It was just over a year ago Esther was discharged from the hospital following her stem cell transplant. We had celebrated Zinnia & Esther's fourth birthday and Christmas apart. This year it was nice to just be together. We've had a busy couple of months with Esther's surgery to remove her plate, scans, a trip to Reno, Sofia and guitar cakes for five year old girls, Christmas, a 12th wedding anniversary, New Years, and now we're back to school. Whew.
The kids loved flying on an airplane and did great. The kids were hungry when we landed, so of course we did the most reasonable thing a person can do...drove straight to an In-N-Out.
We had fun celebrating Zinnia and Esther's birthday with two sets of cakes. Zinnia's request was a guitar cake and Esther wanted a Sofia the First cake. In the busyness of surgery, scans, a trip to Reno, and a Christmas celebrations, I ran out of time to properly plan the party I've been imagining. I just wanted to make it really special for both girls. After about a hundred phone calls to my sister and mom, I realized for us, just all being together is really special.
The girls kind of had two parties! One with our discipleship team on their birthday and a few days later with our extended family.
Christmas morning was lots of fun at my parents' house. The kids carried on the tradition of waking my mom and dad far before dawn and opening their gifts with that wide, sleepy-eyed wonder and excitement.
Anthony and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. The kids spent the weekend with my parents complete with adventures in their attic as they helped put away Christmas decorations. We both distinctly remembered nervously waiting at the restaraunt last year, trying not to freak out about the obviously ill hostess who was passing out menus and call pagers to each diner. We held our breath and wiped our pager and menus down with sanitizing wipes, finishing off with a bath of hand sanitizer. This year we did something totally gross and germfilled...BOWLING! We ate at our favorite restaraunt in Ft. Collins and then went to the bowling alley. It was fun and great to not have to worry about germs!
To celebrate 2014, my sister and her family came over for a delicious meal, games, and a sleep over for the kids. We reminiced about playing BINGO at Brent's Place with the new BINGO roller we got for Christmas.
Esther is doing very well. She's feeling good and even had a perfect check up at the dentist. That's a big deal for as much therapy as she's had! It has been a gift to see her personality return. She has a humble playfulness that was muted, her vibrant smile and sweetness has returned!
Our yard has been a source of TONS of fun. The hill in the backyard is the perfect sledding hill for young kids and this icy, packed snow is fast! Almost daily we have had to drag them in, especially Esther. She would stay outside all day if she could.
Oh, one more fun detail...we're going on an airplane again soon. Esther's wish has come true, so maybe instead of Christmas cards, we'll have to send Make-A-Wish cards from Disneyland where the kids will get to dress up in fancy dresses and knight's clothes, meet princes and princesses, put their history to work in a Medieval setting, and try out some thrill rides with the jams and jellies. And not to forget our lone ranger, we're also hoping to squeeze in some time at the ultimate land of Legos. More about that later. Make-A-Wish is a wonderful organization. The degree of detail that is put into making wishes special is incredible. We are so thankful for the opportunity to celebrate Esther's journey and health.
On a more difficult note, our friend, Justin, is not doing well. Following a round of high dose chemo, he contracted rhino virus...the common cold. This virus quickly wreaked havoc on his tired body and resulted in very serious complications. His chances of overcoming this illness and the surgery to give him a shot at a continued fight against are very small. Please pray for a miracle, for moments for he and his family to connect, for his life. This 10 year old boy has been fighting and overcoming neuroblastoma for over seven years and has impacted many, many hearts across the country. Thank you for lifting him and his family up. Also, please remember the hearts if the many doctors and nurses who have cared for him over the last many years. I suspect the sting I've been feeling the last couple of days is far sharper for them.