Saturday, January 29, 2011

Something I haven't done in awhile...

I'm about three years behind on my thank you notes. Which I say and admit with a great deal of shame. I used to be so on the ball with those type of things and then I had twins and I pretty much haven't written a thank you note since then, even though I have a huge list of people that I am so incredibly thankful for and blessed to have in my life.

Now that life has calmed down some (meaning no more grad school and the babies are slightly more self sufficient) I'm trying to rectify my past bad behavior and keep on top of current thank you notes and catch up on those I'm behind on.

Last night I decided I needed to get the thank you notes out to all the people who provided my family dinner in the days following Emerson's hospital stay. So I pulled out my scrapbooking supplies, which haven't been touched in at least 4 years. Marcus looked at me wearily (because he had to haul it all downstairs for me) and said, "It would be easier if you just bought thank you notes."  Which, while true also goes against my new money saving/pay off debt goal for the year so I spent two hours creating some basic thank you cards and trying to use up some of the obscene amount of paper and ribbon I own.

I used the same template for every card (because I wasn't feeling overly creative).

And while watching 50 First Dates with Marcus (He's currently re-watching every Adam Sandler movie in the order they were released) and created about 25 thank you cards all for the cost of zero dollars.

I felt pretty satisfied with that. Packed up my supplies (to keep the babies out) and went to bed. 

This morning I had a three hour meeting at work and I was informed that my keeping the babies out plan was not full proof. Eli found my scissors and somehow managed to cut a hole in his shirt (I waiver back and forth between be grateful he wasn't hurt with the scissors and slightly impressed that at 20 months he managed to cut a pretty symmetrical hole in the middle of his shirt). 

Then Emerson found some hard, round, alphabet stickers and decided they were candy so Marcus had to fish the alphabet out of her mouth. (I also found the letter I on her stomach when I undressed her this evening to get her pajamas on. She was pretty excited about that discovery).

At the same time Eli managed to get a few stickers stuck to his fingers, and since he hates anything on his hands he was waving them around and shrieking as he frantically tried to get them off. 

Oops, I guess I'll need to pack things up a little better next time, but at least I made some progress in the thank you note area. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eli has a new trick and I'm not amused...

this morning we found him in his crib without his pajamas on and without a diaper and he made a mess everywhere.

Marcus just texted me and told me that when he laid him down for a nap the same thing happened. So now what do we do? How do we keep the boy in his diaper? This is not good, not good at all.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Christmas tree is its own kind of...

Christmas miracle.  Here's why:

~ We bought our first live tree November 29, 2010
~We took down our live tree January 2, 2011
~ We don't have a truck so said tree has been standing in our garage for the last 22 days
~ It has not been watered in at least 27 days
~ The tree is still very much alive. It's not brown, the needles are not falling off, it's not dry.

It's just standing there alive and Eli & Emerson still love it. Every time we go in the garage they still run up to it waving saying, "hi tee"

I think all the love from Eli & Emerson is possibly why it's still living. I have heard that plants do respond to  talking and such. Who knows Marcus & I are curious as to how long this thing can possibly live. We've had it in our possession for almost 2 months now. Our very own Christmas (tree) miracle.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back to the real world...

and now I'm really tired. I've had the last 10 days or so off from work as we all recovered from our various illnesses. Today was my first day back (aside from a couple of hours at the office on friday) and I'm exhausted.

Sunday mornings are always crazy and this one was particularly insane because I was a little confused about what was going on since I had been away for so long. So I was trying my best to look in charge and in command and then I mostly faked it a lot.

Then I had my first confirmation class today. I have a great group of 10 youth that I'll be working with for the next several months and helping them explore their faiths. I love teaching but again because I had been out all week it was another one of those things that I was faking.

Then I rushed home before our Financial Peace University that we're taking at another church. The church we're taking the class at is very different from my own. It's, well... it's a mega church and much more conservative than I am (as in they don't ordain women (and I'm a woman seeking ordination) and they don't like gays two big issues for me) but I figured the class is mostly about money and written by Dave Ramsey so I just ignore those parts of it since it's not as thought I'm joining the church or anything (I don't think they would want me anyways).

