A Breath of Fresh Air

Glimpse the Living God.

Location: Virginia, United States

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Quasimodo No More!

And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b)

It has been just longer than two and a half years since I first felt a strange pain in my right leg. It turned out to be a benign giant cell tumor. It should have been a simple surgery to remove the tumor and fill it with cement to strengthen the leg. However, at the time of surgery, the tumor had grown significantly since the last scans were taken. The cement was inserted, but there was not enough bone left to grow around it. My femur buckled, fractured in several places, and healed in a bent position. So, I have been ambling about like Quasimodo for the last two years.

I elected to wait until my kids were older to have surgery. At the time, they were 6 months, 2, 4, 6. Now, my little Amelia is going to be 3 in August!

My surgery is scheduled for June 16 with Dr. Conway at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics in Baltimore. Here is what she is going to do:
1. Peroneal nerve decompression
2. lengthen hamstring and calf muscles
3. Incision - carefully remove cement - the hardest part bc of how thin the bone around it is - possible fracture
4. Cut Bone
5. Insert lenticular allograft - to get purchase on screws - will absorb
6. take bone from my left femur, mix with synthetic bone - hardens in about 15 minutes
7. Plate bone

I will be non weight bearing for 6 weeks, able to use crutches and able to do leg exercises to strengthen muscles, wearing a brace at night to sleep. After 6 weeks, I can apply 50% weight and see how it goes from there.

I have not allowed myself to think about full recovery at all until now. I am overwhelmed and excited for this last bit of a long journey. There is no way I can do this by myself. I have been so very blessed these last two years by friends and family who trusted me to go my own way and do my own thing.

I have the very best hubby in all of the world. He has been so kind and understanding and compassionate. I could never face this without your love and strength. I love you so much, babe! Thanks so much for keeping me laughing through all of it:0)

My entire family has rallied around me and I can feel your support and prayers. My Mom and Stepdad will be at the hospital waiting with Bob during the surgery. My Dad and Stepmom have been such an encouragement to me with their kind words. The kids will be in OH for 4 weeks. Thanks so much to all of my parents for taking on my amazing kiddos! It means the world to me that I can relax and just think about recovery for a while. And read books!

Thank you to Bob's Mom and Dad who have given us tremendous support in watching the kids and keeping up with my status. Just knowing that you are there is such a comfort.

I have the most amazing friends in my neighborhood, at church, and in OH who stood by me, ignored my crazy leg and let me be "normal". Thank you for not being embarrassed to be seen with me! I would not have made it through this most difficult time without you. Thank you for not talking about it and asking about it just the right amount to make me feel loved.

Thank you to my fantastic accountability group who has been holding me up from the very beginning. Without your love and prayers and willingness to share your lives with me I would still be in the dark place. Thank you for being the arms of Jesus, filling my mind with scripture, and for letting me cry so much!

Q: Does your leg hurt?
A: Yes it's at about 1-2 all the time when I'm standing or walking. It does not hurt at all anymore while I'm sitting. It does however get stiff when I sit, so I try not to sit for too long at a time.

Q: Is it your knee?
A: It's actually my distal femur - leg bone just behind my knee

Q: Why can't you straighten your leg at the knee?
A: It hurts my knee too much to straighten my leg and I want to preserve the cartilage in my knee

Q: Can you exercise?
A: Yes I ride a stationary bike, take short walks, and do yoga and stretching. If my leg starts to hurt too badly, I stop for a few days and go to it again.

Q: What do you take for the pain?
A: I'm used to it now, so nothing. If it gets bad, I use essential oils to support my body in healing itself.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

If You Give a Mom a Minute

The following is based on my actual life and is written in the style of Laura Numeroff . We love you Laura!

If you give a Mom a minute, she will probably make herself a cup of tea. While she waits for the tea, she will notice that the kitchen is a mess. She will start cleaning.

As she's clearing the clutter off of the counter, she'll see her essential oils, make a couple of new roller bottles and refresh the old ones. This will remind her that some of the oil vials on her keychain are empty.

