Monday, January 3, 2011

Day +642: Happy New Year!

It's day +642 for our Max and things are so quiet and boring around here this afternoon!!! UGH!! We had an absolutely FABULOUS holiday break! It could not have been better. We just really enjoyed our time together and got a great chance to relax and have some fun. I am missing the heck out of my boys today as they are back at school! I had butterflies in my stomach again yesterday with the thought of them having to head back to school today and felt a little apprehension again, like I had at the start of the school year. Crazy, I know but, it has made me realize what amazing and precious bonds that I have developed with my kids through this journey. We are truly connected in powerful ways that we weren't before and I really, really miss them when they are not with me. I know this is part of life and I must let them leave the nest and fly with their own's just harder than ever still for me to do it!

Our holiday break was just filled with fun and special moments for all of us. It was really the first time in a LONG time that we could do whatever we felt like, day after day, here at home! We went sled riding all together (Ellee LOVED it), went to see Yogi Bear at the movies, celebrated Max's birthday at Recreations Outlet with lots of family and friends, went to Xavier basketball, Cyclones hockey and Globetrotters games, went to church, shopped together and enjoyed tons of wonderful time with our families. It truly was the greatest gift just to have this time to have fun together and relax, away from the normal structure and routine of our lives again. One day, Max and I even commented in a happy way on how much it felt like the "old days" when we were stuck here at home together. Once again, the memories of those days feel happy and are something we look back on with longing already. Despite the challenges of those days, they brought us closer together than we had ever been before and set a foundation of extreme strength, love and joy for us as a family. For that, we are eternally grateful. It was very, very nice to relive them a bit over this break.

As we head into the New Year, we are filled with gratitude and feel incredibly blessed. Having Max's return to health is such an immeasurable blessing for all of us. The experiences and lessons that we have learned along his journey are something that we continue to keep in our hearts and minds to guide us as we move forward. We look forward to the days in 2011 when we can relax together as a family and enjoy good times. At the same time, we are hard at work on really getting Max's Meals & More fully running so that we can give back to those that are currently facing the overwhelming struggles that we know all too well. Our Christmas Eve brunch was well received, along with the goody bags and gifts that we presented to CCHMC. It brings us boundless joy to know that we are able to help the families of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute in these ways and that we have been able to turn a really tough time in our lives into something positive for others. We hope to build on Max's Meals & More in the coming year and into the future to continue providing this service.

The most important thing that we have learned throughout Max's journey over the past two years is that you never know what tomorrow may bring. Living in the moment has become our motto and we strive to focus on this and not dwell on worries for the future. Max, Alex and Ellee are happy and enjoying every bit of life...Matt and I could ask for nothing more. Recently, a BMT friend that we have gotten to know through Max's Meals had a profound ending to her Care Page update that I thought I would share with all of you: "Today I remind you to take the time to hold your kids and smile. Tell them how happy you are to be their mommy and/or daddy. When you next talk to God, tell Him thanks, too…for so much that we all just have around us every day and don’t even look at twice!" Thanks, Kimber.

Happy New Year to all of you! Thank you for your continued support and love. We hope you will continue on into 2011 with us, as we look forward to sharing lots and lots of fun times with all of you!

Peace and love,
Kristi (and Matt, Max, Alex, Ellee and Spud)

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