As I reflect on 2013 I'm in shock at how many wonderful things our family has experienced. We started the year out by counting down to March 3rd which was the day we flew to Florida for Abby's 6 day Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios Make A Wish vacation. We had the most AMAZING, unimaginable, relaxing, memory making, and once in a lifetime trip we could have never imagined.
When we came home we were so sad that it was over, but we were so touched by the founder of Give Kids The World and his amazing story that we were moved to do even more with The Abby Marie Foundation.
In the beginning of April my mom started an awesome job at Duke that had her traveling all around NC. In May she went to Wilmington, so we decided to take a trip to Carolina Beach (one of our favorite NC beaches) since it's so close to Wilmington. We stayed there for a few days and had an awesome time. During that trip I had a very strong feeling that I was pregnant, but my family didn't believe me...they never do, lol! I still had about a week to wait to take a test, but I just knew I was. One week later at midnight on the day I could take the test I got up and waited for the test to tell me what was up. Sure enough I was pregnant!!!
Once July rolled around I couldn't believe how fast time was flying. Emma began kindergarten, and we began the paperwork to enroll Abby into kindergarten and start her IEP. In September we found out that we were having a boy, which I knew in the depths of my soul from literally day 1 of this pregnancy. I had his name picked out from week 5, but it's changed a little over the first trimester. Originally it was going to be Lincoln Kennedy, but we didn't think he needed two president's names, lol! We talked about Lincoln Michael, since both of our dad's names are Michael. If you've wondered, yes he is named after President Lincoln and Thomas has no link to anyone, we just like it and thought it flowed well. The girls are named after family members, but Lincoln is our first child that's not named after anyone. I plan on him being president, so I felt he needed a strong name. I'm kidding...no really I'm not, lol!!!
In September we also thought we had finally found the perfect floor plan for Abby to grow and develop in, while also meeting all of the needs of our growing family. We picked out our lot, were choosing our counters, flooring, cabinets, etc... We were really excited, but as the weeks passed we started to feel like something just wasn't right. We took a little break from the house and gave it a few weeks. We weren't planning to start building until February of 2014, but we wanted to make sure that we didn't make any wrong decisions. In the first week of November we stumbled upon a house that caught our eye. A few months prior my mom had stopped at a garage sale there and the owner had told her that they would be putting it on the market in the next year. My mom drove us by at that time, but I remember thinking that it probably wouldn't work because it has 3 stories. It was a beautiful house, but I honestly never gave it another thought. Well wouldn't you know it, the house that we stumbled on in the beginning of November was the same house from a few months prior.
We decided to take a look and ended up LOVING it. It had a perfect bedroom for Abby, plenty of room in the common areas for her wheelchair to roll smoothly through the house, a big bathroom and kitchen downstairs for her to learn daily living skills, and what I LOVE the most is that the laundry room is connected to her room. If you have a tube fed child, then you know how often bed sheet and clothing changes happen that ultimately send you running to the laundry room with tubie food filled sheets and blankets. There are so many other great things about this house, but there are also a lot of things we knew we'd need to do to make it our home. We decided to put our offer in and a few days later we found out that the owners had accepted.
Later in November my aunt and uncle came to visit us from California and by the end of their visit they were excited to make the move here in the spring.
December has been great, I've just been in horrific pain and am sooooooooo ready for 2014 to roll around so that I can give birth to an amazing future president, lol!! In all seriousness though, as I reflect on the past year I'm floored that God has blessed us in so many areas of our lives. Both Abby and Emma are healthy, we're going on 3 years without any brain surgeries or surgeries in general, I've met an amazing chiropractor that's helped me heal from years of pain, Matt's VA disability was processed and approved for far more than we expected, and we just bought a new home. I honestly don't know if I can say what has been the most amazing thing from 2013, but if I had to say what I'm the most excited about right now...it would be starting the new year by bringing a new life into this world. I always felt like someone was missing from our family, but I honestly didn't know if I had the energy to add another child to the ever growing chaos we call life.
I've taken a lot of time to reflect, but I've taken very little time to dream about the next year. I am very excited to get back into a regular workout routine, go back to work (mainly in my at home office), drink smoothies again every day (I don't drink them every single day anymore because that's not what Lincoln has wanted), and go on our first vacation as a family of 5 at the end of February. I'm excited about a relaxing vacation, but am not looking forward to a 3 to 4 hour drive with a new baby, an Abby that thinks she needs to yell at us every time we get in the car, and Emma who thinks it's absolutely vital to talk non stop.
Ultimately it's going to be a great year...looking forward to taking things a little slower with a little baby man and my miraculous girls. As for Matt, I have a strong feeling that he'll be spending lots of time in the new year getting his man cave set up, playing darts and watching whatever sport is on with his friends. I'm so thankful for those of you that read my blog, my friends on Facebook and Twitter, in real life, and my amazing family members. I can't wait to see what amazing blessings God holds for you in this coming year. Happy New Year to you and you're family, and I hope you have a fabulous time ringing it in. As for me, I'll be drinking organic sparkling apple cider, eating some taquitos, and dipping them in quacamole. Jealous much???? LOL!!!
Until next year...
You Got Christmas'D
3 months ago