She will retrieve her purse to search for the vials and discover that it is a complete disaster! So, she'll dump the entire contents onto the kitchen counter - good thing she cleared some space!

She will trash all of the 'kids meal' toys that she's been stockpiling - taking care to stuff them down deep into the trash can so little eyeballs can not find them.

Once her things are sorted and organized, she will be left with a pile of change on the counter. The coins will be encrusted with various crumbs and sticky substances so she will wash them thoroughly and dry them -  with a towel.

Seeing the towel will remind her about the dishes that she washed that morning. So, she'll put those away real quickly.

She will then fill her oil vials, place them into her purse, and wipe down all the counters in the kitchen. Then, she will want to sweep. So, she'll need a broom.

She will open the laundry room door to get the broom only to notice that she forgot the clothes in the washer! She will move the clothes to the dryer and start another load. Taking out the broom, she will sweep the kitchen, which will lead her to the hardwood, which will lead to the bathroom.

While she's in the bathroom, she will take a baby wipe and just give the sink a swipe, she may even wash the toilet too. She will throw the wipe away, wash her hands, then notice that there are little tiny clothes behind the bathroom door. She will pick up the clothes and walk back toward the laundry room. On the way, she will acquire random socks, and a towel left in the living room.

Upon entering the living room, she will decide that it won't take long to tidy up. So, she'll make a pile of laundry, fold up the lap blankets, and return the books and games to their proper shelves.

Once the dirty clothes have been deposited into the laundry room, she will wander out into the kitchen where she'll notice her tea cup and decide to boil water for tea.

And, chances are, if she has a cup of tea, she's going to need a minute to go with it.

Friday, January 22, 2016

God is Love

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Mark 6:30-34 NIV

I love the Bible! God's word is amazing! Don't we love mysteries and puzzles? There is no greater mystery than the Bible. We will never in our lifetimes be able to absorb or figure out even a fraction of the contents.

Are you curious about it? Do you want to start reading but aren't sure where to start? I would suggest start with Jesus. The entire Bible (yes old testament too) points to our savior. The one who gave his life for us. His life and ministry are found in the gospels at the vary beginning of the new testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. After that, you won't be able to help yourself from reading Acts which is an action packed adventure about what happened to the world after Jesus left. After that, head over to the Psalms where you can express your praise and worship to the everlasting, all powerful God. Let me know if you are picking up the Bible for the first time and I'll read along with you.

Okay, so anyway, I digress. This portion of Mark is so filled with crazy miracles and happenings that my brain is going in a million directions. What blows my mind most about the Bible is when I get a clear picture of my life and how much God loves me anyway.

My heart is so bitter toward these people in the story. Don't they care about anyone but themselves? Don't they see that Jesus doesn't want to be around people right now? They aren't there to ask how he's doing after just receiving the news that his cousin's head had been brought into a prominent party on a platter. "You've been through a rough time, how can we help?" No, they were there to suck the life out of him. They were needy. If I were Jesus, I would turn the boat around and just hang out in the middle of the lake where no one could get me. My alone time is so precious to me.

What were Jesus thoughts as the boat approached the shore with 10,000 people waiting for him? Did he wrestle with his wants vs the people's needs? Did he pray with the disciples? What did the disciples' conversations sounds like? They had just gotten back from traveling around telling people about God and performing miracles. Then, they took care of John the Baptist's body and had to break the news to Jesus. They must have been exhausted.

Jesus had compassion on the crowd because he saw their need. In Matthew, it said he healed their sick. He taught them until well into the evening. He fed them all with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Side thought: how many people withheld their food? Only one boy in 10,000 people had food? Seriously? What are we withholding from Jesus? What could he do with it if we handed it over?

The disciples kept up with their teacher. They sat and listened. They handed out food. Where did their strength come from? How could they go on? In the Psalms it says my help comes from the Lord. Second Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Once all the people had eaten, Jesus sent them away and then he got his down time. He sent the disciples on ahead of him and he spent time alone praying. I don't know about you, but once my daily duties are complete, I get into my comfy clothes and sit like a zombie in front of the TV, binge watching my favorite show.

