Trying to Catch up.....
I realize as I sit down to write this blog today that I am very far behind on everything that has happened over the last few months. I really feel like I could write a huge book if I had the time.
I didn't finish writing about our December trip to NIH like I wanted to, so here it goes...
A Condensed Version of Days 4, 5 and 6:
On the evening of the 4th day, we went on a bus to the Double Tree Hotel with all of the families from the Children's Inn. The hotel had a very beautiful and newly renovated lobby and restaurant. The hotel had roped off an area just for us and prepared a special meal selection. It was delicious! We were treated like royalty. It was a very nice break from reality for a few hours. The next morning we met with Dr. Ashok Asthagiri, the very young and brilliant neurosurgeon heading up the NF2 Study at NIH. He went over all of Jacob's scans with me and discussed his concerns. We talked about what he wants to watch and what could be done in the future. I will write a post dedicated to Jacob's medical findings on another day. I want this post to be 100% positive. Later that afternoon, after our 3 hour meeting with Dr. A., Jacob, Gavin and I took our second trip into D.C. on the Metro Subway. This time we were more prepared for the escalators, stairs and walking. I took a chest baby carrier and an umbrella stroller. We went the long way (walking, of course) to the Washington Monument, alongside the Mall and saw the Lighting of the Christmas Trees. Obama was on the lawn giving a speech, but we couldn't get close enough to see him. We also walked to the Lincoln Memorial and stood at the very bottom. We walked to and around the White House. The Capital was too far for us to walk, but we did have yummy pizza and saw a lot of other very cool buildings. D.C. was very old and majestic. I hope to go back when we have more daylight hours. It was an adventure for sure - it was so super cold and got late fast. We walked for 6 hours and finally headed back to Maryland at 10:30 pm to make sure we would be able to take the train. We had walked so much and so far I wasn't 100 % sure of our route back, but we found it without a hitch. That night I washed and packed our clothes and got ready to head home. Day 6 went well for the most part. My boys were wonderful travelers and we made it home on time. It was wonderful to see our family and be back in Tally. I had missed Brie and TD so much. Our next trip to NIH will be in May or June.
Since then, Gavin had his first Christmas (it was awesome), we celebrated the beginning of a new year and TD's Dad retirement from the Seminole Fire Department. We had a fabulous family trip to St. Pete to see family and Orlando to visit Rachel and go to Universal Studios. Brie won First Place in the Cobb Science Fair (she went to Regionals at FSU). Brie also won Second Place in the History Fair for the entire school. TD had a great hunting trip with his Dad on St. Vincent Island, I turned 35 years old and Gavin was baptized. Gavin's baptism was beautiful. Gavin also started going to the nursery alone at church, which was a huge step for him and me!
Other random thoughts.....
I'm still upset my Colts lost the Super Bowl, but I am thrilled that Spring Training started this week!!
I am super excited for Rachel, who recently found out that she got the job as head chef at the new Harry Potter area at Islands of Adventure.
We have had a lot of WONDERFUL family news lately!!!
I am excited that spring break is around the corner and the kids and I will be headed back down south to hit the beach and have more time with Gramma Gina and the rest of our family.
I am sooo looking forward to our family trip to the Florida Keys in June. I booked our hotel last week!!
We have had a really, really cold winter in Tallahassee so we haven't started a garden yet, but will hopefully do so this weekend. Winter soccer is over and Brie is done with soccer for now. She had a good season, but is taking a break from playing this spring. Jacob has been busy working on rank advancement at Boy Scouts. If he achieves First Class rank by next year, he’ll be eligible for the high adventure trip at SeaBase (which has locations in the Keys and in the Bahamas!). He will be attending Camp Daniel Boone again this summer. I am still trying to convince him to go to the NF2 camp in Salt Lake City, but he is afraid to fly without one of us. Jacob has also been very active with the Lighthouse of the Big Bend's Transition program. Right now they are working on applications for summer volunteering. The Lighthouse will pay Jacob for hours he volunteers. Jacob is looking into working outside at a plant nursery right now. I am thrilled about him learning to be more independent. Both Jacob and Brie are still up and down with their grades. Their report cards have been great - mostly As and Bs with only a few Cs, but the mid 9 weeks and weekly grades can be scary. There is a lot of weekly grounding and stress in our house revolving around school and we are constantly working on “listening” and “attitude.” But for all the stress, there are so many wonderful moments that heal those not-so-happy times. We have bundled up and recently gone to the Jacksonville Zoo and to our local Jr. Museum. We had a fantastic time when our family came up from St. Pete for Gavin's baptism and my birthday. We ate good food, laughed and loved!!
My parents are happy and healthy, TD's parents and grandparents are happy and healthy. Rachel is happy and healthy. TD, our children and myself are happy and healthy. Our extended family is all happy and healthy and my friends are all healthy.
I might be tired and the laundry isn't folded, my legs are hairy, but Life really is good.