Wednesday, August 19, 2015

And It Begins.....

School. Is. Here. I'm not sure if we ever feel ready Moms, right? I mean the epic mountains we climb as parents just to get these little people ready for the year is overwhelming. Sports forms, schedules, driving (oh the ever loving traffic!), teacher forms, physicals, shopping, shopping, shopping, shoes, uniforms, textbooks (making sure you got the right ones ...cause if you don't....oy!)'s insane. Send in the caffeine.

I'm one of these people that after having multiple children for multiple years I like to be prepared. I order their books for the next school year the minute school is out in May. Prepared. No surprises that way and I can relax and enjoy the summer.  I try to get all the school supplies we will need for the year when they are the cheapest in July/August. I tote home bags and bags of what we will need at home for a fraction of the cost of what it would be if spread out throughout the year. Like any good mom I hide a lot of it from my 'crafters' who could and would blow through it in a matter of days.....and threaten their very existence if they touch what they can see. Great parenting. Our storehouses are brimming with markers, post-it's, tabs, folders, sharpies and the like.

We are ready. Even with a funeral and consequent ongoing closing of my mom's estate, we are ready. That is most of us. Here's to another year of successful brain input, encouragement and knowledge. Teachers you are amazing, remarkable and lifesavers of the best kind. We got this.....together.
5th, 6th and 7th grades. Sweet girls. They are doing so well. See the hugs? Genuine.

Now you see what they're really made of. I asked them to show me with their body language and facial expressions their opinion of the first day of school. Mei Mei is like, "I got worries." Blondie is excited, scared and ready to see her friends. She would go to school all year long. Then there's Nature Girl.....who would be content stay home and study science books all year. Forget that other stuff like math, reading and literature. Real life.

Itty Bitty 5th grader. This year we're also training gymnastics several hours a day. Fitting all of it in is going to take some flexing. You can pray for us. Oh and please excuse the weeds and bad grass. We're working on it. Or not. 

6th grade. Ready to see her friends, volleyball player, excellent student. ADORES school. LOVES schoolwork (except math). Artist in the making.

7th grade. All legs (try finding pants for this one!). Brilliant when she wants to be (said every mom ever!) Will work REALLY hard in science and history and tolerate everything else. Just being honest. She makes us laugh so much. Love this kid! Oh, and those feet? Size 10.

Happy Back to School 2015!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hard Summer

Today is Saturday. We go back to school this coming Monday.  Boy summer, you went by way too fast and frankly if we split it up....June you were great,  July you were not.

As hard as this was....this is a treasured, treasured moment.
We were supposed to go to Canada, meeting up with friends and having a reunion with the families that adopted girls from China the same time we did. We all traveled together those 9 years ago and we get together every few years to keep the relationships going. The night before our trip my mom, whom we affectionally call Mom Jo, texted me to ask if she could come over and say good-bye and bring the girls treats for the plane. She literally lived around the corner so her popping over was completely normal. Because it was late and one girl was already in bed I asked her to wait until morning....and come before we left for the airport. She agreed and that was that. She would be at our house at 9am.

About an hour later, as she was sitting at her kitchen table her aorta suddenly tore. Yes, an aorta can do that. (Remember John Ritter's sudden death? Same thing.) Mom Jo was able to call 911 and was taken by ambulance to our main hospital with them still not knowing what the real issue was. Until the next morning during emergency surgery did they find the torn aorta. Up until that point it was assumed she had an aneurysm that had possibly burst. An aortic rupture can be much worse.

God rewrote the story
Needless to say we did not get on that airplane (thank God we weren't en route when this happened!), and were immediately thrown into discussions about emergent surgery, hospice, aftercare, rehab and the like. My dad had died 20 years ago so Mom was dependent on us for help.She was awake in the morning and coherent. She asked for the surgery knowing it was going to be a really rough recovery and rehab, but she was all for it. We said our goodbyes and all prayed together before she went in.

Six hours later she was out of surgery and the proud owner of a new, mesh aorta. It was nighttime at this point and we were told she would wake up in 2-12 hours. We all went home to sleep and returned in the morning to find she hadn't woken up properly. In fact she never would. Six days later as we all gathered around, we sang every hymn she held dear. We prayed. We laughed and told stories.  My mom was completely surrounded by the people she loved the most and lived her days for. We held her hands as she passed from this earth into the glorious heaven that awaited her. She had fought her her race and her time here on earth was complete.

This was not how summer was supposed to be. We are grieving but ok. All the littles are doing well. Death is a part of life and as Christians we are surrounded by this truth on a daily basis. Because my mom knew Jesus we were and are comforted with the hope that surpasses all understanding and teaching this hope to all our littles has been an honor. We miss her terribly. The girls miss seeing her almost daily. She was such an integral part of all we do. The new normal is still being established but we are so very grateful for all our family and friends who walked this with us. Are we ready for the school year to start and the crazy to begin? No. Not at all. However I do know that there will be the same grace for this school year that our entire family felt throughout this ordeal. God is real friends.....and his presence has been keeping us. Thank you for your prayers!

I will treasure this picture. So many memories.

Good bye Mom Jo. We love you.