Oh Lord, I want to be like Jesus. When my childen come to me, may I see their need over my own desires. May I rely on you for rest in busy times. Give me wisdom to see the moments that could be spent alone with you and give me courage to stop what I'm doing and run to you.

When Jesus was finished praying, he walked on the water to catch up with the disciples in the boat. What supernatural powers does God want to grant to us after having spent some time with him? There is only one way to find out...

Okay, so here's what I'm going to do. Starting this Monday, January 25 I am going to give my evenings to God. Here's what that looks like for me: Get the kids down at 8:00 or so. Get into my comfy clothes and make hot tea. Snuggle into my quiet time chair with a blanket, my Bible, my journal, My Utmost for His highest by Oswald Chambers, and The Evangelist which is a book about Billy Graham. Read, study, pray until I'm ready for bed. I'm going to do it for one week and see what happens. I will be missing my friends on Blue Bloods so much! I'm not sure they can get along without me.

Who dares to try this with me? Let me know if you are going to do it and what show you are going to be missing.
Do you need prayer for something that I can include during my quiet time? You don't need to share specifics unless you want to, just let me know that you need prayer and I'm on it!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

God's Word is not Chained

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 
2 Timothy 2: 9

I've been really sad about the news lately. So much hate and violence and hopelessness. People are angry, feeling unloved, unfulfilled, hated by others. I just want to do something. Is there a microphone to the world? "God loves you everyone!" I would shout. "You don't need approval from anyone. Walk the path that your mighty God is paving for you. Endure what he has for you, be the overcomer that he created you to be."

This Bible is a love letter to you from your creator. It's not a list of dos and don'ts but rather what your life could be like if you choose to obey.

In the second chapter of 2 Timothy, God warns us against quarreling. "…it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen." (14) Verse 22-25 says, "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

I see in our world the war between individualism and the need to belong to something. I want to deny the existence of God and do whatever I want, but I also want blessings that only God can provide. I want to put my middle finger in your face and then complain when you aren't there to help me when I need you.

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (3:16)

I am praying for you, broken people of the world because I am broken too. I see the hurt and anguish in your faces on the news, and in the supermarket. I don't know what's going on in your life, but God does. I don't know your names, but God does. Jesus died on that cross for you.

I am praying for you, Christians. You have the love and the hope that the world needs so share it in tangible ways. Be a blessing to those around you so that they know.

Reading Hebrews in September.  Are you ready to be blown away by God's power and love for you? Then join me and I'll be in touch by email a couple of times this month.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Take Hold of the Life that is Truly Life

Here I am, still reading a book of the Bible a month. Not being good about writing, obviously. Not always being good about reading to tell the truth.

Here is my lesson of the moment: It's never too late. No matter how much I have screwed up, no matter how lazy or disobedient I have been, it's not too late. I can start now. With my business, cleaning house, exercising, eating healthy, blogging, each day is a chance to begin! No more excuses. Yay! Good news!

Okay so my book for July was 1Timothy. Only 6 chapters, but wow! Power is my one word description.

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service."(1:12)
This blows my mind! Paul is writing this and he says that Jesus considered him faithful and appointed him to his service. This guy was persecuting Christians and yet was considered faithful. Obviously Jesus sees way more than we do. I wonder what he sees in those who would come against us today? I wonder if we could get a glimpse of that.

Do you sometimes wonder why Christians pray before we eat?
"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer."(4:4) We receive God's provision with thanksgiving, acknowledging His goodness.

This is why I don't get to the gym that often:
"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (4:8)
Yeah, I should make some hot tea and read my Bible instead of working out. Hahaha!

"Do not rebuke and older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity." (5:1-2)
I don't know about you, but I feel like this country is just one big social experiment right now. Can we just please respect and care for each other? Maybe I've seen too many movies:)

"Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered away from the faith." (6:20-21)

Grace to you.

