In February, Isaac turned 3 years old! We had an awesome birthday party for him with lots of friends and family and great food and cake and the magician was hilarious. The weather was perfect, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We were able to send over 100 little sea creature toys to CureSMA for their care packages, thanks to all of the donations! That month, we also managed a 'random perfect weather in February for the zoo' trip. Isaac and Natalie both rode the carousel and the train, and all of the animals were out enjoying the sunshine. Jeremiah and Natalie attended the Butterfly Kisses dance (a daddy-daughter dance), just like last year, while Isaac and I stayed home and watched Pete's Dragon. And of course, Isaac started preschool! Crazy!
|Watching the magician at his party
|Butterfly Kisses dance
|Epic Octonauts birthday cake- thank you Susan!
|First day of preschool for Isaac!
|A warmish February day at the park
March was a big month for our family. I started working at a nearby hospital in the University of Colorado Health system. It was a big decision, but since it was just PRN, it felt right for our family. The orientation was full time for two weeks, which was longer than I have been away from home and the kids in years. Jeremiah rescued a special little kitty from the junkyard. She is the sweetest thing and took an immediate liking to Isaac. We also bought an inflatable hot tub for Isaac to float and swim in, though I confess I have been in it much more than he has...
In April, several of Jeremiah's aunts and an uncle came to Colorado for a wonderful visit! None of them had met Natalie or Isaac yet, and it was so nice to have them here and spend quality time with them. We all went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, which was really neat and definitely a recommended excursion. Of course, we celebrated Easter with an egg hunt and some fancy egg decorating. Our neighbor, Virg, put her house up for sale, and we were so sorry to see her leave. We loved visiting her in the evenings and playing with her dog up on her front porch. Another neighbor passed away, and her house was sold to a really friendly man with a 6 year old. New neighbors all around!
|Easter egg hunt!
|At the Wild Animal Sanctuary
|Easter Sunday with the most beautiful family ever :)
As is true for any family with kids in school, May felt pretty much rushed and insane. School programs and recitals and...well honestly I just don't remember much of May. I do remember that Isaac received another injection of Spinraza, and it barely slowed him down at school the next day. Natalie played her first season of soccer. She loved it, but definitely preferred practice days to game days. Isaac took a field trip with his preschool to the Butterfly Pavilion. That was pretty much chaos, but he did get one to land on his head! After preschool ended for Natalie, she cried almost everyday for a week. She already missed her beloved Ms. Sheryl and was just so sad that she wasn't going to see her all of the time anymore.
|Natalie and her amazing preschool teachers, Ms. Tina and Ms. Sheryl. We love you!
|Isaac's new swing!
June was another busy and wonderful month. My family came from all over (Montana, Iowa, and Illinois), to spend a week up in Estes Park with my parents. I love all of them so much, and there isn't much better than seeing our kids all together. We attended a retirement party for Isaac's respiratory therapist. Monte has been an influential and much loved part of his team since day one, and he is already so very missed. But we wish him well!
|Monte! Don't go!
|Out for a walk with the cousins (minus one J.D.). They all make our big girl look so small!
|Enjoying the cooler evening weather, and stealing baseballs off the school diamond.
And then we come to July! Natalie had her fifth birthday! She asked to go to the Downtown Aquarium, so we celebrated with a mermaid show and then dinner at home with Grandma Sharon and my Aunt Pam and Uncle Neal. Jeremiah arranged a spectacular (but still legal and safe) firecracker/sparkler show for the 4th. My cousin Camille and Aunt Irene came by one evening just before my cousins Brendan and Amanda moved back to DC. I haven't seen Camille since our wedding, since she lives in Ireland. And now she is married and expecting a baby! It was a short visit, but I am so grateful they were able to make the stop by our house because I just love them all! In July, I also decided to apply for a full-time job at the new hospital that was buildtin Longmont, also part of the UCHealth system. I was offered the job, accepted, and started to mentally and emotionally prepare for the world of working away from home 5 days a week. I hadn't wanted to return to work full-time for another couple of years, but Jeremiah and I were constantly stressed about paying bills and stressed about my random PRN work schedule. This opportunity was too good to pass up, so I told God that I would just apply, and if it was a good choice for our family, I would get the job. If it wasn't the right time, I wouldn't get the job. Not long after I accepted the position, Jeremiah and I looked more into the parent CNA program that Isaac's nursing company offers. We decided that he would become a certified CNA in order to work from home as Isaac's CNA. And that brings us to August. But first, pictures!
|Natalie, Amanda, Camille, Irene, Jeremiah, and Isaac
|Our 5 year old!!!!
And so, August. I started my new job on July 31st. I should clarify that by full-time, I mean 6 hour days, not 8 hours. But still. It's a lot. Jeremiah also started his CNA training the first week of August, which was full-time for two weeks. During those two weeks, the kids also both had their first days of school! Thankfully, my parents were each able to come stay with us for a few days to help. Seriously, without them and Jessica, we wouldn't have been able to both be gone all day for two weeks. It was generally exhausting for everyone. Jeremiah takes his state certification test next Saturday, and he will soon be on the payroll as a CNA! At the hospital, we spent the month orienting to our brand new building and getting it ready for the state inspection. We opened one week ago, and I'm looking forward to getting busy at work!
|Natalie's second day of kindergarten, and Isaac's first day of preschool this year!
|End of summer splash park day!
Although it is only the first week of September, we have already had a lot going on. This past weekend, we took our first family trip to somewhere other than my parents' house. We drove to Grand Junction to see Skillet, courtesy of the organization Do It For the Love, who paid for our tickets, travel, hotel, and arranged a meet and greet with the band. My friend Chris nominated Isaac for the grant, and he was awarded one! Look up the organization if you get a chance. It was so cool, the concert was amazing, both kids behaved very well and fell asleep at the end (which is impressive, if you have ever heard Skillet). The trip went smoothly and gave me a little more confidence for traveling in the future. This Friday is Isaac's next muscle clinic appointment, which will be his first appointment without the great Monte. We will try to be really nice to his replacement, since she is probably under a lot of pressure to be awesome. To give you an idea, Jeremiah, Jessica, and I can't remember her name, and we call her "Not Monte." Isaac's next injection in this coming Tuesday, so please pray for it to go well!
The other, newest, biggest change for us is the news that our amazing nurse, Jessica, has been offered a job at a hospital. We are so happy for her, because we know that spending your entire work week in someone else's living room has to be challenging. We are all hoping that her schedule will work out that she can still work one day a week with Isaac, but that is all up in the air for now. Basically, Jessica has become part of our family. She has been with us for over two years, since Isaac was a baby. Natalie is always disappointed that we only see her four days a week. She is the only other person who we feel comfortable leaving Isaac alone with for more than an hour. To trust someone with your child's life is no small thing. She cares for him, knows him, advocates for him, challenges him, humors him, and loves him. I knew this day would have to come, and now that it has I am pretty much trying to avoid really dwelling on it. I get a little panicky when I think about what it will be like without her in our daily lives. So, please, pray for Jessica as she begins this new, exciting phase of her life. And pray for us that we will find the help that we need where we need it, and that Jessica will be able to visit us often. And Jessica, if you read this, look back at it often to remind yourself how appreciated and loved you are, and that our door is always open to you, and not just as Isaac's nurse.
|1/16 of a mile into our road trip to Grand Junction!