August 3, 2011 / Good Times…..New Beginnings…..Big News…..
Aaron and I just returned from an amazing weekend away! We have never had the opportunity to get away for so long; just the two of us. We don’t normally splurge on “just us” but after the year we just had we figured it was due time for a bit of splurging. We didn’t go far, only to Gulf Shores, Alabama; it was far enough and the perfect place for a simple get away. We had the most incredible weather and the best time just laughing together; something we haven’t done much of since January 5th. We tried to experience the things that we wouldn’t have been able to if we had brought the kids with us because we aren’t sure when a trip like this might happen again. Our first outing was Parasailing!!! If you haven’t done this, do it! If you’re not interested in it, get interested!! That was the most peaceful thing I’ve ever done. We chose the 1000 foot flight and I was a tad nervous that we might be taking things a bit too far. Turns out, I wouldn’t have it any other way and if there is an option of going even higher, I’d opt for that! Once we were up there we couldn’t hear anything except each other talking, it was so quiet and the view was amazing! The next adventure we decided to embark on was Jet Skiing with the Dolphins; yet another grand idea!!! This particular outing is a 2 hour guided Jet Ski tour; with or without dolphin sightings, it would be incredible! Once we got out there we did, in fact, get to see many dolphins at close range. It took us a while to find them but once we did I felt like a little kid at Christmas; I love dolphins!! The interesting part of this trip is riding the waves on the back of a Jet Ski driven by my husband! He managed to tump us within the first 20 minutes and I have bruises all over my left leg. I spent the majority of our trip airborne and hanging onto his vest for dear life; a blast was had by all, us AND the onlookers! The freedom of being able to just pick up and go felt amazing! I wouldn’t trade Aaden for the world, but it was nice to have a weekend that was just about Aaron and myself. I think we both feel that this vacation was the start of our new beginnings.
|Getting ready to parasail|
|Classic Gulf Shores picture spot|
|before the dunk|
Yesterday was a HUGE day for us! Pretty much since the birth of Thomas we have been wanting to find a way to make things “new” for our family. Ways to get out of things that will constantly remind us of our recent pain. One of these “things” is our house. This house holds so many precious and happy memories so we can’t say it only reminds us of pain, but ultimately, it’s a happy place with some severe trauma mixed in. This is the home we bought in preparation for Aaden’s arrival. This is the home we poured blood sweat and tears into over the last 4 years to get it just right. This is the home that we have made every single family memory in; unfortunately, one of those memories is a huge source of discomfort and gut wrenching pain. We have been talking about selling our house and buying a new one, we just weren’t really sure where. Well, yesterday marked the day that the official decision was made!
As many of you know, I will be leaving my job at West Orange. This decision did not come without a ton of prayer, consideration and long talks with Aaron. I will now be working for Bridge City ISD as their Speech Therapist at the intermediate school and I couldn’t be happier about it. I did not go looking for this job, I did not have my resume out there; this job came to me at the SPAR water park of all places. It was there that I met the Special Education Director of Bridge City and we began talking about a few students that would be moving to her district in the upcoming year. Long story short, she somewhat asked me if I was happy where I was and began sharing with me what my duties and responsibilities would be if I came to work for her. Over the course of a couple of weeks, decisions were made, contracts were signed and I had to say goodbye to a place that meant the world to me. I was very happy at West Orange and I truly don’t feel I would have ever pursued employment elsewhere. Each person at WOSE played a major role in getting me through my journey this year. Those people are my family; they love Aaron, Aaden and myself like we’re all from the same bloodline. There is one little thing I had been agonizing over since we first found out about Thomas; how would I share it with the kids at work? I am the Speech Therapist, so every kid in that school sees me at some point throughout the day; not necessarily as their Therapist, but they see me picking up kids from their classes. Each child knew that I was expecting. My 43 kids knew I was leaving on April 28th to have a baby; none of them knew he wouldn’t survive. I had severe anxiety about answering to my kids. How was I supposed to explain to little children that my baby had passed away? I even thought that maybe I could just say, “he’s perfect” or “he’s just fine” and leave it at that, but these kids wouldn’t take that for an answer. They would want to see ongoing pictures of him, they would want updates, they love me and long to be a part of a family; even if it’s their Speech Therapists family. When I was approached about this job at Bridge City I saw it as my “burning bush”, it was an opportunity to start fresh and it was being dumped in my lap. I felt it was God’s will and His answer to a prayer that I hadn’t even prayed.
