My love

Today we celebrate the day Joey was born. It’s crazy to think that we have only celebrated this day together 14 times because that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how much celebrating this man deserves.

When we first started dating, the path of our life together was laid out in front of us. The possibilities seemed endless and it was just a matter of choosing what we wanted to do or focus on. Whether it was buying a house and all the work that goes into it or owning only a motorcycle to get the two of us around to jobs and school or preparing to have a little person in our lives – this man has always stood by my side and never wavered. No one would ever expect that when they commit their life to another person, that it could mean having to deal with a terminal illness. Wanting to continue living your life while sharing that life with a disease that fights harder than anything you’ve experienced…it is not only exhausting mentally & physically, it is scary.
And yet this man doesn’t flinch. He continues to fight along side of me, always. He attends every appointment, asks all the right questions and cares for me whether I ask for help or not. Somewhere in the mix of all that chaos, he continues to be a father, a husband, a son, a friend- and so much more. Not only does he do all of these things, he is amazing at each and every one of them.

This man is my protector, my confidant, my comedian, my psychiatrist…he is my best friend. I can’t imagine sharing this crazy life with anyone else in the entire world.

I am feisty, irrational and weird. I have moments of insanity, complete breakdowns and tears of laughter. I cannot possibly be easy to love and yet here he is…by my side every step of the way. 

Happy birthday, my love. I love you with all of my heart. Always.

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Celebrating early!

On this day last year, I was headed to surgery for my double mastectomy. It was a day of fear and hope mixed together. It was exciting to be moving towards a life that was anticipated to be cancer free and the halfway point for my treatment at the time. 

This year things are quite different and I am preparing for a different surgery (not today) that will hopefully be my last despite this fight with cancer never actually ending for me.

Joe’s birthday, the 4th, was spent caring for me last year. Knowing that surgery is looming in the the future, I was determined for him to celebrate his day without dealing with anything cancer recovery related. Unsure when surgery would be, I booked an early birthday celebration. 

All that being said, today we are headed in a different direction – literally. I asked Joe to take the day off and told him that it was filled with preoperative appointments. I waited until he showered yesterday to pack and hide Jacob’s suitcase (to stay at Grandma’s last night) along with a small birthday gift. We went through the work day and as we were leaving, I asked if we could stop at his parents house to discuss the surgery plan. When we pulled up, I pretended to leave my phone in the car and had him go in ahead of me. I grabbed Jacob’s suitcase and snuck it inside. Then I grabbed the box and a card. Once inside, I asked Jacob to bring the box and card to Daddy.
He ran up excitedly, yelling “Daddy, is for you! Is your birthday! A package. A card!” Joe looked surprised and opened the box to find two matching fishing hats. I smiled widely and he opened the card.

The gift of Thursday. Thanks to our incredible family, we were all able to contribute towards a day of fun for Joe. Instead of heading to surgery or appointments, we are headed to our happy place! We will spend the day on a fishing boat, surrounded by the amazing ocean of New Smyrna Beach. We will fish, enjoy this incredible day and each other.

I couldn’t be more excited to spend this day celebrating my love’s birthday!! 🐟🐠🐡🐙🐬⛴🌊

And then there’s Sarah…

Having an older sister is very different from having younger sisters. With Rachel & Kat, they seemed to look up to me as the expert, whether I thought I was or not. With Sarah, it was the opposite – I had her to look up to. It was my chance to follow in her footsteps with her amazingly good grades, her ability to excel at sports and the confidence she never seemed to go without (in a good way!). We had our fair share of fights like everyone else and I will admit to taking her clothes after she left for school & putting them back before she realized they were ever missing. What can I say? Girls got style…I still raid her closet when I’m allowed!

But setting aside the fact that she is my sister and basically required to deal with me, she did more than that. She let me cry on her shoulder, she would make every attempt to fix anything that was wrong and would surprise me at school with random gifts (like for President’s Day) just to tell me that she loved me. 

She has never been afraid to tell me how things were or should be – even if I didn’t (or don’t!) want to hear it. She always stood by my side without me ever asking. And she still calls me just to say hello and ask how I’m feeling. 