Reading 2Timothy in August. Wanna join me?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Want to Walk!

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10)

I had always looked at this story from Peter and John's perspective. Money is not needed to serve or pray for people. My kids don't need things as much as they need Jesus, or just time with me.

When I read this now, I am drawn to the lame man. My soul is intertwined with his because in a very small way, I can relate to his situation. I am so thankful for my new eyes to see what a remarkable miracle this is! I cried and laughed when I read it this time.

This man had been lame from birth and at the name of Jesus, "immediately his feet and ankles were made strong". I have been unable to walk on just one leg for only 5 months. I have spent 8 weeks in physical therapy learning how to walk again and I'm still not quite there.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

What unique perspective is God blessing you with right now? Would you share with me?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

2013 - A Year of Unconditional Love

His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, (Song of Solomon 5:16 ESV)

Baby #4 was on the way, I was tired and sick and a poor housekeeper. We had pancakes for dinner way too often, but my sweet Hubby never complained. He supported me by arriving home from work with a smile and brought peace to our house. He was my rock. Most nights, he put the kids to bed so I could crash at 7pm.

From about January 15 to the end of the month, everyone got sick. Achy, fever, sniffles, we were a NyQuil commercial. We took care of each other. The light bulb in our TV went out, but the kids had so much fun watching Netflix on our phones and iPad. Whew! That was a close call.

Bob and I planned a romantic getaway in Berkeley Springs, WV. (Thanks Mom and Dan for watching the kids!) We rented a cabin in the mountains with a wood burning fireplace. It was cold, but we were looking forward to a few short hikes, some geocaching, browsing the used bookstore, lunch at Terri's, dinner at the Seaside Bar and Grill, and perhaps a movie at the one-screened theater where popcorn is made fresh and soda is served in red Solo cups.

We arrived Friday night int the rainy darkness. There was wood inside, so we got a fire going and snuggled on the couch. It was such a blessing to be able to sit and have a long, lazy, uninterrupted conversation. We laughed at the size of the Queen sized beds, thankful for our King at home. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up with horrible chills. Oh no, not again! I moved to the couch and then to the other bedroom and got about 2 more hours of sleep.

Saturday morning, we found a hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop with strong hot coffee and the best doughnuts ever. We went to the local grocery store and bought food for lunch and dinner, cough medicine, cough drops, and kleenex. Next door was a Goodwill so we picked up a few VHS movies to watch. Do we know how to party, or what?

Back at the cabin, we got the fire going, I got into my jammies and bundled up on the couch. There were many games at the cabin and Bob's project was finding all the pieces and reassembling them. We played most of them, enjoyed turkey sandwiches, and watched The Parent Trap and Catch me if you can. So much for romantic, but it was still such a fun weekend with my very best friend.

The basement project begins! Since our family was taking over the upstairs bedrooms, Bob decided he was going to finish our basement so that our guests would have a more private bedroom and bathroom and so that the kids would have a nice big space to play.

The entire time he talked about it, I never believed he would actually do it. Two hundred 2X4s were delivered to our house and still I didn't believe it. Bob bought a very manly hammer and thousands of nails, screws, and of course the Ramshot - a gun of sorts that uses a blank bullet to shoot screws into metal beams. It was pretty impressive.

Once the first wall went up (thank you Dan!), it looked like he was really going to do it! He worked tirelessly every Saturday and Sunday and a lot of evenings.

Work on the Basement continued. One Saturday, Bob got up with the kids so I could stay in bed. I slept in until 8:00, and came downstairs just as Bob was walking in the door. He had gotten us cinnamon crunch bagels at Panera! He greeted me with a bright sunny smile, a kiss, and a huge cup of coffee. We had a nice family breakfast together before he went back downstairs to work.

Despite all the work in the basement, Be took time out to take the older kids to Home Depot's workshop on the first Saturday of the month, he helped with bedtimes, was with us for dinner, and never missed a family movie night on Fridays. I was very impressed with how he balanced a full time job, caring for his family, and finishing the basement.

