Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016: Up To Speed


We have definitely started the stage of life where all of us being home together for an evening meal during the week is more of a rare occurrence. These busy years are exciting, fun, overwhelming at times, and go by way too fast. As exhausting as these days can be, they are incredibly rewarding, and the ability to be able to watch each one of our kids grow and develop different talents and skills is pretty special. I know that these days will be gone in the blink of an eye, so we are trying to soak it all in. 

Abby turned 12 in December! It truly is so hard to believe that she is almost a teenager, especially when it seems like just yesterday when Jay and I sat across from one another in the living room and watched her take her first wobbly steps on her own. Abby is growing into a gorgeous young woman both inside and out, and I am truly enjoying watching her in this stage of her life. She is a loyal friend, an ambitious and hard worker, and is incredibly passionate about playing the violin.
Emma turned 10 last month, and that is equally hard to believe. Double Digits! This girl continuously keeps us on our toes. Her wit and humor keep us laughing no matter what is happening. Her fashion sense is still, well, interesting. I absolutely love seeing her unique personality blossom. Em is still on the U10 traveling soccer team here and absolutely loves everything about this sport and the teammates she has grown so close to over the past couple of years. 
Nate will be 8 at the end of this month…his only birthday request is that he gets to visit with one of his best friends, Kira, while she is traveling close to us at that time. What 8 year old doesn't want to visit a former Miss America for their birthday?! It seems that 8 years old is a pivotal age in most kid's lives in relation to maturity and understanding of the world around them. Nate refuses to hold my hand in public anymore, but he’ll still snuggle with me at home if he’s really tired. I cherish those moments because I know its a matter of time before he stops that as well. 
Nate is also becoming very aware of what other boys his age are doing and wanting to emulate their actions and activities, which is great (within reason) and completely age-appropriate. But the only problem is that Nate isn’t a typical boy. Sports seem to be at the forefront of his friends’ thoughts and conversations: soccer, basketball, football, baseball, swim team: anything that has to do with participating in sports. While Nate is doing quite well in violin, talking about how he conquered this really hard section in Gavotte by Gossec doesn’t really get the same reaction as “I hit a homer” or “made 3 goals during my soccer game”. Nate really wants to play a sport. From the influence of 2 very special people in his life, he has decided that he wants to try to learn how to play golf. He has his own clubs now and is really looking forward to a few lessons soon. 
The little guy has had a really great few months from a medical standpoint. He seems to be in a good stable plateau right now, and I am just praying it continues. Its such a welcomed relief to have several months free of the intense worry over what is happening in his little body and trying to find ways to help him. He requires quite a lot of daily care, but it definitely helps when we see the difference the care makes in how well he feels each day. 
I started a part-time position within our Pediatric Pulmonary Center at Shands in August as a Family Partner Trainee. It has been such an incredible experience, and I am extremely excited about the possibilities ahead of me when this training program is done this spring. I also started doing tours of our Children’s Hospital part-time for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals this month and am loving every single minute of that as well. My heart is in this hospital and its continued growth, and my passion is with CMN Hospitals and telling others how incredible this organization is, so I truly have the best of both worlds right now. The feeling I get when I walk into our hospital each day is truly one-of-a-kind! I feel so blessed and fortunate that I can potentially help make a difference in the lives of others there. 
One of my resolutions this year was to write more on this blog. Its incredibly therapeutic and helps keep our family and friends involved and up-to-date on what is happening within our family. But it is also incredibly time-consuming. That is the sole reason it has been so difficult to maintain lately.

Life is busy. But we are so very thankful for this crazy, busy, amazing life for our family! 

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