2018 was a busy year and eventful year. Here is a little RECAP of each month.
January was an eventful month. A week after chemo started Nathan’s hair started to come out. So he decided that he wanted to shave it off and that’s what we did. Poor Quinn developed an abscess above her front teeth after a fall and had to have her front two teeth pulled. She looked pretty cute being toothless for a while. Nathan went through his second round of chemo but this time we were able to go to the Vandy Children’s Hospital Cancer Clinic for treatment. It was a long two days but it was nice to be able to be at home instead of in the hospital. We had our first snow of the year as well. The kids had a blast playing in the snow! In Tennessee snow is a treat!
Nathan was voted Friendliest by his class at the beginning of the year and he was recognized for this along with all of the other Superlative students at half time of one of the DA basketball games. It was a proud moment for me that my kid received this recognition! I always want him to treat others with kindness and it’s heart warming that others see him that way.
February was lots of fun. We had Nathan’s senior football banquet and it was so much fun to work with the other senior moms one last time to celebrate our amazing boys. My parents and my grandmother were able to be there too. It was a wonderful night. I was able to reconnect with some old high school friends for a much needed girls night out. I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it was to spend time with friends that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. Noah and Quinn were doing well in school and therapy. Both growing up too fast! Nathan continued to have chemo rounds every three weeks. Each time it made him feel worse. It drained him of his energy and left him feeling nauseated and unable to eat for days. While he dreaded going in the staff at the clinic always made it a great experience. Despite feeling bad he always kept a smile on his face.
March Spring was in full swing and we enjoyed being able to be outside every chance we had! Noah loves being outdoors. I always say that it is his happy place. Quinn turned 3! We had a great birthday party at the playground for her! All of her friends from school came to celebrate with us! She also had her first hair cut! She was such a big girl sitting quietly while Hailey cut her hair.
Another exciting thing that happened in March was Nathan received his wish from the Dreams and Wishes Foundation of Tennessee for teens that have cancer or a terminal illness. His wish was to go to a Nashville Predators hockey game and meet the team and especially his favorite player Viktor Arvidsson. They went over and beyond to make us feel special. They gave him a jersey of his favorite player and a Preds hockey stick. We toured the stadium including the television truck where they produce the game live for TV. After the game they took us down to meet the players. Nathan couldn’t have been happier. His favorite player came out at the very end and was so nice to Nathan. He talked with him about the game and gave him tickets to 6 games for the next season. It was a night that he’ll never forget.
April was a busy month. We took a trip to Cincinnati to meet Leslie at a halfway point and spent the day at the zoo there. We also took a trip to the Nashville zoo with Noah’s school. The kids can’t get enough of the zoo. Noah would go everyday if he could! Nathan went through 2 more rounds of chemo. The scans they took showed that the tumor was almost gone.
Senior prom was in April! Nathan took his best friend (now girlfriend) Alex with him as his date. They had an amazing time with their friends and even let me take some great pictures of them before their night began.
May rolled in with lots of great events. Nathan went through his last round of chemo in time for him to feel well enough to play in one soccer game for his senior season. They celebrated him being the only senior on the team and honored him that night. He was so sad that he had to miss his senior soccer season and was thrilled that they cleared him to play in one game as long as he didn’t push himself too hard. It was so nice to see him out on the field one last time.
May also meant high school graduation!!! This was such a great week of events. They had an awards banquet and a college send off ceremony for the seniors. I couldn’t have been more proud and thankful to see Nathan walk across the stage.
Quinn had an end of the year program at her Mother’s Day Out school and it was so funny to see her want to take over the mic at center stage during her classes songs. Ha! I was incredibly sad knowing that she wouldn’t be back next year.
June meant it was time to move to Michigan. It was so incredibly hard to leave home, our friends and our family behind but we were ready for our new start in Michigan. We jumped right into our new home and started enjoying our summer break. We joined the Detroit Zoo and enjoyed all the great parks and splash pads around us. I spent most of the month on the phone fighting with insurance daily to get Noah approved to start ABA therapy again. I was such a stressful time but I’m relentless when it comes to getting Noah the services that he needs.