Today though they were having a baptism and they had a really big tank that looked like a bushel, then they filled it up with a hose. Then there was a ton of cheering throughout the baptism that I could hear from the classroom. Marcus whispered to me, "I think Jesus just entered the building." haha it's a learning experience for the two of us to be in such a different space and environment. (When I baptized my nephew a few months ago it was not nearly as exuberant and we didn't have a hose in the sanctuary).

Then after that I had a church retreat planning meeting that lasted for 3 hours and I didn't get home until 7pm.

Yup... I'm back to the real world.

Plus my tutoring job kicks into full gear this week. Oh my....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh Emerson...

Last night was awful. Both babies went to bed at 7 just like usual and both immediately went to sleep (since they skipped their nap). Around midnight Emerson woke up screaming, which is incredibly unusual for her. She pretty much never wakes up at night (whereas Eli still wakes up every single night).

I went in and got her and brought her back to our bed hoping that she would fall asleep. Then I got up and put her back in her crib. As soon as I set her down she started screaming again, but I was rubbing her head and that calmed her and I was again hopeful that she would fall asleep.

I slowly backed out of the room and once I left completely she started screaming again. So I brought her back to our bed where she proceeded to just stare at me until around 4:30 in the morning. I'm not kidding it was the weirdest thing ever, she just laid there, awake, staring.

Finally, at 4:30 she fell asleep and I carried her back to bed for the last time not surprisingly she then slept in until 10:30. Which isn't surprising considering she spent her evening staring at me. It was so weird and random and it better not be a recurrent event. Now today I can hardly function and tomorrow marks my entry back to work after being out sick for the last week. Please let her sleep tonight.

Also poor Eli on one of my attempts at getting her back to sleep in her crib he tiredly stood up and looked around confused at all the noise. I darted out the room before he saw me and he dropped back down to sleep.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just like daddy...

Right now Eli is Marcus' little shadow. Where ever Marcus goes Eli isn't too far behind, it's actually really adorable. Eli is also really starting to mimic everything we do especially the things that Marcus does. So today after Marcus was finished playing a game on his xbox. Eli picked up the controller, put the headset on his head (the best he could it's sticking straight out).

He was just like his daddy and he was so proud and really cute. 

Shifting notes Emerson and Eli had their follow up doctor appointment this morning. Eli is just fine and has gained over a pound in the last few months. Emerson on the other hand has lost some weight in the last two month (it's yet to be seen if this is problematic) and her oxygen levels still weren't great hovering around 90 and 91.

Her lungs are sounding much better thought and unless she spikes another fever or her breathing worsens again all we can do is wait it out. I really hope she feels much better soon. I know she feels awful, I know this and I truly feel awful for her. But holy cow I've been holding her pretty much non-stop for about the past 10 days.

If she's not in my arms she's screaming. It is seriously wearing on me in a big way. I wish she would at least let her dad have a turn or better yet just lay on her own for a moment. 

Oddly, enough though the doctor heard a murmur in Eli which is strange (and I'm not sure I believe him) because no one has ever mentioned such a thing except the traveling nurse once when he was 5 weeks old. As such it's hardly even worth mentioning but they're going to listen again at his 2 year well baby check up. (I guess if you can call it a "baby" check up when they're two *tear* they're getting so big). 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So well taken care of...

I have to say in the wake of Emerson's illness and hospitalization I am so touched by all of the help and care we've received. Not only did my brother and sister immediately step up to help with Eli the first night, but then my mother-in-law drove over to help and she went grocery shopping for us (which is huge if you've read my issues with meals, grocery shopping etc).

Then my mom came and cleaned our house from top to bottom and did all of laundry. Plus the parishioners at my church have been amazing. We've had a meal delivered to us each night this week. I've had calls from others asking if there's anything they can do, many prayers and even heart shaped corn bread :~)

Many have stepped up to fill in for many of my duties which included preaching last sunday, youth group responsibilities and sunday school planning and organization. I even had an offer from someone to write my newsletter article for me. Although she wanted me to call her and tell her what to write so I figured that the whole thing might be kind of counter productive but it was a nice thought.

It's nice to know that if and when we need help and support we have a whole community ready to step in and assist. We also had someone pay the fee for Marcus' urgent care visit since he's currently without insurance and we had to pay out of pocket. So many incredibly blessings and we are so very thankful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The whole story...

Now that things have calmed down a bit and we're back home I'm going to write about our hospital expereince in more detail, mostly just for myself, so feel free to not read.

