Friday, July 19, 2013

Just fun Stuff, man!

I love my sister!  Here she is overcome by how much I love her shoes.

I've never added a movie before and I did this on accident, but here you can see Bela in motion.  Now she is walking like a pro.

Bela picked up a Cosco-sized bag of chex mix from the bottom. " Oops, did I do that?"

The kid loves to eat.  Here she is with her first pizza crust.

Getting ready to take some memorable Mother-daughter-sister photots

aawww...isn't that special?

And now, for your enjoyment, the authenticity of the Speaks girls

She taught us everything we know...*tear*

OK, for reals

poor Jack feelin all left out and stuff

Her first real bath where she could get all wet without worries!

So that other picture was not the first time it happened.

At the library, the city's orchestra came with a lot of instruments.  Santi was one of only three kids that showed up, so he got special attention and was able to play all of the instruments for however long he wanted!

Daddy loves the library

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Never Forget

Summer is my favorite season.  The warmth alone could do it for me.  It's so stressful to me when it's cold to have to put on so much clothing.  If you leave the house without a scarf or jacket in the winter, you're miserable outside (of course, this doesn't happen much here in SoCal).  But I also love the long days, concerts and movies in the parks and beaches, bbqs, and just general, overall relaxing. The feeling that everyone is just supposed to have FUN!  Many people take vacations, and if my kids goes to bed a little later than usual, I don't worry about it.  It's summer!!!

I'm very mindful this summer, however, of what we were going through at this time last year.  I had just given birth to our second child two weeks earlier.  I was looking back at this blog from July last year and it started out just begging people for prayers for our daughter Bela.  I've been thinking back everyday this month, especially since Bela's birthday on the 5th.  We were in the NICU, confused and frustrated and scared.  She was getting sicker and sicker.  The drs. were testing her for many different diseases, viruses and infections.  After awhile, we just wanted a diagnosis, no matter how grim, so that the waiting could be over and so that we could get started on treatment.  Of course, now we know that the "waiting game" had only just begun.

Sometimes I wonder, would I have done anything differently?  What would that look like?  Should I have journaled more instead of watching TV? Would I have read my Bible more?  Taken (and posted) more pictures?  Should I have asked for more help?  Should I have felt sorry for myself and bought more iced blended mochas from the hospital coffee kiosk?

I know I wouldn't have done anything differently, because that's how it was done.  Now, if we were to have a relapse and had to go through it  a second time, well, of course, because we have experience, we would do things differently.  But do I regret what happened and how it happened? No.  I don't even regret not drinking those mocha frappes, because I'd probably be fatter and poorer than I am right now.

Even though it's not been long at all since things started to calm down (Bela came home in February and was declared cancer-free in April), it sometimes seems like just a blur.  Did that really happen? and to us?  And now I have thoughts like, Does Santi (our oldest) have cancer because he's complaining of a stomach ache?  Questions I never thought I would have, and it's scary still sometimes.  But we are different people now than we were a year ago.  And I hope, for the better.

God allowed us to go through this trial for many reasons, some of which I won't ever know.  But I know that we see His grace, mercy, and love everyday and we give all the glory to Him who has blessed us so much!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Bela celebrated her first birthday on Saturday July 6th.  We enjoyed a large party with awesome friends and family.  We were also celebrating the fact that she is now officially 100% cancer free!!!.  We are deeply grateful for all of the prayers, calls, cards, concerns, encouragement and support this past year from so many loved ones around the world!  
Kissin Cousins: Bela and her cousin Christopher

Bela "sharing" her first ice cream sunday with her brother on her real birthday the 5th

Bela and her close friend Lily who is also a cancer survivor! They met at the hospital and love playing together.

Our friend Don loved the lemonade so much he got some to-go

Bela with "Grandpa Bob", one of the awesome volunteers at Miller Children's!

Christopher loves to give kisses and hugs!

Our friends Sherwood, also a cancer survivor, presented Bela with her Cancer Survivor medal from the American Cancer Society

"Happy Birthday to you!"

She adores all of her cousins and here's another special moment with Kevin