When I was going through my original biopsy, she was on the phone with me every single day and googling everything she could think of. The afternoon that the doctor called me to come in the following day for the biopsy, she said something to me that I will never forget – and that I believe every person facing a cancer diagnosis should hear. “Meghan, even if it is cancer, we will fight it. I will be there every single step of the way and I will hold your hand so that you never give up. We will get through this.” To this day, I can’t say or type it without tears. Those are the words that gave me strength before I needed it. And she has held true to them.

Though she may have been a little jealous of my coming along shortly after her birth (I’ve heard the stories!), she has never stopped being my best friend. Happy birthday, Sarah – I love you so much!!

To my little sister…

We shared a bed and a room for most of my childhood. I slept on the bunk above you, seeing who would take longer to say their prayers. I tattled on you when you “stole” the raw cookie dough out of the fridge and ate it. You allowed me to do your makeup, unaware that I had no idea what I was doing.

You went to school with me and I’m pretty sure, nope, definitely sure that you were way cooler than me. You even beat me in a cheerleading tournament.

You allowed me to confide in you, offered advice and made me laugh hysterically, even when I didn’t want to.

We shared in our pregnancies, became mothers in the same year and spent many late hours texting each other, sleep deprived, slightly delirious and yet full of laughter.

You will always be my little sister…my best friend. Happy birthday, Rachie. I love you! ❤

Two?!

I’m reflecting on the last two years. On this day two years ago, my husband and I were checked into the hospital awaiting the arrival of this sweet boy. We watched him grow from a fragile newborn into a smiling, happy infant and now a daring, funny, curious toddler. This day last year, we were surrounded by family and friends celebrating his very 1st birthday. This year, he woke up to snuggles from us, his cousin, aunts and uncles. He has been loved so much from before he was born.

This boy has changed our lives in ways that I never imagined possible. He lights up our lives each and every day. Though it has not always been easy and I make mistakes daily, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There have been tears of happiness, joy, frustration and sadness. There have also been more smiles and laughter than I could ever have dreamed of having in my life. 

These two years have flown by. There have been a lot of firsts and I know there are many more of those to come. He loves cheese but not more than blueberries. He has a passion for water, the beach and boating that makes me grateful for this beautiful state we live in. He wakes up singing and has a knack and rhythm music like I’ve never seen. His love for reading seems to grow daily and his creativity shows through already. Still learning to speak, his vocabulary grows regularly and he does not hesitate to express his feelings towards an activity or food.

Above all of these things though, Jacob is a kind, loving, sweet boy that loves snuggles. Almost always happy, he brightens any room that he wanders into.

Happy birthday to my little man! Here’s to a generation full of laughter, snuggles and memories together with our family of three. 

This year

Growing up, I LOVED my birthday. The New Year would start and I’d begin my countdown. When March rolled around, my countdown became more serious and I let just about everyone that I came in contact with know how many days it was until my birthday. Sometimes, I’d even jokingly begin the countdown again once my birthday ended.

It was always an exciting day. Easter usually fell around my birthday and my parents would treat me to an Easter bunny ice cream cake and my Dad would surprise me with a meal worthy of a 5-star restaurant menu. Some years, it’d snow and I’d have the day off from school and other years the flowers were already blooming with the early spring.

Since living in Florida, I would typically take the day off from work and head to the beach or Disney to enjoy the day with my husband – and more recently, little man too. It was a day that I always looked forward to because it reminded me of how loved I am.

In recent years, I have stopped my regular countdown and sometimes didn’t even realize how quickly my birthday was approaching until someone asked me about it. I would still take the day off and do something fun but the countdown was no longer a part of it. I started to feel older and older as the years flew by and I was surprised at how quickly time was passing.

This year is different. Although I didn’t count the days leading up to my birthday, I still felt the excitement of it. This year, I feel so incredibly blessed to be here and to be cancer free and able to celebrate my birthday with the ones that I love.

I mean, how incredible is a birthday? It’s a reminder of the day that you came into this world, of all that you have accomplished in the years you’ve spent on this earth and a new start to the year ahead. It’s a true blessing and a day to be thankful for all that you have in this life. What’s not to love?