Thursday, August 27, 2015

sunlight. FDOS 2015.

"We can choose our mood..."

That was the theme at church last week. Before school started, we talked about no matter what life throws at you, you can feel all the feelings, but the general "mood" that your life stays in, is chosen by YOU.

I have felt this was true for a long time. It is very easy to be unhappy, in my opinion. It is easy to find the things in life that are terrible or stressful. There are storm clouds all around - negative people, situations that you feel as if you can't dig out of - but choosing to live in that storm is something I never have wanted to do.

...I wanted to find the sunshine. 

For the past (almost) 3 years, we have searched for a ray of hope filled light in every situation. It is hard work, honestly. It would be easier to sit around and cry about it. I could cry about everything that has happened to Reese, everything she has to go through. I could live angrily, thinking about my other children who have to watch their sister be the center of attention sometimes. I could feel sorry for myself, for EJ, for having to witness it all. Poor us, I guess.

We choose not to live in those moods. 

We cry, we fight, we are stressed, we worry and sometimes feel hopeless. But we made the unconscious decision a long time ago to realize that every day has sun and hope and that our season of life doesn't get to be sad.

I said before that Reese going to kindergarten is such a momentous occasion for me, in my own tired and worried head. I spent a lot of time on the internet googling statistics that mean absolutely nothing and looking at pictures of a kid who I couldn't see how she'd be when she was 5. But I can see her now... thriving.

The first day of school was awesome. The girls ALL came home happy. They told me stories of old and new friends, their favorite moments, excited about things that will be happening this year. I smiled the entire entire car ride as they chattered on about the wonderful events and promising things to come. After school, Reese had chemo - which is her new schedule - monday afternoons. This is the only time that fits 1. not missing school and 2. not being late to someone's dance class.

I have those moments where I am reminded that our actual season of life is a pretty bad hand, but there are so many amazing things that come from it - every day is a good one. One look into my kids' eyes and I realize that Reese isn't crying about what she goes through, the other girls aren't angry that sometimes Reese has things that we have to do - even if we all don't want to. I don't look at EJ and see him feeling sorry for himself - he and I are so proud of what we've become... the people we've made, the sunlight we see, and the mood we lead our family towards.

Another day down and "every part was my favorite part" from the girls. Nothing should ruin these happy days...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

a real haircut.

The night before kindy and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring...

except sawyer and aidan, giggling in the hallways - definitely not being asleep before the first day of 2nd and 3rd grade.

I don't really have the words to say how I feel about tonight. First of all, it is amazing that aidan is in the 3rd grade. How did I get this old? How did time fly so quickly? Then I have sawyer, right after her, who I still picture, always as 5. But to think they are 8.5 and 7... I remember when "other people" had kids that old and I thought how far away that must be.

But it wasn't far away at all.

3 years ago, I was weeks away from sending Reese to her first day of preschool. 3 years ago, I didnt know about her brain tumor. I had no fear of anything, really.

...just shy of 3 years ago, halloween 2012, my safety net was cut away.

Not looking towards the future out of fear that your own child may not get there, is the most debilitating feeling one can have. I used to flip flop between thinking about how reese would be that first day of kindergarten, what assistance (if any) she'd need, what she'd look like. But then for a while, I stopped doing that.

Some of that is self preservation, I imagine... getting your hopes up for something. I wouldn't let myself get too far into the future for fear that I would later be at that moment without her.

This morning at church, our pastor said it best when he was asking how can we think those types of things when God has been there to show is the opposite so many times before that. When does "faith over fear" swap the other way?

I am always being shown that it is okay to plan for the future. We'll get there. Tomorrow morning I will be in the same place I had imagined so many times before - with reese. I've labeled all of the girls' things, I have made their lunches and gotten out their new dresses. We will take pics and I will watch my older girls take their little sister to her classroom and say goodbye on a new adventure.

I used to smile with a friend about how reese would probably have this amazing bob haircut going into kindergarten. I could picture her.... exactly as this... reese today looks just how I had imagined her to look, less than 3 years ago.

This is reese's first haircut. Not by a neurosurgeon, not by daddy because chemo was kicking in, but because it was time to beautify before school. Like regular kids do.

(before, during, after, then a comparison of the back)

***ALSO, do not forget to order your childhood cancer awareness tee shirt!! The deadline is coming this week!! :D

IG: theskelteseven

Sunday, August 16, 2015

ahhhh summer photo drop.

A week until school starts. This summer flew by. 

I don't have much in this blog except for photos with the new sigma 24mm 1.4 ART. 

That and Sawyer's amazing birthday party. My sweet baby turned 7 years old. I don't know how that happened, but it did, and we celebrated with just a couple friends --- because I have done more than a couple before and my brain exploded from the shrieks and shrills ;)

This week is filled with meeting teachers, information sessions, dance, dentist appointments, and bunco. I am actually really excited for the busy time.