We pretty much expected Emerson to get RSV since Eli had it the previous week and it's so contagious. Eli's case while scary with the wheezing and the fever overall wasn't too horrible and he seemed to come out of it okay. So when on Monday Emerson started with a runny nose and low grade fever we figured it was maybe starting.

However, what threw us for a loop was her breathing never looked as bad as Eli's and her fever never got very high. For the first few days motrin seemed to keep it all in check and she was mostly fine. Wednesday evening we seriously debated taking her into the ER, we went back and forth, but after a bath and some medicine she seemed better and she slept okay that night. (In hindsight I could just kick myself for not trusting my instincts and taking her in).

Finally, on thursday she was just a whole different baby. No energy, incredibly lethargic, she just laid limp in my arms (I also called in sick to work on thursday because I was so sick). So together Emerson and I just laid on the couch all day.

We called the doctor to see if they had an open appointment but they didn't so around 4:30 we finally made the decision to bring her to the ER. Since I was so sick, and Eli was still awake and running around, we decided Marcus would take Emerson and I would stay with Eli. (We were only in the ER with Eli for 3 hours so we were hoping/expecting something similar).

Things, however didn't go as we expected. When Marcus finally got her into the ER her oxygen levels were really low and she couldn't keep them up. At this poing Marcus texted me that they were starting her on oxygen, and I immediatly wanted to get to the hospital. Especially after he texted me this picture:
My poor baby was so sick and so scared and she prefers me to Marcus (and Eli prefers Marcus right now). So I wanted to get to the hospital. I called my sister but she was at work, but luckily my brother was on his way home from work and offered to take Eli and give me a ride to the hospital. (And I was grateful we had an extra carseat at our house since we only have one car).
My brother then took Eli to his house, which I'm sure was an adventure for both of them. When I asked where Eli would sleep my brother said he would just put some pillows around him on the bed. I laughed and informed him that if he put Eli on a bed Eli would just jump. Then my brother thought Eli would sleep in a newborn cradle that he has, I then reminded my brother that Eli is 20 months old haha.

While I was on my way to the hospital they did two chest x-rays on Emerson (the first one wasn't clear enough) and Marcus said the x-ray machine terrified her, so when I walked in she pretty much jumped into my arms.

As we waited, even on the oxygen Emerson's levels were too low and they kept having to turn up her o2, by the end of the night she was on 2 liters and still struggling to maintain her levels.

They also tried to start an IV to get some antibiotics in her. They tried 6 different times with 3 different nurses and kept blowing her veins. Emerson was hysterical, scared, bloody and bruised on both arms, both hands, and both feet and it was so awful to see her like that and not be able to do anything. Finally the ER nurses decided to try giving the antibiotic orally and the peds. department could reevaluate the IV.

We later learned that she had RSV, the flu, pneumonia, and ear infections and she was going to be admitted. Then we just sat in the ER for hours waiting for our room. (Why does it take so long to get admitted)?

We finally went up to peds. around 11:30pm and quickly discovered we'd be sharing the tiniest room ever with another little boy who also had RSV. At this point Emerson was exhausted and scared and when I tried to lay her down in the crib she freaked out. She would not let go of me for anything, so out went the crib and in came a regular bed that either Marcus or I could sleep in with her.

Marcus and I were trying to get her changed into her gown while navigating the oxygen wire and monitor wires and he said, "I'm having some flash backs" and indeed much of this was flash back inducing. The constant beeping of the monitor when her o2 levels dropped was very reminiscent of our NICU days, the navigating of the wires also a reminder of those days. 
I finally got her dressed and calmed down and around 1:30am she finally fell asleep. At that point either Marcus or I needed to go home and since I was still feeling so sick, literally could not function, felt like death kind of sick, I made the incredibly difficult decision to go home so I could be better use to Emerson in the morning.

It was an awful feeling having to leave her knowing how scared and sick she was but I physically could not have stayed in the hospital that night. I went home to my empty house (Eli was with my sister at this point and we decided since I was going back to the hospital first thing in the morning to leave him with her) and it felt so wrong. I took medication and tried to sleep the best I could, and then on Friday morning drove back to the hospital.

I stayed with her all the next two days and two nights since I felt slightly better and Marcus felt worse. My mother in law drove down to help with Eli and then my mom came as well so Eli was very well taken care of, although incredibly confused.