From this decision came more decisions, like where we would live. Since I am taking this job, Aaden will attend school there and it simply makes sense that we would live there. As many of you know, Hurricane Ike destroyed Bridge City; homes were completely under water and people are still rebuilding their lives 3 years later. This is super scary for a person that is looking to buy in this community! So, let’s just say, tons of thought went into the selection of the area we would buy in and it’s not in the heart of Bridge City but it’s in a fabulous location. We were driving around one day looking at properties that were for sale and we stumbled on an amazing piece of land. We have never considered it an option to build; we almost got divorced while simply remodeling so we figured building wasn’t an option. This land changed our minds completely. For starters, it’s a corner lot and two lots down from a cul-de-sac; two of the items on my “want list”. The other plus is, it’s 1.23 acres of land that’s already been cleared and 100 loads of dirt have already been brought in to build up the property!! Anyone that knows me might be laughing at the thought of me living on that much land because I’m a “city girl” at heart, but this property feels right! Aaden will love having so much space to play and Aaron can finally have an excuse to buy a fancy lawnmower; it’s a win win for everyone! Yesterday was the day. We went to the bank and finalized loan paperwork for our land and we should close on September 8th, if not sooner!! Once we got that taken care of I decided to get a tattoo. I have one other tattoo that has absolutely no meaning but lots of fun memories attached to it, but this tattoo would mean something. I got one little angel wing on my foot as a constant visible reminder of my angel boy! Some might find tattoos tacky but I happen to love them and I have to say I don’t think I’ll ever regret this one; even when I’m old and wrinkled! It will always be a memorial for my baby boy.
|Aaron drew my tattoo based off of a pendant I have on my Thomas necklace|
|Happy before the pain begins!|
|Flipper at Flipper's Skin Flix is an all around amazing guy!!|
|I LOVE IT!|
On to the Big News!!! This isn’t MY big news but it’s very close to my heart! Remember my sweet nurse, Lanie?? She has been on quite the journey herself in pursuit of beginning the completion of her family. She and her husband decided to adopt a child from Korea and initially wanted an infant; their minds were changed in an instant. I think it was in October of 2010 they were sent a picture of a toddler; they fell in love. They knew he was their child and if you saw a picture of him you would know why. You can see his soul in his sweet face; may sound strange to some but it’s true. My sweet friends have been waiting since October for the arrival of their precious Andy and he arrived Monday, August 1, 2011. I have spent hours staring at his pictures. When I see him I can’t help but get teary eyed because I know what a blessing he is to them and what a huge blessing they are to him. I light up when I see her name flash across my phone because I know it’s either another picture of him or an update of how his transition is going. There are several reasons why Andy is so important to me, but the main one is that he brought happiness during my lowest time. As I was traveling my very sad and depressing journey, I also got to travel their journey of hope. Lanie got me through each doctor visit. Lanie was the ONLY person that could find Thomas’ heart tones. Lanie responded to every single late night text from Aaron or myself concerning my physical and mental health. She is like my sister and my entire family is eternally grateful for her strategic placement in our lives. I couldn’t be happier for her and Peter. They are two of the kindest people I know and so deserving of this opportunity to raise such a beautiful little boy.
Clearly, terrific things are happening in our lives. Thank you, God, for bringing Thomas into our lives. That little blessing makes the sweet taste sweeter!