A little over a week ago, I finished up one last, insanely busy day of work, cleaned out my work locker, and ventured into the world of "stay-at-home-mom". As soon as I got home, I ran up to Kenadie and told her I was going to get to play with her EVERY day and not have to go to work anymore, to which she replied, "Okay, can you chase me now?" Anything for you, baby girl! And my little baby girl (Lila) actually ran into my arms, gave me "pat-pats" on my back, and snuggled me when she saw me walk through the door. Be still my heart!
The relief and joy I have felt over getting to be at home with my kids has been incredible. My husband and mother-in-law gave me a massage last night as a "graduation-from-working-mom-to-stay-at-home-mom" present (they are both massage therapists so it was nothing short of heavenly). During the massage, my husband remarked that my muscles haven't been loose enough to massage through at all in well over a year. I have to admit, I can feel the tension in my body slowly melt away in the past week and my body no longer feels like it belongs to an 80-year-old. I had a bad dream the other night about having a nightmarish work day and woke up in a sweat only to realize that days like that don't have to be my reality anymore. Hallelujah!
More wonderful than anything has been the knowledge that I get to wake up every morning and see my little munchkins, and dare I say that I am already starting to see the benefits?! Kenadie's potty situation has been somewhat improved this past week and Lila has suddenly become super snuggly and even a little clingy. I'm sure it's going to get old here eventually, but right now I'm loooooooving it! Oh, how I love being a mommy and as sappy as it sounds, I have had a few emotional moments in the past few weeks over the realization that I get to be with my girls every day. I feel like I won the lottery!
As soon as I got home from my last day of work and got the girls to bed, I called my parents to see how my sister Hanna's biopsy went. The reality that her cancer is back and is so aggressive has been rough, but the realization of how intense and devastating her treatment will be has been another source of tears. She will be undergoing some serious chemotherapy with long hospital stays, will be extremely ill, and will need a stem cell transplant at the end of it all. To top it off, her treatments will make it very unlikely for her to be able to bear children. :( My heart just aches for her. BUT, I think I have shed more tears of gratitude than sadness as our family has witnessed an outpouring of love and support on Hanna's behalf these past few weeks. The miracle of this trial is truly getting to see all the goodness in world and the people we are privileged to know. My sweet cousins wasted no time organizing a bread baking fundraiser for Hanna and within the first few days, over 500 loaves of bread were pre-ordered. Seeing as family has donated the funds to buy the baking supplies, ALL proceeds will get to go directly to Hanna and her husband Sandy. If you live in Anchorage or the Mat-Su Valley and would like to help Hanna out as well as enjoy the yummiest bread you've ever had, go here to find out more. Here is the fundraiser flyer:
To all those who have bought bread, offered our family frequent flyer tickets, helped with this fundraiser, or even just kept Hanna in your thoughts and prayers, thanks so much for making me a blubbering fool. :)
After I called my parents to check on Hanna's biopsy, Garrett and I went right to bed so we could get up early the next morning to go to our church's temple and see our good friends get sealed to each other and to their children for time and all eternity.
I think this was the high point of my emotional outbursts these past few weeks because working mom or not, Hanna having cancer or not,
there is nothing more important and sacred in this world than family, and nothing gives me more comfort and joy than the knowledge that my family can and will extend beyond just this short life.
(Garrett and I on the day we were married and sealed together)
Family makes all the trials and uncertainty in life more than worth it,
and I can't think of a better way to start the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons than with all the wonderful things that have brought tears to my eyes the past few weeks.