Thursday, January 19, 2017

All the Thanks A Blog Could Ever Hold & Highlights of Our Holiday Homecoming With Steve

A million and more thanks go out to all of you who have reached out to us with love, support, encouragement, humor, hugs, pizza deliveries, and faithful prayers since my last post!

If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then the way to a mom's heart is through a well-stocked freezer! A fantastic Meal Train was set up for us by Steve's sister, Jen, and words cannot adequately express just how thankful I am for this amazing gift. It has truly been a sanity saver for me. I swear I can hear angels singing every time I open the freezer door (or maybe that's just the happy hearts of our boys, who are eating like kings these days)!

You have nourished not just our bodies, but our spirits as well, as our mailbox no longer just holds bills, but also kind notes and beautiful, generous gifts that we can only hope to pay forward one day.

The body of Christ is real, people.  It is strong.  It is powerful. And, with all sincerity, I mean it when I say we have felt the outpouring of graces that flow between the Cross and all of you and all of us.

A million and more thanks. Sincerely.

An update on Steve...

He has good days and bad days.  The doctors explained to us that Steve would feel worse before he would feel better, so he actually welcomes the bad days, because when he feels awful he knows that the medication and supplements are killing the infections in his body, which is the name of the game with Lyme and toxicity. (The reaction Lyme patients often experience in response to their prescribed medications is called a Herxheimer reaction, which you can read about here.)

Some of you have asked why Steve is staying in Florida, and the answer is because the majority of his medications and detox regimens are administered to him intravenously on a daily basis, with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays. This strict protocol requires him to remain close to the clinic.

Thanks to the generous help and support of family, we have not been apart from Steve for the entire seven weeks of his absence.  The boys and I, (along with Steve's family) were able to fly to Florida over the Christmas holiday for a reunion.
 Joseph's primary love languages are feasting and smooching. His kisses are like super juicy.  He will be homeschooled until he's 30. Because, sheltering, that's what we do, right??
Sweet Reunion

With military-level amounts of strategic planning, and a solid zone defense, we were able to make it through the airport without losing any children or luggage, and we even managed to avoid being sniffed out by the canine unit, despite having beef jerky and Pop Rocks in our backpacks. Whew!

Steve is staying at a nice little apartment complex close to the clinic, so it was an adventure for the boys (not so much their mother) to experience apartment living for a few days.  They thought the tennis courts and pool were a reasonable trade-off for the lack of sleeping space.

Apartment dwelling was really just our normal frat house living times ten.  Extra cozy = extra stinky. I put in a request for happy hour with management, but haven't heard back from them yet.
During our visit Steve continued to receive his treatments in the mornings, which left most of our afternoons open for sight-seeing or hanging out at the beach.
As I scroll through all of the the photos I captured on our trip, I feel humbled by Steve's quiet strength and the very noble way in which he bore his pains so quietly, so as to try and maintain a cheerful atmosphere at all times for the boys.
His love for them, and for me, truly is heroic.

{Please enjoy this reel of yeller snapshots, while I research "how to set your camera for beach photography."}
Watching the kids bask in hours of carefree fun, enjoying the beauty of the beach and the warmth of the sun, was a great distraction from the weight of our worries.
We were the most fair skinned fannies out on the sand! Even our farmer tans from last summer had faded.  Sunblock me, baby!
The spoils of fishing victory. Yes, George asked if we could eat those baby hammerheads for supper. I'm tellin' ya, he is the next Bear Grylls. At least I know when he leaves for college he'll never be hungry. 

What a relief.
We all agreed it felt a little strange not being wrapped in fleece and slathered in chapstick over the Christmas break (but, we survived).  

Henry informed me that he would rather have sand down his shorts than snow up his coveralls any day.  

Chaffing vs. frostbite.  It's a toss up.
The beach is such a perfect place for kids.  They are completely entertained with the sand for hours at a time. If this were my backyard I would have time to take a nap and shave my legs.  Those are my big dreams these days.
The top two boys are getting really good at dodging the camera.  While I respect their mamarazzi denial wishes, at times I must insist on them taking turns being a prop for the littlest man.  

I call this one "whispies."  The oldest and the youngest and their matching beach blown hair-dos.  A perfect end to an imperfect post!

I just have to say thanks, again, for your prayers.  They are the momentum behind our every movement, propelling us forward, one step at a time towards Steve's healing! 

More updates to come...

5 comments:

  1. Sending so much love, Susan, and praying Steve is back with you ASAP.

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  2. Continued prayers. What a beautiful family and witness you are!

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  3. Gosh! You guys are so beautiful, inside and out.. I was treated for Lyme while pregnant with our 3rd. got the tick gardening. (And my husband was in Afghanistan deployed!) Anyway, please know some random Catholic Mom on the East coast is praying for you guys!

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  4. So glad you guys had such a great visit! Continued prayers for Steve's healing and your sanity!

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  5. Steve is showing seven souls how to persevere
    through what is undoubtedly painful trials, and keep his faith. They will remember how their father was tested, and how he chose love- for God and family, over defeat. I have been ill for a while, and the voice is always nagging "give up"- the voice is not from God, it preys on everyone but when in pain, it seems louder. Steve's suffering is bringing so many others closer to our lord- they want to help! Meal trains are the BEST!! Let people shower you with grace and love:)

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