Looking back to a year ago, I could have NEVER imagined what the year would bring. I can honestly say that 2015 was the hardest year of my life. So many trials - my uncle's death, Leslie's illness, my dad's cancer diagnosis, and ultimately Leslie's death. I remember so vividly March 17th. Leslie was being transported to Kansas City and at that time we didn't know if she was going to make it, my dad got confirmation that he did have cancer, and I got news I failed my 3 hour glucose test. It felt like life couldn't possibly get any worse at that point.
While the year was overwhelmingly hard, there were some good moments. We found out we were having a sweet baby boy.
Zach finished his Masters degree in March and we got some exciting news at the end of March when received a new job! He has had half a year as the Dean of Academics and Admissions at his school and while it has been an adjustment for us all, I am SO SO proud of him and the job he does.
We spent a nice Easter in Kansas City so we could all visit with Leslie while she was in the hospital.
Our lives changed for the better on May 20th when Grant was born. Through the heartache to follow, he was an amazing ray of light in a dark time. God knew what He was doing when He sent Grant at that time.
I spent the summer on maternity leave and we all continued to fall in love with this angel.
Just two days before she passed away, we spent the day in NWA with Stephen, Leslie and the girls. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that would be the last time I would see her. The guys took the big kids swimming and she and I stayed back with the babies and just caught up on life and talked the way we loved to do. I wish I could have that one more time. I will always be grateful we had that last day together. I miss her every day.
In the days following Leslie's death, we got to spend time with family that we don't see nearly enough!
In August, I went back to work after 12 weeks off and Grant started daycare. It was sad and I miss those days at home, but we have all adjusted well.
In September, Ava turned seven!!!
We also spent a weekend at the lake and had a great time!
October was also when #rockstarreed was born!!!
We also celebrated Halloween with a mummy, Captain Jake, and an Olympic gymnast!
November was a quiet month with just a lot of cuteness from the kids!
Grant learned to sit up!
This may be one of the most favorite pictures of my three kids!
We got back our family photos and I was in love!!
December was filled with many of our family traditions, such as seeing Santa Claus and taking a ride on the Holiday Express at the park to look at the lights!
Grant had his surgery right before Christmas.
We celebrated Grant's first Christmas!!
So while 2015 was filled with great heartache, God was still in the midst and He was and STILL IS good. We still have happy memories that we will take from this year, though the hardness and sadness will be part of us forever. My kids have grown up a lot this year in regards to dealing with three deaths. That's produced A LOT of questions about death, dying, Jesus and Heaven. But I also think this year was the perfect example of the circle of life. God gave and God took away. And while I hope 2016 has much less heartache, we're ready for whatever comes, because it's our life and it's our story.
Happy New Year! May 2016 be a year filled with happiness and blessings for each of you!