Then it was a lot of laying with her in the bed. Trying to keep liquids in and constantly watching her o2 levels as they dipped and rose. 

I am happy to report that through it all she was the same feisty little girl that we know and love. Who tore off every bandaid they tried to put on and tried to remove the monitor every second possible (which is what she did in the NICU even at 3 pounds).

Also even though she didn't really eat much at all while we were in the hospital she has recently insisted on complete independence in regards to food. So when the hospital brought her an entire tray of food 3 times a day she had to feed herself.
The bed was filthy and so was she but she tried and ate about one bite of each tray and the rest of it ended up in the bed with us. 
Her beloved (super dirty) piggy was also a great source of comfort during her stay and many of the doctors she liked the best first did the procedure on piggy (like listening to piggy's heart and lungs) and then listening to Emerson's. Or giving piggy bites of food and drinks so Emerson would eat some too.

My poor sweet baby.
I'm so happy we were only there for three nights and I hope we all continue to get well soon and we never ever have to return to the hospital. 

I'm also trying to not feel so guilty, but we were so careful and vigilant last winter about washing hands and keeping the babies healthy to avoid RSV and this year we just didn't. I know as toddlers they're already harder to protect (since they like to lick and eat things) but I still wish we would have done more.

Have I mentioned how much I hate our insurance...

Yes I know I have but it's an ongoing issue.  I hate hate hate the insurance coverage that Eli & Emerson have it sucks. Today I was calling the doctor to make some follow up appointments for them to see how they're doing. No big deal right?

Yeah, no big deal if you don't have the worst insurance in the universe. I called and apparently their primary care provider listed on their card no longer works at that clinic. So the clinic could not make them an appointment until we called the company and had them assign a new PCP. Okay fine. So I spent a freaking hour trying to get it all switched around just so Eli & Emerson could be see. Then I had to call the clinic back to confirm that the switch was actually in place and they did in fact have an appointment. 1.5 hours to schedule a doctor appointment isn't unreasonable at all right? argajkfjaljdf!!

There was also some mention about needing to alert somebody about ER visits and hospital stays. Apparently we're suppose to the call their PCP 24 hours afterwards. Too bad the PCP listed on their card didn't exist. Their insurance better cover Eli's ER visit and Emerson's hospital stay. Argggg why does it have to be so ridiculous?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We're home...

all still sick (except Eli) but we are home. We all took a 5 hour nap this afternoon and Eli is relieved to have us back.

When we first arrived home Eli immediately put on his jacket and grabbed his shoes. Poor boy thought we were going to immediately leave again and he wanted to be included this time.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers it has been a very long 3 days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Night 3...

We're onto night 3 in the hospital and we've finally had some improvement. They weaned her off oxygen this afternoon and assuming she can stay off of it all night then we'll more than likely be discharged sometime tomorrow (sunday).

Marcus and I are also both still really sick so we each went to urgent care today in shifts and now we're both on antibiotics as well. Hopefully sometime soon we'll have a totally healthy household.

Poor Eli is hanging in there. Every time he wakes up he has someone new watching him. He's been with my brother, my sister, my mother in law, and now my mom. I finally saw him briefly today and when I walked in the door he clapped, yelled, and ran to me. He's so confused and keeps looking for Emmy. My poor babies.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another night...

We'll be spending another night in the hospital. Hopefully tomorrow she'll be able to keep her oxygen levels up a little more.

Emerson is in the hospital...

she was admitted for RSV, pneumonia, and double ear infections. She's currently on oxygen and is just one very sick girl. I'm too exhausted (and also sick) to write more, but I would appreciate any thoughts or prayers that she gets well soon and gets to come home ASAP.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I don't think we're ever going to get well..

I feel like we all just keep passing the illness from one person to the next. Eli seems to be doing better. Still has an awful cough and runny nose but his breathing sounds better and he has more energy. Now Emerson is sick, and when she's sick she is the most dramatic over the top baby I have ever seen.

She clings to whoever is around, she cries and screams, and it's just exhausting. For the last several days I have had her in my arms pretty much non-stop when I'm home, and I think thanks to all the "togetherness" she has given me whatever they have which is just manifesting itself if sinus pain and body aches.

