I feel like the last month has absolutely FLOWN by, and once again, my blogging has been left languishing in the dust. We have been super busy in many ways...although, some are not shareable in this moment...so....moving on!
I may have shared that my dad has been battling cancer, and the last five months in particular have been incredibly challenging and mentally and emotionally exhausting. I've become very involved in the process of, more specifically, the medical aspect of these trials...considering my nursing background; and I wouldn't have it any other way. My poor parents have been through the ringer these past few months, and my heart absolutely aches for them. I can't tell you how many times I have cried to my Savior for understanding of why such good, hardworking people have been given such an awful, lingering, painful trial. Each day brings new hope and challenges and each day, my Savior reminds me that everything will be OK. I don't know precisely what that means, but I trust Him and I have to let it go and do what I can to help my family.
That said, after weeks and weeks and WEEKS of hitting roadblock after roadblock...my dad was *finally* able to start chemotherapy...a relief and new challenge all wrapped up in one. I truly felt a last minute need/prompting to be in NY with my parents during this time, and so I made arrangements at work (sounds easier than it was), and flew out for 8 days. My sweet hubby took a week off of work to stay home with the kids and had the absolute BEST intentions of having tons of fun with them, but as usual, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. During my absence, BOTH kids got sick...as in, sickest they have been all winter. Poor Owen came down with croup, bronchitis AND an ear infection to boot, and Marin started throwing high fevers with associated malaise. My hubby was amazing and took it on like a champ, I felt awful being so far away from my sick babies leaving Kristoffer to deal with it all, but I could not have been more grateful for his help.
My trip to NY yielded pretty much what I thought it would. A LOT of mental/emotional work from so many different angles of issues that we STILL need to find a resolution to. Let me warn you, my dear friends....life is not kind to you no matter how honest and loyal and hardworking you have been; and this applies to illness, family, employment, insurance, benefits, doctors...everything. I wish I could paint a rosy picture for you all, but if you've never helped to co-commandeer a parent through these things, it will not be a fun time. Even with all of these things, I knew I needed to be in NY, and I was glad I could be there. My sweet mother needed some TLC, my father needed some encouragement, and we all needed to commiserate and talk and be on the same page. This is a trial we will work through together and we have come so far. I cannot express enough my gratitude for the Greene Branch members. They have supported and sustained my parents through this extremely difficult time, and are truly, 100% family. There is a very special place in heaven for the wonderful members there!
In the middle of my visit, I found a veritable CACHE of family photos that I couldn't leave behind, so I snapped photos of them with my phone and then struggled for the last two nights to get them loaded into Picasa from my phone like how I've done *numerous* times before. I almost chucked the laptop across the room....er....I mean, I was calm and patient the whole time.....HA, riiiight.
SO...I am super excited about these pics, these are the things that remind me of happiness and simpler times, of just being a kid and I LOVE how they make me feel! Because sometimes, I need something to remind me.
THIS is a super awkward family photo, my big brother Jonathan, sister Tabitha, me in the striped shirt, and little brother Jacob (Matthew hadn't come along yet).
Are these boys not the CUTEST thing ever?! My little brothers Jacob and Matthew in 1995ish.
Tabitha, Samantha (yup, I'm the crying baby), Jonathan, 1984.
Me, Tabitha, brand new Jacob, Jonathan, 1991.
Me as a baby, 1984.
Jonathan and Matthew (oldest and youngest), 1993ish
Me, Jonathan, Tabitha all dressed up as part of Aunt Brenda's wedding party, 1986.
Matthew and his best-est friend at the time, Snowy Bear. He *loved* that bear and would just maul it. 1994ish.
Awwwww, I know, I was pretty cute, 1986/7 ish.
My mama and a very new ME! 1984.
Were we not the cutest sibling trio? 1987/8ish.
Some school pictures, look at my fabulous crimp-job going on, right there! 1990ish?
My parents for their 15th wedding anniversary. They've now been married 36 years.
Some pictures of a very young Uncle Mehgan (mee-gan), mom's brother, and my mama in the 1970's.
Those cute boys.
This is Matthew (yes, in pink). Is he not the cutest little thing? Late 1993.
And this is my grandma Brown, my mother's mom. She was a very strong woman and I have very distinct memories of her...there may or may not be some her running in my blood.... 1981ish.
Jonathan and Tabitha, 1982ish.
And this is the house I grew up in (minus the Mother Mary by the tree). The house was built in the 1840's and comes with...ahem...some very ooooold tenants ;)
A family photo in 1996, just as I started to enter my awkward phase.
A family photo behind grandma's house, 1985ish.
I know, so cuuuute!
That handsome chap in the back is my Grandpa Owens...and that little buddy in the front? Nope, that's not Owen, that's MY dad! Quite the resemblance!
This man is my grandfather Brown, my mother's father. He disappeared in a boating accident in...1969 or so????
I think I was 11. My one school picture that is kind of cute.
My cute little bro, Jakey
1984. That's not a china doll, that IS me.
My dad's 60th birthday party 2 years ago. The Greene Branch had a cute cowboy birthday for him....
....and they played pin the mustache on the Sheriff. These are the Brigmonds, and they have been in the Branch for a long time. They have been such good friends to my parents.
This is my mom in piggy-tails and her Sheriff. Don't be mad mom, it's a super cute picture!!
Camping for family vacation, 1992.
My dad kept this red hat for so long, it was literally falling to pieces when my mother had to facilitate it's 'burial'.
My mom on the phone. I remember this phone...the cord was so long, it would just about reach all the way around the house.
My big brother all cute and little.
Just a little guy...1978?
One of the last camping trips all together as a family...I was the only one not there, I was at Girl's Camp. :(
I have but two measly photos that actually prove I was in NY, and here they are! Both the same, really; I took my mom and little brother, Jacob to The Sherwood Inn in Skaneatales for lunch on Saturday. A trip home wouldn't be complete without lunch at The Sherwood Inn and dessert from La Patisserie.
These pictures made me super happy!! Someday, I will make this blog into a book.....