Saturday, August 7, 2010

So Thankful for Family

I let myself stop and think about everything that has happened since May and reminded myself how thankful I should be for all that has happened the past three months. It seems like so long ago that I was walking around my classroom with swollen feet, an aching back, and a huge belly counting down the minutes until Eleanor would be here wondering if I was more excited to experience the life changing event of having my first child or to be rid of my dear 5th graders for the summer. I remember making all these plans in my head of what we would do once Eleanor came and was so excited for all the "free time" we would have. Maybe we would travel some (I heard "the best time to travel" was with a newborn...), we would definitely attend daily mass at noon and would spend some time in adoration as a family...maybe Andy and I would even do a book study together. We knew we would get to spend some time with both of our families and get lots done around the house as well because, well, we would have SO MUCH free time.

Well reality hit and I didn't realize how long it would take for me to get back to complete normalcy not to mention once my body and hormones would, I would also have a whole new component to my life - dear sweet Eleanor!

Anyway - best laid plans. Though we didn't accomplish everything we thought we would, we got the most important things in. Andy and I have so enjoyed getting to sleep in (that means we get a great morning nap after Eleanor wakes up at 6 or 7 and then naps until 9 or 10...still living the life as far as I am concerned with a newborn), cook meals together, and really do whatever we want as long as there is time to feed every 2 - 3 hours. Even more wonderfully have we been able to spend time with our families.

We have been able to take two trips to College Station and have Andy's parents visit us twice since Eleanor's birth. Andy's mom and dad were able to stay with us when Eleanor was born and were so helpful. My mom always called my Grandmary the "dishwasher fairy" because she would always empty the dishwasher while everyone was asleep along with folding laundry and helping with everything. 'Nell was my laundry fairy being so helpful with doing my laundry exactly how I liked it (I am kind of a laundry nazi) and being such a humble servant!

We love having my parents so close! They have been amazing in helping us with Eleanor and just providing company, a home-cooked meal when I am too tired to cook, and more square footage when we start to go stir crazy in this little apartment! We also got to share in such a special time with my sister Katie when she came home from Nicaragua. I will never forget she and Eleanor meeting for the first time. She became so natural with E and even was able to put her to sleep before her two weeks here were up.

I have loved watching "Aunt MEA" with Eleanor, she is basically another me to her and really hasn't not seen her at least once every couple days since she was born. It will be so weird with her being back in San Marcos :(. Even more weird will be Aunt Keekda (Kelsey) not being home every time we come over. I think Kel was a little shy around E at first but they grew a special relationship and there were times when I couldn't get Eleanor to sleeep and Aunt Keeks could. Ellie is so blessed to have three aunts who love her so much!

The few times she has been able to be around Andy's brothers, Eleanor has just eaten them up! They are basically clones of her Daddy and are the cutest to watch when they play with her. They just soften to mush!

Now that Andy and I are back to work, we have been SOOOOOO greatful for my parents and all they are doing to help. They are basically another set of parents to Ellie as they watch her from 6 - 6. The other day, mom wasn't up when I dropped Eleanor off, so Dad played with her/put her back to sleep. They are both so selfless and loving to be doing this when they are finally free of kids in the house. I don't know what we would do without them and I know this going back to work thing would be a million times miserable if it weren't my parents taking care of sweet E. Mom and Dad, thank you SO VERY MUCH for all you do!

Bottom line, I have never really appreciated the gift of family until having my own child. As a child myself, there were many times I bad-mouthed my parents for making us stay home on a Friday night to have "family night" or because they wouldn't let us sleep over on Saturday nights so we could be home for "family breakfast" where we read the readings for the day and discussed. All those times my mom pulled our teeth to spend time together paid off as we are such a tight knit family now! Andy's family is super close as well and all I can say is that we are abundantly blessed!

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