Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's what we do : Family

{Ava (2) and Kaci (3) playing!}

A few weeks ago I was released from the hospital. My liver was still a mess and I was sent home with plenty of prescriptions to be filled, orders on how to sleep and when, etc... but I was home. My mother in law flew in from Florida to take care of the girls while I was still in the hospital. She did everything. Cleaned my house. Bathed, fed, and loved my children. She even covered the middle of the night feedings! I was so thankful to come home and have her there. Especially as hubs was on a missions trip and I cannot even fathom doing it alone right from the get-go. I am so blessed to have a mother in law who so selflessly cares for her children and their children. She wouldn't let me lift a finger and set to work keeping things in order for me so I could recover. What an impact on my life she has made. I'm so grateful.

{Me, Hailie (7mo), Brother, Mom, and August enjoying some family lounge time}

After MIL left, my nurse-mother asked if she could come to care for us. But not just her... my entire family. Mom, dad, brother, brothers wife and 2 children. :) I automatically said yes! My brother and his wife are a military family and we so rarely get to see them - I had to jump on this opportunity. So they caravan-ed out here to Iowa, all 6 of them. They gave up their vacay time to come be with a sicky me and my little family - to help me get back on my feet.

{the princesses at Cheesecake factory with hubs}

Our home is cozy. It's not the biggest house on the block - but we do have some space. It's plenty big for us. We each have our own room and its cozy. However, add 6 extra bodies and it becomes even more cozy. :) And that is just what we did. We had bodies in just about every room of the house. Mom and Dad slept on a mattress in the living room. My 3 year old niece slept on air mattress in the dining room. We kept our room and my girls stayed in their own, as well. Brother and sis took the upstairs back porch {which was about the same size as their air mattress} and shared with their 7 month old. And did I mention it was in the middle of one of the muggiest, hottest, stickiest weeks we've had all summer? The AC was cranked and I think at one point we had 5 fans going around the house, too, just to move the air.

{Poppa with his 4 granddaughters}

They made all the meals. They cleaned the house. They entertained the children. Mom went to Dr's appointments and labs with me. Dad picked up my hubs when he got home and rescued his car from the airport. All I had to do was BE THERE - which, the first day was actually some work as I adjusted to steroids pumping through me.

{steak eating 7 month old}

hrough all the chaos and bodies and children squealing and people snoring and laughing and OH THE TECHNOLOGY {everyone had an IPAD or laptop}... I felt alive. This was my family. This is who I was and where I came from. This is what family does. While my physical body still had a ways to go to get better - I could already feel the healing begin just by having them there, like I did with my MIL before them. And the truth is that I'm still basking in the warmth of them being here. It does something for the soul, I'm convinced, to be with the ones you love. To hug your parents everyday for 5 days in a row. To sit on the couch with your brother, both as adults with children of your own. To sit around the dinner table like you did growing up... with some added faces and years. It's beautiful. It's bittersweet ALWAYS because it goes too fast.

{family dinner at cheesecake factory}

Not to sound like a country song here, but, everytime I say goodbye to my family my heart breaks. I still cry as they round the corner and leave. I'm never satisfied with the time I get with them. But a good time was had. And this is what we do as a family - we care for each other. We travel and do things that are inconvenient. We make our own fun. I'm so thankful for my incredible family.

1 comment:

Melody Joy King said...

The gift of a loving family is an incredible blessing. One that I take for granted far, far too often. I am so glad you had your family near as you walked through this painful, confusing time Mandi. Please know that you, Brad, and the girls continue to be in my prayers! Love, Mel