Happy New Year?


After a whirlwind of a month in December I was really looking forward to some down time in January! Both our moms were coming to visit but other than that we didn’t have any major plans.

We celebrated New Years Eve on the 1st because our kids lost their minds about 9pm waiting on the ball to drop on the 31st so we sent them to bed and went to bed ourselves. We still had fun counting down and getting all the New Year’s kisses on the first!

We had clinic the next day and LJ started Cycle 21 of his clinical trial. Every time he starts a new cycle I think to myself “How did we get here?” I was so worried in the beginning of all of this what would be next? What was our plan B when this trial failed LJ. And here we were, we had been given this trial drug 21 times. It’s miraculous, encouraging, and gives us as parents a hope for the future of this disease.

Emmaleigh and I were able to go to a Mother-Daughter Spa night hosted by her American Heritage Girl’s troop! It was so fun to take her out, just the two of us! Especially when there is another allergen mama there in charge of the food and Emmaleigh can enjoy in all the fun like the rest of the kiddos!

The boys had a nerf gun fight while we were gone!

Then we got a super surprise visit from some of our best friends, the Smith’s! We are an actual fairytale of best friends who married best friends and we plan to be best friends forever…also our kids better be best friends. lol! John was traveling for work an hour north of us so naturally Torie and the boys had to come!

A few days later we got to pick up my mom from the airport. We were all so excited to see her and spend a whole week with her at our house!

We all went to the Air Force Museum and had so much fun with our little history buffs!

The next day we drug mom out into the cold to play at Englewood Metropark and do some Geocatching. The kid’s faces were priceless when they found the new place one was hiding.

That weekend, Emmaleigh cheered during halftime during the high school varsity basketball game after attending a clinic earlier in the day. She was so cute, I embarrassed her, and Torie and I got to relieve some of the best memories of our lives! Mom got to watch me turn into a Cheer Mom which was pretty cool!

In between the clinic and the game we ventured out in the cold drizzly day to explore Carriage Hill Metropark. We had so much fun! We got to watch a blacksmith work, see an Ice house, pet some super friendly horses, and watch the kids play house in an 1890s playhouse and classroom!

Just as Nana’s plane took off, Grannie’s car pulled up to our house. Joshua’s mom was visiting for the next week!

We took the kids to Wild and Free and Ems loved playing with her “cousins” and her friends! The big kids played a game of town, it’s like playing house but you elect mayors, go to work, and pay taxes. The littles played “play with sticks but don’t hit each other!”

The following day we had LJ’s bi-monthly bloodwork. It was the most effortless bloodwork he had ever had. The nurse was fantastic!! She was so quick, LJ didn’t see the needle, and she didn’t make time for all the small talk. In and out in less than 20 mins!

After bloodwork we had our traditional Chick-Fil-A then met the Smith boys at the movies! We saw Spies in Disguise and it was adorable! LJ was so into it! Belly laughs and all! We took the kids back to Chick-Fil-A (don’t worry, it was a different one, lol!) to shake out some more sillies after the movie.

That Friday, we went to the Smith’s hotel to swim! First we stopped by a super cool park. The only downside was that it was 30 degrees. The kids of course didn’t mind and loved exploring the frozen forest! They even got to see a raccoon all cuddled up in a big tree stump!

The pool was freezing and I was so grateful that LJ didn’t want to get in the water. Em and the other boys didn’t care and had a blast playing all kinds of games. Emmaleigh wrote a script for her and Clayton to perform a mermaid play. She even asked me to laminate them so they could go in the pool.

That night we went to Red Robin with Grannie and the next day had a cozy chill day at home.

Sunday we said good bye to the Smith’s and we were oh so grateful for so much unexpected time with them!

Grannie left early Monday morning and we headed down to Cincinnati for The Dragonfly Landing’s opening! The kids were so excited to have a place to visit all their Dragonfly family again! The kids enjoyed seeing friends they are making through Dragonfly events. I enjoyed hanging out with the Circle Tail doggies that Dragonfly had invited to the party! Like thoroughly enjoyed it! Just sitting on a floor petting fluffy, lovey Golden Retrievers was like a heaven on Earth.

After that fun day, the exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks. December, then two weeks of visitors, and scan week approaching was a mix for a very tired mommy. My precious kiddos were so graceful towards me. We spent a lot of time cuddling on the couch and eating cereal or whatever other snacks they could find. I was frustrated I was so exhausted but it was a great reminder to be still.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10

Sometimes I forget we are fighting this battle. We fall back into a normal routine and just go go go! Then reality creeps back in and reminds me how fragile life is and that we all need to slow down. The house might have been a mess that week, the kids didn’t eat well rounded meals, but they were happy to have a mama to cuddle with and really that’s all that matters right now!

Emmaleigh had her first lock in with American Heritage Girl’s that week and she was SO excited. LJ, not so much. He really likes his sister with him at all times lol! She had a great time at the lock-in but naturally didn’t sleep much. The next day she hung around in a state of delirium from lack of sleep. She acted hungover, it was kinda funny!

The week before scan, LJ started with some way more average than anxiety. Mostly around bedtime and sleep but pretty much any other time he couldn’t see one of us. One of his first symptoms that started all of this was sleeping issues. So anytime he doesn’t sleep well it makes my heart sink, which is every single night. It is way different issues than he was having when he was 2 years old, but sleep issues nonetheless. After speaking to his social worker she reminded me that this was all normal behavior for his age and that was really reasuriing.

We had a few days of downtime before we had to pack for our trip to The Great Wolf Lodge for LJ’s MRI.

You can read about the time before the MRI and the results of the scan here.

Today Joshua went to work and the kids and I took some time to rest and cuddle. They have been happily watching tv together and I’ve been doing laundry. There are a lot of bad things about being a cancer family and one of them is that we have to bounce back so quickly. Joshua has to work and housework still needs to be done. I am so grateful that I don’t have a job outside of the home and I’m not navigating those waters. I am so grateful that we homeschool and we could chose to sleep in and read this morning instead of doing our bookwork. There is still so much to be thankful for!

Tonight we will spend some time together before Joshua leaves for a TDY in the morning. It’s been a busy month, a really long week, and next week I’ll be flying solo with my two munchkins!

Thank yall for continuing to be a part of this journey with us!

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