We have avoided taking our kids to Hamley's ever since we have moved here. Our kids have no idea that the world's largest toy store is in London. We still avoided the store but went to the Toy Parade. To kick off our Christmas, we bundled up and headed to the Hamley's Toy Parade.
It was brilliant and one of the kids favorite activities from Christmas. We saw so many toys from Barbie to Fireman Sam to R2D2 to Ghost Busters to Elmo. There were marching bands and dancers. Our kids learned the art of maintaining their front row position as they had to push and elbow other kids from pushing them out.
Jillian started off the morning as happy as the other two but started getting sick as the parade went on. By the time we got home, she was running a 102 fever and took a 4 hour nap. She recovered in the next few days but we felt horrible for dragging her out when she was sick.
Enjoy the pictures!
Monday, February 6, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
2017 was a rough start for me. I lost my patience, cried a lot, and was exhausted. My mom went home early from London because her health was deteriorating fast. I felt helpless and scared. I was also extremely frustrated. I'm too young to lose my mom and my kids needs more time with their Nana. I lost my grandparents early want nothing more in the world but for my kids to have LOTS of time with all their grandparents. Sorry, I got a little sidetracked. It was a glimpse into a harsh reality of a world where my mom didn't exist.
My mom went into the hospital New Year's Eve and had major surgery on New Year's Day. The surgery took 4 hours and recovery was up to her body. The doctors weren't sure what to expect but with each new day came more and more positive news. We serve a mighty God who was with my mom and every decision that was made in the last few weeks. Every prayer was felt and surrounded our family.
London never felt so far away as it did those days my mom was in the hospital. I always said today's world is so much smaller but all of a sudden it felt enormous! I was forced with the decisions of do you go or do you wait? Do my parents need me? Are they ok without me and am I ok over here? I found myself on my knees more in those days then ever in my life. I then saw it clear, I'm going home. I haven't been back to the states in a year and a half but I can't stay here. I knew it was the right thing when I found a plane ticket for 700 USD!
We have the best friends in the world as the helped me prepare for leaving. Friends referred temporary nannies and we found the perfect one from Jillian's school. She has loved my kids, taught them, and has been there for them this week. The kids had sleepovers and dinners and lots of hugs. I had coffee dates with many friends talking to me about their experiences with their loved ones and words of encouragement. I had phone calls and texts from friends back home offering prayers and love. Jason had about 25 contact numbers as I boarded a plane to head home. I have never felt so blessed with so much love surrounding us in London and The States.
I had a peaceful and quiet 10 hour flight to Houston. I watched 3 movies, read a book, sent emails, chatted with friends and had no interruptions. It was amazing and just what I needed. I also ate chic fil a at the airport...chicken nuggets and waffle fries have never tasted better. Then I finally boarded the plane to El Paso.
I'll never forget seeing my dad sitting there waiting for me. The tears in our eyes as we talked about Mom and how she is expected to make a full recovery and it doesn't look like she needs chemo. Praise the Lord!
I spent the next week with my mom and dad. It brought healing to my heart and clarity in my mind. God works in amazing ways and at times you don't expect it. I went to help my parents and they helped me. I watched my mom try to regain her strength by walking laps around their house. I watched my dad do ALL the household chores and could see the exhaustion in his face. I was able to write spreadsheet formulas to make my mom's work more efficient, I cooked dinner, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen multiple times, help dad put up a pantry, and help mom with her long to do list. I am grateful that I could go home and help them for a week and that was great but the other moments are a treasure I will hold onto forever.
My mom has been so sick for a while that I had forgotten what her smile was like when it reached all the ways to her eyes. I have missed her laugh and her witty humor. I loved those moments when my mom was happy. I loved listening to my parents banter. I loved the smiles and laughs. I loved the open and honest conversations that led to healing tears. I loved sharing of fears and future dreams. I loved talking about my kids and how my parents see them. I loved getting and giving hugs any time I wanted. There is nothing better than when your daddy takes you into his arms for the best hug in the world! I loved drinking margaritas and shopping at Target for the first time in a year and a half. I loved every moment of the past week and I'm so grateful to the many people who made that happen!
Friends, hug your loved ones tighter today. Call someone who knows you better than you know yourself and share what is on your heart. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Smile so big today that it reaches your eyes!