Selah had a sleepover with two of her friends for her 6th Birthday. Bob watched the other two so that I could party with the girls.We all had a great time.

On May 20, we went in for my 20 week ultrasound. I found out that I had a partial previa which is where the placenta (the area in the womb that attaches the baby to me) was too low. They said it was common and that it would most likely move up in time. However, for the next 6 weeks, I could not lift anything heavy. "What's heavy?" I asked thinking like 50 pounds. "Ten pounds" was the reply. ??? Come again? "I have three kids!"

At my next appointment, I asked my midwife, Wendy about the ten pounds. She bypassed my 18-month-old and pointed to my 3-year-old and said, "How much does he weigh? That should be okay." So, I tried to take it easier than normal, but didn't worry so much. Bob was right there to carry laundry baskets up and down stairs, to bring groceries in from the car, and to carry kids to bed. Great Husband, great Daddy, and I felt so blessed!

We also found out that we were having a girl! Let the naming game begin! Me: Cadance, Sage, Chyanne Bob: Alexandra, Abigail  Oh, here we go again.

We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary at the Melting Pot. We got a round booth so we got to snuggle and share food and talk. Good food and fun times with my best friend.

Bob took time out from the basement to take us to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA for a long weekend. We arrived Thursday night, but woke up to pouring rain on Friday. The heated pool at the hotel was not heated (heater core broke), but the kids loved it anyway. We swam in the morning, pizza buffet for lunch, found a fabulous hands on kids museum where they could process eggs, drive a tractor, mail letters, work at a grocery store, plant and harvest corn, be part of an assembly line, and play all kinds of games. Saturday and Sunday were bright and sunny. What a fun family weekend!

Every June, the kids go to Ohio for a week for Grammy camp. Bob again took time away from the basement so we could hang out. We went to the movies, played poker, played mini golf, and had dinner and game night with friends (Miss you Jim and Sue!)

Of course the kids were gone, so Bob didn't have to time the loud and quiet activities in the basement, the power outages, or the turning off of the water in accordance with their needs, so we did do some work down there too. In fact, we went down at 10:00 one night, cut the power, and I held the flashlight so he could wire some fuses. Go team!

The basement would have been finished by now if Bob would have just worked and not taken time out with friends and family. I was happy to have him and so thankful for the time that he gave us. In fact, he sacrificed three Saturday mornings to take the kids to workshops at Lowe's twice and Home Depot once. Yay Daddy!

In addition to a full time job, family duties, fun times, finishing the basement (with more than a little help from his friends), he also took the VA real estate course and got his real estate license. One of my biggest struggles is finding balance in all that I do, but he seemed to handle it with ease. My Super Man!

I had horrible back pain and was struggling to handle every day tasks like laundry, shopping, cooking. With baby girl coming soon, my Mom moved in to help. It was nice to have an extra set of hands so that Bob could finish up the last bit of the basement and I didn't have to worry about who would watch the kids when we went to the hospital.

Good thing too, because my water broke at 11pm and we were off to have a baby! Amelia Joy arrived at 7:25am on August 11. The birth didn't go exactly as planned, but my fearless cheerleader never left my side. I held his strong hand every step of the way and I knew everything would be fine as long as he was there with me. Our baby girl was strong and healthy so life was good.

My Mom stayed with us for a couple of weeks until I was strong enough to care for everyone. Then, I was on my own with 4 kids! It seemed like so many in those first weeks as they swarmed around me, each needing me in a different capacity. Breathe, just breathe.

The carpet was installed in the basement, but the family sleepover that I had envisioned to celebrate did not happen. Amelia slept at least 4 hours in a row all night every night from the very beginning, but I was still way too tired to try to sleep in one room with everyone. I had been a parent long enough to know that the picture in my head was never even close to reality most of the time.