I haven't slept in what seems like several days and I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by kleenex trying to decide if I should just call it a day, since my productivity is zero.

I'm ready for us all to be well.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Random Tidbits...

1.) Eli is still sick but he seems to have a little bit more energy. He still isn't really eating though so in solidarity Emerson has decided that she will also forgo eating.

2.) Thus far Emerson is not sick with RSV (yet??) although she did throw up tonight. I have no idea what that's about.

3.) I hate laundry and it's never done.

4.) Today Eli & Emerson are 20 months old (a real monthly post to come later). Emerson is getting much better at repeating things we say. It's really cute to hear her mimic things. Her vocabulary has improved significantly too. She says hi, tree (as in "hi tree" to the christmas tree), Puppy, and dada. (Yes four words is an improvement).

5.) I have some serious decisions to make about work in the next several months, and I'm torn on what to do.

6.) Despite taking 12 pills a day my crohns is not being very nice to be this week. I don't know how bad it needs to be before it warrants another doctor visit (that will probably be pre-existing as far as my insurance goes).

7.) My insurance sucks and yesterday I spent several hours trying to figure out why they think everything is a pre-existing condition and why they didn't cover much of endoscopy. I miss Yale health where we paid zero dollars for everything the last 3 years. I think it's ruined my expectations of insurance.

8.) I still haven't planned any meals.

9.) I miss my friends.

10.) I whine a lot as evident by this list.

Good night.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ER Visit and RSV...

My little Eli is sick. He's been sick forever it seems and was just finally starting to get better when yesterday he took a turn for the worse. He's had a fever, a crazy bad cough, and today he was wheezing and having trouble breathing.

Those who follow this blog at all know that we have the most messed up insurance situation in the universe  and no doctors will see them. We tried calling the university clinic where we went before but nobody answered the phone. We checked all the urgent cares in the city none of them accept our insurance, so finally around 5:00 we decided we just had to go to the ER.

We were there for around 3 hours. They gave him a breathing treatment which didn't really do much and they gave him motrin which helped get his fever down from 102. However, when we left his wheezing was still pretty bad and is O2 levels weren't great. The doctor did decide to let us go home but we need to watch all night and make sure it doesn't get any worse or we have to go back in.

They gave us a prescription for a steroid which is also suppose to help, but surprise we had trouble finding a place to actually fill it because of our insurance. Poor boy I hope he feels better soon, and I know this is wishful thinking but I really hope Emerson can avoid catching it.

I'm also grateful that he's older this RSV season. We were so scared about RVS last year (even with the synagis shots) I just hope he improves quickly and we don't need to return to the hospital.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm slightly helicopter-esque...

So I made that word up but I realized yesterday, much to my dismay, that I have a tendency to hoover around the babies. We took them to an indoor play area yesterday because they needed to get out of the house and the first thing that happened when we got there is Eli was knocked down.

Which honestly was fine. It was a total accident and those things happen. Then more and more kids kept arriving. Kids who were well over the 42 inch height requirement, and kids who decided the "no shoe" rule didn't apply to them. Then instead of actually parenting these kids adults took out their phones and started having conversations all the while their taller then 42 inch terrors are running like a bunch of maniacs around my tiny 30 inch children.

Eli & Emerson were very much the babies in the area and they were almost plowed over about 7,000 times. Then a little boy who was probably around 4 decided that Emerson was his new favorite thing ever and he wouldn't leave her alone. He kept trying to pick her up, she would give him a look and march off, and he would just follow. This on it's own was annoying but add in his constant coughing right into Emerson's face and it nearly sent me over the edge.

I kept sending looks over to the little boys dad so he could see his son trying to hoist my child around but he was happily engrossed in his phone conversation (seriously someone could have taken his son and he would have had no idea for at least 5 minutes). I kept grabbing both babies and bringing them to new areas to explore but the kid just followed right along, coughing into her face saying, "baby, baby here" as he tried to push her or pick her up.

Eventually, we just had to leave. Between the taller than 42 inch terrors and the coughing kid who was obsessed with Emerson it was just too much to take.

Maybe I'm just too uptight still (more therapy?) or maybe parents should you know parent, instead of talking on their phones while their kids tear apart a play area. They did have fun going down the slide though when the other kids weren't jumping off it yelling, "GET OFF MY HOUSE". *sigh*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emerson loves her brother...

