Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating One Year Home!

This past Saturday, October 25th, marked my mom being home for an entire year. For those of you who don't know, this is hugely significant to me and my family. In May 2013, my mom had a brain aneurysm and suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke. That's just a fancy medical term for saying that her brain started bleeding on itself after the blood vessel ruptured.

I thought a lot about what I might want to write in this post during my long run on Saturday morning. I prayed that I would have the right words because I didn't want to make it seem as though it was super dramatic to get attention or that I was bragging about myself and my sister or that my mom only survived because she had excellent doctors and nurses. Of course, she did have care from one of the top ten hospitals in the nation but even they admitted that they didn't think they could save her. So, as I was thinking on my run of what I wanted to write suddenly the answer seemed so clear to me: it's a celebration so why not celebrate?!

So, yeah, I could talk about the struggles during the past year because believe me there were plenty of them. Again, I get zero credit of that because God got us through it and Amanda did all the tough work by staying home with my mom since I had already started my full-time job. Not trying to be humble or throw a pity party but that is my true opinion because whatever little I may have helped with, it was all through God and His will.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted this to be a post full of celebrating the whole year since my mom had been home because we were fortunate enough to have those moments together that at one point, I thought we'd never have again. God has been nothing but good to us and He gets all the glory!

So, here's a little timeline of all the wonderful things we got to experience this past year!

November 2013: Thanksgiving!

December 2013: Christmas!

 It was such a joy to watch her unwrap her presents, and one of our best Christmases together so far!

And here's a silly one for good measure! 

February 2014: LAYLA :)

 And of course, WE GOT A PUPPY!!!!!

Also, can we please just talk about what a little bean she used to be! I was able to scoop her up in one arm and carry her around like a little football, those were the days! Whenever I look through old pictures of her when we first got her, I literally squeal with delight because I can't handle how adorable she was (is!). Ok sorry for my crazy dog-mom rant, moving on.

She also served as a perfect little alarm clock for my mom :) I mean who doesn't want to wake up to puppy kisses?!

April 2014: Amanda's Birthday and Easter! 

Lalalalaaaa she's gonna kill me for this one ;)

Anyway, my mom loved being able to celebrate Amanda's birthday with her and be a part of the surprise party! I took her shopping with me so that she was able to pick out her own gifts for Amanda and it was precious because afterwards my mom thanked me with tears in her eyes for allowing her to be part of it. 

Once the weather got nicer in the spring, we were able to take my mom for short walks outside as part of her therapy and allowing her to get some sun! And, yes, that is exactly what it looks like: me and Layla photobombing at our finest. 

May 2014: She Made It a Year! 

It was amazing that day because I got so many calls and texts from friends and family talking about how they found out exactly one year ago what had happened. It was truly so loving and kind! 

We celebrated that day by going to a little Greek Food Festival and filling up on gyros and baklava. If that doesn't say celebration then I don't know what does...

Summer 2014

In June, we were actually able to go on vacation to the beach! It was awesome for us to be able to get away and just spend some time together. What was even better was how far my mom had come to be able to travel, stay in a different house, and enjoy herself! In October when she first came home, there was no way she would have been able to go anywhere. Which was just more evidence of how far she has come! 

We also took fun little day trips during the summer around some of our favorite spots. Like Phipps! And based off most of these pictures, I think we can all figure out by now that I'm a little weird. 

Fall 2014

Another blessing throughout the past year is just little moments like this. My mom helping me bake in the kitchen, doing a small craft with us, or coming along to run errands to Target or Sam's Club. When I think back over the past year, yeah it's awesome to have the big milestones like holidays or vacation, but what truly pieces the past year together are the moments like this. The small ones that might get overlooked in the big picture but the ones you'll never forget. 

And this was taken the past Saturday on the 25th, after she had been home a whole year. We threw her a surprise party where all our family and friends came over to celebrate! She absolutely loved it and was so excited that we took the time to plan it out. 

So, all in all, looking over this past year we've been through a lot. Struggles and triumphs, arguments and apologies, tears and laughter but through everything we've loved one another and our God. It's times like this that make me reflect on how beautiful life truly is and how every day is such a gift! 

I'll leave you guys with this: today take a little extra time to be with those you love, to tell them how much they mean to you, or show them that you care. You never know what's around the bend so treasure the moments as they come! 

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