Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Reflection

As another decade ends, I can't help but reflect on what has happened in the last 10 years. I moved from Austin to Dallas for a job, met my best friend, Dwanna and that was just the beginning.

I made some wonderful friends through my job at S&P. Then off to TXU/Atmos Energy where I worked until I decided to follow my dream of becoming a teacher. In April of 2002, I met the love of my life, Jason. We got engaged and then married in 2003. Then we built our first home together.

In 2004, Jason began his fight against cancer. As of today, he's been in remission for 4 1/2 years. Woohoo!

2005 brought the end of chemotherapy with a diagnosis of Jason being in remission. I also left my job at TXU to begin my student teaching in Mansfield ISD. Jason was injured in a softball game and underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. In the fall, I began my first year of teaching at Icenhower Intermediate in Mansfield and Jason was an SRO for APD. In August, most of my family was hit by Hurricane Katrina. For those of you who don't know, my Dad's family is from Biloxi, MS and my mom's family is in New Orleans. Needless to say, we had a houseful of family and some of my cousins friends from college staying with us while they waited to hear the outcome. In December, I said goodbye to my grandma. Once her home was destroyed in the hurricane, she never fully recovered. We traveled to Biloxi to say our final goodbye. It also allowed us to see first hand the devastation that my family endured during the hurricane.

In January 2006, my brother got married. We were able to be in Houston for this wonderful celebration. In February, we experienced the joy and sadness of becoming pregnant and then loosing our baby. Thankfully, in March, I became pregnant again with Jackson. He was born November 10th at 36 weeks after some pregnancy complications that required me to be induced. Our lives were changed again when he was born under great duress but again we were blessed by having the best doctors and nurses by our side taking care of our little boy. I also left my job to stay home with him which was a very hard decision. I'm really glad I have had these last 3 years to be home and watch him grow.

2007 started with Jackson's heart surgery to repair his pulmonary valve stenosis. He had a successful procedure and after our hospital stay, he came home on Jason's birthday. Everything was fairly uneventful until July. I found out that I was pregnant again and was overjoyed to be having another baby. I was also glad to still have a baby who was a good sleeper which helped me to get through the 4-5 weeks of morning sickness. Jackson turned 1 in November and Jason decided to go back to patrol and worked midnights.

In April 2008, we welcomed our second boy, Brayden. Life for us became super busy with 2 small boys and Jason was now working day shift which was a huge help. We quickly realized that we were outgrowing our home, so we put it on the market and were fortunate to have it sell within 3 weeks. We moved to Arlington in August to our new home and absolutely love it. We couldn't be happier with our new house and neighbors!

January 2009 started with Jason's birthday and the news that I was pregnant again. It was really surprising since we weren't trying for another baby quite yet, but we were excited. We were thankful we had moved already since we were filling up bedrooms pretty quickly. In April, we found out that our baby would never live to be brought home because of Potters Syndrome. It was the saddest day of my life up to that point. In May, my sister got married, so I traveled to Charleston, SC to be there with my family. We had a wonderful weekend and I enjoyed some alone time. Jason stayed home with the boys so I could attend the wedding. Now, I'm happy to say that I'll be an aunt again in April. I can't wait to meet baby Hester. In June, I was asked to teach summer school, so I did that for 3 weeks. I was glad to get back in the classroom and didn't realize how much I missed teaching. July was just another month, and then on August 18th, we welcomed our 3rd son, Patrick into our family. He was stillborn at 34 weeks, exactly 17 weeks after we decided to carry him full term. He was just perfect and saying goodbye to him was the hardest thing I have ever done. In October, we decided to start remodeling our kitchen and after 4 weeks, it was done. We are so happy with it. I also started sewing diaper wallets and selling them at craft shows. It has been a success so far, so I'll keep doing that throughout the year.

That is a lot to process in 10 years, but what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. I am so grateful to my family and friends, to have a loving husband, and 2 healthy boys to share my life with. Here's to the next 10!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A White Christmas

Who would have thought that we would have a white Christmas in Texas. I guess if you consider it is Texas weather we are talking about, it's not as shocking. Yesterday it was 71 degrees and today, snow.

Jackson is so excited for Christmas. He keeps bringing me presents asking to open them. We decided to start our own tradition of opening family/friend gifts on Christmas Eve and Santa would come on Christmas morning. It gives us a chance to spread it out since we are home for the holidays. With no family around to share the holiday with, it's nice to have our own traditions to do with the boys. Brayden doesn't really understand what is going on, so he just likes to do what big brother is doing.

We had a busy week last week. Jason has successfully recovered from sinus surgery and went back to work today. It was so nice to have him home for a week and the boys loved it too. Jackson and Brayden were both sick with ear infections and swine flu and I battled an upper respiratory infection. Thankfully, we are all well and able to enjoy Christmas. The boys and I may be going to Houston for a few days if the roads are safe and we all stay healthy. Jason is going to be working some long hours this weekend, so I thought it would be nice to get away and visit family. This would be Patrick's first Christmas and he would be 4 months old. I think the boys would have enjoyed showing him their new toys and he would have loved to watch all the festivities. I know he's watching down on us and sending us this beautiful snow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some funnies :)

We have a new addition to our family! No, not another baby. An imaginary pet dinosaur. Yes, that's right! Jackson's own creation, who at times lives in his bathroom and sometimes on his bed. He only comes out at night. He's a friendly dinosaur, but he's scared of him too. So every night we send him out the window, mommy likes the window and the dinosaur goes to Eli's house. I decided to inform Lindsay of the dinosaur coming to her house every night. I'm curious if Jackson will wonder if he's there the next time we go over to their house.

He's also decided that showering is much better than taking baths. So this morning he was in my shower and I stepped into my bedroom to put away a few things. He then started belting out Ring Around the Rosie. It was just funny to hear him singing in the shower. I guess it just surprised me since I used to sing in the shower, but don't anymore. It put a big smile on my face.

Tonight, we went to a fundraiser with our mom's group and had pizza with Santa. He liked Santa this year, but not enough to sit on his lap or give him a high five. He only leaned in from a few feet away to tell him he wanted more trains for Christmas. Brayden started crying before I even got close, so no pics with Santa this year. When we got home, Brayden went to bed but Jason was watching football. Jackson came to sit with Jason and when the game was on and the play started, he said, "Go dude!" It was so funny. I have never heard him say that before, but I've heard his daddy say it. It's just a reminder of how much he repeats what he hears.

Jackson and Jason watching the game:
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