Selah started 1st grade, and Miles began his school career at St. Andrew Lutheran Preschool. I was excited to get some one on one time with Moriah. We went to the play ground or ran errands after we dropped Miles off. Life would have been perfect except my right leg hurt. My body didn't heal as quickly after baby Amelia so I figured it was from being pregnant and would eventually get better. I stretched it, iced it, and even tried to run and work it out. At my 6 week post birth check up, the Midwife suggested that I see a chiropractor. The thought of anyone touching it made me shudder. It was really hurting.

16-leg still hurting, went to doctor, got x-rays
22-went to orthopedic surgeon, mass in my distal femur, use crutches
23-Mom moved in. Said she was ready to stay a month. I told her she would be able to leave in two weeks.

CT scan, MRI of leg
CT scan of organs
Bone biopsy
Giant Cell Tumor. Benign!! Praise God!
Surgery scheduled for December 3. Prayer warriors praying for an earlier date. Surgery rescheduled for November 26!
Thank you so much Dad and Diane for taking care of the kids and Thanksgiving dinner! My ever faithful and supportive Hubby spent the night in Arlington with me. He made me laugh. He let me sleep. He was there.

The tumor had grown considerably since the last image was taken. It was removed and replaced with cement. Recovery would be longer than expected.

Bob's Mom came to stay for a week.
I could do nothing for myself. Bob even had to help me get dressed. We relied on friends and family to stay with us, drive Miles to and from school, bring meals, wake up with Amelia.

Once I was off the heavy drugs and started PT, life began to get better. I got stronger every day. Bob did all the shopping. Without complaint, he went to Costco, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe's, and Target. He carried laundry up and down stairs. He got the kids breakfast, packed his own lunch, and did bedtime every night. He brought me meals in bed on the baby's high chair tray. Hahaha! I sure do love that man!

January 2014
My 6 week follow-up x-ray showed that there was not enough bone left to grow properly around the cement. The outside of my femur buckled leaving my leg crooked. Another surgery would be necessary. The options - break the bone and reset it using a metal plate and more cement and see if that would work, or a full knee replacement even though my knee is fine.

The oxygen had just been sucked out of my world. My head spun as I thought about all that we had already been through, all the help we'd received, all the progress I'd made. Go back to the beginning? Start over? Do it all again?

Bob held me as I cried off and on for days. No words, just the strong assurance of his arms around me, his familiar smell, and the hope that one day it will all be behind us.

February 2014
I am now walking (poorly) without a crutch. I can go shopping - even with kids. I can carry things upstairs. I can carry Amelia up and down stairs. I can walk short distances with Moriah. I can hold Miles standing still. Selah is so big, she can almost hold me!

24- I was once again in Arlington getting x-rays taken of my leg. I met with the Dr. to find out that my leg is stable and not getting any worse. I can put off major surgery for a couple of years. Also, a partial knee replacement is now an option. In the meantime, they are going to put a cast on my leg to straighten it so that I might walk better. That happens on Thursday.

I would totally dread it, if not for the man beside me. Bob has taken time off of work to be with me at every appointment. He has held my hand, asked questions, and talked with me at length about what has happened, our lives now, what the future holds. He has prayed with me, bought me ice cream, taken me to lunch, and just been with me. He runs around the house taking care of the kids, getting me water, getting ice for my leg, handing me the remote, throwing things away, so that I don't have to walk when my leg hurts.

I am over it! I'm ready to be healed and back to my life. Enough already! Bob has never complained. He has never made me feel like a burden. When I need to rest, he doesn't give me a hard time, he encourages me. He has a heart big enough for me and my emotional roller coaster. He has had unique opportunities as a Dad to interact with the kids in ways he may not have had I been there. He has put his real estate career on hold, come home every night to help me, and given up much of himself for our family. One day, when I was feeling extremely upset he looked at me and said, "For better or worse, babe."

I love you so much, Bob Waddell. I can not thank you enough for the care and love that you have shown me this past year. You have put up with pregnancy hormones, post pregnancy hormones, sleep deprived craziness, depression, and all the emotions that have come with this new road that we are traveling. I couldn't ask for a better life partner. I would marry you all over again! You are my forever!