Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thankful in the Calm

I’m sitting in bed with a hot chocolate on this “cold” winter night in Houston and feeling thankful for the current calmness in my life.  I’ve been reflecting on the year and oh, what a hurricane of a year it has been. With so many ups, downs, tears, laughs, hugs and cries it has most definitely been a year of new normals in the Davis/Nottebart/Holmgren family and it feels as though we've been ravished by the strong side punch of a Cat 5 hurricane (you gotta live in the south to know what that means).  This week, however, it's as though we are sitting in the eye of that hurricane.  There's a stillness, a peace and a beauty in the disaster. 
In our first 9 months of marriage my husband and I have already experienced a lifetime.  We've buried one of his cousins,  buried another of his friends, my step father was diagnosed with cancer and his cousin and one of the groomsmen at our wedding was diagnosed with lymphoma and has been in a medically induced coma for weeks. All this while embarking on our own journey to bring a new life into this world.  Life has brought us so far in our first year that those "First year married couple" arguments about where to put the furniture are so miniscule that they never really had an effect on us.  We've had our moments of course as we are not perfect people but I will say that I have already learned in the first year of marriage how important conceding in an argument is, saying Im sorry is, saying I love you is, compromising is and above all just unconditionally loving someone is.  I have zero doubts that I married the right man.  He has been my everything this year.
 Adjusting to pregnancy was another hurdle for me.  Seems like each new day has brought its own new hormones and each new week its own new ache or pain. I even broke down crying one night when my husband farted ya'll.   All out tears. Hahaha.  Needless to say, he didn’t see that coming. Let me tell you ladies, to anybody who might be wondering…..being pregnant at 22 is completely different than being pregnant at 33! I can attest to that for sure.  While I have gained about ½ the weight I did with my first pregnancy (31 with KJ and to date 14 with Brynn), I feel every bit of these 14 pounds in every inch of my body.  My back doesn’t work, my legs don’t work, my brain doesn’t work, my feet hurt and I can’t stay up passed 9.  It’s treacherous.
My step-father as you know has been battling Stage 4 Mestastic Melanoma and to say that diagnosis shook our family to the core would be an understatement.  Naturally, he began his journey at MD Anderson only to waste weeks feeling as though he was written off as a lost cause.  With over 40 small melanoma brain tumors, it seemed MD Anderson was uninterested in attempting any treatment options.  That led my mother and step father on a cross country journey, first, through a cancer treatment center in Oklahoma and then finally at a facility in Hershey, Pennsylvania that specialized in Melanoma treatment.  It was there they finally met a team of doctors that treated them like humans and not a diagnosis.  They decided this would be there new home base and over the next 6 months commuted between Houston and Pennsylvania countless times even renting an apartment for 6 weeks at one point in order to receive treatment options.  Though we are thankful for the physicians and the opportunity to be treated, the months have not been easy.  Currently there has been no change in his status.  The tumors are no worse than they were when they were discovered but they are also no better.  Given the dire outlook of 3-6 months to live that Google gives you when you look up metastic melanoma, we sit here at almost a year post diagnosis with thankful hearts knowing that it could always be worse. 
There have been some silver linings in this stormy season though.
My family welcomed in a new baby in November, my nephew Greyson, which has my brother adjusting to life a father and my sister in law still home on maternity leave left to figure the whole motherhood journey out.  Each week we all watch in awe at how baby G changes as if we’ve never seen a baby before.  Lol.  In our defense we’ve never seen THIS baby before. We cherish the infant times cause we know they are soon over. 
So here I sit, 9 days before we celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and all the crazy has subsided and there is a peace and a calm within my family.    There is for once nothing going on.  I relish in that tonight.  Sometimes we miss the mundane life. It’s nice to have it back even if it’s just temporary. My husband and I are happy going into this holiday season knowing that our son will be in town, our daughter will be home by our side and our baby will be happily growing getting ready to take this world by storm and for this moment in time…all will be right with the world. My mom and stepdad are home for the foreseeable future, we are no longer anxiously awaiting the arrival of Greyson at any  moment it’s a just a good week around these parts.
Though the eye of the hurricane is peaceful and calm, if you have lived through a hurricane you well know that the back side of the storm awaits.  I am not naïve enough to think our challenges are over.   My stepdad’s journey through cancer is ongoing and who knows what awaits us in the coming year. My brother is now faced with the stress of parenthood and realizing that he is totally, utterly and completely responsible for another human being. My sister in law will undoubtedly meet a new nemesis in the form of an emotion that all working moms meet sooner or later….Guilt.  It’s a beast isn’t it moms.  Before motherhood I never quite new the power of that emotion and what it could do to you. Pray for her to be at ease as she wraps up maternity leave and heads back to work this coming year.  It's a hard thing to do. 
My baby shower is around the corner which means my baby is as well.    The anxiety, restlessness and exhaustion will soon set in awaiting baby Brynn. Luckily this time around my schedule is so jam packed all the time the weeks are flying by.  That being said as the dates on the calendar flip by, I am reminded of the “baby blues” I went through after having Kaily 10 years ago. Did any of ya'll go through that? Like not post pardum.  It wasn't that serious, just a lot of crying as my hormones re-adjusted after giving birth. I remember it well and to think about going through it again makes me nervous. I suppose I am just over analyzing things the way we women do.  This time will be different. My husband will be in the mix during it all. Pray for him as I’m sure I’m not a cakewalk to deal with all the time (or any of the time).
The new year will bring new joy, new pain, new challenges and new memories, but for tonight and for the ensuing days ahead I just want to put it all out of my head and drink this now luke warm cup of cocoa. J
Yes tonight…..I am thankful for the calm…..and those are my inside thoughts.