In my Christmas letter last year, I think I mentioned something about hoping 2013 was a bit more calm than 2012 was. I think we accomplished that task! Whew!
We had a busy year, but still found lots of time to just BE a family. Sean and I also found a chunk of time to take a no kids vacation with Mike and Sarah...and that vacation was so unreal...oh my gosh...it will be a vacation we will never forget. We got away over spring break as well when we spent a week in Florida with the Knutsons. It was Wesley and Cason's first time seeing the ocean and being at the Florida house. Such special memories are always made on our Florida vacations. :)
Cason turned 2 at the beginning of the year. TWO!!! I can't even believe my baby is 2...and almost 3 now! He is amazing...simply amazing.
Cason's story was featured in a video for Family Resources and shown at the annual Opening Doors Gala which we were honored to attend. It's such a great organization...we just can't say enough about their staff and all they do for our community. It's our pleasure to support them in any way we can.
Wesley completed his first year of preschool and Tate completed Kindergarten. They both had great years and learned and grew so much! It's amazing to watch your kiddos learn new things! They both had wonderful teachers who worked wonders with them. They were actually sad for the school year to end.
We spent the first couple weeks of summer spending lots of time with DeCooks...Tate and Ava had countless sleepovers. We LOVE that our best friends are teachers and have the summers free to spend lots of time with. It's pretty awesome. :) Then, they kept Cason for 10 days while we vacationed! They are amazing friends for sure! Wesley got to spend that 10 days with his previous foster family whom he adores and Tate got to split his time between his Nana and Papa P's house and his Nana and Papa S and aunts and uncles in Muscatine. The boys had a great time during that 10 days while we went to Florida for a couple of days before leaving for our 7 day cruise. We cruised to Mexico, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We swam with dolphins and sting reys, we zip lined and climbed over 600 feet of waterfalls, we relaxed and ate way too much. It was simply perfect.
We were so thrilled to be reunited with our boys upon our return and looked forward to the rest of the summer of just enjoying our time together before the school year started again for the big boys...and by big boys, I mean Sean too! In August, he started graduate school to become a Nurse Practitioner. It's proven to be a challenge for all of us, but we'll get into a groove.
With August brought 1st grade for Tate, Wesley's last year of preschool and Cason WALKING!!!! He defied all odds and took off in August. It was the highlight of my year for sure! He is now RUNNING everywhere! Tate turned SEVEN and Wesley turned FIVE! It's still so unbelievable to me that in a couple of weeks, we will have a 3, 5 and 7 year old. And they are all going to eat us out of house and home. We had better win the lottery before they become teenagers so we can afford to live. Ha.
Cason's story was also featured again on Family Resources annual letter they send out to their donors and we have recently been asked if we would be willing to have United Way create a video which will feature Cason's story to be posted on their website. That will take place in 2014. He is becoming a little star! Ha.
Wesley has had a couple of concerning lab results, but with some medication adjustments, we have been able to keep things on track with his health for the time being. Blood draws continue to be a bit of a challenge as many of his veins have become calcified. We have avoided a port though and hope that we will be able to avoid that for as long as possible and hopefully forever! We pray that he stays healthy and again has another year of no hospital stays.
Sean starts his 2nd semester of school in a couple of weeks and we have lots of fun things planned for 2014! Looking forward to all that is ahead!
We hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and have a blessed 2014! Much love to each of you!!!