Yesterday was a very happy day indeed. My nephew graduated from high school which in itself is a happy day. What made this day extra special was seeing his proud mama watch him cross the stage to get that diploma. Exactly one week before we all questioned if this moment would happen. I have never been closer to thinking I was going to lose someone I love and it was a scary, emotional couple of days. My family was all in Billings as we waited for the longest three hours while my sister was in brain surgery for them to remove some of the infected parts to see what was causing the problems. The only reprieve during this time was my littlest nephew, who is almost 2, growling at everyone and making us smile. She came out of the surgery and we all breathed a sigh of relief knowing the first of many hurdles was over. At this point, I came back home to try to keep life as normal as possible for her little ones. The next day the Doctors told us they were amazed at how well she was doing. This did not surprise me because as my nephew said that very first night before she flew off in the helicopter…"don't worry about Mom, she's the strongest person we know" She's a fighter and this week she fought like hell and she not only survived, she watched her oldest son graduate just as she said she would. I am so happy to have her home. Her road to recovery will be long, but she is home. Her family is back together and we will all continue to rally her back to health. What an amazing support system we have of friends and family and I was in awe of the kindness of so many this past week. I felt so many things and even as I sit her and try I can't seem to express it all. Usually writing helps me sort it all out, but I think I just feel gratitude right now so I'm just gonna stick with that.
Even with all the emotion and ups and downs of the week, I got to enjoy having my niece and nephew spend the whole week with us. Now, I wish it would have been under different circumstances, like my sister and her husband were on a beach vacation or something and not sitting in the ICU of a hospital, but it wasn't. The kids were all aware that something was going on and that Kori was sick, but we tried to keep their week as normal as possible and the kids were awesome. The four littles at their best and we got a taste of large family life. You add just two more and you get a lot more noise, laundry, food and dishes. Along with that you get twice the number of hugs, twice the number of "I love you's" and twice the number of giggles. Not too bad at all. Once the weekend came we decided to take the kiddos to the annual Hatchfest they have here at the Fish Hatchery. The Montana Science School puts it on and there is all sorts of kids activities, animals and fishing in the stocked fish pond. Fishing was a hoot…three of the four kids caught a trout, tender hearted Ava wanted nothing to do with that.
Now, this little pond was stocked with 1,500 fish so it wasn't too much effort for them each to get one, but they didn't know that and they each looked so proud as they reeled their fish in.
Then it was on to the fish cleaning station where Ava became even more disgusted as we watched them chop of their heads and clean them out. After we were done with that we hit some of the kids activities and then saw the animals they had there. There was a Grizzly bear, mountain lion and a bobcat…pretty crazy seeing them all that close and hope to never see them that close out in the wild.
Hungry from the morning activities we took the kiddos to one of our favorite pizza places and chowed on a huge, super cheesy pizza. Then it was home to chill out a bit before we fried up our fresh fish for dinner. Good way to start the weekend, even better…that afternoon my sister got home and we got to finally go see her. The last time I had seen her she had a tube down her throat, hands tied down and couldn't talk to us…so seeing her up and moving around hugging her kiddos was nothing short of a miracle in my mind. There were a lot of prayers going around this week and they were answered.
The next day we all got ready for soccer games, graduation and the graduation party....
It was a perfect, sunny June day as we cheered them on and then celebrated. I came home that night to a house that was a little quieter and got up this morning and it seemed like something was missing (or two somethings were missing). It feels nice to have things going back to normal a bit, but just feels a little too quiet. Now, we are starting the last week of school. I can't believe there are only a few days left and then it is summer vacation. It truly will be a summer break because I made the decision to not work this summer. There have been a few things that have led up to this decision and I look forward to embracing these next few months before both my babies are in school full time. I want to help my sister, let the cousins play outside in the sunshine all day long, camp, hike, swim, be with friends, cook with fresh veggies from the garden and just enjoy. I want more time to make giant monster cookies like the ones the girls and I made before all the chaos started….with 5 different kinds of candy in it. I'm going to soak it all up.
It is now June and I feel like summer is officially here. Everything is in bloom, windows are open and there is the delicious smell of lilacs floating through my house. It is a new week, a new month and after all my family has gone through these last couple weeks we are ready for the fresh start of summer.
Happy days are here again.