Monday, February 18, 2013

Congrats Kevin and Nicole!

Yesterday Uncle Kevin and Auntie Nicole got married! Joey was honored to be a ring bearer and took his job seriously for the ceremony and then let loose on the dance floor at the reception! The day started getting to the hotel at 12:30 where the guys got ready, ate a bit, and took pictures as did the bride and her bridesmaids. The rest of us were hanging out in the lobby taking pictures and getting ready for the big day. Then it was time for the wedding! Post wedding pictures and getting ready for the reception. And the fun reception where Uncle Mikey gave a great speech, as well as others, a fun picture slide show (Thanks for including a picture of Josh, that meant so much!), great food, photo booth fun, dancing, and so much more! Congratulations Uncle Kevin and Auntie Nicole (and Amelia too!), we are so happy for you guys!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Catching up in pictures

Some exciting news is that Joey is going to be in Uncle Kevin and Auntie Nicole's wedding today! So before we get snap happy with pictures tonight I thought I should put some of the pictures from the last month or so of things we have been doing. Many post Christmas exchanges and gatherings. Here are some with the Miklautsch family and the Wayman family. A while back I started a fancy dinner night for our family: candles lit and china dishes out. This particular night we even added sparkling grape juice for the kids, but neither of them liked it. Oh well, it was leftover from the holidays but I guess that's why we still had it-no one else wanted to drink it either! Joey and Jillian both earned their allowance and decided they wanted to use their money to buy some crafts so a week or so back we had a craft day. And here are some pictures of Joey and the rest of the wedding party at the rehearsal. Joey got his own 99 Riches hat and shirt with is name on it (Uncle Kevin's side job clothing line for "No Wasted Talent"). Joey is quite excited for today! Can't wait for the wedding!

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Been A While...

Yes, it has been a while since I last blogged. I can come up with a million excuses: we have been very busy, enjoying so many gatherings with friends, family, other activities. But really that's not it, it is just hard. It has been hard. Grief ebbs and flows, it is never quite in the background, it is always there, but Christmas time and being with family, watching Joey and Jill's eyes light up in wonder is priceless. Jillian's birthday is a reminder of God's grace, just like her middle name. But once it's all come and gone I can't escape with fun festivities I have to face the fact that it is my winter time. It is not the seasonal affective disorder or winter blahs I'm talking about, but the anxiety of facing another year without Josh, of realizing time is moving on. I don't want time to move on, I want to go back. I want to hold Josh, I want 3 kids in my arms, in my house, as my responsibility. I don't want to be faced with the 4th anniversary--seriously where does the time go--without having Joshua. I know it is not in my control, I know that God is in control, Joshua is in His house and I have to do the best I can with the blessings I have been given. A few weeks back I was asked by my boss to take on an account that would not be permanent but was an account that I was asked to do so the company would have some growth that they felt only I could help them with. It was a huge compliment and on top of that it would be a good chunk of change as well. However it would have changed schedules significantly for 4 months and I was forced to figure out what to do. My boss even offered her sister up to watch our kids, again a huge compliment to know that they felt so strongly about the work I do, but I had to sit down and put pieces back together. I wake up at 4:15 most mornings to go to work and then go back to work in the evenings sometimes until after 9 so that I am able to be with my kids. Before having kids I thought I would never be a "stay at home mom," and even though I work more than 20 hours a week I still categorize myself as such, but I realized I wanted to be there as much as I could until they were in school for a full day. I had to stop, realize what I was trying to do, of course discuss to exhaustion and then revisit a new set up scenario with Phil who was so patient and understanding with it all, but I had to go full circle to realize why I am doing this. I had to think about driving down to the city again, the same route I took to change shifts with Phil as to who was at Josh's bedside. To this day I can't cross the bridge on 290 going into the city without getting a lump in my throat and a drop in my stomach. Whenever I've ran past Children's in the Chicago marathon after I had Jill, and the half marathon 2 years ago I get teared up and choked up to the point where I'm not sure if I can run and breath anymore. Well, like everything else things change. Children's is now gone and the new hospital is now up. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. In the past I have told you that we are on the Family Advisory Council for CDH. They are working on building a Ronald McDonald House across from CDH and our last meeting was providing information, feedback and experiences as NICU and PICU families. We spent many nights at RMHC in the city. Another place that I wanted to go back to and cook meals for the families living there, but physically getting there was an emotional obstacle. Now I will have the opportunity to do more for families in similar situations as us and I am very grateful for that. Again, that meeting brought so many feelings positive and negative back about the last few weeks of Josh's life and how our life as a family was at that time. All to be done over again in a heartbeat I can guarantee speaking for myself, Phil, and Joey. As the new year begins, I have been preparing for the 5th Annual Charge for CHARGE 5k. That's right, 5th, again a milestone, something telling me that time is moving quite quickly. With this "winter" holding heavier in my heart this year I am so grateful that Miya is helping me with so much of the 5k and it means so much to know that she cares and of course I am grateful that her personality matches mine in terms of perfectionism! We already have registration online if you are ready to sign up for the 5k on June 29! A heavy heart also with knowing that we are not going to the CHARGE conference this year. Something we have struggled with, but have decided not to do this year. I feel like it is slipping away from the CHARGE community, although I am so excited that Ellen will head our way from Australia and visit when she is in the US for the conference! Ellen mentioned she would like to go to Assumption and let a balloon with a message go, as well as visit Crystal's resting place. I think this would be so wonderful, so thank you for that Ellen! Another mystery, and something I am not ready to speak about but want to have here as reference if not only for myself is Simply Thick. I don't mean to leave it at that, but I have to at this point. I have mentioned in the past as well that I am particularly comforted by the fact that Josh passed during the lenten season. More than Christmas I love the readings and gospels around Easter. It is a huge comfort to me to hear and I feel it is "safe" to shed a tear at church if I need to. It helps me to get through the next month knowing that Joshua is safe in the arms of God and that God's, and lent being a time for self denial, soul searching and spiritual preparation I feel like I can accept and even be grateful for all circumstances. Thank you for allowing me to get some things off my chest. I felt like I had been neglecting the blog, and even looking back it had turned into just posting pictures. It does not mean that more hasn't been happening, and I really don't want to let the "Joshua's Journeys" posts slip away like I feel a lot of other things are, but the fact of the matter is there is still pain, grief, desire, despair, and disappointment that I work through every day. But I don't want time to slip away and not post memories or thoughts, but there is no control over time and It's Been A While...