Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Time For Thanks

Thanksgiving is just two days away and we have a lot to be thankful for again. This year has been another year full of blessings, lesson learned, happiness, joy, smiles, and laughs. Though our life is far from perfect, it is perfect for us and we are full of thanks. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving over our house for my side of the family, then after that we are heading over to Matt's aunt's house for Thanksgiving, then the big football game where Texas A&M is going to beat t.u.! It will be a maroon out Thanksgiving!

To all that read this, I hope your year was as blessed as ours and that you have much more joy and happiness to follow in the year to come. "A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues." Cicero.

We give thanks this year for so much. Just to name a few:
- My nephew Kannon was born on Sept.12 healthy after being 5 weeks early and a hard pregnancy.
- Colin has gone 14 months without any heart complications or surgeries. He only has to see his cardiologist every 6 months.. at one time it was once a week
- Katherine has a heart of pure gold. She is so caring and affectionate to everyone, especially Colin.
- I love my husband more than the day I married him
- Colin loves to eat and has no more feeding issues
- Katherine can make me laugh all the time, even on my worst days. I cherish the time we spend together.
- We have a great support of family and friends
- I am very thankful I had the opportunity to spend time with my grandparents twice this past year. I know their health is fading, but I am counting my blessings that I have got to spend so far 31 very blessed years with them by my side. They have been a cornerstone in my life.
- We have never had to go without while so many have had to
- We always have food in the refrigerator/pantry, we have a nice house for our kids to grow up in
- Both kids are doing great at school and they have a safe/wonderful environment to learn in
- Wonderful parents and in-laws that support us and are there for us whenever we need them.
- For date nights and margaritas with a very handsome, funny man
- For the heart community I have found. The support from these families are amazing and though I have not met most of them, I consider them very close friends. I want Colin to grow up with knowing kids just like him, I feel that is very important.
- I am thankful for Facebook.. Okay hear me out on this one. First I have been able to connect with friends I have lost over the years, I have found a GREAT support network there of other heart parents, and I can keep in closer contact with family and share pictures of the kids.. Okay so I am a dork.. That's okay.
- Katherine followed in my footsteps and played soccer
- The Aggies have been winning!
- Sunny warm days full of laughter, tickles, playgrounds, dress up, ice cream, and love
- 4 year old art work

This year has come with sadness, which makes me appreciate life's simplicity. This year I have learned I will lose one person I love so much, my grandma. Words can not express how much she means to be, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am turning my grief into thanks for God giving me such an AMAZING grandma! I have seen so much sadness in the heart community, I give thanks in every breath Colin breathes. I give thanks in the HOPE for future for these kids, we have come so far in recent years in fighting the battle.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you all get to share with the ones you love AND Gig'Em Aggies!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finding Peace in the Desert

Last week all four of us got on an airplane and flew out to Phoenix to see my grandma & grandpa, and the rest of my family. The kids were great on the airplane, watched movies the whole time on the way there and back. We got in late Thursday night, so we pretty much just went to bed. Friday we went to go visit with my grandpa at the house for a few hours. Katherine was so excited to see him and they had fun playing with all the "stuff" (how much breakable/collectible stuff can two people have)? Luckily no one broke anything. Friday afternoon we took the kids up to the hospital to see my grandma. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of June. Since then she has been in and out of the hospital. She has now been in since the beginning of October. It was very hard to see her this way. She has always been a strong (mentally and physically), active, energized person. Right now she is pretty much confined to the bed and a wheelchair. At first Katherine was not sure how to act around her, I think she was scared because "Granny" doesn't look the same. But she warmed up to her quickly and was dancing and signing for her. Saturday Matt, my aunt, and my cousin took the kids to the Phoenix Children's museum for the day while I got to spend some quality time with my grandma, the kids had a lot of fun and I am very glad for the opportunity to hang out with my grandma one-on-one. Saturday night we had a "campfire" in my aunts backyard and roasted marshmallows. Sunday, we went back to visit my grandpa and back to the hospital. After a few hours, Matt took the kids back to play at my aunts while I got to spend some more time with my grandma and tell her good-bye. It was very hard to leave the hospital not knowing how long of time she has left, but I felt I left nothing unsaid and I got the best gift of time with her. My grandma is a very special person to me as a kid and even more as an adult. She has been there for every big event in my life, high school graduation, college graduation, wedding, birth of Katherine, was a rock for me during Colin's surgeries. I am grateful to have such a wonderful, kind, loving, strong, beautiful woman in my life to set such a great example of what a person should be like. She is truly one of a kind and is very loved by us all. Monday came way too soon and it was time to come back home. The kids were great at the airport and on the flight. We had an hour delay waiting on a new plane because ours broke, but luckily it was just an hour. My mom was nice and had dinner ready for us when we got home, she was dog/cat/fish sitting for us while we were gone.

It was a nice trip and I think I found the peace I was looking for. Of course I wish it was under better circumstances, but I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful and supportive family. Matt was great with the kids so I could have some time with grandma, he will never know how much I really appreciate that. My aunts, uncles, and cousins were also great to also come up with activities for the kids so they wouldn't be bored on our non-vacation vacation. Both kids even got to go "rock climbing".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Pics

Katherine and Colin getting ready to carve the pumpkin Friday night. They had fun squishing their hands in their. Colin had fun throwing it all over the kitchen, we did NOT have fun cleaning that up!My pretty ballerina. She asked to be a purple ballerina after the barbie doll she has, she is so much prettier than the barbie! I can't believe how big she is, time really does fly by!
Colin's first real Halloween. He is a monster. The Mohawk in his hair was suppose to be green until I saw the warning on the can not to use in fine blond hair.. good thing I read the can. He did great this year, he walked most of the way, carried his own candy, said "Treat" but it in his basket and said "Thank you". He was a big hit and he loved it. He would not let me carry his basket at all, I was NOT allowed to touch it!

Loving on her brother as always, she is REALLY a wonderful big sister!
How sweet are they! He loves her so so much!
Katherine and all her loot! She was so proud of it. At school she is taking a fitness/health class and told us on Tuesday that we all need to take one more piece and throw out all the rest of the candy, it's not healthy for us. She can throw out her share, I want to keep mine :)
After trick-or-treating, Katherine was so excited to help answer the door and help pass out candy to her "customers". Each time the doorbell rang, she would yell, "We have more customers!" When we ran out of candy, she got some of hers to put in the bucket to hand out, that's just one reason why I love her so much, she does have a heart of gold! After all that, she passed out in our bed watching cartoons, it was a fun night!