Last week was the grumpy Takes post. This week, I didn’t want to subject y’all to that again even though Teddy developed a stomach bug on Monday and is still sick as of this post. (Thankfully, Fulton had no more symptoms and is still healthy.) But yesterday was Thanksgiving, and Sunday starts the new liturgical year, so it seems like a good time to create a list of what I’m thankful for from the last year.
1.We got a new house! After Fulton’s spinal fusion in September 2018, it became painfully clear that we could no longer make do in our old home. We either needed a major renovation/ addition or we needed to move. We found a brick ranch house for sale by owner and quickly fell in love despite the very vintage decor. After some back and forth negotiations over price and what to do about an underground oil tank on the property, everything finally came together and we closed on December 28th. January 13, 2019 we moved in and to this day I still regularly stop what I’m doing and thank the Lord for this house. Having an accessible house make caring for the boys so much easier, and while having a finished basement was not a requirement, the additional space this home gives us has also made entertaining and homeschooling a lot easier as well. The home had everything we needed and more and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
2.Our new town! Although we didn’t live far from the town we’re in now, we’d never really visited. Once we’d stumbled upon the home listing, we started exploring the downtown on date nights and looking at the calendar of events online. Tony and I quickly realized how much the town offered within a short walk of our potential new front door. We knew that even if the first house fell through, we’d be limiting our search to this area. Thankfully, we didn’t need to keep looking. From friendly neighbors, special events a short walk away, a very accommodating school district, accessible shops and restaurants, I sometimes wonder what I love more, the house or the community!
3.Opportunities to travel. This year I got to speak in Kansas City, MO, and experience local hospitality and BBQ, we visited family in the Midwest for the first time in three years, and Addie and I got to visit San Antonio, TX on a college visit.
4.Big kids! They let Tony and I go on date nights, they see Fulton and Teddy off the bus and help with their homework, they bake cookies, they help clean, they’re fun to talk to and NOW one of them (Addie!!) has passed her drivers test and can help with transportation! I love all my kids obviously, but I’ve really enjoyed the teenage years so far.
5.Modern medicine! Specifically Spinraza, antibiotics, Zofran (anti-nausea medicine), g-tubes, IVs, bi-pap machines, cough assist machines, nebulizers, Albuterol, hospital beds, power wheelchairs, vehicles with wheelchair lifts, Tamiflu, and well-trained specialists, surgeons, doctors, nurses, and therapists. In these moments when it seems like all I’m doing is tending to a sick child, I need to stop and remind myself that 50 years ago, it’s likely they would both already be dead, and 100 years ago, they most certainly would be. And even 10 years ago there was no treatment for SMA and now there are TWO! Special needs parenting is hard, but I’m glad my kids are alive for me to be their mom. That is made possible not just by my hard work and love, but by years of research and hard work by a lot of dedicated medical professionals.
6.My husband! I love Tony! My relationship with Tony came especially into focus this year as I watched several marriages fall apart. As I learned about what had been going on behind closed doors for years, I couldn’t help but see how any petty quibbles I had with my spouse were nothing. Watching our friends suffer made Tony and I both really think about our marriage and examine if there was more we should be doing to safeguard it, and it made us both more eager to share praise and less complaints. Through all the highs and lows of the last year, Tony remains my rock and all around favorite person in the world. I’m glad we get to enjoy this awesome home together.
7.Our church community! With everything going on this last year, our parish friends always stepped up to help and support us. From moving, to offering prayers and meals, our family is never left struggling. We’re blessed with family who love and support us too, but because none of them are local, we tend to rely on our friends more. And when it comes to the unique challenges of Catholic family life, it’s our friends who get it. Plus a shout out to our extended online “family” who read, comment, and pray for us thanks to the wonders of the world wide web and social media!
These are the things I’m trying to keep in mind despite the continued puking. What are you thankful for? We asked the kids over dinner yesterday and Fulton’s answer came in the form of beat boxing so, clearly we’re a grateful crew here! Write your posts down then link them up below! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!!