Emerson likes to take care of her brother, she often brings him his blanket when he's eating his bottle, but the most recent example is the best. Eli has a really bad diaper rash, that we think is mostly caused by using a different brand of diaper. It was so bad yesterday the poor boy couldn't sit down and he was just screaming. Diaper changes were their own kind of torture.

Yesterday I was holding him and he was crying and Emerson brought over some of her snack. Then she brought over his blanket, then when he was crying during a diaper change she stood next to him and rubbed his hair and then gave him a hug. It's so incredibly adorable.

Want to hear something lame?

I've never been grocery shopping without Marcus. I'm 26 years old, I've been married for 7 years, I have a masters degree, and I would rather have a colonoscopy than go grocery shopping. (haha I threw that colonoscopy thing in there because I've discovered that since being diagnosed with Crohns people get very uncomfortable at the mention of the procedure. I find that hilarious since at some point every single person will have one, or at least they should. So to freak people out I just throw it out there from time to time. Eh, it's just something that must be done and lucky me I got to start much younger than most. No big deal.)

Anyways sorry to digress but at least with the colonoscopy you get some nice drugs and which leads to sleep in the end. Not so with grocery shopping. It used to be that grocery shopping was one of the biggest causes of my anxiety and there were a couple of occasions that I had a full blown anxiety attack in a grocery store. I've discussed the root cause and all of this nonsense in therapy and have coping skills (and medication). Yet, I still haven't actually gone grocery shopping alone because I hate it.

But since one of my resolutions is to get a grip on our food/meals I think I'm going to need to suck it up and try it. So now I've confessed how lame I am maybe the public humiliation will move me to action (or not). We'll see. First I need a meal plan...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 Events/Memories in 2010...

1.) Our crazy flying adventure in February to get home for my sisters wedding. Because of the snow storms back east our flight kept being cancelled and we ended up with a crazy route which took us to North Carolina for an overnight stop. The babies were so amazing on the trip, they never cried, they slept at the hotel and we made it in time for the ceremony. 

2.) Graduations! I finished my masters degree and Marcus graduated with his bachelors really fun amazing memories were made during our three years of school in Connecticut. 

3.) Eli & Emerson's 1st birthday celebrated with our biggest support system and amazing Connecticut friends. I miss them all incredibly and I was glad that we had one last reason to celebrate (aside from graduation) before we all moved.

4.) Work. Not only did I finish an incredible internship this year I also started my first "real" job in a church. I'm excited to further the ordination process and eventually be appointed a church of my own.

5.) Our trip to Minnesota. We had such a great time with family that even puke fest 2010 didn't dampen the experience too much. 

6.) Forgiving my dad. It was a lot of work and I haven't forgotten the very real hurt he cause my family, but through my work in therapy I have reached a place of forgiveness. With that I feel an incredibly weight and burden lifted off my heart. It's still hard, and I still mourn for the family I should have, but I am also so grateful for the work of forgiveness. Theologically speaking forgiveness is something we spout off about all the time, but it's one of the most difficult things to actually do and live. It's a process, it takes time, and I didn't do it for my dad I did it for me and I feel a million times freer.

7.) The birth of my nephew Isaac. Although he isn't my first niece or nephew he's the first one that's been born since I've had time to heal from our infertility, my complicated pregnancy, my jacked up delivery, the NICU, PPD etc etc. For many many years babies have just been a source of pain and this has been true with the arrival of all of my most recent nieces and nephews (those 4 and under) and I can honestly say that with Isaac I only felt joy. Joy when I hold him, joy when I see him, joy at his arrival into the world. Thank the lord for more healing. 

8.) Therapy. I cannot say enough about my therapist and the gift that therapy gave me. Essentially they gave me my life back. I'm more independent and stronger emotionally and mentally then I've been in years. I can drive in a city! 3 years ago I would have thought that was impossible. 

9.) Meet my friend Jess in Boston. We've known each other for the past three years and it was nice to finally meet my internet friend in real life. Especially some one who has been "present" for all of the roller-coast of the last three years. 

10.) Watching the babies grow and turn into little people. Christmas this year was pure joy and magic. 

I had pictures to put with each of these things but blogger has informed me that I've reached my picture limit. So I need to look into that because if that's true and as Emerson now says, "wuht oh".