Life in 2013
The end of one year and beginning of a new one forces you to do two things. One of those things is really pretty hard for me to do. Looking back. Looking back brings up a whole mess of emotions for me. It is painful to look at our sweet, simple life - our beautiful, happy family up until the day our lives changed forever. But at the same time it makes me so grateful for the beautiful life we have had. It makes me even more grateful that 99.9% of those things that made life so immensely beautiful are things that we still have.
Twelve months ago,
We were welcoming in 2013 at Dustin's family's ranch in Star Valley, Wildoming. Cole was one-and-a-half and a few months away from becoming a "BIG broda." We were on the lookout for a lot or a house, as we were soon about to grow out of our first home.
Eleven Months ago,
Life was moving way too fast! I was feeling bad that Cole's whole life was about to change and wondering how we could possibly love another little human as much as we love our sweet Cole.
We went on a little trip without Daddy to escape the inversion. We headed down to Arizona with my family, where Cole worked tirelessly on his golfing skills and sent messages to daddy back home.
Dustin's sister had the first of four baby girls born in our family this year.
Ten months ago,
We celebrated Coley's second birthday. Our house had been up for sale since we found out we were expecting a new little one. Conveniently, it went under contract and would finalize the day before Haley was due. We decided to move out a few weeks early. We didn't have the time or energy to find a new home before baby number two arrived, so we moved in to my parents basement.
Nine months ago,
We welcomed our sweet Haley Jean. Coley was completely enamored with her from the get-go, we all were! He loved to kiss her and hold her. Any time she made the slightest noise, he would squeal with delight, "Haley's awake!" And run to where she was as fast as his little legs would carry him. The only person she ever wanted to cuddle with was her handsome daddy. It's safe to say, we molded into a family of four effortlessly.
Eight months ago,
We were busy falling in love with this sweet little face.
Seven months ago,
We were soaking up the summer. Another niece was born on Dustin's side and we made our way down to Texas to welcome my brother's first baby girl.
Six months ago,
Between Daddy's 28th birthday, Bear Lake, The Ranch, swimming, boating and playing like crazy, our summer was turning out to be the best summer of our lives. Every single day brought something fun and we were loving every second of it. Life doesn't get any better than this.
Five months ago,
Dust blessed our beautiful baby girl. My brother blessed his sweet baby Ivy on that same special day.
We began really trying to find a lot for Dust to build a house on. One with plenty of property for Dust's dream life complete with horses, chickens, a barn, a garden and a big project to work on every weekend. He has this vision of Cole pulling a Red Flyer wagon around to the neighbors houses selling eggs. The only catch is that it has to fit in with my dream of being in a cute little neighborhood with lots of friends for me and the kids.
Four months ago,
We were enjoying the wind-up of summer with a trip to Dallas. Daddy and Cole went to a Cowboys game with my family.
Life was moving along so beautifully, so perfectly.
Until the 20th. Then life changed a little. Our perfect plan we had set up for ourselves took a sharp turn onto a path we had never even imagined.
In the last few days of this month, I learned of the strength of my husband, he learned of mine and together we learned of the strength, mercy, love and compassion of our Father in Heaven.
Three months ago,
We learned patience. Dustin had retina surgery on his right eye and we tried to roll with the punches as his big facial reconstruction was pushed back three or four times. Our kids were being cared for by our amazing family and friends as I became a full-time nurse. Though this month carried with it an array of intense emotions, we felt surrounded by the spirit. We could literally feel the prayers of our friends and family.
Two months ago,
Was the hardest month of our lives to this point. Dustin endured a 17 hour and 40 minute surgery and an excruciating recovery. The entire experience was almost too painful to bear. In every aspect - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. We felt as though our Heavenly Father saw opportunity for more growth. He was still there, but He allowed us to bear more of the burden than He did during the month before the surgery.
It was hard. Really hard. But day by day, sometimes minute by minute, we made it through.
One month ago,
I know when people say, "Sometimes it takes a village" they are referring to raising children. After the December we had, "Sometimes it takes a village" took on a whole new meaning. I saw the love, compassion, generosity of a "village" bring the smile back to my sweet husband's face, light to his countenance, confidence to his stature.
December was a turning point out of our darkness. With each device removed from his body, with each show of love and support, with each prayer - pleading for reprieve, more and more light entered our situation. It wasn't overnight, but slowly and surely we journeyed on with the weight on our shoulders becoming lighter each day.
We are enduring. As Dustin says, "You just have to try to have more good in each day than bad." We are anxiously awaiting the next surgery that will be at the end of January. More anxiously awaiting the day where no more surgeries are necessary.
The second thing a New Year forces you to do is look forward at the year ahead and beyond that to what your future holds. As I told Dust on New Years Day, our life is not going to be something to merely be endured. Our life is going to be beautiful. More than that, it is going to be amazing. And while a short period will be something to endure, we will not feel that way forever. And you can bet I will do everything in my power to make him happy. That may be the reason he's out hunting AGAIN this morning!