There were birthdays celebrated. Emerson turned 4. He enjoyed a bounce house party with Jojo.
Lawson wanted a Star Wars party so we did it! Thanks to my wonderful Mom who helped me design and make all the Jedi robes, I could have never done it without her!
Ava Jane had a swimming party that was easy to pull off!
Peyton turned 9 and really wanted a camping party so Adam enlisted his Dad's help so that we were able to pull off a pretty memorable celebration.
Ava Jane was chosen as one of the Heart Associations Heart Survivors for 2015, which was such an honor. It was really neat getting to share her story at the Capitol, on the news and during the Survivors Luncheon. Recounting all the ways that God showed up during that trying time in our lives is always encouraging. We also did our annual Ava Jane's Angels Heart Walk raising money for heart research.
There were some really fun trips with friends and family as well as time away just me and Adam. We went with several families to Silver Dollar City (at Spring Break) which was a nice "trial" for how a Disney trip might go. Thankfully we had a terrific time and Adam gave me the green light to plan for Disney World! We also had the chance to do our first ever couples snow skiing trip with some great friends. It was by far one of my most favorite things we did this year and I can't wait to go again! We are looking forward to planning another couples trip with some more friends in the fall! I'm really excited! Adam and I were able to enjoy a few days alone in NYC to celebrate our 12th anniversary.
We said "goodbye" to some of our dear friends. The Sengoga's are a precious family who were here in Arkansas just for the year doing some pastoral training. They were here just under a year but we became fast friends. We've enjoyed keeping up with them and look forward to seeing Joel in the next month or so.
Adam was honored to receive the award as Arkansas' Young Administrator of the Year. We were all very proud of what he's accomplished and how well he has done.
Adam and I both turned 34 this year and it seems like we started "falling apart". Back in February Adam got a terrible cough where he actually coughed so hard that he ended up tearing his abdominal wall. After a CT Scan for what the doctors thought was a hernia, he was diagnosed with the tears and began many weeks of physical therapy. That injury has improved so that's a praise! Another situation arose years ago. Adam began seeing a dermatologist for potential skin cancers because his Dad was diagnosed with Melanoma. Adam goes every 6 months and regularly has moles removed and it's always come back negative. When we came back from Disney we found out that his last biopsy was positive for Basil Cell Carcinoma, he recently had a Mohs procedure and ended up with what we jokingly called a "zipper neck". He went in to get his stitches removed today and they cut another spot off his arm. He'll go back in four months to have another check, we're praying nothing else will have popped up.
I too have had my fair share of stuff. In October, I began having neck pain. To make a long story very short, I ended up in an Orthopedics office late one afternoon because I was in such a major neck spasm and received five injections, went on pain medicine and muscle relaxants all while Adam was out of town. I was diagnosed with Cervical Kyphosis. Thankfully my parents came to stay with me and help with the kids. I began going to physical therapy twice a week for eight weeks. I was still stiff and had regular, dull pain every day but the therapist released me to continue doing stretches at home. After my doctor showed my original x-rays to a spinal specialist, he thought I should have an MRI of my neck. I saw the surgeon a couple weeks ago and he said he didn't think I needed surgery, which was a huge praise, but he did say I needed another twelve weeks of intensive neck physical therapy. So I'll begin doing that next week. Here are some pictures of me when my neck was at its worst. I literally couldn't straighten my head up, I was a total gimp.
This next picture was taken at my last PT appointment. (I also have a squinty eye that presents itself when I'm super tired, I fell asleep during the electrode heat/stimulation part of my PT so my eye was extra small). Awesome huh?!
Our year has been full of fun as well as hard things, but we are thankful to have God who helps us, encourages us and gives us peace when things are hard. We look forward with eager anticipation to what the Lord is going to show us and teach us this next year. We're begging him to guide and direct our steps and asking Him to reveal His will and purposes for our family so that we glorify Him. May God bless and keep you, may His light shine down upon you and fill you with His peace. Happy New Year!