July in Michigan was wonderful. The weather is amazing with temps in the 70’s and 80’s every day with a constant breeze. We spent most of our days outdoors. I celebrated turning 36 with our family watching fireworks at a local park. Nathan came to visit us in Detroit and we had so much fun having him here. We also made a quick trip back to Nashville.
August was our last month of summer before school starts up. We visited one of Michigan’s many beaches and the kids loved playing in the water and sand! We found a new park each week to visit in our area. Noah finally started ABA therapy again and we were so happy that he enjoyed going each day.
I made a trip home to be with Nathan when he had his chemo port removed and moved into college all in one week! It was a bittersweet day to set up his dorm room and leave him behind. I kept telling myself to stay positive that he would be fine. I knew that I needed to be thankful that he was well enough to be in college after a battling cancer for 6 months.
September rang in the new school year! Noah started kindergarten at an amazing school. They made the first day so special. I was overwhelmed with emotions walking him up to the school that first day. Quinn started preschool a weeks behind Noah starting. She was so excited to be going to school just like her big brother! In the afternoons we found ourselves outside trying to soak up the last little bit of warm weather.
I took a trip to Cincinnati to visit with one of my old friends and we took every opportunity to be big kids for the weekend. We went to an amusement park and rode almost every roller coaster there. Then ended our day there with blue ice cream cones. It was such a nice get away for me.
October was a month full of fun. Nathan turned 19!!! Wow that was hard to wrap my head around. I face timed with him for his 4 month post chemo appointment where we heard lots of good news from his labs. His PET scan showed bone regrowth where the tumor had been which was wonderful news.
Quinn’s class took a field trip to a local apple orchard and we had the best time. There was a hay ride through the orchard and we were able to pick our own bag for apples off the trees. That was a great first field trip!
The kids were pumped about trick-or-treating for the first time. They loved dressing up! Noah was a monster and Quinn was sleeping beauty. We finally live in a neighborhood where we could enjoy trick-or-treating with out having to go anywhere. Our streets were filled with families! It was such a fun night. The kids had so much fun and so did we. Quinn’s favorite part was handing out the candy to all the kids that came to our door. She usually yelled trick-or treat at them before they could say it. Ha!
November brought our first Michigan snow. The kids were so excited! It was strange sending the kids off to school when the snow was coming down! In Tennessee the whole city would shut down for a week if we got a couple of inches. Our sweet Noah turned 6!!! We had a little monster party for him at home. It was a great day of celebrating him! One of my best friends got married in Cincinnati. It was like a mini high school reunion! Such a wonderful night! Les and I had an amazing time being out without the kids. With a last minute schedule change it meant that we wouldn’t be able to travel home for Thanksgiving and I was so sad. Then my mom came to the rescue and flew to Michigan to be with us for a long weekend. We spent Thanksgiving at a friends house and had a great time. I missed being able to see Nathan, Alex and the rest of my family but having mom here was amazing. She always lifts my spirits and I’m so thankful for her and how much she loves our kids.
December meant snow, snow and more snow! When we saw snow there was no surprise anymore. I decorated our house like a Christmas Wonderland! Christmas makes me so incredibly happy! I love going over the top and I decorate our house inside and out. Our neighborhood really gets into the Christmas spirit! There is one street in particular where every house goes all out! They have light archways over the side walk down the entire street. We went down for the big lighting event where everyone in the neighborhood and so many people from our town came out to be there. We took so many walks down that street during the month. It just made us all so happy. There were Christmas parties at the kids schools and it was so much fun to be a part of those. Les’s residency program had a party at Dave and Busters and the kids were in heaven in the arcade! Then we made a trip down to Nashville for a week for Christmas. It was a very busy week but it was so great to be home with family. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas! We ended the year on a happy note.
2018 was a wonderful year and we’re looking forward to see what 2019 will bring!