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I love sending out Christmas photo cards and a newsletter of our year in review. Last year was the first year I did it and while we could not afford to send out as many as we have in the past, I wanted to post it here as well, so all our friends and family can see what’s been going on. This is what was sent out exactly as it was plus a few links included in this blog version!
January – Our year started off with Adam and I coming to the end of our month long trip at Jon’s parent’s house. We were happy to be able to help with and attend his sister’s wedding. Jon was still deployed during this time and was not able to attend the wedding, but it was absolutely beautiful! The wedding took place in Michigan and it was my first time as a bridesmaid. During that time, Adam also experienced his first snow and we had a blast letting him play in it.
February was a hard month for us all, as Jon’s grandfather who we’d only seen a few weeks earlier passed away. Since Jon was deployed he was not able to go to the funeral and was very sad to miss it. Later that month, Adam got very sick for several weeks and ended up in the hospital with dehydration. We are so thankful that everything turned out ok.
In March, my good friend Kailey came to stay with us for a week and then we all traveled together down to Florida to stay with my mom. It was good to see family and friends while there! During this month, Adam was tested for Autism for the first time. I traveled 3 hours with a friend to get Adam seen by a specialist, but as we found later he was not much help.
April was a slow month for us as we were waiting for news of Jon’s homecoming date from deployment. Adam was tested for some problems with his liver, and was seen several times by a specialist, but everything turned out ok.
May was the best month of this year because after almost seven months away Jon came home from his deployment in Kuwait. I met him at the Atlanta airport in the early morning and we had a wonderful reunion! Adam was very happy to see his daddy and was glad to have someone to rough house around with again. A couple weeks later, Jon and I took our first vacation together since getting married. We went to Helen, GA a small town that is a recreation of a German town. It was amazing to eat real German food and look around in the shops. We had a wonderful time. During this month Adam also had to have a Barium Swallow Test to see why he won’t eat. It took several hours, three nurses, and two doctors, but we managed to get half the test done. We ended up finding out he had acid reflux, but the second half of the test he would not do, so we had to prepare for another procedure to be done several months later.
On June 17th, Adam turned two years old. He had several friends over for a Curious George birthday party and everyone had a blast! Later on that month a friend and I spent a girl’s day up at Hilton Head Island at the beach. Gorgeous place! We had a lot of fun and came home VERY burnt.
In July, we had our first appointment at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta for Adam. We were trying to get into their feeding program which did not work out because of how long their waiting list was, but we were told to take him to psychologist to get him tested once again for Autism. During this time Adam also had his endoscopy procedure done at the Children’s Hospital in Macon, GA. It was a long day and very hard for us, but he was let out before the end of the day and nothing was found in his esophagus that could be preventing him from eating – praise God!
August was another hard month for us as we got the testing back from Adam’s Psychologist with news that he had Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. We have had to add on a lot of different therapies as Adam now attends Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy and ABA (Behavioral) therapy about 10 times a week. We also found out that I had Cubital Tunnel Syndrome in both arms which requires surgery. I have not been able to have the surgery yet, but hopefully will in January.
In September, Jon graduated from ALS (Airman Leadership School) – a 6 week training course for the military. We are very proud of his accomplishments and hard work and enjoyed a night attending a formal dinner for the graduation.
In October, I was very sick for several weeks and ended up in the hospital one night. After several weeks of testing we found out I had had a cyst on one of my ovaries which went away after a few weeks. It made me so very thankful for my health. We are also very thankful for some amazing progress in Adam’s feeding therapy with a new therapist named, “Miss Morgan.” She has been able to get Adam to eat bread and several other new foods that he has never eaten before. It’s amazing to see the progress even though it’s been slow. We also were very excited to spend thanksgiving with Jon this year since he was deployed last year. It was my first time making a turkey by myself and we had wonderful day at home with just the three of us.
In November, I was very honored to be asked to speak at a Family Readiness Conference for military families at the 9th Marine Corps District, in Kansas City, MO. Due to the influence of my blog (www.singingthroughtherain.net), I have been able to encourage and support military wives and others and was very honored that they sought me out to speak at their conference. Because of our very busy schedule I was not able to accept at this time, but look forward to maybe doing something like this in the future.
December has been a very busy month for all of us! This year, we decided that it would be best for our family to stay home and celebrate Christmas together as a family since Jon was deployed last Christmas and we recently got news that he will be deploying again next year and miss Christmas again. We are excited to spend a Christmas at home instead of traveling and are happy to have both our families coming to visit later this month. On December 23rd Jon and I will be celebrating our four year anniversary. Hard to believe we have come so far already!
As I look back over this past year full of trials and triumph I am so thankful that inspite of it all at the end of the day we still have enough money to get by, enough strength through Christ to carry on, enough patience to endure each and every day, and love as wide as an ocean. We wish the same for you in the coming year! God bless!