our family–captive.  In the process we face hardships and frustration and we learn hard lessons.  Recovery is a long process.  When treatment ends, it absolutely does not mean that it is entirely over.  We are never going to be free from this.  Never.  Every single day it remains with us…not because we choose it that way, but because that is just a part of it. This is something many people struggle to understand, and I would not expect that understanding either from another point of view had I not experienced it myself.

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Where I once shook my fists at God, demanding an explanation, I now have peace; appreciating the road less traveled because it has opened our eyes to other things in life that we may have otherwise missed.  It also gave us the chance to really realize our dreams after all was said and done.  To have the opportunity to chase them down and live them out without justification.  It has not been easy. These dreams have been met with resistance on several ends, but I am learning to let it go.

We battle self-doubt, fear and all kinds of what-ifs; but we let it go.  When others use words or actions to try and reduce us, our achievements and even our happiness…we let it all go.  And you know what?  It is amazing how freeing it feels to do so.  To literally not give a damn about any of it; to stay solely focused on what we have going on and to know that nothing can break us down or hold us back.  Because I can’t control how, when or if negativity will approach us; but I can control how I react.  That is the mantra I roll with.

The best thing I do for myself is to spotlight my own dreams, not someone else’s; by living freely each day for myself and not in spite of anyone or anything else.  Life is incredibly short and extremely fragile, and it can change in an instant.  Knowing that, I cannot allow my energy to be exerted on things that only add unnecessary weight on my mind and heart.

We know where we have been and we know where we want to go.  Our feet are steadily planted in a path we are choosing to follow–for the first time in a very long time.  We are days away from the anniversary of the day that changed our lives forever–Tessa’s leukemia diagnosis.  The significance of this day is not lost on me.  I will struggle on that day and the days that surround it; I won’t even lie about that.

As we head into the season of giving and gratitude, this landmark occasion serves as a good reminder for me to pay attention to the present; to look past the trivial things and soak in all that is good and well; recalling how things could have been very different for her…and for us.

Give thanks.  Life is good.